I can mainly think of just a few outcomes with the current situation as it stands. One or more of these could happen.
- The extent of site blocking or throttling only covers competing services, essentially you will have to consider Netflix or Hulu when you look at connecting online, for example. I think this is the most likely. Marketing words associated would probably be something along the lines of “unlimited access to ____”.
- Some ISPs could essentially recreate AOL, but in worse ways, essentially you can only access curated sites through keywords, also it has an hourly rate for some reason. The one I think most likely of doing this would just happen to be the one who’s absorbed AOL in their takeover. Marketing words that would come from this would end up being “get what you want faster” and “use it only when you need it” and something about “keeping kids safe online”.
- Certain ISPs would end up just happening to block sites by pretending they no longer exist or never existed if they disagreed with them. Possibly posting fake FBI pages to scare away visitors with injected code.
- Video streams would be restricted to various degrees. This already happens in some cases with mobile. With data caps, this already happens as a suggestion, but they can also directly control video stream quality. What this means for actually downloading a video file could vary. In this case, I’d see someone coming up with a way to hide video streams under more “normal” data.
- Prices would go up and quality would go down, but that’s generally the norm anyway. Ideally something kicks them in the pants, which is the point of regulation, making sure corporations don’t fall above the law when the invisible hand gives the middle finger.
- Somehow the government gets control of the whole Internet. That would be a stretch, and probably end up even worse, as evidenced by several countries. The point of the previous rule set was to attempt a block to any company becoming more encroaching on user rights, but it doesn’t mean the government should in exchange. We also know that everyone is looking at everything, laws, guidelines, or not.
- The planet just explodes for a related or unrelated reason. At least on the surface.
- Pirate radio stations, maybe. I would probably give ones calling themselves names like KFUK or WASS a listen, at least to see what they’re up to. Those might actually exist somewhere already. Or use the existing letter creatively for more targeted swears. And then broadcast uncut songs, or something like that.
I also think about social media. Essentially it’s a tool that can be used as a weapon, like a wrench or a crowbar, but somehow propagated to a lot more targets. You can find friends, or make enemies. I think it’s being made way too important. People only want to do things now for the sake of popularity because fame equals money. That hasn’t changed, really, even before the Information Age. But people also like being paid in “likes” and “reposts” and “views”. There are ways to actually pay people, where the platform in choice likely takes a cut, after all, they are a business.
Social media is a way to connect, since the days of BBS and AIM, but people end up far too reliant. Like with people you know in person, you sometimes need a break. There’s a reason why so many celebrities go crazy, and it’s related. You also need to know how to find the friends who will stick around and help you instead of just only show up while you’re popular and agreeing with all of their points.
There are considerably closed-minded people who will leave if just one of their viewpoints is contested and not consider their option. But even open-minded people can outright disagree, and they have a right to. Some things hardly even need an argument against them. Reflexive instincts need some base level of reasoning at the root to be more effective, but by nature they often don’t have it and can kick out potential good ideas presented very shockingly.
As with many things, I suggest reading up on existing and previous examples of corporate and government habits and media control by various parties, political or corporate, as well as general psychology, especially of citizenship and consumerism. History is important, without knowing what works and what doesn’t, you just get stuck trying the same thing for eons.