Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Google, Facebook Join Wednesday's Massive Net Neutrality Protest

A sign reading Google, Facebook Join Wednesday's Massive Net Neutrality Protest
Sherri Watson | 11 July, 2017, 07:28

A large number of prominent internet-based companies are gearing up for Net Neutrality Day, preparing messages against those who would revoke current internet legislation created to protect online free speech and innovation. But this week, they confirmed they will join other companies in telling consumers to oppose the FCC's plan to tear up the current rules.

Until now, Google and Facebookâ€"which have been staunch supporters of net neutrality in the pastâ€"have stayed out of the debate".

Among the July 12 actions will be alerts that suggest ISPs are slowing the site or charging for access-though neither will be the case-and mobile app push notifications so they can warn their app users that "big ISPs" are trying to slow down their app or control their access.

As a deadline approaches for comments on new rules for how the government regulates Internet service, Facebook Inc.

Google, Facebook Join Wednesday's Massive Net Neutrality Protest

Vimeo's website is participating in the July 12 Internet Action Day to protest FCC chair Ajit Pai's proposal to reclassify internet access, wired and wireless, and interconnections, as an information service not subject to Title II common-carrier regulations, as well as to eliminate the general conduct standard and reconsider whether the bright-line rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization are necessary.

Pai contends that the government should move back to the "light-touch regulatory framework" that the Clinton administration put in place during the 1990's.

And while Google and Facebook have traditionally but quietly been on the wrong end of this conversation for years, company spokespeople have said they'll be joining the proceedings on Wednesday. Those sites have billions of users and that many people are hard to ignore. Between Facebook threads and YouTube comment sections, you could read a hundreds ad hominem attacks before you even have a chance to post something yourself. In the past, web companies have urged users to sign online petitions or contact public officials. Organizations participating include Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund, Demand Progress, Center for Media Justice, EFF, Internet Association, Internet Archive, World Wide Web Foundation, Creative Commons, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Greenpeace, Common Cause, ACLU, Rock the Vote, American Library Association, Daily Kos, OpenMedia, The Nation, PCCC, MoveOn, OFA, Public Knowledge, OTI, Color of Change, MoveOn, Free Software Foundation, Internet Creators Guild, the Women's March, and many others.