When corporations talk about opposing “Net Neutrality”, what they want to protect is their ability to censor. For example, AT&T webcast Lollapalooza, and decided to censor Pearl Jam for some rather innocuous political speech. Here is the web cast:

And here is what it looked like from the crowd.

Media corporations shape how we view the world. They don’t act in our best interests; they act in the best interests of the money of the people that own and control them. AT&T got caught this time for being sloppy. From Pearl Jam’s statement:

This, of course, troubles us as artists but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media.

AT&T’s actions strike at the heart of the public’s concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media.

Most telecommunications companies oppose “net neutrality” and argue that the public can trust them not to censor..

Even the ex-head of AT&T, CEO Edward Whitacre, whose company sponsored our troubled webcast, stated just last March that fears his company and other big network providers would block traffic on their networks are overblown..

“Any provider that blocks access to content is inviting customers to find another provider.” (Marguerite Reardon, Staff Writer, CNET News.com Published: March 21, 2006, 2:23 PM PST).

But what if there is only one provider from which to choose?

If a company that is controlling a webcast is cutting out bits of our performance -not based on laws, but on their own preferences and interpretations – fans have little choice but to watch the censored version.

What happened to us this weekend was a wake up call, and it’s about something much bigger than the censorship of a rock band.

Just more “liberal bias” in the media, I suppose. You can read more at Save The Internet.

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  • Find a new home, leave this place alone.

    Wow, that’s heavy stuff, dude. Heavy to the max!

  • And yet, AT&T had a serious freak-out moment about it, and chose to censor the broadcast.

    I mean, does telling George Bush to “get lost” violate some kind of moral community standard? Do we really want media transmission companies making that judgment call?

    I don’t. Frankly, I don’t think you do either, Matt.

  • Market forces, and tiered internet services, will solve this problem faster than government regulation could.

    The owner of the video, or the provider of the bandwidth and resources of the video, should have every right to censor or now broadcast anything- And consumers will react accordingly… and thus, so will broadcasters.

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