On July 12 many Internet users are going to encounter a message similar to one of the images you see below.
Either the message will call for action – if it’s presented by a website or an app, or it would help raise awareness and represent an identification with the cause – if it’s presented by a social media user for example.
The issue being raised, or more accurately, being protested is called Net neutrality.
About Net Neutrality
In essence, as you may or may not know, there’s a certain principle applied today to the Internet called Net neutrality in which ISPs and governments are committed to treat all data on the Internet equally.
So for instance due to that principle, they cannot discriminate or charge differently on the basis of: user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.
On the face of it, this seems like the fairest way to handle the precious boon of Internet and the power it holds for each and everyone of us. However, not everyone perceive it that way.
There are few examples where Net neutrality was temporarily broken and the implications were then favoring one side while putting down the other. To give you an idea, such was the case when AT&T limited access to FaceTime so that only those users who paid for new shared data plans could access the application – pretty obvious which side gained and which lost in this case.
There are other cases as well, however not to vilify the large companies in comparison to the public, it’s also important to remember Net neutrality means some companies can’t fully realize their profits potential as they are being regulated and regulation also may harm free markets.
Though on the other hand, the regulation also prevents from widening socio-economical gaps that exists nowadays.
So you probably realize by now, this is a complex, multifaceted issue and perhaps not as simple is it may seem on first impression.
What’s Going To Happen On July 12
The United States FCC (Federal Communications Commission) which regulates interstate and international communications in the country has voted to role back Net neutrality regulations.
In a final attempt to reverse the decision, many companies and organizations – Twitter, reddit, Amazon, Netflix and many more – have organized a day of protest in which US citizens could send a strong message to the congress, expressing and potentially convincing the members not to proceed with the decision.
As we’ve been witnessing lately, what happens in one region of the world may have serious repercussions on the rest of the world. Thus if it’s important to you, you may consider participating in the protest in your own way.
Not waiting for July 12 to begin, you can subscribe now here and join the protest.