Reddit, Vimeo and others planning ‘go slow’ day for 10 September

5 Sep 2014

Some of the US’ biggest technology companies are planning to slow down their websites on 10 September to raise awareness about the loss of net neutrality by court ruling.

The websites include Reddit, Etsy, Vimeo, Mozilla, Kickstarter and FourSquare. They have all been rather vocal over the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and are now trying to show people what their sites would look like with speed limits, according to The Guardian.

Under the ruling, internet providers could potentially slow a person’s internet connection unless he or she is willing to pay for a premium ‘fast lane’ package that could mean a reduced service for many websites that would be out of their control.

The FCC is in the middle of redrafting its net neutrality rules following increased lobbying and attempts by US internet providers, including Comcast and Verizon, to change the system that is now in place.

One of the organisations that is helping to organise the online protest, Fight for the Future, spoke to The Guardian through its representative Evan Greer. He said the slowdown is more of an attempt to explain the concept and importance of net neutrality to the general public.

“I think the three most hated words on the internet right now are ‘Please wait, loading … ’.

“Unless internet users unite in defence of net neutrality, we could be seeing those dreaded ‘loading’ wheels a lot more often on some of our favourite websites, while monopolistic companies get to decide which content gets seen by the most people.”

Reddit screen image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic