Net neutrality died, but not for the reasons people were protesting

Net neutrality is gone and had nothing to do with FCC rules on net neutraliy.

Google has or is in process of modifying their search systems so that web sites that do not support https secure access are moved down the list of search results. Further, Google has announced that the speed of the web site access will now become a factor in search results. These changes add costs to low end publishers or individuals wishing to run web sites – and have the effect of making it harder to start up personal or small group web sites and to obtain readership.

Youtube announced that in order to run ads on videos, a channel must now have at least 1,000 subscribers and at least 4,000 hours of video content viewed during the previous 12 months. This raises the bar for new channel developers to monetize their content.

Youtube has undertaken other changes including making videos invisible to searches, or preventing them from being shared or commented upon, if in Youtube’s view, the content may be considered objectionable by someone. When we say “Youtube’s view”, this often means a “machine learning” algorithm. “Machine learning” is a fancy way of saying pattern matching based on techniques used in artificial intelligence simulators.

Twitter has admitted, in various forums like Congressional testimony or by current or former employees, that the company uses “Tweet throttling” to reduce exposure for some tweets (a form of shadow banning) and modifies the trending topics lists when topics that Twitter does not like, become popular. Twitter also disallows some individuals from displaying the “verified” check mark next to their name (without saying why), and has also shut down accounts of some users, without saying why (and there not being an obvious reason).

Net censorship is common and widespread – and is used by those who said net neutrality would lead to censorship of content. Hah hah. Very funny.

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