Tomorrow hundreds of companies and organizations, thousands of sites, and hundreds of thousands of people will take part in the Internet Slowdown and make known their support for Net Neutrality.

We're giving the world a glimpse of what life would be like if Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, and the other big cable companies succeed at taking over the Internet.

We need to join together and make sure that the FCC and politicians understand that they need to stand with us and the Internet -- and not with Team Cable.

Everything you need to take part is here:

If you have a website of any sort, please visit our site to install our banners and modals (It's easy and you still have time). You can also find share tools there and learn more about the protests.

We're Engine Advocacy, Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Amanda Palmer,, and Namecheap. And ask us anything!

(We'll all be here off-and-on through the evening.)

P.S. Alexis wasn't scheduled to be here and shouldn't be in the title--but hopefully he'll be able to stop by later. Sorry about that!

Comments: 164 • Responses: 8  • Date: 

amanda_palmer76 karma

i have a question for fightforthefuture...for all of the people who are coming over here with NO CLUE about the internet slowdown and its purpose...can you do the explain-it-to-us-like-we're-5 elevator pitch?

(and while i'm here...HI, everyone, i'm here)

fightforthefuture58 karma

Amanda, you rock, thanks for kicking this off.

So here's the deal. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is trying to push forward a proposal that would allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast and Verizon to discriminate between different websites when they deliver content to you, and to charge websites a fee for access to a so-called "Fast Lane."

If this happens, we'll lose the secret ingredient that has made the Internet so diverse, weird, and revolutionary. The net could become more like mainstream Cable TV, where a few corporations basically get to pick and choose which content gets seen by the most people.

Imagine if you went online tomorrow and all of your favorite news sites were "loading..." forever, while Comcast was offering blazing fast speeds to read (cuz they cut a deal.)

The attack on net neutrality is an attack on our ability to freely express ourselves, communicate, and create online. It's an attack on freedom of speech and freedom of press, and an attack on democracy and human rights. Whatever issues you care about, whatever your passion is, we all know the transformative power of the internet to get our ideas out there. Without the fundamental principle that has made the net a level playing field where everyone has a voice, so many other social movements would suffer. This is truly a fight for the future.

Whooh! Typed that fast. Gettin carpal tunnel. Click here if i convinced you:

amanda_palmer17 karma

to add to this, jonathan zittrain (one of my berkman fellows yesterday) came up with a beautiful image yesterday. it wasn't in response to the internet slowdown, but a general commentary about the net in general. he asked us to imagine an internet Run By Amazon in which the entire net was curated like busch gardens. walk in a gate, see everything pretty. look, there's a replica of FRANCE!

unlike the crazy-anything-goesness of today's internet.

hard to imagine it not being as random and dirty and weird and free as it is, right?


juliepsamuels6 karma

JZ's sad Internet world might end up as our reality if we don't have real net neutrality!

fightforthefuture5 karma

Hah, i am working on way too little sleep. This was my explain-it-like-i'm five for what net neutrality is.

Someone else want to chime in about the slowdown?

juliepsamuels5 karma

The slowdown is a day for us to really make our voices heard, to tell policymakers in DC that we need real net neutrality. Hundreds of websites are joining together to put the "spinning wheel of death" on their sites (without really slowing them down) -- sending their users to take action.

It's a really important moment for a crucial issue for Internet freedom, free speech, and our technology economy. We need to stand up to entrenched, wealthy incumbents in DC and let the FCC know that there is only one right answer: and it's real net neutrality.

Again, join us! More details on how here:

mmasnick18 karma

Can I do an "explain like we're 18" instead? As John Oliver noted, this is really about stopping "broadband company fuckery." The simple message: the big broadband players have an effective monopoly on access to you. And they're trying to use this monopoly to set up tollbooths from successful internet companies. That would be a massive change in how the internet works, would limit innovation, make things more expensive, and limit the kinds of new and explosive services you love.

juliepsamuels14 karma

Mike's exactly right. Think about cable -- a la carte options, where you have to pay for access to certain stations. That's what we're talking about. You'd order one package from your ISP with some websites, but would have the option to pay more for access to more and different websites. And, even worse, this would make it nearly impossible for the next great website or next great technology to get to users, especially if that website or technology comes from a small, scrappy startup (and don't they usually?). They'd have to pay the so-called "tolls" to the ISPs just to get the access to users that all the big companies would already have. This is not the Internet we want.

cammycam10 karma

Who are net neutrality's friends in Congress, and who is on the fence about it?

pesieminski14 karma

battleforthenet has a good rundown of who is on the right side of the net neutrality debate in Washington (go to "Scoreboard").

Slowly but surely, some important members of Congress are coming out in favor of net neutrality and joining Team Internet. Nancy Pelosi, for one, just the other day.

juliepsamuels5 karma

We're starting to get some real support from members of Congress--like Nancy Pelosi--but we need more! We need influential policymakers telling the FCC that they won't stand for anything short of real net neutrality. You can call your Senator and tell them that here:

joenewlin8 karma

Why are restaurant websites so terrible?

Seriously, though - I think I've done everything that was asked of the general public. I called my Congressional representative. I submitted a comment to the FCC.

What next?

juliepsamuels4 karma

Stay involved! Make your voice heard. You can call your senator here: You should let your friends and colleagues know why you care about net neutrality and ask them to submit comments, too. The thing is that it's more than just comments: we need policymakers from Congress and the White House to also put pressure on the FCC to do the right thing.

eersnherd3 karma

What is the biggest success of the net neutrality movement so far?

fightforthefuture9 karma

Well, I can't speak for the great work that Free Press and others have been doing for the last many years, but in terms of this recent fight, I think the huge victory is that all of a sudden EVERYONE is talking about Title II reclassificaton, which is the only real path the FCC can take to protect the Internet in the public interest.

When we first started fighting several months ago, we had to battle to get attention. No one was talking about Title II, very few companies were speaking out. We camped outside the FCC for 10 days during Occupy the FCC and bombarded them with millions of emails, petition signatures, and comments.

Now, we've got them on the ropes and everyone knows where the public stands. The ball is in the FCC's court. If they choose to ignore the overwhelming public outcry on this, they're exposing themselves as an agency that has no legitimacy and no longer works for the public.

juliepsamuels7 karma

We also have a broad coalition of people fighting for real net neutrality. It's internet users, startups, larger companies, gamers, creators, you name it. It's a huge movement. Which is why we can win.

Hystericat1 karma

Hi all! Where do you guys think the future of the internet is going? Do you think the free-for-all we've become accustomed to will become a distant memory? Great work everyone! (Allow me to fangirl for 2 seconds - Amanda you have made my life make so much more sense, I can't thank you enough for your music and all that you stand for).

juliepsamuels3 karma

I am really optimistic about the future of the Internet. Literally millions of people have submitted comments in support of net neutrality at the FCC this year alone. There are so many people who care about how the Internet works--as long as they all stay involved in public advocacy, I know the future will be good.

Optimus_Batman_Prime0 karma

Since a big part of the internet is composed of teenagers, what are your thoughts/hopes on the possibility that tomorrow's slowdown will inform young people about the current situation with cable companies and net neutrality?

juliepsamuels2 karma

We're always try to explain to young people why issues like net neutrality matter and why they should care. It's important that everyone across the spectrum gets involved in tomorrow's action!