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Why You'll See Red Alerts Across The Web This Week

Net neutrality rules have existed since 2015 to ensure that all online content loads at the same speed and has an equal chance of being seen.

"In December, the FCC voted to repeal the rules, a decision viewed as catastrophic by many in tech, the music industry, and elsewhere in government." (Photo: Shauna gm/Twitter)

"In December, the FCC voted to repeal the rules, a decision viewed as catastrophic by many in tech, the music industry, and elsewhere in government." (Photo: Shauna gm/Twitter)

The home pages of Pornhub, Etsy, and Reddit will look a little different this Wednesday, May 9. The unlikely trio, along with 36 other companies, will join in a "red alert," calling on the Senate to block the FCC's decision to repeal net neutrality.
 
A brief refresher: Net neutrality rules have existed since 2015, when the FCC put them in place under President Obama to ensure that all online content loads at the same speed and has an equal chance of being seen. The rules prevent internet service providers, such as Verizon and Time Warner, from acting as internet gatekeepers and prioritizing higher-paying apps and websites.
 
In December, the FCC voted to repeal the rules, a decision viewed as catastrophic by many in tech, the music industry, and elsewhere in government. Then, in March, Senate Democrats introduced a resolution against the repeal. On Wednesday, as senators present a petition to force a vote on the resolution, the red alert goes live. So far, 50 senators have expressed their support, meaning that only one more vote is needed for the resolution to go to the House of Representatives.
 
The red alert, hosted by Free Press Action Fund, Fight for the Future, and Demand Congress, is calling on individuals to contact Congress in a show of support for the resolution. Companies supporting the effort will post red banners online, both on their websites and on social media. This is not the first time companies have rallied behind net neutrality: Silicon Valley powerhouses including Google, Twitter, and Facebook joined the Net Neutrality Day of Action last summer.
 
For a look at where your senators and representatives stand on the issue and to contact them directly, head here.

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Madeline Buxton

Madeline Buxton is a tech editor for Refinery29. Follow her on Twitter: @MadelineBuxton

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