Reddit, Amazon Push For 'Day Of Action' On July 12 To Protest The Killing Of Net Neutrality

from the something-vaguely-resembling-accountability dept

So as we've been noting, a lot of people remain under the impression that companies like Google and Netflix still support net neutrality, and they'll be rushing in any moment now to help thwart the FCC's latest attempt to kill the rules. In reality, Techdirt readers know that Google hasn't actually supported net neutrality since around 2010 or so. Netflix, also perceived as a consumer ally on the subject, made it clear recently that it no longer sees the need to fight for net neutrality now that it's an international video powerhouse. The company's shift from disruption engines to slightly myopic legacy turf protectors should surprise nobody.

That said, Google and Netflix's departure from the conversation left many net neutrality advocates wondering if any bigger companies would be willing to lend a hand in the latest chapter in the debate. Amazon managed to answer that question this week by throwing its weight behind a July 12 "Day of Action" being coordinated by consumer advocacy group Fight For the Future. According to the group's website, Amazon will join Reddit, Etsy, the ACLU, California ISP Sonic, Mozilla, Kickstarter, BitTorrent, Github and Vimeo for a day of protest -- both online and off -- against the FCC's plan to gut the popular consumer protections.

The plan appears to be to mirror the Internet Slowdown Day back in 2014. You'll recall that that effort, which involved numerous major websites warning their visitors about the threat to net neutrality via site banners, helped convince Tom Wheeler to stop half-assing things, and classify ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act (giving them the adequate legal authority to enforce the rules). His decision was subsequently supported by the courts.

The problem, of course, is that Tom Wheeler was a bit of a rare bird in technology government policy circles. In that when presented with quality evidence that conflicted with his world view, he was actually willing to change his position and do the right thing -- even in the face of giant ISP lobbying pressure. It's part of the reason that Wheeler went from dingo to internet hero in relatively short order, breaking free of a long line of timid, bipartisan telecom industry sycophants heading the agency. There's zero indication so far that new FCC boss Ajit Pai has any of the qualities that made Wheeler popular.

Still, the companies and consumer advocacy firms hope the effort can still generate something vaguely resembling SOPA-esque accountability for Pai's plan to ignore the public interest and kill the rules:

"The effort is led by many of the grassroots organizations who have organized the largest online protests in history including the SOPA blackout and the Internet Slowdown," notes Fight the Future. "The day of action will focus on grassroots mobilization, with public interest groups activating their members and major web platforms providing their visitors with tools to contact Congress and the FCC."

The FCC is fielding comments on its plans to kill net neutrality until August 18, ahead of a finalizing vote to kill the rules later this year.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:36pm

    Is Techdirt going to attend too?
    What else is Techdirt doing, besides words?
    What specific actions?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 7:30am

      Re:

      TD has been doing the leg work to help us understand the issue. Its helped me to better express our my thoughts on the matter.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      OGquaker, 9 Jun 2017 @ 2:42pm

      Re: What else is Techdirt doing, besides words?

      Mike has a plastic 3D of himself printing right now (this oversize two meter clone will take a while) which, if completed by 12 July, will be available at box.com for you and everyone's wordless protest.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:46pm

    bezos for neutrality? same schmuck who censored wikileaks?

    what's next? nytimes for truth?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:54pm

      Re:

      that and the "you can't say that here" and "we are not a bastion of free speech" reddit.

      It's sad when hypocrites are leading the charge, but it is typical these days.

      Where is that basket at?
      Which one?
      The one going to hell!
      Why?
      I want in it!
      Why?
      Because everyone else is in it... dUh?!?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 2:08pm

        Re: Re:

        true story, spanish conquistadors just after columbus caught native cacique and gave him an ultimatum: convert to christianity, or get killed and go to hell. he asked where spaniards will go. upon hearing that they go to heaven, he opted hell.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Aaron Walkhouse (profile), 8 Jun 2017 @ 4:19pm

          He chose wisely. ‌‌ As they sit and fret, unprotected in Hell,
          thinking it's their catholic "purgatory" he's now sleeping peacefully
          in a small, protected Hell precinct called "paradise" or "bosom
          of Abraham".

          The protection? ‌‌ Hell is where Satan "roams as a roaring lion,
          seeking whom he may devour." ‌‌ He may not rule there, but
          only "paradise" protects it's inhabitants from that desperately
          cranky loser, and that chief got the courtesy simply by being
          murdered by those antichristians on the basis of their religion.

          Here endeth a lesson in scriptural obscurities… ‌‌ ;]

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 4:02pm

        Re: Re:

        It's almost like net neutrality and moderation of a private platform/website have nothing to do with each other.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 8 Jun 2017 @ 3:05pm

      Re:

      bezos for neutrality? same schmuck who censored wikileaks?

