Internet Giants Band Together for Online Protest for Net Neutrality

/ Sep 9, 2014


“Net neutrality” is a major issue for any company that conducts business over the internet. In the online video landscape, it’s been the crux of the arguments about everything from Comcast’s proposed merger with Time Warner Cable to peering deals inked by Netflix with major broadband providers to ensure a better quality of service.

With the FCC still set to rule on the issue — and currently considering a proposal that many worry could lead to the creation of “fast lanes” and “slow lanes” for content providers that pay, or don’t pay, broadband companies for quicker delivery — many online companies are banding together to bring even more awareness to the people who might be able to prevent that — consumers.

Tomorrow, September 10, a list of major tech companies, including Netflix, Reddit, Vimeo, Upworthy, WordPress, and Kickstarter, as well as thousands of other websites, are taking part in a “day of action for strong neutrality.” Primarily, the web protest will consist of each participating site posting a “spinning icon,” meant to represent a slow-loading internet. While not actually slowing down the site, the icon will link to a page that provides a series of actions that consumers can take.

This “slowdown” is being organized by a bunch of public advocacy groups including Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund, and Engine Advocacy.

Said Demand Progress executive director David Segal, in the softest statement made by any of the aforementioned advocacy groups: “The cable companies have millions of dollars, but our side will prevail because we have millions of people. More Americans have already spoken out in support of net neutrality than around any other cause that has ever been before the FCC, and our growing coalition will continue to fight for an open internet until it has been secured.”

With this “Internet Slowdown” campaign, these groups hope to mobilize web users in the way that those who crusaded against SOPA and anti-piracy legislation did in 2012.

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