On the Net Neutrality Day of Action, a Theme of Unified Dissent

Amazon, Reddit, Pornhub, and many more are all on board. 

Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

There’s something different about many of the internet’s biggest websites this Wednesday. Net neutrality, a core principle of a free and open internet that keeps telecommunication corporations from unfairly exploiting their power could be snuffed out by a new set of rules imposed by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission.

To protest the FCC’s proposed rule-making, internet activist group Fight for the Future organized an internet-wide “Day of Action” on July 12, where dozens of prominent websites will post messages or take other actions to show their users why net neutrality matters, and encourage them to join the protest or add to over 6,000,000 public comments filed on the FCC’s website.

“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.

With only five days left on the first open public comment period, Fight for the Future and other participating sites want to flood the system with dissent for the FCC’s actions, paving the way for a future court case and drumming up support for the long battle to come. It’s a strategy that worked during the SOPA and PIPA acts, online censorship bills aimed at curbing internet piracy worded so broadly that critics said they endangered freedom of speech.

In the case of net neutrality, an open internet is essential for online-based businesses like Amazon or social forums like Reddit to succeed, and they plan to make everyone one of their users. Here’s how:


Reddit was one of the first major sites to sign up for the day of action and was a staunch supporter of the policy when it was enacted in 2015. It’s been a loyal supporter of net neutrality all along, and on the twelfth, it’ll post a “site-wide engagement” on net neutrality, as well as a personal message from its founder, Alexis Ohanian, on why the fight matters. Reddit has also been hosting a net neutrality-themed “ask me anything” series of interviews over the past few weeks.


Mozilla’s protest is above — a nine-hour spoof of “slow TV” — a Norwegian phenomenon of watching, well, pretty much nothing. A slow video of clouds moving by will play for nine hours straight, superimposed with a constant feed of over 42,000 comments Mozilla collected from its users supporting net neutrality.


Twitter is organizing a lot of the protest as well, rallying its users under a #NetNeutrality hashtag with a spinning loading wheel icon next to it.


Google confirmed to Inverse that it would be participating but declined to comment as to its initial plans, so you’ll have to check the site periodically to see what the company has up its sleeve.


Similar to Google, Facebook confirmed that it would participate but did not respond when asked for comment on its specific plans. It’s likely that net neutrality will be a trending topic on the site’s news feed, but it remains to be seen if the site goes further.


Vimeo will be pushing its staff-made explainer video on net neutralty alongside graphics optimized for social media.


Pornhub is, of course, going all in — it’s reportedly considering using a slow loading icon on some of its videos to show users what their free HD porn would look like if the telecommunications lobby had their way.

“No one in the porn industry ever yells ‘slower, slower, slower,’” Pornhub VP Corey Price told Motherboard. “We’re much more accustomed to ‘faster, faster, faster.’ Here at Pornhub, we want to keep it that way.”


First it was out, then it jumped back in. Netflix hasn’t been super consistent in the fight for net neutrality, but it’ll definitely be participating.


Amazon did not disclose specific plans, but it was also an early and vocal backer of the plan.


Discord, the social forum and voice chat service aimed primarily at gaming communities, will push an in-app message directing users to — Fight for the Future’s main page for the day of action — and ask them to share the note on social media.


Medium will also alert its wide community of bloggers with a notification and, of course, a blog.


Weirdly, AT&T has also announced it will be participating in the protest, even though it’s exactly one of the telecommunication companies net neutrality seeks to limit, and it has lobbied widely against net neutrality. AT&T’s official line is that a free internet is good, it just has a “differing viewpoint” on how to keep the internet free.

“This may seem like an anomaly to many people,” Bob Quinn, the senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs at AT&T, said in a statement to Recode, “who might question why AT&T is joining with those who have differing viewpoints on how to ensure an open and free internet. But that’s exactly the point — we all agree that an open internet is critical for ensuring freedom of expression and a free flow of ideas and commerce in the United States and around the world.”

Sure AT&T, welcome aboard.


Like Discord, OKCupid will push an in-app message to all of its users, redirecting them to

The Internet Association

The Internet Association, a lobbying group that includes Facebook, Google, and many other major players in Silicon Valley, is launching a new GIF-heavy website supporting net neutrality and opposing of the FCC.

“Net Neutrality is fundamental to the continued success of the internet,” said Internet Association President & CEO Michael Beckerman in a statement. “The internet is a place where the best ideas, products, and services can compete on an even playing field. Without strong, enforceable net neutrality rules in place, innovation online will be stifled, consumers will have fewer and worse choices across the web, and the next generation of ground-breaking websites and apps will never come to be.”

Several other websites will be joining the protest, many of which will have a simple banner message across their page, a link to Fight for the Future’s, or some other notification. If any part of your work or social life takes place online, the protest will be almost impossible to miss.

This story is developing as the protest goes on. If you see a particularly good protest, feel free to email me at

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