More than 100,000 websites, Internet users, and organizations are participating in a massive online protest against the FCC’s plan to gut protections that keep the web free from censorship, throttling, and extra fees. Protesters have also gathered outside the Senate in DC.
Many of the most popular websites on the web are participating in an Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality today to oppose the FCC’s plan to slash Title II, the legal foundation for net neutrality rules that protect online free speech and innovation. Starting at midnight, a flood of major web platforms like Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, Amazon, Mozilla, OK Cupid, Vimeo, Pornhub, Imgur, and Soundcloud began displaying prominent protest messages to their users, encouraging them to take action by contacting the FCC and Congress through tools like BattleForTheNet.com that make it easy for Internet users to make their voices heard.
See PHOTOS, IMAGES, and DESCRIPTIONS of how participants are protesting here: http://imgur.com/a/vYVet
Embed a video about the day of action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIFBb3e3tFA&feature=youtu.be
More highlights in this Twitter moment: https://twitter.com/i/moments/885130181039579136
Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, one of the leading groups behind the protest, issued the following statement (pronouns: she/hers):
"Today is a historic moment when the Internet is realizing it’s power. We’re massive amounts of creativity and action coming from every corner of the Internet, from the smallest and weirdest nooks and crannies of the web to the most popular websites on earth. And this doesn’t end today – this protest is the kickoff of a sustained campaign to keep the pressure on lawmakers and the FCC to do the right thing. This is our opening salvo, and it’s a massive one.
The FCC needs to listen to the public, not just lobbyists from big cable companies. Today, the Internet is showing its political power. No one wants companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon to have control over what we can see and do online, or to have to pay them extra fees to access the content we want. The Internet is outraged by censorship and corruption, this is our moment to to defend net neutrality and fight for the future of freedom of expression."
Lawmakers in Washington, DC need to understand that if they stand idly by and allow the FCC to gut these rules that are overwhelmingly supported by voters from across the political spectrum, they will be seen as enemies of the Internet and enemies of free speech."
More than 100,000 people, sites, and organizations signed up to participate the effort ahead of the 12th, and many times that will have joined in by the end of the day.
The effort is led by many of the grassroots groups behind the largest online protests in history including the SOPA blackout and the Internet Slowdown. Media attention for online mobilizations tends to focus on the big names participating, but there is a much more interesting story: a coalition of Internet activists huddled over their laptops in coworking spaces, home offices, and coffee shops, who are the ones who came up with the idea, called for, and organized the protest, and have since been working together to lay the groundwork, build the technical tools, and create the educational resources that make it possible for large and small websites to participate in these mass days of action. It’s a grassroots effort involving dozens of volunteers working together in Slack channels, outreach spreadsheets, endless email chains, organizing in online communities and forums, and an enormous amount of creativity and digital elbow grease.
The list of sites and apps participating has grown so quickly it’s almost impossible to keep up, but participants include Automattic (Wordpress), eBay, Rosetta Stone, Pinterest, Amazon, Mozilla, Netflix, Etsy, Kickstarter, Soundcloud, Dropbox, Spotify, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Medium, Y Combinator, GitHub, Pantheon, Opera, Bittorrent Inc., Shapeways, Nextdoor, Stack Overflow, Funny Or Die, Dreamhost, and CREDO Mobile, Goldenfrog, Fark, Chess.com, Namecheap, DuckDuckGo, Checkout.com, Sonic, Ting, ProtonMail, O’Reilly Media, SlashDot, Dribble, Dischord, SourceForge, and Union Square Ventures. Organizations participating include Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund, Demand Progress, Center for Media Justice, EFF, Internet Association, Internet Archive, World Wide Web Foundation, Creative Commons, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Greenpeace, Common Cause, ACLU, Rock the Vote, American Library Association, Daily Kos, OpenMedia, The Nation, PCCC, MoveOn, OFA, Public Knowledge, OTI, Color of Change, MoveOn, Free Software Foundation, Internet Creators Guild, the Women’s March, and many others.