Fight for the Future


Press Release: The Internet Slowdown by the numbers

Posted 11:55 EDT on September 11, 2014

Day of protest generates nearly 300,000 calls and more than 2 million emails to Congress; 722,364 people filed comments at the FCC.

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, tech companies, websites, public interest organizations and Internet users joined forces to demonstrate overwhelming support for stronger Net Neutrality protections. Participants in the Internet Slowdown added a spinning icon representing a slow-loading Internet to their sites. Millions of people clicked through the icon to a series of actions to members of Congress, the White House and the FCC.

An infographic displaying some of the protest highlights is here: https://battleforthenet.com/#infographic

Here are screenshots from the protest: http://imgur.com/a/fqeiC

NOTE: The volume of comments overwhelmed the FCC’s servers during the slowdown. Fight for the Future is in contact with the FCC’s tech team and is working out a solution to ensure that every comment is filed properly.

Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Engine Advocacy, and the Free Press Action Fund organized the Internet Slowdown. The Battle for the Net website featuring updates and actions is http://battleforthenet.com

Here are the numbers from the Internet Slowdown:

Calls made to Congress: 303,099

Emails sent to Congress: 2,167,092

Comments filed at the FCC: 722,364

Calls per minute to Congress (during peak hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.): 1,000

Participating websites: more than 10,000

Facebook shares of spinning icon: more than 1,120,000

These numbers are valid as of 10 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday. The final tally on Wednesday’s action will be provided at https://www.battleforthenet.com/

“The numbers tell the story: People everywhere are using the Internet to save the Internet from phone and cable companies,” said Fight for the Future Campaign Director Evan Greer. “We’ve shown that the best way to fight these powerful special interests in Washington is through mass action by people from outside Washington. The FCC and Congress can no longer dismiss the overwhelming consensus of public support for real Net Neutrality protections.”

“The Internet Slowdown was the biggest day of online activism since the Internet Blackout of 2012, when people rejected the SOPA and PIPA copyright bills,” said Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal. “As the FCC decision on Net Neutrality approaches, Internet users will continue to speak out in numbers and with a message that will be impossible to ignore.”

“Internet users spoke out loud and clear on Wednesday,“ said Free Press Action Fund President and CEO Craig Aaron. “They’re united against FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan to allow fast and slow lanes on the Internet. The chairman must now listen to the public, abandon his pay-to-play plan, and pursue the best and only path to real Net Neutrality protections – by reclassifying Internet service providers as common carriers.”

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The Internet Slowdown: we made history today! But we’re not done yet.

Posted 22:40 EDT on September 10, 2014

Hey

Thanks so much for being part of the Internet Slowdown. We made history today, it’s been huge!

More and more people are pouring in every minute to take action. This is the biggest opportunity we’ve ever had to protect the Internet as a platform for free expression, but the momentum won’t last forever. We need to seize this moment and turn it into an undeniable victory.

Can you help? If all of us take just two minutes right now to tell everyone we know about Battleforthenet.com we could double the massive number of people taking action today.

Please forward this email to everyone in your address book. Text all your friends and tell them to join, and post on social media. Here we’ll make it easy for you!

Click here to share on Facebook

Click here to share on Twitter

Click here to share on Tumblr

So far today we’ve driven 525,000 comments to the FCC from our site alone, and we melted phones in Washington, DC with more than 193,000 phone calls to Congress and the White House. That’s outstanding! But Cable companies like Comcast and Verizon are spending more than $1 million every week lobbying politicians in DC to ignore the public’s voice on this issue.

Let’s make ourselves impossible to ignore. Are you with us?

