On August 9, it was announced that a long-rumored deal between Google and Verizon will happen. Under the agreement Google’s content will have priority on some parts of Verizon’s networks. So what does this mean for African American and Latino web users?
If Verizon is your Internet service provider (ISP) and you want to check your AOL email account, it means you’ll have to get in line behind Google’s Gmailers. If you want to update your Facebook status, too bad. Users of Google’s social networking program, Orkut, go first (you can use the extra time to figure out just what the heck Orkut is).
The agreement has sparked new debate over the issue of net neutrality-the idea that all content is equal, from the mightiest Web portal to the most obscure viral video. Critics of the move fear that casting neutrality aside could further marginalize groups like African Americans who for mostly economic reasons are cut off from the information superhighway via a digital divide.