Twitter Decides It Loves Net Neutrality, Endorses Proposed FCC Plan

With the FCC set at long last to vote on strong net neutrality protections later this week, everyone is getting their last digs in. While many tech companies have previously spoken out on the issue, both for and against, the big social networks have been slow to plant their flags. That changed today, when Twitter came out swinging, cheering on the FCC’s plan.

Twitter made their announcement today in a rare communication greatly in excess of 140 characters. In a blog post called, “Why Twitter faves #NetNeutrality,” public policy manager Will Carty called net neutrality explained the platform’s outlook.

Calling true net neutrality “critical to American economic aspirations and our nation’s global competitiveness,” Carty laid out the economic argument for net neutrality, saying:

This openness promotes free and fair competition and fosters ongoing investment and innovation. We need clear, enforceable, legally sustainable rules to ensure that the Internet remains open and continues to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. This is the heart of Twitter. Without such net neutrality principles in place, some of today’s most successful and widely-known Internet companies might never have come into existence.

Opponents of Title II have framed the issue as one that would create a tightly regulated environment in which new companies would be unable to invest freely in new innovations and technologies, so Twitter’s framing is important. The company went public late in 2013, and so is one of those new, innovative businesses that counts on unfettered internet access to grow and survive.

Carty’s post also alludes several times to the reputation Twitter has gained over the past years for being a catalyst connecting and enabling protest movements, from far flung events like the Arab Spring to domestic movements like the one that began in Ferguson, MO in 2014.

Net neutrality, Carty writes, has “important implications for freedom of expression.” Under net neutrality protections, consumers themselves get to decided what they want to do, make, access, or share.

“Empowering ‘lesser’ or historically less powerful voices to express themselves and be heard globally is at the core of Twitter’s DNA,” says Carty. “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. It serves as a great equalizer in the access to information and in reaching a global audience.”

For all those reasons, Carty concludes, Twitter “strongly supports” the FCC’s action.

The FCC will vote on the proposed new net neutrality rule on Thursday, February 26.

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