Web companies, video creators, celebrities, gamers, artists, veterans, business owners and policy experts will host all-day livestream, reading from thousands of comments submitted by Internet users
This Tuesday, June 11th, on the one-year anniversary of the FCC’s historically unpopular repeal of net neutrality going into effect, Fight for the Future and its allies will host an epic all-day livestream to pressure Senate leadership to schedule a vote on the Save the Internet Act. Senators who support an open Internet will go to the floor that day and attempt to force a vote using a Unanimous Consent request, while large numbers are expected to watch online.
See a video and page announcing the protest here: https://www.epiclivestream.com
The livestream will feature a lineup of guest hosts –– ranging from small business owners to US veterans to popular gaming streamers to TV celebrities –– who will read from thousands of individual comments submitted by Internet users about why a free and open Internet matters to them. Fight for the Future is collecting the comments through a web form, and has also released an SMS chatbot allowing Internet users to submit their comments from their phones.
Web companies like Tumblr, Reddit, Mozilla, Github, Tinder, BoingBoing, Postmates, OK Cupid, Imgur, Twitter, and Airbnb will be amplifying net neutrality action, while guest hosts on the stream include Nickelodeon star and musician Kira Kosarin, Comedy Central comedian Mike Eagle, and Congressman Ro Khanna, Congressman Peter Welch, as well as experts from organizations like Consumers Union, Open Technology Institute, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Demand Progress, and the Center for Media Justice. Many of those groups will also be participating in a petition delivery to Mitch McConnell’s office on Tuesday morning, which will be featured as part of the livestream.
"It’s not going to happen overnight, but every day that passes without Congress acting to restore net neutrality, the things people love about the Internet are slowly fading away. It’s becoming more centralized, exploitative, and controlled by corporate interests," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future. "But Internet users are refusing to give up. On June 11th we’ll come together once again and channel outrage into political power. With voters from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly united in support of an open Internet, it’s only a matter of time before net neutrality is restored."
While the worst impacts of the repeal have been kept at bay by ongoing litigation and Congressional scrutiny, Internet Service Providers have already begun testing the waters to see what they can get away with in a post net neutrality world. In the last year, studies indicated that Sprint throttled Skype, AT&T gave preference to its own video services, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T slowed down access to YouTube and Netflix, and Verizon was notoriously caught throttling data for California firefighters.
More than 6 million people tuned into similar livestreams during the House markup and vote on the Save the Internet Act, showing that the Internet is still outraged by the repeal of net neutrality and demanding that lawmakers act to restore it. In the year since the FCC’s repeal there has been backlash from across the political spectrum, with polls consistently showing that voters of all persuasions overwhelmingly want lawmakers to reverse Ajit Pai’s order. Over the last decade, tens of millions of people have spoken out in defense of net neutrality, making Internet freedom one of the most popular social movements in modern history.