Hundreds of Websites and Apps to Protest Rollback of Net Neutrality Rules Tomorrow

They will feature banners, pop-ups, and other alerts encouraging users to support the rules

Hundreds of Websites and Apps to Protest Rollback of Net Neutrality Rules Tomorrow
Image: Pexels
July 11, 2017

If you don't know about net neutrality yet, chances are you will tomorrow.

Hundreds of websites and apps are planning to participate in a Day of Action for net neutrality on Wednesday, July 12, in what NPR calls "one of the largest digital protests to date."

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) should not be allowed to either block, speed up, slow down, or give any other preferential treatment to legal websites. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) placed regulations on ISPs in 2015 to ensure they didn't engage in such practices; now, the agency is seeking to undo those rules under its new chairman, Ajit Pai.

Pai argues that the rules are an example of Internet regulation by the government, claiming that they place a "bureaucratic straitjacket" on the telecommunications industry and slow expansion of broadband innovation and access. Opponents argue that the regulations are necessary to prevent cable and telecommunications companies from determining what content people should be allowed to access at which speeds.

The Day of Action

The protest will take place entirely online. It will consist of numerous websites and apps featuring banners, pop-ups, GIFs, and other alerts in an effort to encourage users to engage the FCC or Congress in favor of the rules. According to USA Today, these efforts will show people what the Internet would look like without net neutrality.

Many major internet companies are planning to participate in the protest, such as Facebook, Google, Netflix, Etsy, Twitter, Amazon, Reddit, Vimeo, Airbnb, the ACLU, Spotify, Yelp, Dropbox, Pinterest, Dropbox, and OKCupid.

Consumers should note that the alerts on these sites will appear only once, and they will be able to click out of them.

After the Protest

The FCC will continue accepting public comments on the proposed rollback until July 17. It will then accept replies to those comments until August 16.