Tumblr, Mozilla, BoingBoing, The Nation, AdaFruit, Daily Kos, CREDO, and more than 2,000 other websites participating in online protests this month. More than 5,000 people have signed up to tweet every day until the FCC’s vote, with a total social reach of more than 5 million people.
THE INTERNET––Several of the world’s most popular web companies have re-affirmed their support for online free speech this week by encouraging their users to take action in coordination with the Internet Countdown protest, an effort between websites, Internet users, and grassroots groups to keep up a sustained barrage of phone calls and emails targeting lawmakers in Washington, DC between now and the FCC’s net neutrality vote on February 26th. To amplify the effort, more than 5,000 people used the Internet Countdown twitter tool to signed up to tweet every single day leading up to the decision, with a total social reach of more than 5 million each day.
The Countdown was launched on January 26th, exactly one month before the FCC’s vote, and has already attracted a number of prominent supporters, and more than 2,000 websites overall. Many websites are creating their own actions geared toward their user base, while dozens of others are using the Internet Countdown’s ready-made "widgets," which allow any website owner, blogger, or Tumblr user to easily include a "countdown timer" on their site, literally counting down the seconds to the FCC’s vote. Clicking on the widget takes users to BattleForTheNet.com, the net neutrality hub site that was responsible for more than ¼ of the overall comments that the FCC received during its comment periods.
This week, blogging platform Tumblr with its more than 220 million blogs unveiled a creative action at https://tumblr.com/everybodyontheinternet driving phone calls and emails to Congress in support of Title II net neutrality. On Wednesday, Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, began showing U.S. users of their popular web browser a message encouraging them to take action, and published this blog post. Popular news site BoingBoing is showing users the countdown at the bottom of most articles sitewide. The Nation magazine also joined this week, along with popular DIY electronics site AdaFruit. Social media app Thunderclap is displaying the countdown widget prominently on their frontpage.
"Internet users around the world are celebrating the hard fought victory of getting the FCC chair to come out in support of real net neutrality through Title II reclassification, but they also know that the battle for the net is not over yet," said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. She added, "We know that when the Internet comes together for the public interest, nothing is impossible. We will not accept defeat––the Internet will keep fighting until the FCC enacts strong, bright line rules that ban Cable companies from all forms of discrimination, blocking, or throttling of web content.
"These next few weeks are crucial," said David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress. "Based on what we know now about Chairman Wheeler’s proposal to reclassify broadband Internet under Title II, we have never been closer
to real net neutrality. But we can’t let up. We need to beat back any
changes or loopholes in the rules that might weaken them, and we need to
ensure that Congress does not interfere by advancing proposals that
would undermine real net neutrality. That’s
why we’re urging the platforms that benefit from a free and open
Internet to join us in the Internet Countdown over the next three weeks
and finish what could be one of the most historic wins for the open Web
that we’ve ever seen."
The Internet Countdown is being organized by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press, with the support of a broad #TeamInternet coalition.