Democratic lawmakers and other social media users voiced their outrage at the Federal Communications Commission's vote on Thursday to repeal the net neutrality regulations instituted by the Obama administration.
The Obama-era Title II rules, first implemented in 2015, classified internet service providers as public utilities, rather than information services, for the first time, giving the government broad power to regulate them and how companies manage traffic over their own networks.
Under the Trump administration, the FCC has taken steps to reverse the regulations and officially voted to repeal net neutrality on Thursday on a party line vote.
The vote was led by FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who has received death threats for his support of repealing net neutrality rules.
Democratic lawmakers quickly castigated the FCC vote to repeal the regulations, decrying the move as a threat to a free and open internet.
Today’s FCC vote overturning #NetNeutrality protections is terrible for all Americans who want equal access to a free and open internet. I will introduce a resolution with @SenMarkey and others to reverse this decision!
— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) December 14, 2017
Trump’s FCC dealt a major blow to the free and open internet by repealing #netneutrality rules. Because of Chairman Pai and the other Republican commissioners, there are no longer any rules in place to stop internet service providers from changing the internet as we know it.
— Senator Brian Schatz (@SenBrianSchatz) December 14, 2017
The @FCC just voted to repeal #NetNeutrality, a move that attacks freedom of speech for the millions of people who use the internet every single day. This is outrageous, and I’ll be joining @SenMarkey’s effort to reverse this horrible decision. https://t.co/QsgwqnNPfr
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 14, 2017
Others on social media predicted that, without the rules, suicide rates and bullying will increase while jobs for actors and singers will decrease.
Others expressed their outrage with the FCC's decision.
The most powerful and equalizing resource in human history has been robbed of its democracy. #NetNeutrality
— Ammar Campa-Najjar (@ACampaNajjar) December 14, 2017
Of course the FCC just killed net neutrality. Nobody works for the people. They are all for sale to the highest bidder. #NetNuetrality
— adam klotz (@AdamKlotzFNC) December 14, 2017
— Larry Murphy (@LarryMurphyJr) December 14, 2017
— TROY (@TroyDoherty) December 14, 2017
Don't despair. We can still:
- call our reps
- organize protests
- support upcoming lawsuits
- support the fact that falsified comments were made to the FCC and NOT INVESTIGATED so all of this bullshit requires investigation and doesn't stand on legality.
— Kim Horcher (@kimscorcher) December 14, 2017
— Jennifer Lafleur (@LafleurJennifer) December 14, 2017
Some social media users claimed they already experienced a change in their internet.
— Gieson Cacho (@gcacho) December 14, 2017
Now might be a good time to reinvest in all the physical media you thought you could get rid of because we had net neutrality.
— William Bibbiani (@WilliamBibbiani) December 14, 2017
Mary Emily O'Hara, a segment producer for MSNBC, took solace in the fact that there will be an Ocean's Eleven movie remake with an all-female cast.
Losing net neutrality is bad but as a consolation prize here is a movie starring 8 women and hopefully not a single man at all https://t.co/34hf7JFtDo
— Mary Emily O'Hara (@MaryEmilyOHara) December 14, 2017
Actor and former White House Associate Director of Public Engagement Kal Penn called Pai the "worst kind of uncle."
Ajit Pai is the worst kind of uncle
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) December 14, 2017
Companies like Netflix and Twitter criticized the repeal of net neutrality. Netflix called the two-year-old regulations "protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity, and civic engagement."
We’re disappointed in the decision to gut #NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement. This is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix stands w/ innovators, large & small, to oppose this misguided FCC order.
— Netflix (@netflix) December 14, 2017
The @FCC's vote to gut #NetNeutrality rules is a body blow to innovation and free expression. We will continue our fight to defend the open Internet and reverse this misguided decision. https://t.co/TXTQWDiBNC
— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) December 14, 2017
CNN described the vote as the "end of the internet as we know it," before changing the headline.