Big Tech Companies Are Planning “Go Slow” Day to Protest the FCC Net Neutrality Proposal

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Sept. 4 2014 6:56 PM

Big Tech Companies Are Planning “Go Slow” Day to Protest the FCC Net Neutrality Proposal

490833339-tighe-barry-of-codepink-along-with-other-demonstrators
Net neutrality advocates protesting outside the FCC in May.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The FCC’s net neutrality proposal, announced in April, has received steady criticism from advocates of free and open Internet. And more than 1 million responses poured in when the agency opened a public comment period. Now influential tech companies are preparing to make Sept. 10 a day of protest called “Go Slow” day.

Mozilla, Reddit, KickStarter, FourSquare, Vimeo, and Meetup will all simulate what the user experience could be like on their sites without current net neutrality protections. The goal is to protest proposed rules that would allow Internet service providers to create fast lanes for companies that can afford to pay. Even porn sites like PornHub, RedTube, and YouPorn are joining in (though a PornHub representative on Reddit was quick to note that it won’t actually slow down the porn—users will just see a big display about net neutrality when they visit the site). That's commitment, people.

Advertisement

Startup lobbying group Engine is organizing the protest. It explained in a blog post:

For the Internet Slowdown on September 10, many participating companies will install widgets on their sites displaying a revolving icon (a common signal of slowly loading content) to symbolize how the Internet would function in a world without net neutrality. Others, including Engine, will direct their users to call or email policymakers.

Fight for the Future, the grass-roots organizers who led the SOPA/PIPA blackouts in 2012, is also involved. Campaign manager Evan Greer told the Guardian, “Net neutrality is tough to explain to people, so we wanted to organize an action that actually shows the world what’s at stake. Unless internet users unite in defense of net neutrality, we could be seeing those dreaded ‘loading’ wheels a lot more often ... while monopolistic companies get to decide which content gets seen by the most people.”

Steel yourself on Wednesday for a day of slow connection speeds. Hopefully the statement will be dramatic enough to motivate a new approach by the FCC.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

160 Countries Host Marches to Demand Action on Climate Change

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 2:00 PM Colin Farrell Will Star in True Detective’s Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.