Vimeo, Kickstarter GCs Encourage Participation in One-Day Online Protest Over Net Neutrality

Some of the most popular websites and apps might look a little different to users on Wednesday when they log in.

That's because some of the tech industry's heaviest hitters, including Google, Facebook and Amazon, have joined hundreds of other websites in an online protest against the Trump administration's planned rollback of net neutrality rules, which keep internet service providers from creating fast lanes for content delivery.

While some of these companies declined to elaborate on what their involvement would look like, others got a head start. On Monday, Twitter tweeted its support of the "Day of Action" protest, encouraging, via a GIF, users to use the hashtag "net neutrality." Reddit published a blog post, highlighting the fact that it launched last month a net-neutrality themed edition of its popular "Ask Me Anything" series as a lead-up to the Day of Action. The series brought together politicians, journalists and open internet advocates to discuss why an open internet is important, according to the blog post. 

Vimeo's general counsel got in on the action, authoring a blog post encouraging Vimeo creators and others to "join the fight to protect our free, open, weird internet." The post written by Michael Cheah asked readers to file their own comments with the Federal Communications Commission and to share with others a video and images featuring thoughts from the Vimeo community about the importance of net neutrality.

"Vimeo is the home to so many creators and an unlimited supply of creativity," Cheah wrote. "Vimeo creators don't have to seek permission to make and innovate—they just do it. And they continue to flourish because they don't have to worry about ISP interference."

Kickstarter GC Michal Rosenn also weighed in, telling the Los Angeles Times: "Hopefully this is going to be another really big moment in showing how widespread support for net neutrality is and demonstrating the power of representative government."

Most participating websites are expected to post messages to their home pages or send notifications to mobile app users about the dangers of an internet without net neutrality. They're also expected to encourage visitors to contact the FCC, urging the agency to leave in place the Obama-era regulations that require internet service providers to treat all internet traffic equally and prevent them from blocking, impairing or establishing slower connections to lawful content.