FCC boss lashes out at Twitter, Cher and the Hulk

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai came out swinging in the debate over internet access on Tuesday, taking aim at targets including Twitter, Cher and the Hulk.

Actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays Hulk in “Thor: Rangnarok,” is among a slew of celebrities who lately taken to Twitter to blast Pai’s bold moves to dismantle Obama-era “net neutrality” rules.

The regulations were designed to prevent big companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from charging for higher internet speeds and slowing down access to some sites. But Pai argues they have stifled competition and innovation.

“I will confess when I saw this tweet I was tempted to just say ‘Hulk wrong’ and move on,” Pai joked at a Washington event on Tuesday, asked about Ruffalo’s online protests.

Pai likewise parried a recent attack from Cher, quoting one of her old radio hits as he argued that “By turning back time, so to speak, and returning Internet regulation to the pre-2015 era, we will expand broadband networks and bring high-speed Internet access to more Americans, not fewer.”

The Trump appointee griped that a slew of “Hollywood celebrities” who are opposed to the repeal command “large online followings give them out-sized influence in shaping the public debate.”

Elsewhere, Pai accused Twitter and other tech titans of being less-than-honest about the reasons why they want to keep net neutrality alive.

“They might cloak their advocacy in the public interest, but the real interest of these internet giants is in using the regulatory process to cement their dominance in the internet economy,” Pai said.

The rulemaker also waded into more controversial waters, offering up criticism over Twitter’s recent decision to de-verify the accounts of dozens of Nazi sympathizers and far-right leaders.

“To say the least, the company appears to have a double standard when it comes to suspending or de-verifying conservative users’ accounts as opposed to those of liberal users,” the chairman said.

Pai unveiled his plan to scrap the 2015 landmark net neutrality rules last week, clearing the way for service providers to charge for higher internet speeds and to slow access to some sites.

Following Pai’s remarks at the event, two other FCC commissioners said they would support his proposal when they vote on Dec. 14, all but ensuring a successful repeal.

“When you get past the wild accusations, fear mongering and hysteria, here’s the boring bottom line,” Pai said. “The plan to restore internet freedom would return us to the light touch, market-based approach under which the internet thrived.”

Source: https://nypost.com/2017/11/28/fcc-boss-lashes-out-at-twitter-cher-and-the-hulk/

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