Let’s call things by their names — and stop saying “Users” when we mean “Citizens”!

First of all, it frames the discussion in a very convenient way for the other side. When we’re talking about users, we’re talking about people with contracts signed with companies, or about people consuming cultural works one way or the other. In other words, from square one we seemingly agree to play on the “business turf”, and on their terms.

Then there’s the problem that things that look beneficial for users can be unacceptable for citizens. For example lowering the fee by an ISP if the user agrees to use only certain web services (vide the whole Net Neutrality debacle). This might look like a good deal for a user, but a citizen should be able to see that it’s dangerous for free speech, among others.

And finally — and most importantly — rights and freedoms that we defend are citizen’s, not user’s. We should not be ashamed to call upon them if we’re supposed to defend them! And seemingly all other sides to this dispute (and many beside it) have to be reminded, over and over again, that people are citizens first and foremost; they can be users afterwards.

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by @{Michał “rysiek” Woźniak ; rysiek@joindiaspora.com}

#freedom_of_speech #net_neutrality #user #citizen #right #freedom #internet

բնօրինակ սփիւռքում(եւ մեկնաբանութիւննե՞ր)