Top Technology Dem calls on Reddit to ‘rebrand’ net neutrality

The top Democrat on the House technology subcommittee is turning to Reddit to “rebrand” net neutrality.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) launched a contest on the online forum site on Thursday to reframe the concept of equal treatment for online content and “bring some clarity to an otherwise muddy legal debate before the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] finalizes its proposed open Internet rules.”

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The FCC proposal, which seeks to prevent Internet service providers like Comcast or Time Warner Cable from blocking or slowing access to websites like Netflix, is a topic of hot debate in Washington but is full of complex terminology that has baffled some people around the country.

The confusion was memorably captured by comedian John Oliver, who said on his HBO show this summer that the initiative should instead be called “preventing cable company f--kery.”

“Internet users know what they want and expect from the Internet, but these days all the jargon about net neutrality rules is making it difficult to know what box to check that advances their best interest,” Eshoo wrote. 

“If Internet users care about their right to uninhibited access to the Internet, this is their opportunity to have an impact on the process, to help put the advantage back in the hands of the Internet user, and to ensure that the free and open Internet prevails,” she added.

The most popular proposal on Reddit on Sept. 8 will be declared the winner.

Oliver fans looking to use his terminology might be out of luck, however.

“Participants are reminded to refrain from using vulgar or otherwise inappropriate language,” Eshoo said.

Eshoo is the top Democrat on the House Commerce Subcommittee on Technology and Communications.