Earlier this week, Apple unveiled the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch in a live-streamed event marred by a bevy of technical issues. And, the Internet promptly erupted with people taking to Twitter to voice their frustration. Just one day later, the Internet slowed to a halt.
No, it wasn’t your router or Internet connection. Organized by Battle For The Net, the September 10th Internet Slowdown was a national protest event in which companies all over the Internet symbolically slowed down their websites and services in support of Net Neutrality.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the idea that all content from companies, websites, streaming services, etc. on the web should be delivered to users at the same speed. Proponents warn that without Net Neutrality, Internet Service Providers (ISP) could potentially prioritize content and charge higher rates to companies, websites and content providers for faster delivery. The Internet Slowdown aimed to show what a closed, tiered or non-neutral Internet could look like.
So, who participated? Netflix, Vimeo, Foursquare, Etsy, ACLU, Greenpeace, Kickstarter, Reddit, Tumblr – these were just a few of the companies and organizations that promoted the Internet Slowdown by adding “loading” icons and banners to their websites. Individuals also used code snippets from www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th to add Internet Slowdown banners to their own personal websites and blogs. In social media, #InternetSlowdown trended all day and people showed their support by replacing their profile pictures with “loading” icons.
As the Internet Slowdown grew to be pervasive across the web, supporters hoped that the demonstration raised enough awareness to convince lawmakers and the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) to keep Net Neutrality alive.