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Net Neutrality advocates gather in Valley Glen, California, November 28.
Kyle Grillot/Reuters
It’s almost over.
NET NEUTRALITY

There’s one day left to “Break the Internet” in order to save it

Karen Hao
By Karen Hao

Junior Data Scientist & Contributor

The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote tomorrow (Dec.14) on ending net neutrality in the US, a move that would allow internet service providers to charge higher fees to content providers for faster data connections.

Critics say the vote would undermine the fundamental idea of an open internet, by allowing bigger players to pay for “fast lanes” and squeezing out smaller players who couldn’t afford it. Supporters say net neutrality’s demise would benefit low-income consumers because ISPs would begin offering more low-cost options once they could charge bigger companies more to send their data.

Barring any last-minute changes, the FCC’s proposal to repeal the Obama-era rules will likely pass. But that hasn’t stopped a groundswell of activity aimed at trying to pressure Congress, which could either reverse the FCC’s decision or, in a less likely scenario, impose a new set of net-neutrality rules. Legal challenges to the FCC are seen as inevitable.

With a day left to spare, a campaign to “Break the Internet” is fervently underway. Here are some of the strategies being undertaken:

Major sites, like Reddit, Kickstarter, and Porbhub, are altering their pages to call for action

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Consumers are posting threads on Reddit about how much money their senators took from ISPs

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Social media is getting flooded with posts to raise awareness about the vote

People are changing their profile pictures and names on Twitter to “#StoptheFCC”

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Protestors around the country are taking it off-line for street demonstrations

Yuri Gripas/Reuters
Net-neutrality advocates rally in front of the Federal Communications Commission offices in Washington D.C., Dec. 13, 2017.
Kyle Grillot/Reuters
Net-neutrality advocates protest the FCC proposal in Los Angeles, California, Nov. 28, 2017.
Mary Altaffer/AP
Net-neutrality supporters rally in New York, Dec. 7, 2017.
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