      I'll bite. What does that have to do with net neutrality?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ShadowNinja (profile), 8 Jun 2017 @ 2:02pm

    I wonder if NetFlix is going to get GoDaddied

    Reading around Reddit and elsewhere, I wonder if this day of action will get expanded to boycott some large web/tech companies that flipped on the issue to opposing net neutrality.

    The most obvious target being Netflix, because of their CEO's speech about Net Neutrality, and how they look like hypocrites now. I've seen a number of people at reddit talking about canceling their netflix subscriptions over it.

    GoDaddy backed down from their SOPA backing from a scheduled day to leave GoDaddy, the same could happen to NetFlix and potentially other tech/web companies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 2:03pm

    Boycott Google.
    Boycott Netflix.

    Your ancestors shed their blood for a better world. The least you can do is use a different app.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Darkhog, 8 Jun 2017 @ 2:03pm

    I may be a "small bird", but...

    I will be participating via tweeting messages about what will happen if net neutrality will be destroyed. From both my account (@thedarkhog) and from the account of my upcoming indie game (@VirusSimulator). Was any hashtag decided on for this purpose?

    Due to my role as indie dev, my tweets will be mostly in conjunction with what will happen to indie devs if net neutrality will be repelled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chip, 8 Jun 2017 @ 2:51pm

    I TOLD YOU SO!!!

    I TOLD YOU ALL THIS WOULD HAPPEN!

    I'm not exactly clear on when I told you, or what "this" I am referring to, or who "you all" are that I am addressing. But I'm damn sure of one thing: I definitely told you all this would happen!

    Every nation Eats the paint chips it Deserves!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 3:14pm

      Re: I TOLD YOU SO!!!

      "Every nation Eats the paint chips it Deserves!"

      You are a poster boy for your own slogan. Well done!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Chip, 8 Jun 2017 @ 3:43pm

        Re: Re: I TOLD YOU SO!!!

        Screw government regulations! They say you're not supposed to eat lead paint, but I do it all the time and I submarine lightbulb just fork!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 6:12am

      Re: I TOLD YOU SO!!!

      Also applicable...
      every nation drinks the leaded water it deserves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 6:08pm

    Hate to think this way

    I hate to think this way, but I don't think Amazon joining in is really going to affect that much. The Fix is In, and NN is going to go the way of the dodo. Too many politicians with their hands out, and too many dollars from the telecoms pouring into re-election coffers means that by any measure, this is going no where but the garbage heap.

    When was the last time you remember a majority of Republicans supported consumers over Big Business? And don't tell me repealing Obama Care.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 8 Jun 2017 @ 6:54pm

      Re: Hate to think this way

      When was the last time you remember a majority of Republicans supported consumers over Big Business?

      When they got a bunch of angry calls about SOPA.

      I agree that Pai doesn't give a fuck what the public thinks. But he's not up for reelection in 17 months.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Discuss It (profile), 8 Jun 2017 @ 11:02pm

      Re: Hate to think this way

      I've registered with the user name of discussitlive

      Not sure who is calling me out for what, so I guess I'll get an account so it's not so ambiguous anymore.

      I work with alphabet soup agencies, so I really hate to tie myself to "things". I don't like the way they think and I don't like the kind of conclusions they draw from the most trivial of "evidence".

      Look, I don't want to say all I think because 99.9999 percent will tell me that my tin foil hat is too tight and I should loosen it so the blood can circulate.

      I wish I had the confidence that would take. Unfortunately, I see the sausage being made. I know what goes into the grinder. "If you see what I see, if you know what I know..."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    My_Name_Here, 8 Jun 2017 @ 9:26pm

    I believe in you, Ajit Pai.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Chip, 8 Jun 2017 @ 9:41pm

      Re:

      I really can't tell the difference between you and the guy who posts under your name to make fun of you anymore.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 8 Jun 2017 @ 9:46pm

        Re: Re:

        At this point I think the best solution, given it's impossible to tell the difference and the 'real' one is always chiding people for falling for the 'fake', is to assume that anyone posting under the name is the 'fake' and just ignore them.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          The Wanderer (profile), 12 Jun 2017 @ 8:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one article where both of them (distinguished by snowflake-image) were calling the other one out as fake.

          I'm starting to wonder whether they're really just one person posting from two separate places in order to create plausible deniability and add to the confusion. I'm not at all convinced of that, you understand, but the possibility has raised itself in my mind.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 1:03am

    I wonder how long it takes for their badge of honours to get sent through the mail

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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