Twitter Joins Fellow Tech Titans Google, Facebook in Support of Net Neutrality

By Rudy Takala | February 25, 2015 | 3:54 PM EST

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(CNSNews.com) -- Twitter announced Monday that it was joining other large tech companies such as Google and Facebook in an eclectic coalition that has come out in support of controversial “net neutrality” regulations that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to vote on Thursday.

Twitter’s press release lauded net neutrality as “a great equalizer.”

"Currently, the Internet provides an almost frictionless experience for an individual to communicate with the world, and it also provides the lowest barrier to competitive entry for businesses the world has ever seen," the statement said.

“It serves as a great equalizer in the access to information and in reaching a global audience. If you have an opinion or a new innovative web-based service, you don’t have to get permission to share it with the world at large…. This is the heart of Twitter.”

Under proposed net neutrality regulations currently before the FCC, the Internet would be reclassified for the first time as a Title II utility as described by the Communications Act of 1934, granting the FCC regulatory authority over it.

Twitter is not the first corporate titan to come out in support of the proposed regulations. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon have also expressed their support.

Though they may differ on particular legal aspects, the companies signed a letter in May 2014 supporting the underlying principles of net neutrality. The letter was also signed by EBay, LinkedIn, Netflix, Reddit, Tumblr and other Internet companies.

“Rules should prevent ISPs from “blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent,” the letter said. “The rules should provide certainty to all market participants and keep the costs of regulation low.”

Other members of the net neutrality coalition include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Lesbians who Tech. Both groups support the net neutrality proposal currently before the FCC.

According to Mary Gray, a senior researcher for Microsoft and an associate professor at Indiana University, net neutrality is an issue for the LGBT community because the Internet is a place where its members meet and access services.

“We are able to go online and connect to people we identify with, without having to battle the stigma and potential physical threat that comes with accessing LGBT-supportive physical spaces,” Gray wrote in a blog post last month. “We are able to access services and information specifically for us.... not just a clumsy version of what's made available to our heterosexual peers.”

Left-leaning organizations that support net neutrality include Color of Change, Common Cause, Media Matters, the Center for Media Justice, and MoveOn.org.

Right-leaning groups opposing the proposed net neutrality rules include the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks, and the Goldwater Institute.

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