Net neutrality might be one of the most important concepts in technology — but, as John Oliver pointed out in his popular “Last Week Tonight” segment on the topic, the term “net neutrality” is extremely boring, and few people truly understand what it means.
One Reddit user says he explained the concept of net neutrality to his 9-year-old son, and then recently overheard his son “explaining [net neutrality] to one of his friends, much better than I could.”
Net neutrality basically says that all data that travels along the internet should be treated equally, regardless of who creates it, and that companies shouldn’t be allowed to slow down, charge extra, or outright block certain online activities or services. It’s a complex issue that’s so much easier to understand coming from this 9-year-old:
Pretend ice cream stores gave away free milkshakes. But you had to buy a straw to drink them. But that’s ok, because you still get free milkshakes. One day you’re drinking a free milkshake and you look down and the guy that sold you the straw is pinching it almost shut. You can still get your milkshake, but it’s really hard and takes a lot longer.
So you say, “Hey! Stop that!” And the straw guy says, “NO! Not until the ice cream store pays me money.” And you say, “But I already paid you money for the straw.” And the straw guy says, “I don’t care. I just want more money.”
This kid should run for Congress.