The Internet Is Going to Look a Bit Different Tomorrow Because of Net Neutrality

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Among the many horrible things worth worrying about in politics right now, including the potential ruination of health care, the FCC is still moving towards reversing President Obama-era rules on net neutrality. Whether for altruistic reasons or out of self interest—or likely both—many entities across the web will be making a show of their support for actual net neutrality, rather than what the current FCC is peddling.

In the past, sites and services have protested in favor of net neutrality in various ways, including the addition of fake loading graphics meant to demonstrate a world in which some internet traffic is intentionally slower than others, as decided by Internet Service Providers. Consumers would, of course, be the ones to decide if their ISP’s terms are acceptable, but that’s not much of an actual choice for many people whose selection of different providers is limited or nonexistent.

So, across the Internet tomorrow, for a Net Neutrality Day of Action, there will be protests once more to show the FCC that, hey, we meant it last time around and don’t want the “Title II” classification rolled back—a classification that, in simple terms, put ISPs under public utility-like oversight to prevent them from messing with things too much to squeeze more dollars out of online businesses and customers. If your enjoyment of some of your favorite places on the internet is momentarily interrupted with protest messages and imagery mimic a site being slowed down or blocked altogether, now you know why. There’s not a lot we can do except protest, though, with an FCC sporting new members who have been out to roll back the previous victory from the start.

That doesn’t mean they have to listen, but hopefully the major companies joining in, including Netflix, Amazon, Google, and Facebook, can make them, along with the individual people they can push into action. On the other hand, companies like AT&T are also joining in to support net neutrality … by spreading misinformation to promote the idea that what’s best for them and ISPs like them is good for net neutrality and the rest of us.

If you want to help out, there’s still time to go comment on the FCC’s rules to let them know how you feel.

(via Gizmodo, image: Blaise Alleyne)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.