The Federal Communications Commission Wednesday announced its plan to undo the net neutrality rules put in place during the Obama administration.
But could the move by the Republican-majority commission actually wind up hitting its politically aligned Commander-in-Chief where it would hurt him the most?
Of course, we’re talking about President Trump’s tweets.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange posted a Twitter-angled plea aimed at POTUS Tuesday. "'Net neutrality' of some form is important," he tweeted. "Your opponents control most internet companies. Without neutrality they can make your tweets load slowly, CNN load fast and infest everyone's phones with their ads. Careful."
Under the current net neutrality rules, internet service providers are required to give equal speed and access to all online content. Experts have warned that changes in those rules could open up the possibility for ISPs to create so-called "fast lanes" for sites they prefer or receive financial incentive from.
Does this mean future Trump tweets could be throttled by, say, Verizon or AT&T? Perhaps. But, companies would be required to be transparent about slowing or restricting access to those tweets, and making an enemy of the President has the potential to be bad for business.
#FCC's new Open Internet order is now live. Key points:— Berin Szóka (@BerinSzoka) November 22, 2017
1) No FCC regulation of the Internet
2) FCC will require companies to clearly disclose their practices, just as before
3) Main change is that it'll be FTC, DOJ & state AGs who police #netneutrality https://t.co/ZeD9WnRd40
Of course Assange’s warning outlines one way Trump’s Twitter Pulpit could be affected by the FCC's decisions, but then there’s also that meme floating around portraying the way internet providers operate in Portugal, where net neutrality isn't enforced like it is in the U.S. today. The screen capture shows web add-ons (music streaming, social media, news services, etc) that are similar-looking to cable channel bundles. Though sites and services aren't blocked in this system, apps or services used outside of the preferred or paid-for bundles do cost customers extra data, and ultimately fees, which means there could be cases where it would simply cost too much for some customers to read through certain social media feeds.
Want your tweets to reach Middle America, Mr. President? You better hope they’re subscribing to the social media package.