Abstract - The Information Society 30(1)

The Internet Defends itself: The Network Neutrality Debate on the Web

Bill D. Herman and Minjeong Kim

This study examines the network neutrality debate, as represented online. The research begins by conducting network analysis to identify key websites, followed by retrieving the relevant documents and using content analysis. Results demonstrate that the online version of the debate skews heavily toward the pro-network neutrality side. The web debate also includes much higher proportions of voices from nonprofit sectors, especially nongovernmental organizations. Telecommunications companies and trade groups, which anchor the anti-network neutrality coalition, are relatively quiet online. These findings show less-powerful groups making heavy use of online communication and, in light of the political history of the issue, they also suggest online mobilizing may help reshape the dynamics of issue advocacy.



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