Online Protesters Unite – Internet Slowdown Day

When you were browsing the internet yesterday did you notice more spinning loading icons than usual? Don’t worry, there wasn’t actually a slowdown in your service. These elements are all part of an elaborate picket protest in support of net neutrality.


Internet Slowdown Day was devised to raise public awareness of the debate over net neutrality and the efforts to ensure internet service providers and the government treat all data crossing the internet equally. Numerous democrats and internet service providers have made arguments against net neutrality.

The companies involved in this debate include but are not limited to – Mozilla, Reddit, Foursquare, Netflix and Digg. They had no intention of negatively affecting any of the user’s experience by slowing down the service which is why they chose to place loading icons within their websites instead to simulate the effect of internet slowdown and show their support for net neutrality. You can associate the online demonstration and the loading bars as website picket signs.

“On September 10th, sites across the web will display an alert with a symbolic “loading” symbol (the proverbial “spinning wheel of death”) and promote a call to action for users to push comments to the FCC, Congress, and the White House,” the nonprofit group crusade for the future mentioned on the Battle for the Net website. “This is the time to go big, visible, and strong.”

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said activists are intent on sending a message to internet service providers that they should not give special treatment, or impose additional charges based on the platform, user, application, content or site.

“This could be a very effective way of staging a protest and educating people,” Moorhead went on to say. “It’s important that people better understand the issue. This is a way to do that.”

Tumblr, not only posted a video featuring actor Mark Ruffalo who spoke in favor of internet neutrality, but the team also released their own statement pertaining to this matter.

“Long story short: The FCC is about to make a critical decision as to whether or not Internet service providers have to treat all traffic equally,” the site’s executives wrote. “If they choose wrong, then the Internet where anyone can start a Website for any reason at all, the Internet that’s been so momentous, funny, weird, and surprising — that Internet could cease to exist. Here’s your chance to preserve a beautiful thing.”

Upon visiting Netflix, a pop-up appeared with the description, “If there were Internet slow lanes, you’d still be waiting.”

Etsy, an e-commerce website that sells vintage and handmade products, had a message on its homepage stating, “Etsy opposes the FCC’s proposed rule to let big companies pay for faster access to consumers, leaving small independent businesses in the Internet slow lane. Will you join us in the fight to protect an open Internet?”