Here’s How The Internet’s Net Neutrality Day Of Action Unfolded
Above Photo: Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
On July 12, some of the world’s biggest internet companies and activist groups are coming together to protest the FCC’s proposed rollback of net neutrality protections. Google, Twitter, and Reddit have weighed in, as have groups like Mozilla and the ACLU.
The complete tally of groups and people involved in the protest, organized by activist group Fight for the Future, is massive, so any list will necessarily be incomplete. But here is a look at several of the most noteworthy — messages of support from the biggest players, creative displays from smaller upstarts, and some odder entries in the internet’s net neutrality “day of action.”
The founder of the web, already a prominent supporter of net neutrality, published a short video defending the FCC’s rules. “If we lost net neutrality, we lose the internet as we know it,” he said in the video.
The company released a policy blog post in defense of net neutrality, saying, “We hope you’ll make your voice heard,” but the company didn’t release a prominent banner or any other far-reaching message.
Mark Zuckerberg posted a note of support on his personal Facebook page. “Right now, the FCC has rules in place to make sure the internet continues to be an open platform for everyone,” he writes. “At Facebook, we strongly support those rules. We’re also open to working with members of Congress and anyone else on laws to protect net neutrality.”
Sheryl Sandberg posted a similar message. “Keeping the internet open for everyone is crucial,” she writes. “Not only does it promote innovation, but it lets people access information that can change their lives and gives voice to those who might not otherwise be heard.”
The prominent civil rights group placed a banner on its homepage. “Trump’s FCC wants to kill net neutrality,” the message reads. “This would let the cable and phone companies slow down any site they don’t like or that won’t pay extra.” The banner directs to an FCC comment-submission form.
In one of the most prominent messages, Reddit placed a pop-up message that slowly loads the text, “The internet’s less fun when your favorite sites load slowly, isn’t it?” The site’s usual homepage image is also animated so it appears to load slowly.
The rental platform released a short message on its homepage directing visitors to contact Congress and “support a free and open internet.”
The company released a policy blog post defending net neutrality principles. “Net Neutrality is foundational to competitive, free enterprise, entrepreneurial market entry — and reaching global customers,” the company wrote. “You don’t have to be a big shot to compete.” The company also promoted the #NetNeutrality hashtag.
Mozilla is a longtime, vocal supporter of net neutrality. The company got creative for the day’s protest, releasing a nine-hour, “soothing” video where narrators read pro-net neutrality comments to the FCC.
The company released a homepage banner directing visitors to the Internet Association trade group. The message: “Protect Internet Freedom. Defend Net Neutrality.”
THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION
The internet dating site released a message urging users to “stop the FCC from destroying net neutrality.”
The web video company released a video message asking viewers to “join the fight for a free, open, weirdo internet.”
The game-streaming company put up a homepage banner in protest.
The company, which has been notably quiet up until very recently, released a statement as part of the protest, directing readers to dearfcc.org. “The new head of the FCC wants to undo the net neutrality protections you fought so hard for,” Tumblr’s statement reads.
The digital storage company released a statement of support. “On this Day of Action, we want to state clearly where Dropbox stands: we strongly favor a free and open internet with fair rules that promote competition, choice, and innovation,” the statement reads.
FCC COMMISSIONER MIGNON CLYBURN
Commissioner Clyburn, a Democratic commissioner at the FCC and net neutrality supporter, released a statement approving of the protest. “Today I stand with those who believe that a free and open internet is a foundational principle of our democracy,” Clyburn writes. “Its benefits can be felt across our economy and around the globe.”
The humor site put up a video called “Why Net Neutrality Matters (And What You Can Do To Help)” that explains the issue.
THE TELECOM RESPONSE
AT&T has said it is “joining” the protest, despite being against the FCC’s net neutrality rules, and itself being a major target of the protest. Verizon released a statement today saying it applauds “their passion” but asks Congress to take action instead. Comcast put up a similar message.
The company’s CEO, Blake Irving, released a statement on the company’s homepage. “If you value the spirit of the Internet that’s driven so much prosperity and freedom around the world, please join forces with GoDaddy to get informed and take action today,” Irving writes.
The company released a message on its site, saying, “Sonos experiences wouldn’t be possible without the net neutrality policies that exist today.”
The browser-maker said in a post that it will “join hands with web sites, online communities, and internet users, like yourself, to sound the alarm about the threat to net neutrality.”
THE INTERNET ARCHIVE
The petition site put together a “save net neutrality” petition, and is promoting it on its homepage.
SEN. RON WYDEN
The language education company used Fight For The Future’s widget on its homepage, and also released a short video on Twitter.
COLOR OF CHANGE
REP. KEITH ELLISON
Minnesota Representative and DNC deputy chairman Keith Ellison tweeted a video of himself dancing in support of net neutrality. It’s a good dance.
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) July 12, 2017
Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez encouraged people to call their Congress members and urge them to support net neutrality. “Democrats believe that an open internet is fundamental to free speech, innovation, and a competitive economy,” Perez said in a statement. “The internet needs to remain a level playing field where the reach of one’s voice is determined by quality of ideas and not a handful of CEOs.”
NEW YORK, SAN FRANCISCO, CHICAGO MAYORS (PLUS MORE THAN 50 OTHERS)
The mayor of more than 50 cities, including New York mayor Bill de Blasio, San Francisco mayor Ed Lee, and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, wrote a letter to FCC chairman Ajit Pai asking him to “maintain and enforce the 2015 Open Internet Order.” Removing net neutrality protections, they write, “poses a significant risk of stifling American innovation and harming local economies across the country.”
TripAdvisor has been tweeting about preserving net neutrality, though there doesn’t appear to be any changes to its homepage.
— TripAdvisor (@TripAdvisor) July 12, 2017
The website for Creative Commons greets visitors with a big pop-up of a spinning wheel and a note that losing net neutrality leaves “the door open to creating ‘internet fast lanes’ that prioritize certain websites over others.”
The agency and Chairman Pai have declined to comment.