With the fate of net neutrality in question — thanks to the FCC's efforts to eliminate regulations that protect it — major tech companies are fighting back. A few days before the public comment period closes on the FCC's net neutrality new proposal, companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Spotify, Etsy, Reddit, and nonprofits like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) plan on protesting the ruling.
The demonstration is being organized by Battle For the Net, a project from three organizations, will take place on July 12, five days before the public comment period closes on July 17. These companies are hoping that by protesting, consumers will learn why net neutrality is so important. Net neutrality guarantees internet service providers (ISPs) can't slow down or block a particular website for any reason. Each website gets the same type of speed and freedom, meaning so do consumers using them. But if the FCC does away with these net neutrality rules, it could mean your ISP can start charging you to use Netflix at a regular speed or block you from viewing Twitter. The possibilities are endless.
In 2014, when the FCC was debating whether to "reclassify" ISPs under the Title II of the Telecommunications Act, websites like Netflix, Easy, and Kickstarter staged a similar protest. Some of these companies installed a widget from Battle For the Net that showed a slow spinning icon, indicating how the internet could like if net neutrality didn't exist.
This year's protests might employ similar tactics like an alert on these websites telling people "This is the web without net neutrality" or "This site has been blocked by your ISP." Others might use a banner ad, send a push notification, or use an image with a perpetual loading sign. With some of the biggest corporations and civil rights groups coming together to fight this, prepare to see something noteworthy.