Americans are not ready to give up on net neutrality just yet. In December 2017, the Federal Communications Commissions voted to repeal a set of rules and regulations dubbed net neutrality, effectively giving the internet back to internet service providers, companies such as Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.
The repeal has, somewhat predictably, caused a major public backlash. This is hardly a surprise. The University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation published a poll a few days before the repeal had received a vote, showing that overwhelming bipartisan majority of surveyed respondents opposes the repeal.
FCC’s refusal to compromise has not stunted net neutrality activism — quite the opposite. It seems to have fueled it. Reddit, one of the largest websites in the world, has become the epicenter of unprecedented online activism. “Reddit users care about net neutrality, and the organic voting patterns we observed around these events showed it,” director of policy Jessica Ashooh and data scientist Michael Gardner wrote in a blog post.
It is not just Reddit users that are joining the battle for the internet, the company is as well. But, Reddit is not alone in its pursuits. Medium, Etsy, Tumblr, DuckDuckGo, and others are not giving up on net neutrality either. According to the Verge, these companies have joined organizations such as Free Press Action Fund, Demand Progress, and Fight for the Future.
What is perhaps the largest and most significant online protest to save net neutrality yet, is taking place today, February 27. The protests are called Operation: #OneMoreVote.
“The FCC is repealing net neutrality, but we can stop them by using the Congressional Review Act (CRA). We need one more vote to win in the Senate, and we’re launching an Internet-wide push to get it.”
What is the Congressional Review Act (CRA)? The CRA allows Congress to overrule federal regulations issued by government agencies, like the Federal Communications Commission. The goal of Operation: #OneMoreVote is to obtain the final vote needed to pass a CRA. This could block the net neutrality repeal.
#OneMoreVote is still not trending on Twitter, but thousands have already tweeted messages with this hashtag, expressing their support. The clock is ticking, so hundreds of companies, celebrities, and politicians have done their part, in an effort to save a free, equal, and open internet.
FCC chair Ajit Pai has repeatedly defended the repeal. In an interview with CNBC published today, Pai criticized the public’s response to FCC’s repeal, calling it “fear mongering,” and arguing that “the internet still works.”