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Internet activists plan ‘Break the Internet’ protest to save net neutrality
Users are encouraged to make ‘creative posts.’
Fight for the Future, an internet rights group, is organizing a “Break the Internet” protest that will encourage social media users to make “creative posts” to bring attention to the FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality rules, a founding principle of the internet that ensures all internet traffic is treated equally.
The protest calls for people to post on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, or their own personal website to try and get “*everyone’s* attention and drive phone calls to Congress.” The protest website also offers instructions on how to call representatives in Congress to voice opposition to the FCC’s scheduled vote.
“There’s no time left for petitions,” Evan Greer, a campaign director with Fight for the Future, told the Daily Dot in an email. “It’s time to go wild and harness the power of the internet to save that power before it’s taken away.”
On Dec. 14, the FCC is scheduled to rescind the 2015 Open Internet Order which prevents internet service providers from restricting access to content or slowing down some websites in favor of others. Net neutrality rules, for example, prevent a company such as Verizon from blocking or slowing down Netflix in favor of their own streaming service.
In addition to pushing for users to post on social media, websites such as GitHub, Reddit, Imgur, BitTorrent, PornHub, Deviant Art, Etsy, Mozilla, and Pinterest are “already working to drive calls and messages to Congress” in order to “stop the FCC,” according to the protest’s website.
The protest’s homepage gives people examples of what to post online, including: “This tweet is being ██████ by your internet provider. Well, not yet. But, that’s what will happen if we ████ #StopTheFCC. Congress can stop this. Take action now: battleforthenet.com” and “IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL IT’S OVER. We have to shut down Congress with phone calls about #NetNeutrality. Use this easy tool to call your lawmakers now and demand they #StopTheFCC: battleforthenet.com”
— Fight for the Future (@fightfortheftr) December 11, 2017
Internet users are also asked to get “creative” by, for example, changing their job on LinkedIn to “Defending Net Neutrality” or saying they’re “married to the open internet” by changing their relationship status on Facebook.
Earlier this year another major online push to protest the FCC’s net neutrality plans, the Internet-Wide Day of Action To Save Net Neutrality, brought together internet activists, major technology firms, internet startups, and everyday users where “tens of millions of people” saw ads, images, and other material warning what the internet would be like without net neutrality.
The Internet-Wide Day of Action To Save Net Neutrality resulted in more than 2 million people submitting comments to the FCC—nearly tripling a number of comments left during the 2014 “Internet Slowdown” protest that pushed the FCC to establish net neutrality protections.
You can read more about the “Break the Internet” protest here.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).