Score Another One for the Internet? The Role of the Networked Public Sphere in the U.S. Net Neutrality Policy Debate

35 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2015  

Robert Faris

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Hal Roberts

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Bruce Etling

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Dalia Othman

Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Yochai Benkler

Harvard University

Date Written: February 10, 2015

Abstract

In this paper we study the public debate over net neutrality in the United States from January through November 2014. We compiled, mapped, and analyzed over 16,000 stories published on net neutrality, augmented by data from Twitter, bit.ly, and Google Trends. Using a mixed-methods approach that combines link analysis with qualitative content analysis, we describe the evolution of the debate over time and assess the role, reach, and influence of different media sources and advocacy groups in setting the agenda, framing the debate, and mobilizing collective action. We conclude that a diverse set of actors working in conjunction through the networked public sphere played a central, arguably decisive, role in turning around the Federal Communications Commission policy on net neutrality.

Suggested Citation

Faris, Robert and Roberts, Hal and Etling, Bruce and Othman, Dalia and Benkler, Yochai, Score Another One for the Internet? The Role of the Networked Public Sphere in the U.S. Net Neutrality Policy Debate (February 10, 2015). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2015-4. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2563761 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2563761

Robert Faris (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Hal Roberts

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/hroberts

Bruce Etling

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Dalia Othman

Berkman Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Yochai Benkler

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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