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

Foreigners

The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

How Did the Royals Win Despite Bunting So Many Times? Bunting Is a Terrible Strategy.

Catacombs Where You Can Stroll Down Hallways Lined With Corpses

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 6:39 PM Spoiler Special: Transparent
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?