Yours for the Internet,
-Evan, Tiffiniy, Holmes, Kevin, Jeff, Vasjen, and Jessica
Fight for the Future

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Internet users and world’s largest websites unite for “Internet Slowdown” today to save net neutrality

Posted 12:38 EDT on September 10, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact:
Evan Greer, Fight for the Future
Email: press@fightforthefuture.org
Phone: 978-852-6457 or 617-690-9547

‘Internet Slowdown’ launches across the web

Businesses and public interest groups hold online action to show support for net neutrality. Companies and websites  cover the web with “loading” icons and call for FCC to protect the open Internet

WASHINGTON – Today, tech companies, main street businesses and organizations are demonstrating their support for stronger net neutrality protections by adding a spinning icon to their websites, representing a slow-loading Internet. 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 on the Internet from corporate interference.

“The Internet is united against the FCC’s Net Neutrality-killing proposal,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the Free Press Action Fund. “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 and small businesses, senators and everyday citizens, all of them urging the leaders at the FCC to restore real Net Neutrality.”

Internet users had already placed 40,000 phone calls this morning through  https://www.battleforthenet.com/

(But this represents just a fraction of the total activism, as many major sites have created their own activism 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 protests 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 Evan Engstrom, Policy Director at Engine. “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, and that reclassifying broadband as a Title II service is the only way to achieve this goal.”

Evan Greer, Campaign Director of Fight for the Future, added. “Today, we are 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. 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 would never 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.”

The “Internet Slowdown” is being organized by Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund and Engine Advocacy. The Battle for the Net website with updates and actions is www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th.

Groups aim 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 values of freedom of expression where every idea has a fair shot at being heard and big companies like Comcast and Verizon should not be allowed to create Internet fast lanes for rich companies and slow lanes for the rest of the country.

Political momentum has increased recently, including letters to the FCC supporting the light-touch “Title II” approach to achieving net neutrality from Senator Angus King and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a statement from Representative Matsui, in addition to previous support from more than a dozen Senators and more than 40 Representatives.

Some of the companies and websites that are participating in the action include Automattic (which runs WordPress.com), AVG, Bluehost Boing Boing, Cheezburger, Chess.com, Comptel, CREDO Mobile, DailyDot 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.

Additionally, Google participated by sending a pro-net neutrality email to its activism list of on order of two million people.

Participating organizations include, among others, American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, the Center for Media Justice, ColorOfChange, DailyKos, 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.

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Contact: Evan Greer, FFTF
Email: press@fightforthefuture.org
Phone: 978-852-6457 or 617-690-9547

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It’s not enough for this protest to be huge. It has to be massive. Here’s what you can do to help.

Posted 20:50 EDT on September 8, 2014

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Hey,

No time to write. There are 30 hours left until the Internet Slowdown protest for net neutrality, and all of us here at FFTF are working round the clock to make this huge.

Everything you need is right here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

Just this morning, Netflix announced that they’re joining the slowdown and will be showing a prominent message sitewide on September 10th. That’s huge.  We’re going to reach millions and millions of people who have never heard the words “net neutrality” before. So many of you have already joined and have been helping spread the word, and we can’t thank you enough.

Here’s the thing. It’s not enough for this protest to be huge. It has to be massive.

Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner are spending more than $1 million per week lobbying to make sure that the FCC protects their interests even though the public’s voice couldn’t be clearer. It’s possible to drown out the influence of those lobbying dollars – we’ve proven that before –  but only if everyone starts scrambling right now to get even more people and sites on board.

Will you forward this email to everyone you know right now? Another way to help is to text everyone in your address book this link: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

We need to get the slowdown trending and viral on social media starting TONIGHT. Use these links to share on social media. Retweet this awesome gif or make your own and tweet to #InternetSlowdown.

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Click here to share on Facebook

Click here to share on Twitter

Click here to share on Tumblr

Click here to share on Google+

The battle for the net is raging and we’re gaining ground every day, but the outcome is still very much uncertain. What each of us does right now will matter for generations to come.

Yours for the future of the free web,
-Evan, Tiffiniy, Holmes, Kevin, Vasjen, Jeff, and Jessica at Fight for the Future


P.S. Just a reminder that EVERYONE can participate in the protest on September 10th. If you have a website, go here to get the code. If not, click here, and change your profile picture. It’s easy!

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