Dozens of high-profile Internet companies and websites signed up for a massive “Internet Slowdown” protest. Twitter, Vimeo, WordPress, Netflix, and other sites joined the symbolic protest to demonstrate their support for Net neutrality.
Following in the tradition of the 2012 SOPA blackout campaign, the Internet Slowdown aims to give users a taste of what the World Wide Web would be like if Internet fast and slow lanes existed. Every company that participates in the campaign will show the dreaded spinning loading wheel on its site to demonstrate how slowly the page would load if FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s controversial proposal is approved.
The sites won’t actually run slower, but the annoying spinning wheel should give users a pretty good idea of what awaits them if the FCC doesn’t change its tune on Net neutrality. Cheezburger, Etsy, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Meetup, and Mozilla are just some of the sites participating in the slowdown, which was set up by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Free Press, and Engine Advocacy. The Internet Slowdown starts at midnight on September 10 and concludes at 11:59 p.m.
Wheeler’s proposal would allow broadband providers to slow down service on sites that don’t pay extra fees for fast service. The protest’s organizers hope that the slowdown day will inspire users to stand up for Net neutrality and convince lawmakers to pass legislation that supports a free and open Internet. Every site that joins the protest will link to a page where users can send a comment to the FCC on the subject. The FCC will accept comments until September 15 and may pass judgement before the year is out.