Top websites including Netflix, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Reddit, Vimeo and WordPress have signed up to join the 'Internet Slowdown Day' protest happening tomorrow, 10 September, reports Yahoo! Tech.
The protest, lead by Fight for the Future, hopes to bring awareness of the potential changes to net neutrality laws due to a proposal being considered by the US Federal Communications Commission. The changes could result in the launch of a tiered internet service structure and adversely affect the internet speed for many consumers.
If the proposal was passed, it will create controversial "fast lanes" for those who opt to pay more, with a standard service for the rest. Tomorrow's protest aims to demonstrate what the Internet could look/feel like if these fast lanes are implemented. However, the event is only symbolic and will not actually slow services on these companies' websites.
The participating websites will display an "infinitely-loading site loading icon" that one might see when trying to watch a video on a slow connection, in order to reflect to visitors what the Web could be like if priority service levels are allowed. These icons (like the one below) will run all day on 10 Sept. Organisers are also asking for social media avatars to be changed to the "spinning wheel of death".
The proposed legislation in the US could leave millions of consumers with very slow internet access - the above sites have joined to argue that all the Internet should be treated equally. The decision to implement the changes is still being debated, though if it came into effect it may also affect countries outside the US with sites changing the way they operate and how they distribute data out of the country.
Activist organisations including the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Greenpeace will also be calling on people to contact their U.S. representatives and officially protest the potential new regulation. The FCC will be accepting the second round of public comment on the proposal until 15 Sept. The first round, this summer, obtained over 1.1 million comments.