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Netflix shows support for net neutrality and 'open internet'

Last month Netflix's CEO said the issue wasn't his company's "primary battle." Now the company plans to participate in a big protest, July 12.


Netflix showed its support Thursday for net neutrality.

James Martin/CNET

Netflix on Thursday made a show of support for net neutrality in the ongoing debate over internet traffic regulation.  

"Netflix will never outgrow the fight for #NetNeutrality," the company said on Twitter. "Everyone deserves an open Internet."

Net neutrality is the idea that internet traffic is treated equally and internet service providers can't prioritize some traffic over others.

In the tweet, the company also linked to the website of Battle for the Net, a group hosting a protest in support of net neutrality on July 12. Netflix is among the tech companies -- including Amazon, Reddit and Etsy -- participating in the protest against the FCC's proposal to roll back open internet rules.

Netflix's tweet represents a bit of a change for the company. In the past, Netflix had been a strong advocate for net neutrality. But CEO Reed Hastings said in May that net neutrality was not the company's "primary battle."

Because Netflix is such a big company, it's likely to survive any regulatory changes. The company addressed that matter in a follow-up tweet on Thursday. 

"True, Netflix popularity means we're likely not in immediate danger," the company wrote. "But supporting open Internet is still the right thing for our consumers."

A Netflix spokesman reiterated that point. "We support strong net neutrality protections, even if we are at less risk because of our popularity," he said. "There are other companies for whom this is a bigger issue, and we're joining this day of action to ensure the next Netflix has a fair shot to go the distance." 

Update, 1:22 p.m. PT: Adds comment from a Netflix spokesman.