INTERNET HEAVYWEIGHTS including Kickstarter and Mozilla are joining in a day of action to campaign for the preservation of net neutrality.
Major websites including Etsy, Kickstarter, Foursquare, Wordpress, Vimeo, Reddit, Mozilla, Imgur, Meetup, Cheezburger, Namecheap, Bittorrent, Gandi.net, StartPage, Boingboing, and Dwolla will take part in the protest that is due to take place on 10 September, just five days before the new deadline for comments to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about net neutrality.
Participating websites will display "site loading" messages, hour-glasses and other iconography to represent the internet as they believe it will appear if the FCC abandons net neutrality.
The symbolic "spinning wheel of death" will be seen on home pages, social media avatars, apps and anywhere else that participants choose to share it.
Fight For The Future, which is organising the campaign, is keen to stress that using the animated symbols won't really slow your website down, but will simply raise public awareness.
The FCC has extended the deadline for comments on proposals to allow "fast lane" traffic on the internet for paying customers, a move that has been derided by all except large internet service providers (ISPs), which stand to profit from the arrangement, and FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, himself an ex-cable industry lobbyist.
Streaming service Netflix, which has been scapegoated by cable companies as the cause of the need for fast lanes, has begun to pay for direct access for its services, a halfway house to paid prioritisation, which its CEO Reed Hastings has repeatedly said it is doing out of necessity rather than endorsement.
Anyone interested in taking part in the campaign can find more information at https://www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th/. µ
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