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Massive 'Break the Internet' Revolt This Week to 'Save Net Neutrality'

Major websites and social media platforms are teaming up for an "epic" online demonstration to show what the web would look like without net neutrality

Jake Johnson

Many major websites have been working in conjunction with activists to drive calls to Congress since the day Pai unveiled his plan to eliminate net neutrality rules just before Thanksgiving. Last week, internet users flooded the front page of Reddit with posts to shaming their representatives for selling out to the telecom industry. (Photo: Battle for the Net)

In addition to making their voices heard in the streets, net neutrality defenders have planned a massive online demonstration this week ahead of the FCC's scheduled vote on chairman Ajit Pai's deeply unpopular plan to kill the open internet, which critics have denounced as "naked corporatism."

"The FCC is days away from voting to kill net neutrality, but Congress can still stop them. On December 12th we'll #BreakTheInternet to stop censorship, throttling, and extra fees."
—Zephyr Teachout

Slated to begin Tuesday—and continue through to the scheduled vote by the Republican-controlled FCC on Thursday—the "Break the Internet" protest is aimed at showing "the world what the web will look like without net neutrality."

The demonstrations will vary widely, depending on the platform. "Facebook and LinkedIn users will 'break' their profiles by changing their relationship status to 'Married' (to net neutrality) or adding a new 'job' of 'Defending Net Neutrality,'" Fight for the Future noted in a press release on Monday. "Websites and apps will participate by doing something to 'break' their platform and encourage their users to contact Congress."

Many major websites have been working in conjunction with activists to drive calls to Congress since the day Pai unveiled his plan to eliminate net neutrality rules just before Thanksgiving. According to Battle for the Net, over 833,000 calls have been made since November 21.

Last week, internet users flooded the front page of Reddit with posts shaming their representatives for selling out to the telecom industry—and applauding those who have stood firm in their support for net neutrality.

More of the same is expected on Tuesday, as websites large and small will use their platforms to mobilize further opposition to Pai's attack on net neutrality with a variety of tools—from simple banners warning that the "FCC is about to vote to kill net neutrality" to video bumpers demonstrating "the kind of power that giant cable companies will have over us if we let the FCC end net neutrality rules."

Individual supporters of net neutrality have also been encouraged to participate by flooding congressional phone lines and using their platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and sites to raise alarm about the devastating consequences Pai's proposals will have on the web.

Using the hashtag #BreaktheInternet, many have taken to Twitter to promote the upcoming demonstration and encourage others to take part.


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