Armchair Advocacy: Fight for Net Neutrality

I’m not going to be a poser. I will happily admit you to that I just found out that September 10th was an Internet “slow down” day, to advocate for net neutrality, when I finished watching a movie on Netflix after midnight tonight and saw their floating widget announcing it.

HOWEVER. As a librarian, and as a citizen of the Internet, net neutrality is super important to me. Remember John Oliver’s plea earlier this year? What’s that? You didn’t catch it? Well, I will give you another chance:

If you saw that it was a 13 minute video and decided to skip it, do yourself a favor and think again. I’ll even give you the actual link here so that you can click and open in a new window in case my video embedding function isn’t working. It is worth the 13 minute investment and you know you’ll laugh a lot.

Netflix used a widget from the site, Battle For The Net. (That’s also what they suggested I entitle this post.) They have a convenient little function where you can grab yourself a prefab blog post or social media update in order to spread the word more quickly. I wasn’t comfortable just posting their text on my blog, without commenting myself, but I do want you to hear what they suggested I tell you. It’s not my style, but bear with them — they have good stuff to say. I have reformatted for readability:

If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do? Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?

On September 10th, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality.

Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet. If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here: else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net September 10th!

Net neutrality IS difficult to explain concisely and without putting people to sleep (but boring does not equal unimportant! I believe in you!). This is part of the reason why this quote was so long and that is why John Oliver’s video is 13 minutes. It’s also why I’m not going to lengthen this post any more with my own interpretations when these two sources have already said it so well. If this isn’t enough to start your fire, go educate yourself, decide what you think and then take action.

You don’t even have to leave your chair.


Cover Photo via Licensed for Reuse with Modification. Gif courtesy of  Battle For The Net.


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