Software Development

Defend net neutrality so DuckDuckGo can challenge Google: reddit founder Alexis Ohanian

In support of net neutrality, reddit founder Alexis Ohanian cited suburban Philadelphia search engine DuckDuckGo and its angel investor founder Gabe Weinberg, saying net neutrality is vital because "a stay-at-home dad in Valley Forge, Pa., can start a competitor to Google and actually have a chance."

reddit founder Alexis Ohanian speaking at Baltimore TechBreakfast in November 2013. Photo by Andrew Zaleski.

How does the cofounder of one of the Internet’s most open platforms stand on net neutrality? Yeah, sure, he’s in favor, but the news is how Ohanian used a suburban Philadelphia company as his example of net neutrality’s importance.

“I do think the Internet only works if all links are created equal,” said Alexis Ohanian, the cofounder of reddit, to an audience of about 100 during a special TechBreakfast event in Baltimore on Tuesday. Ohanian will be speaking to the Philadelphia chapter of the group later this month.

Ohanian’s views on an egalitarian and open view of the web hew closely to this Wired.com piece. As Wired.com writes, the concept forbids “huge telecommunications companies from treating users, websites, or apps differently — say, by letting some work better than others over their pipes.”

In support of his position, Ohanian cited suburban Philadelphia search engine DuckDuckGo and its angel investor founder Gabe Weinberg, saying net neutrality is vital because “a stay-at-home dad in Valley Forge, Pa., can start a competitor to Google and actually have a chance.”

Granted DuckDuckGo is a small competitor to Google, but Ohanian’s point is an open web creates greater competition and allows Weinberg to find his own niche user base.

Ohanian and Weinberg know each other: in 2010, the DuckDuckGo founder did a 40-minute interview with the reddit founder for Weinberg’s blog series on bootstrapping business.

Ohanian, born and raised in Columbia, Md., is currently on tour promoting his new book, “Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed.”

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