We here at Recommend Me Anime we, quite frankly, don’t care about much. We are advocates for using legal anime sites to watch your shows (via paying for them) because it benefits the industry as a whole. However, even if you use non-paid streaming sites or other means to get your anime, it’s not like we’ll hate you for it. Your internet, your choice, right? Well maybe not for much longer.
There is something we do care about, though, and you should care about it too – Net Neutrality. At this point, you have likely been bombarded with various advertisements lobbying for it to the point that you are almost sick of seeing them. We know that you can’t even go a full scroll on Reddit right now without seeing one, and we are okay with that. Why? Because if net neutrality fully dies, the internet as a whole is probably pretty fucked.
What is Net Neutrality?
If you don’t already know, net neutrality is a term that states that your internet service provider (ISP) has to treat every site on the internet as equal. This means that your ISP can’t dramatically slow down how this site loads and make Honey’s Anime load much, much faster so that people will prioritize going there instead.
Think of if internet providers had a best girl. What if they thought Aqua from KonoSuba was best girl. Certainly some people like her, but others believe Megumin is best girl, or even Darkness. Without net neutrality, your ISP would potentially have the ability to completely block all pictures, cute and lewd, of any girl that is not Aqua. It would be a dark time to have a waifu not accepted by society.
Jokes aside, net neutrality protects ISP’s from censoring, discriminating, or otherwise charging more for certain users to access certain types of content because, as it should be, the internet is a haven of free speech and equal access providing you’re not doing anything illegal.
What Does A Net Neutrality Death Mean for Anime Fans?
How does this affect you as an anime fan? The act to repeal net neutrality can affect you in major ways. Your legal streaming sites charge money so that they can acquire content, pay their employees, cover server costs, and, yes, pay their ISPs like everyone else. Those fees go to supporting the site, and to a lesser extent, the industry.
If net neutrality dies, a site like Crunchyroll might look to get ahead of their competition by paying their ISP more so that their site loads faster than any competitors. They would have to pay quite a bit, I imagine. This would now start the trickle-down effect. In order to cover a higher bill to get their site to run faster, they would have to raise their subscription price. Furthermore, this agreement may only cover one ISP giving them a speed boost. So other users will be paying more in subscription fees and not getting any better speed if they have a different ISP.
Of course, now you need to factor in to what this can do to the individual internet user that is into anime. You now have to pay more to use CrunchyRoll, which, depending on your ISP, could be faster or just kind of crap. However, your ISP might also charge you, individually, to get better speeds. If you don’t get that premium plan, your speed could be throttled. That means it takes forever to load any streaming site.
Finally, some might choose to go the cheaper options like KissAnime and other less legal means of viewing anime. Well, you know what? Without net neutrality, the ISPs could actually possibly win the war on piracy. They could completely block illegal streaming or torrent sites from being accessed. Certainly they could just pop up again and again ala CouchTuner or PirateBay back in the day, but they could just as easily be blocked. The life amid the high sea of the internet would be no more.
This is All Shit. What Can I Do About It?
You like your anime and your choice of waifu or husbando? Then don’t let a few old men and women in Congress dick you over. However, the real question is, what can the individual weeb do to prevent it?
There’s been a lot of buzz out there about that. You can bot sites like the Battle for the Net to input your phone number and automatically send a call to Congress. You can also find similar bots to send e-mails. However, these are typically pretty negligible. What you will probably get is some royally pissed intern who hangs up as soon as they hear the bot message or is constantly deleting e-mails.
Good old physical letters likely go widely unread too. What you can do is look up your local representative in Congress and call them yourself. If you are going to piss off an intern, you mind as well piss them off yourself and not let a bot do it. Just call, even it is just once, and say you are in support of net neutrality, and hope your congressperson is too.
Sadly, there isn’t much just the individual can do to fight these things. Protesting doesn’t feel like it has the same effect as it did in the times of Civil Rights, Vietnam, or Women’s Rights in America. Politicians don’t listen to the people anymore, and if Net Neutrality dies in this December 14th, 2017 vote or any of the others that will likely come after it, then that is your proof.
…But I suppose we are getting off topic. Thank you for reading our frothy-mouthed rant and we hope you, like Recommend Me Anime, support keeping the internet a free space for all.
Founder of Recommend Me Anime. Combine 5 years of freelance writing with 15 years of anime fandom, and the result is a site that is (hopefully) more interesting to browse than your average news and episode recap anime site.
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