Today is a national day of action, but you likely won't see people protesting in the streets and carrying signs. Instead, this fight is taking place across the web, where some of the biggest tech companies, including Google and Twitter, are urging people to get involved in Net Neutrality Day of Action.
In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission put a series of net neutrality rules in place, which protect the openness and freedom of speech online. These rules make it so that no one company has the power to control the Internet and reach users more easily than another. Supporters of net neutrality say that without these rules, ISPs, or Internet Service Providers, could prioritize certain pieces of content online — and allow certain kinds of pages to load faster.
"Thanks in part to net neutrality, the open internet has grown to become an unrivaled source of choice, competition, innovation, free expression, and opportunity," Google wrote in a blog post. "And it should stay that way."
Right now, net neutrality is at risk of being rolled back. Those against net neutrality say it threatens online innovation, and FCC Chairman and Ajit Pai (a former Verizon employee) has proposed less regulatory measures in response to these demands. In April, President Trump signed a resolution repealing online privacy protections and giving telecommunication companies more control over user data.
Head to Reddit today and you'll see the following pop-up appear onscreen, urging people to join the fight for keeping net neutrality rules in place:
According to the BBC, other sites taking action include Facebook, Snapchat, and PornHub.
If you want your voice to be heard, there's an important step you can take. Head to the FCC website and click on the +Express hyperlink under "Restoring Internet Freedom." There, you can leave comments.
Over the course of today, expect to see plenty of banners and notifications across some of the most highly trafficked sites. You might even experience slower service from some, as a demonstration of what browsing could be like without net neutrality in place.