Red Alert: How the internet is supporting net neutrality

You've probably been asked by a website to contact senators about the net neutrality repeal. Find out which sites are taking part, and what they’re actually doing.

Morgan Little Senior Director, Audience
Morgan leads the teams managing CNET's presence and content across social media, news platforms and more after stints in the marketing world and LA Times. Eventually his last byline on the site will be about something other than Godzilla
Morgan Little
3 min read

If you visited Reddit, Tumblr or any number of other sites today, you probably noticed a call to action to save net neutrality. The Red Alerts, part of a campaign to salvage the policy, have been spread across the web and ask individuals to contact their senators ahead of an expected vote on net neutrality.

Reddit is the center of a number of pro-net neutrality protests, with individual subreddits hosting their own variations of the Red Alert event. r/Politics, for example, will be home to an AMA with Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, at 2:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. PT) Wednesday. You can follow along with the AMA here, and as expected, the questions have been highly critical of the FCC's vote to repeal net neutrality.

And any moderators late to the net neutrality action can learn how to set their sub on Red Alert here.

Foursquare, in partnership with Shutterstock, Tinder, Vimeo and Warby Parker, is targeting individuals in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana and Nevada. Those five states are home to senators vital to the Senate's net neutrality vote. Foursquare claims that by the time the Senate votes on the resurrection of the net neutrality policies, 26 million people will have been reached by ads like this.


Tumblr, warning "it may be our last chance" to save net neutrality had this Red Alert post Wednesday.

And Netflix has previously shown its support for net neutrality, particularly as it faces the potential for internet service providers to slow down its service in favor of its rivals, as has the ACLU.

Even Tim Berners-Lee, credited as the man who brought into being the World Wide Web and the first internet browser, tweeted his continued support for net neutrality policies.

Senate Democrats took to Twitter as well, trumpeting their efforts to bring net neutrality to the floor (complete with a Red Alert icon).

The Red Alert campaign itself is part of the Battle for the Net initiative, led by the digital advocacy nonprofit Fight for the Future. The group is rallying support for a day of (real world) net neutrality protests occurring Monday, May 14.

But those efforts aren't going unopposed. Even though the Office of Management and Budget has yet to officially sign off on the specific clauses of the net neutrality repeal, Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai and the White House have shown little indication of backing down. Under the current net neutrality repeal, the FCC would hand responsibility to the Federal Trade Commission, and ISPs would be given a relatively free window with which to make decisions about Internet service provider AT&T may even ask the Supreme Court to prevent the Federal Trade Commission from policing net neutrality at all

Other proponents are trying to keep it alive. The Senate passed the Congressional Review Act, a way to overrule the agency. (Find out how every senator voted here.) But it faces an uphill battle, with the CRA still needing approval from the House and President Trump. 

Looking even further back, it's not like this is the first time prominent sites and advocacy groups have partnered to bring attention to net neutrality, with little legislative success so far.

And yes, since you were obviously going to ask, consistent net neutrality supporter PornHub is part of the Red Alert campaign too. But we'll let you confirm that on your own time.


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