Tech companies large and small have pledged support to Red Alert for Net Neutrality, a movement organized by the Fight for the Future digital rights organization, with the hope of convincing the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of overturning the FCC's repeal of net neutrality regulations.
Much of the tech industry was vocal about its opposition to FCC chairman Ajit Pai's plan to repeal Obama-era net neutrality protections since its revelation. Doing away with these regulations would make it easier for ISPs to charge people more to access popular services, separate traffic into "fast" and "slow" lanes, and give their first-party services preferential treatment by, say, not counting the data they use against their caps.
The back-and-forth over net neutrality eventually grew into its own little drama series. The FCC claimed that "Last Week Tonight" brought down its comments section, while others said bots were using those comments to make it seem like Americans supported net neutrality repeal even though most did not. Many organizations banded together to oppose the FCC's plan, but that didn't stop the commission from moving forward.
In the months since, individual states have worked on their own net neutrality regulations to create a patchwork system that emulates something we already had in place. This approach has its limitations, though, especially in that some states will offer strong net neutrality protections while others will leave consumers to fend for themselves. Overturning the FCC's repeal is the U.S.' best chance at comprehensive net neutrality rules.
Fight for the Future wants to push the Senate towards overturning the FCC's repeal. That's why it announced Red Alert for Net Neutrality, which will see participating websites and services display a "red alert" to their users. This alert is supposed to make it easy for people to find out who their representatives are and how they can make sure their voices are heard. Fight for the Future said in a blog post that:
The protest was just announced, but already Reddit, Mozilla, Etsy, Tumblr, Postmates, Vimeo, Foursquare, Twilio, Private Internet Access, Imgur, Fark, BoingBoing, and Gandi.net have said they plan to participate. Thousands of other large and small websites are expected to join. Companies and organizations will display prominent messages on their homepages or in their apps, while Internet users will be encouraged to flood social media with “red alert” messages, and change their avatars.
Red Alert for Net Neutrality kicks off on May 9. Fight for the Future said the movement will continue until the U.S. Senate concludes its vote.