Your favorite website may have gone dark today. It’s all because of the Net Neutrality Day of Action, taking place July 12, aimed at pressuring the Federal Communication Commission to drop the idea of rolling back rules around internet regulation. New agency head Ajit Pai has criticized his predecessor Tom Wheeler’s approach to internet rules, promising a “practical, not ideological” approach to the industry.
The attack on net neutraltiy comes two years after internet sites fought a successful campaign to pressure the FCC to class the internet as a utility, placing it under different regulations that mean internet providers can’t pick and choose which sites to give preference to. It’s feared that this could lead to a multi-tier internet where big corporations are offered preferable access through deals, pushing smaller sites out of the picture and changing the dynamic of internet access. Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver, who assisted in the previous campaign, has produced a new episode to voice his support.
Here’s what eight sites are doing to protest on the day:
The crowdfunding site displays a full-size message, urging visitors to take action. Clicking on the button to take action invites users to enter their ZIP code and phone number, which the site will use to find the user’s member of Congress.
The site also displays a message for why it’s taking action:
>Two years ago, we fought alongside our community to keep the internet open and free from corporate control. Together, we won.
That victory is now in danger. Big cable and phone companies are trying to get rid of Net Neutrality protections so that they can control—and profit from—the flow of information online. If they succeed, they’ll be able to slow down websites, censor content, and block the free exchange of ideas.
That’s why people across the internet are coming together today to defend the freedoms we fought so hard to secure. We hope you’ll stand with us. Just enter your information in the form to the right and you’ll be connected directly with your representative in Congress and provided with a short script to guide the conversation.
The site’s technology subreddit has included a dramatic message when viewers visit the site. Intended to simulate what an internet without net neutrality may feel like, the message suggests that without specific cable packages, users may not be able to access the tech subreddit.
The image hosting service, popular for hosting pictures for sharing on Reddit, displays a banner at the top of the screen inviting users to contact the FCC and let them know their thoughts on the proposed changes.
The video game streaming site has placed a bright red banner undernearth its navigation bar, alerting users that net neutrality is udner threat. The site includes a spinning loading wheel, similar to the ones seen when a page is taking a long time to display, hinting at the slow speeds users may suffer under a non-free internet.
Every time someone makes a post on Twitter with the hashtag “netneutrality,” the site will add a loading wheel to the end, a similar idea to Twitch’s protest. Clicking on the hashtag will take you to some of the top tweets about the day of action, with Tim Berners-Lee currently listed as the first entry. The British inventor of the world wide web, Berners-Lee is now director of the World Wide Web Consortium that defines standards for web interoperability.
The anonymous web search engine, which aims to act as an alternative to Google, displays a simple message on its main page asking users to defend net neutrality. The link leads to BattleFortheNet.com, a site created by the Fight for the Future campaign group to explain why net neutrality is important and invite viewers to send a letter to Congress.
The movie and TV show streaming service has placed a banner on the top of its page, calling on users to protect internet freedom and take action.
The protests are expected to last throughout the day.