Spotify, Google, Tons of Other Companies Will Protest to Save Net Neutrality

The tech giants join Spotify, Reddit, Amazon, and the porn industry in next week's protest.

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Jul 7 2017, 6:18pm

Immagine: FreePress

Name a website or service that's part of your everyday life—music, social media, porn, news—and a company providing it has probably joined the battle for net neutrality.

Spotify, Facebook, Google, and ThinkGeek announced Friday that they'd join a "day of action" on July 12 to raise support and awareness for net neutrality. They're joining commitments made by Netflix, several pornography sites including Pornhub, and more than 180 organizations supporting a free and open internet.

Participation by Facebook and Google was first reported by Inverse. A spokesperson for Google confirmed to Motherboard that the company will participate, but would not give us specifics about the planned protest. Facebook also confirmed to Motherboard that it will participate.

The protest is organized by Fight for the Future, freepress, and Demand Progress. It's set to happen five days before the first deadline for comments on the FCC's proposal to remove the classification of broadband as a telecommunications service. It's part of FCC chief and former Verizon executive Ajit Pai's attempt to destroy what protects the internet from fast lanes and discrimination by monolithic internet service providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.

Although Fight for the Future says it hasn't had direct contact with Google and Facebook, the companies told Inverse that they are planning protest actions on the 12th.

"We've always planned to be part of it," a Google spokesperson told Inverse. Facebook's spokespeople had similar sentiments, saying it's "long been a supporter of strong net neutrality rules."

"In previous years these companies have often been on the sidelines of these fights, so we hope that they plan to do something meaningful in the spirit of the protest and educate their users about what's at stake if we lose net neutrality protections that protect our online free speech, and give them opportunities to take action," Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, said in a press release.

Each site is free to deliver its protest messaging differently, whether it's a prominent message on the site explaining the importance of net neutrality, or through notifications, videos, social media, or an intentional slowdown.

Wednesday is set to become an internet-wide rally to keep the internet just the way we like it: on a big, weird, level playing field.