Watch these stick figures explain net neutrality

Net neutrality explanations don't get much more simple than this


Fran Berkman


Published May 7, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 8:43 am CDT

With the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about to make rules that could change the Internet as we know it, the interweb has been rife with methods of explaining what has become one of the most important current-day issues: net neutrality.

Educational video producer Vi Hart decided to go back to basics, and in grade-school teacher fashion, use a box of multi-colored Sharpie markers and stick figures to explain net neutrality.

In the 11-minute video above, Hart makes an extended metaphor, comparing Internet service providers delivering data to trucking companies delivering packages. She also explains common carrier laws, why Netflix made a deal to pay Comcast to deliver its streaming video service to customers faster, and why many believe the government should block the Comcast-Time Warner merger.

Hart’s video is a fast moving and digestible explainer from the perspective of someone who is an advocate for an open Internet, another term for net neutrality. If you happen to agree with Hart’s perspective, she also lays out the ways you can act in attempt to rescue net neutrality, such as petitioning legislators.

“We’ve stopped things like this before,” Hart wrote in the video’s YouTube caption. “You have power if you bother to take it.”

If you plan to act, you better do it soon. The FCC is expected to vote on new net neutrality rules as early as next week, and many open Internet activists are not happy with the agency’s reported proposal.

H/T Digg | Screenshot via Vi Hart/YouTube

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*First Published: May 7, 2014, 3:00 pm CDT