Net neutrality turning Trump supporters against each other on Reddit

Reddit users who support the president are “struggling to balance competing political values,” say commentators.

It would appear that the net neutrality debate has the power to divide Trump voters -- that is, if the president’s Reddit supporters are anything to judge by. According to Slate.com blogger Aaron Mak in contrast to “the Reddit community at large,” who are ringing alarm bells over FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to end net-neutrality, pro-Trump Redditors, posting on the /r/TheDonald subreddit, “appear to be debating with one another about the matter.”

Agreeing with Hill editor, Will Sommer, Mak says that the “different factions within the president’s base,” that include, “libertarians, populists, and conspiracy theorists,” are “struggling to balance competing political values.” Some believe the “very fact that the president opposes the regulations, while his detractors support them,” is “heuristic,” while others see “further evidence of net neutrality’s shortcomings” in its “advocacy from Silicon Valley institutions.”

Pro-Trump supporters whose comments reflect “Pai’s free-market logic,” are pitted against those who display skepticism about giving more power to ISP corporations and see “net neutrality as a policy to protect everyday consumers.” And then there are the conspiracy theorists, who wonder whether dispensing with net neutrality won’t, in fact, give more liberal-leaning internet service providers freedom to censor “conservative outlets.”

It would seem, however, that there is a meeting place for those who advocate for net neutrality but fall into opposing categories when it comes to supporting the president -- and that is in criticism of Pai. Among pro-Trump Redditors, there is distrust of the former Verizon lawyer with his “long career in government,” writes Mak, but there are also reports of angry protestors from the anti-Trump resistance who have left “menacing, handwritten signs … in Pai’s neighborhood,” some of which have been racist and lewd. One sign directed at Pai’s children, for instance, read, "They will come to know the truth. Dad murdered democracy in cold blood.”

Find out more about the clashes over net neutrality between Trump voters by reading “Net Neutrality Is Dividing Trump Supporters on Reddit,” written by Aaron Mak and published by Slate.com on November 22, 2017.

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