Since when is clothing news?

Published 12:43 am Sunday, March 1, 2015

Somehow I managed to miss the first day of DressGate, and for that, I am truly thankful.

But even after Thursday, my social media feeds have still been inundated with posts about the big color question — Is it blue and black, or white and gold?

If you were fortunate enough to miss the whole debacle, a photo of a dress was posted online and for some reason went viral since some people saw the dress as blue and black, while others saw it as white and gold.

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That dress seemed to achieve what Kim Kardashian attempted with her “Paper” magazine photos — it broke the Internet.

People could not stop talking about that dress, so much so that people broke out into online-arguments. Advertisers even used the debate to spark interest in their products. Take to Twitter and you’ll see some of the photos — Ford, Burger King, Fiat, Tide and so many others.

“The Dress” is still trending on Twitter and Facebook. I typed “the” into my Google search engine and the first autofill suggestion was “the dress.” Ugh.

If you’re wondering, I’m not going to weigh in on my opinion of that tacky frock because I really just don’t care what color it is. And I can’t, for the life of me, understand why anyone else cares either.

There are so many more worthwhile news stories that should top an article of clothing on a trending list.

The same day DressGate broke the Internet, the Federal Communications Commission in a 3 to 2 vote adopted Net neutrality, which, in its most broad sense, is the idea that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally.

Now there’s a debate worth talking about.

The idea of Net neutrality isn’t a new idea. In fact, the term was coined back in 2003 when Columbia Law professor Tim Wu wrote a paper about the downsides of classifying broadband as an informative service and started the debate about whether broadband providers should be able to prioritize certain types of Internet traffic or manipulate speeds.

The issue is also highly political. On one side, Democrats, like the FCC chairman and President Obama, and companies like Netflix and Google, support the Net neutrality rules, claiming broadband providers should not be able to control where their customers go online or what they can see and when they can see it, as long at it’s legal, of course.

This also means your Netflix streaming can’t be slowed down by your Internet Service Provider just because they think you’ve watched enough House of Cards for one day.

It also doesn’t mean you have a faster Internet connection since the rules were adopted. You will still get what you pay for from your ISP and if you have a cap on data usage, it’s still there.

On the other side, Republicans, some of the FCC commissioners and companies like Verizon and Comcast, are worried Internet service will go the way of heavily regulated utility services that could possibly pass on more fees to its customers.

Basically, the FCC has regulatory control over the Internet and there is a fear that future Internet startups may not be able to emerge as creative and competitive forces. Some feel the FCC have bitten off more than they can chew and would use their regulations to control the number of corporations they actually have to regulate on the Internet.

There are many schools of thought on Net neutrality and certainly I barely scratched the surface in mentioning its most basic points. But I only bring it up to encourage anyone to read on the subject and seek more information on a topic that actually matters, rather than the color of a dress.

Also, the world lost a sci-fi icon this week. Rest in peace Leonard Nimoy.

“Live long and prosper.”


Michelle Goodman is the news editor at The Tribune. To reach her, call 740-532-1441 ext. 12 or by email at