Google, the biggest site on the internet and one of the biggest names in technology, confirmed to Inverse on Thursday that it will officially participate in the web-wide day of action in support of net neutrality on July 12, joining other web giants like Amazon, Reddit, and Netflix in what’s being called the “battle for the internet.”
A Google spokesperson says company is still figuring out what specific actions it would take and hasn’t posted publicly about its involvement on Google’s company blog.
“Google will participate in next week’s Day of Action on net neutrality,” Riva Sciuto, a spokesperson for the company, tells Inverse. “We’ve always planned to be part of it.”
The worldwide day of action is an online protest against the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed rule-making that would eliminate Title II restrictions on internet service providers, effectively ending the concept of net neutrality, which is the concept that all websites should load at the same speed, no matter their content or who owns them.
Title II restrictions were the core of the Obama-era FCC’s decision to regulate ISPs like telecommunications companies, making it so the powerful corporations governing internet access did not use their power unfairly, creating things like paid fast lanes for quicker access or superior service for preferred websites.
So far, a huge cross section of the internet has jumped on board. Amazon and Reddit were two of first big names to sign on in early June, and PornHub signed up later that month. Netflix dragged its heels a bit at first, but eventually got on board on June 15.
“This is the most support I’ve ever seen”
Fight For the Future, the internet advocacy group that organized the protest, has similarly mobilized tech companies and public voices to protest the SOPA and PIPA bills in Congress. You can see a video released by Fight for the Future above.
“This is the most support I’ve ever seen for one of these days of action coming out of the gate,” Evan Greer, the campaign director at Fight For the Future told Inverse in June. “I’d expect many more household name companies to join in the coming days and weeks.”
Google is part of the Internet Association, a lobbying group of internet-based businesses that publicly signed on to Fight for the Future’s day of action early on, but the company had not confirmed it would be specifically participating. Reddit, Etsy, Netflix, and Amazon are all also Internet Association members.
“The current FCC net neutrality rules are working and these consumer protections should not be changed,” Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman wrote in a statement when the FCC’s proposed rulemaking was announced. “Rolling back these rules or reducing the legal sustainability of the Order will result in a worse internet for consumers and less innovation online.”
During online days of action, participating websites sometimes black out portions of their site to remind users just how crappy the internet would be without a free web, or post banner ads or other pop-ups that advocate for the cause.