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Facebook, Google Join Net Neutrality Protest

6 Jul, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Facebook and Google reportedly plan to join the July 12 “Day of Action” online protest to save current net neutrality provisions.

Joining the social media giants are Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Kickstarter, Etsy, Vimeo, Private Internet Access, Mozilla, OK Cupid, Imgur, PornHub and Medium, among others.

The sites will display prominent alert modals on their homepage depicting what the Web would look like without net neutrality. Images include a “spinning wheel of death,” and/or terms “blocked” and “upgrade.”

Visitors to a site can submit comments to the FCC without leaving the platform.

The campaign is due to the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to re-classify the Internet from a utility back to a service — the former under stricter Title II guidelines of the Communications Act of 1934.

“We’re glad to hear that these companies are listening to their employees and Internet users and will speak out for net neutrality,” Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, said in a statement.

Greer said past protests elicited tepid support from Facebook and Google, a stance the companies have apparently moved away from.

“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.”

Under new FCC chairman Ajit Pai (appointed by President Trump), the Internet would be regulated under more business-friendly Communications Act of 1996.

Net neutrality guidelines prohibit ISPs from blocking or throttling content and/or charging content providers such as Netflix, Google or Amazon a higher price for faster streaming speeds for their subscribers.

“The Internet was not broken in 2015 [when the previous FCC under President Obama voted for Net Neutrality],” Pai said in a statement. “The utility-style regulations known as Title II were and are like the proverbial sledgehammer being wielded against the flea. Except that here, there [is] no flea.”

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