Internet Slowdown Day

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A "spinning wheel of death" used to promote Internet Slowdown Day

Internet Slowdown Day, part of the "Battle for the Net" initiative,[1] was a series of coordinated protests organized to promote net neutrality and regulations for the equal treatment of Internet traffic, occurring on September 10, 2014.[2] The official site explains: "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."[3]

"Contrary to what the name suggests, Internet Slowdown Day didn't actually slow down the Internet, or even any of the Web sites involved. Instead, the sites displayed the spinning-wheel image with messages explaining that "slow lanes" were about to be imposed on parts of the Internet."[4] Site visitors were then directed to click on the image which then brought them directly to the FCC page, allowing them to submit complaints in favor of Net Neutrality. Over one million comments were sent to the FCC before Internet Slowdown Day, and the majority indicate strong public support for the idea of net neutrality.[1]

While many internet service providers endorse eliminating net neutrality, seeing this as an opportunity to increase their profits, critics worry that eliminating net neutrality is paramount to allowing service providers to differentiate Internet traffic into a "fast lane" (for those companies who can afford to pay to have their content delivered at premium speeds) and a "slow lane" (for everyone else's websites).[1][5]

The Internet Slowdown Day protests have were compared to January 18, 2012, Protests against SOPA and PIPA, known as the "Internet Blackout Day," which succeeded in stopping that particular American legislation. According to the protesters, the proposed legislation endangered the future of the Internet.[2][6][7]

Net Neutrality Debate[edit]

Internet Slowdown day was held in promotion of net neutrality, a concept that is widely supported by the general public, and many business corporations as well. (Johnson)[8]


Announced participants included Automattic, Dwolla, Etsy, Foursquare, Grooveshark, I Can Has Cheezburger?, Kickstarter, Meetup, Mozilla, Namecheap, Netflix, Reddit, Tumblr, Upworthy, Urban Dictionary, Wikia, and Vimeo.[9][1][10] At least 76 different websites took part in the protest.[7]

This day forced a lot of prominent names like Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Berners-Lee to call people to action to save Net Neutrality.[11]

Various websites would post banners or displays saying that if there was free internet, this is how slow it would be (i.e., the spinning wheel of death).

Internet Slowdown Day was organized by Demand Progress, Engine Advocacy, Fight for the Future and Free Press.[9] "Evan Greer, campaign manager for Fight for the Future, told CBS News by phone that his group believes net neutrality is essential to keeping the Internet a "level playing field."' [12] Other activist organizations that supported the protest action include:[13]


  1. ^ a b c d Osborne, Charlie (September 5, 2014). "Major tech firms join Internet Slowdown on September 10". ZDNet. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Mendoza, Menchie (September 5, 2014). "Fight for net neutrality: Sept. 10 will be 'Internet Slowdown Day'". Tech Times. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  3. ^ "Join the Battle for Net Neutrality". Battle for the Net. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  4. ^ Vara, Vauhini (2014-09-11). "The Speed of Internet Slowdown Day". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  5. ^ Shields, Todd (May 12, 2014). "FCC's Wheeler Raises Possibility of Web Price Rules in New Plan". Bloomberg News. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  6. ^ Williams, Lauren C. (September 10, 2014). "Websites 'Slow Down' For A Day To Protest 'Fast Lanes' Internet Access Proposal". ThinkProgress. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Walker, Lauren (September 10, 2014). "On Internet Slowdown Day, Are Websites Conceding That Net Neutrality is Dead?". Newsweek. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  8. ^ Johnson, Ted (2017-07-12). "Net Neutrality 'Day of Action': What to Expect". Variety. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  9. ^ a b Gannes, Liz (September 6, 2014). "Etsy, Kickstarter, Reddit and Others Will 'Slow Down' Sites as Protest". Re/code. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  10. ^ Geller, Eric (September 10, 2014). "Here's how your favorite sites are joining Internet Slowdown Day". The Daily Dot. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  11. ^ "Here's how the internet's net neutrality day of action unfolded". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  12. ^ "Internet Slowdown Day promotes net neutrality". Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  13. ^ Paul, Ian (September 10, 2014). "Internet Slowdown Day FAQ: How Netflix, Wordpress, and other web giants are fighting for Net Neutrality". PC World. Retrieved September 11, 2014.

External links[edit]