The central debate over net neutrality ultimately boils down to one question: do we really trust dorks like this with our internet?
That’s Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC who is totally in touch with the times, Instagrams, fidget spinners, “Harlem Shake,” Pizzagate conspirators and all. This parody video, produced by Breitbart-lite site The Daily Caller, was designed to encourage everyone that the FCC’s vote to repeal sweeping net neutrality rules isn’t a big deal at all, man. The FCC’s decision places the responsibility in the hands of service providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon (which used to employ Pai) who many argue might create slow and fast lanes for content, block competing apps, and potentially censor content. Although service providers have been issuing statements to mollify everyone who’s rightfully worried about the FCC’s ruling and the NY attorney general plans to fight it with a multi-state lawsuit, there’s still cause for concern among artists.
One of them is Baauer, whose viral hit “Harlem Shake” you might remember from the thousands of memes in early 2013, or two minutes ago if you actually watched the video embedded above. Pai’s collaboration with The Daily Caller uses Baauer’s signature song, and he was not pleased, writing on Twitter that he was “taking action” and looking to pursue “whatever I can do to stop this loser.” Baauer told The Verge that he never gave permission for Pai and The Daily Caller to use his song, and expanded a bit more on why he doesn’t want to be associated with the repeal of net neutrality:
“The use of my song in this video obviously comes as a surprise to me as it was just brought to my attention. I want to be clear that it was used completely without my consent or council. My team and I are currently exploring every single avenue available to get it taken down. I support net neutrality like the vast majority of this country and am appalled to be associated with its repeal in anyway.”
Baauer, welcome to the resistance.