The other week, I uploaded a video for a media production class to YouTube. The topic, and the name of my video, was “Surveillance.” As always with uploads, I immediately check the link once it has finished to make sure the video plays back correctly. This video did. After discussing net neutrality in our class a few days later, I opened the video again. Interestingly enough, the video did not play and instead there was a black screen with the words “This video is currently unavailable.” I tried a few other videos of mine — they played fine. I tried some popular music videos — all fine and playing back correctly and quickly. Could it be that YouTube was blocking my video? It did include many screenshots of Google Maps (and YouTube is now a part of Google). I figured I was experiencing net inequality firsthand.
To me, this is a very large problem. In this class and others, we have had discussions about how the Internet was the best way to pass information. It was free and made it easy to share ideas with many, many people worldwide. But without net neutrality, the power is again in a select few hands.