Key Stakeholders Debate Necessity of Net Neutrality Law

Lora Bentley

If you missed the live webcast of Tuesday's net neutrality debate at InterActive Corp. as part of the Web 2.0 Expo, you can watch the archived version at


Organized and moderated by founder Jason Schwartz, the debate occurred in two rounds. The first consisted of prepared opening statements from each of the six debaters, without specific reference to each other's comments, unless it was just by coincidence. And in all honesty, I had a hard time staying awake, even with all six of them on the screen in front of me. And though all of them came across as thoroughly prepared and knowledgeable, none seemed particularly vested in his argument. No one even raised his voice. (Not that raising one's voice is necessary to appear enthusiastic, of course.)


But then the second half began. In round two, the debaters were allowed to respond directly to one another, and it took no time at all for positions to become obvious. Speakers became more animated. Tones varied. Jokes were made, and barbs were traded. And in the end, none of them changed their minds or abandoned their original positions. But they did thank Schwartz for the opportunity, and one participant proclaimed the entire experience "quite fun." Did they change the votes among audience members? Since I was interrupted before I could watch the whole video, I'll have to go back and watch the very end to find out. Can they change your mind? I don't know. But it's certainly an entertaining means of learning more about the different sides of the argument.


Later this week, I hope to get Schwartz's thoughts on how the process went and whether he accomplished what he wanted to with the debate.

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