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July 12th was the Net Neutrality Day Of Action. It was hoped to be the largest online protest in history, but did big tech companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Netflix drop the ball on promoting it?
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July 12th 2017 was the “Net Neutrality Day of Action”. Organized by the Fight For The Future, the goal of this day was to generate a large wave of calls and emails to the FCC in support of protecting existing Net Neutrality laws.
The hype around this Day of Action was huge, with several news outlets reporting that this would probably be the largest online protest in history. NPR and NY Times reported that many tech giants, including Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, and Google, would be joining into the fray. For once, I was actually looking forward to seeing loading wheels all across the web to show what the web could look like if the FCC were to eleminate net neutrality.
Unfortanutely, the protests did not live up to the hype. Of the “tech giants” listed in most news blurbs, many like Facebook and Google didn’t have a single mention of net neutrality prominently displayed on their site. Zuckerberg wrote a personal post about it, but if you don’t follow him, you wouldn’t have seen it.
Others, like Netflix and Spotify had banners, that were easy to miss and probably didn’t even show up if you were viewing through the app on your phone or console
Reddit had a clever little gif that loaded in the header, but when you clicked it for more info, it took you to reddit.com. Not a blog post about net neutrality. Not battleforthenet.com
When you clicked on the link for more info, it took you back to the front page of reddit.com.
But it wasn’t all a big waste, Fight for the Future is claiming that over 3 million calls and emails were sent in as a result of this day of action. That’s pretty close to the 3.7 million generated during the Internet Slowdown action that happened in 2014.
On the bright side, it seems like some of the sites with the most prominent Day Of Action banners were WordPress sites, thanks to an open source WordPress plugin that put a dramatic call to action on the front page of your site. Many sites like BoingBoing, WP Tavern, and our own Torque Magazine used versions of this code to help drive comments to the FCC in support of maintaining net neutrality protections.
What do you think of Net Neutrality Day of Action? Was it a bigger success than former online protests like the SOPA Internet Blackout or the Internet Slowdown of 2014 or should tech giants have done more to help drive public interest? Let us know in the comments below
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