Without net neutrality, we wouldn’t know what’s happening in Ferguson…

What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson: Net Neutrality, Algorithmic Filtering and Ferguson

Ferguson is about many things, starting first with race and policing in America.

But it’s also about internet, net neutrality and algorithmic filtering.

It’s a clear example of why “saving the Internet”, as it often phrased, is not an abstract issue of concern only to nerds, Silicon Valley bosses, and few NGOs. It’s why “algorithmic filtering” is not a vague concern.

It’s a clear example why net neutrality is a human rights issue; a free speech issue; and an issue of the voiceless being heard, on their own terms.

I saw this play out in multiple countries — my home country of Turkey included — but last night, it became even more heartbreakingly apparent in the United States as well.

For me, last night’s Ferguson “coverage” began when people started retweeting pictures of armored vehicles with heavily armored “robocops” on top of them, aiming their muzzle at the protesters, who seemed to number a few hundred. It was the fourth night after an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, was shot by a — still unnamed — police officer after a “jaywalking” incident. Witnesses say he died hands in the air, saying “don’t shoot”.

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