FCC chairman Ajit Pai has come under a lot of fire over the last few months, as he tirelessly works to repeal the net neutrality protections put in place during the Obama era, which heartlessly force internet service providers to treat all data from different traffic sources with the same set of rules. (Instead of, say, letting the blessed free market determine how fast your Netflix shows should stream.)
But while that’s all well and good (which is to say, it’s incredibly depressing, but we’re helplessly used to it), Pai has a question for all the denizens of the internet today: What about the real net neutrality? That is, who cares about things like “streaming speed” or “Who owns all the media companies in your town?” when organizations like Twitter are allowed to cruelly silence conservative voices all willy-nilly, just because they’re making hateful comments on a platform that the company owns?
That’s the gist of a speech Pai gave today, attacking so-called “edge providers” like Facebook and Google for curtailing free speech with their policy enforcements. Pai specifically went after his boss Donald Trump’s social network of choice, citing a “double standard” that favors liberals over conservatives in who Twitter blocks for violating its rules, and flatly stating, “When it comes to a free and open internet, Twitter is part of the problem.”
Twitter recently announced that it was revamping its verification policies to make it significantly harder for people like punch-prone white supremacist Richard Spencer to get the blue checkmark of glory. Pai didn’t name names about which conservative voices he’s mad are being shut down—although it’s worth noting that Trump crony Roger Stone Jr. got himself booted from the service last month—but he did take the time to call out various liberal celebrities, like Cher or Mark Ruffalo, who’ve been critical of his proposed net neutrality rules. (Honestly, though, anything that keeps Pai yelling at Alyssa Milano, instead of actually moving forward with his plans, is A-OK by us.)