WASHINGTON – Today, tech companies, Main Street businesses and public interest organizations alike are demonstrating their support for stronger Net Neutrality protections by adding a spinning icon representing a slow-loading Internet to their websites. The symbolic icon links to a series of actions to members of Congress, the White House and the FCC. The event builds on the millions of Americans who have told the government to protect innovation and fairness online from corporate interference.
“The Internet is united against the FCC's Net Neutrality-killing proposal,” said Free Press Action Fund President and CEO Craig Aaron. “Today we'll see the Internet slow down as millions of people rise up against this threat to our rights to connect and communicate. There aren't many issues that could bring together such a diverse array of groups, big platforms, small businesses, elected officials and everyday people, all of them urging the FCC to protect real Net Neutrality.”
By 11 a.m. this morning, Internet users had already placed 40,000 phone calls through https://www.battleforthenet.com/. (But this represents just a fraction of the total number of actions, as many major sites have created their own tools.)
Screenshots of some of the participating websites can be found here: https://imgur.com/a/KHnr7
Sites are encouraged to continue to join the protest throughout the day — tools are available at: www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th.
“It's encouraging to see so many prominent companies participating in the day of action in support of an open Internet,” said Engine Advocacy Policy Director Evan Engstrom. “The FCC needs to know that preserving strong Net Neutrality rules is necessary to ensure that the Internet remains a platform for innovation and economic growth. Reclassifying broadband as a Title II service is the only way to achieve this goal.”
“Today we’re showing once again not only the power of the Internet to defend itself from threats to free speech but the urgency of protecting Net Neutrality,” said Fight for the Future Campaign Director Evan Greer. “Today’s protest was organized by a small number of people working very hard with limited resources. Without a neutral Net that gives everyone a voice, we never would have gotten this off the ground. The future of every social movement, startup, independent artist and innovative idea depends on the outcome of this battle for the Net.”
Demand Progress, Engine Advocacy, Fight for the Future and the Free Press Action Fund organized the Internet Slowdown. The Battle for the Net website featuring updates and actions is www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th.
Participants in today’s protest want to leave the Internet open so that the next Google and the next Facebook can succeed. They believe that America was built on the fundamental value of freedom of expression where every idea has a fair shot at being heard. Free speech will suffer if big companies like Comcast and Verizon are allowed to create Internet fast lanes for rich content providers and slow lanes for everyone else.
Political momentum for the open Internet is on the rise: Both Sen. Angus King and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi have written letters to the FCC endorsing Title II reclassification. Rep. Doris Matsui is organizing a field hearing on Net Neutrality in California, and nearly 60 members of Congress have expressed support for the open Internet.
Some of the companies and websites participating in the action include Automattic (which runs WordPress.com), AVG, Bluehost, Boing Boing, Cheezburger, Chess.com, Comptel, CREDO Mobile, the Daily Dot, Digg, Dropbox, Dwolla, Etsy, Fark, Foursquare, Gandi, General Assembly, Gfycat, Grooveshark, iFixit, Kickstarter, Meetup, Mozilla, Namecheap, The Nation, Netflix, reddit, SendGrid, Tagged, Thunderclap, Tumblr, Twilio, Twitter, Upworthy, Urban Dictionary, Vimeo and Wikia.
Participating organizations include the American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, the Center for Media Justice, ColorOfChange.org, Consumers Union, Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Democracy for America, Democrats.com, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine Advocacy, Fight for the Future, the Free Press Action Fund, the Future of Music Coalition, Greenpeace USA, the Harry Potter Alliance, the Media Alliance, the Media Mobilizing Project, MoveOn, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, OpenMedia, Popular Resistance, Presente.org, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressives United, the Other 98%, RootsAction, Rootstrikers, the Sierra Club, SumOfUs, Voqal, Women, Action & the Media, the Writers Guild of America, East, and the Writers Guild of America, West.