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Top Websites Join “Internet Slowdown Day”

If you’ve visited websites like Netflix, Reddit, or Etsy this morning, you may have found a strategically placed spinning icon mimicking a slow- loading site. These widgets are a part of today’s Internet Slowdown Day - a digital protest supporting net neutrality. 

What’s this all about?

Don’t worry - the internet’s not actually slowing down!!!
 
Internet Slowdown Day is the latest push to draw public attention to the Federal Communication Commission’s proposed guidelines for Internet Service Providers. The proposal allows for paid prioritization of internet traffic. So, internet service providers would be able to charge companies to get faster traffic. This would inevitably create fast and slow lanes for websites, as certain sites would be unable to pay. Their sites would then load at a noticeably slower rate for users, allowing the companies who pay to be at an inherent advantage over others on the web.
 
Internet Slowdown Day is meant to protest the proposals and encourage users to fight back. According to a description of September 10th’s Internet Slowdown on the Battle For The Net website, “Cable companies want to slow down (and break!) your favorite sites, for profit. To fight back, let’s cover the web with symbolic “loading” icons, to remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like, and drive record numbers of emails and calls to lawmakers.” Thus, participating members have added Javascript loading widgets to promote the idea that the internet should be free, and consumers should continue to have open on-ramps to the internet.
 
The public comment period for the FCC’s proposed rules ends on September 15th, so today’s protest hopes to push people to call, email, and comment now.

Who is participating in the Internet Slowdown Day?

Many huge websites have joined Internet Slowdown Day in support of net neutrality. Here are just some of the participating web companies: 
  • Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com)
  • Boing Boing
  • Cheezburger
  • Digg
  • Dwolla
  • Etsy
  • Foursquare
  • iFixit
  • imgur
  • Kickstarter
  • Mozilla
  • The Nation
  • Netflix
  • reddit
  • Upworthy
  • Urban Dictionary
  • Vimeo
Twitter, Tumblr, and Google have also issued statements in support of net neutrality. And those are just some of the biggest sites!
 
Many civic action groups and other organizations are also participating, including American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, the Center for Media Justice, Demand Progress, DailyKos, Fight for the Future, the Free Press Action Fund, Greenpeace USA, MoveOn, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, OpenMedia, Popular Resistance, the Writers Guild of America (East and West) and more. 

How can I help?

The most effective thing to do is submit your own comment to the FCC (whether for or against) by September 15! You can either call or fill out a simple form online.
 
If you want to be a part of Internet Slowdown Day, you can embed a Javascript widget on your own website. Go to BattleForTheNet.com to get the code and corresponding images. You can also change your Twitter or Facebook avatars to a spinning wheel.
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