FCC chairman complains about Twitter, waves hatchet at net neutrality rules

Ajit Pai is not happy about Twitter’s management of its platform.

“When it comes to an open internet, Twitter is part of the problem,” said the chairman of the FCC. “The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate.”

Reuters reports that Pai, a Republican, countered criticism of his proposal to remove regulations on telecoms to ensure internet traffic is not priced inequitably by chipping at perceived anti-conservative slights by the microblogging site. This as Twitter and many other companies like WordPress, Tumblr and Spotify share support for keeping the so-called Title II protections.

Pai referred to an anti-abortion campaign advertisement posted by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to Twitter that was not distributed widely. He believes that it was because of the company’s “double standard” favoring liberal users and putting down conservative users.

The complaint has nothing to do with the concerns of digital businesses on the potential of service providers charging more for and even blocking access to certain classes of consumers through the internet and vice versa.

Twitter denied that Blackburn was censored, saying that it had to put advertisements to a higher content standard as they go out to users that may not necessarily follow the accounts that distribute it. The congresswoman’s ad did eventually run in October.

The remarks were made at an event put on by a Washington-based libertarian think tank, the R Street Institute.

It’s expected that of the commission’s five members, the three Republicans will vote on December 14 to enact the rollback of Title II protections on internet service.

“So 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.”

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.