Facebook confirmed to Inverse that it will participate in an internet-wide day of action on July 12 to protest the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed rulemaking that would eliminate Title II regulations from applying to internet service providers and effectively kill the system of net neutrality currently in place.
“Facebook has long been a supporter of strong net neutrality rules,” a spokesperson for the company tells Inverse, pointing to CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s post about the concept in 2015. “As far as the Day of Action, you’re welcome to cite Facebook as a participant.”
The company did not comment on specific plans it would be taking. During online days of action, participating websites take various actions, like blacking out portions of their site or posting banner ads or other pop-ups and notifications to remind users how bad the internet could be without net neutrality.
Fight for the Future, the nonprofit activist group organizing the July 12 Day of Action, said neither Facebook nor Google, which confirmed it would participate to Inverse on Thursday as well had reached out. Like Google, Facebook is a member of the Internet Association, a lobbying group of online companies that expressed support for FFTF’s day of action early on.
“We have not heard directly from either Facebook or Google, but we’re glad to hear that these companies are listening to their employees and Internet users and will speak out for net neutrality with the rest of the Internet on July 12,” Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, said in a statement. “In previous years these companies have often been on the sidelines of these fights, so we hope that they plan to do something meaningful in the spirit of the protest and educate their users about what’s at stake if we lose net neutrality protections that protect our online free speech, and give them opportunities to take action.”
Greer has been consistent in emphasizing grassroots support for net neutrality.
“It’s not giant companies that are going to save net neutrality, it’s grassroots mobilization,” she told Inverse in June. “This day of action will be an opportunity for Internet users, startups, gaming communities, political forums, and online communities of all sorts to come together to defend the Internet we all depend on.”
Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, expressed strong support for net neutrality in a post in 2015, which was written as a response to criticism that his Internet.org project conflicted with the concept.
“We fully support net neutrality. We want to keep the internet open,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Net neutrality ensures network operators don’t discriminate by limiting access to services you want to use. It’s an essential part of the open internet, and we are fully committed to it.”
We’ll see how Facebook expresses that commitment on July 12.