It’s a desperate, flashy tactic, and one that’s historically brought success, helping to save the net from the scourge of SOPA in 2012 and to defend net neutrality in 2014.
Today’s protests are, by comparison, particularly last-minute and particularly dire, just 48 hours before the FCC’s announced plans to repeal net neutrality protections on Thursday, which appear to be proceeding unabated.
The organizers have also provided instructions for rank-and-file web users to join the protest by screaming into the void with premeditated hashtags or, cleverly, by gaming Facebook’s algorithm to announce their upcoming marriage to net neutrality.
All this comes just a week after nationwide, real-life protests saw demonstrators gather outside local Verizon stores to object to the telecom giant’s influence and, more pointedly, to its alumnus Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman who will preside over the net neutrality repeal.
The industry is simultaneously working to repeal anything that holds them to those standards and ignoring their own previous attempts at exactly the sort of behavior that net neutrality prohibits.
Concentration of power around already established service providers brings all sorts of problems even with net neutrality in place.
The repeal of net neutrality is not a catastrophic event that will immediately and clearly shatter the web, but it is the installation of a lens that will focus and intensify the internet’s worst qualities at a more fundamental level than ever before.
The end of net neutrality could start a slide that t’s no coming back from.
In a moment w the giants of the internet are shuddering under their own weight, and virtually every combination of cable companies has either merged or attempted to, the repeal of net neutrality lends all parties involved the ability to leverage their power into more power.