Wednesday is the Great Internet Slowdown where websites all over the world are going to protest the cable conglomerates getting together to tell us how fast our internet can be to specific sites, when they want it to be fast or not.
I’m going to do this one simply. You know how you can dial anyone on your phone, and it’s your responsibility to not dial up sex numbers if that offends you? The phone company doesn’t limit your ability to do that. It doesn’t stop you from sexting your ex at 2am when you’re drunk and that was a really bad idea, wasn’t it? They don’t tell you, as you dial a psychic, that you should dial this other one instead. No, they let you shoot yourself in the foot.
Well that’s not how they want it to work on the Internet.
Cable companies are spending billions to gut the heart right out of net neutrality and create fast lanes and slow lanes on the Internet. A company that pays them more will get their site loading faster. A company that doesn’t, even if it has superior products, would be slower.
This isn’t about how quickly our cat videos load, it’s about the future of our ability to communicate, to learn, to create, and to rebel. It’s about the future of humanity.
I know that sounds a little heavy handed, but it’s true. The ability to use the Internet for communication is massively important. I work with people all around the globe, I fix websites all over the place and I talk constantly with people everywhere. I need to be able to do this to succeed at my job. If cable companies get their way, it might make it impossible for products like WordPress to develop as quickly as it does today.
It’s already hard enough, with nations putting up firewalls and blocks preventing China from reaching Google for fonts, to get things done. But now we’re letting companies you and I might not even use decide they know what’s right?
Come on! Let me decide if I want to go to that site and talk to those people! It’s just like the phone, after all.
If you’re on WordPress, grab the Cat Signal Plugin. You can install it and leave it on, it’ll turn itself on when needed.