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Netflix Has Rejoined the Fight for Net Neutrality

A change of tune from the streaming entertainment service.

by Samantha Cole
Jun 15 2017, 6:24pm

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Image: re:publica/Flickr

Netflix announced today that it will participate in the day of protest to preserve net neutrality.

On July 12, the video streaming company will join Amazon, Reddit, Pornhub, Imgur, and more to incorporate slowed-down or disrupted service to raise awareness for the importance of strong net neutrality guidelines, giving visitors to its site a taste of what a future without a free and open internet could look like.

The protest, organized by Fight for the Future, freepress, and Demand Progress, takes place five days before the first deadline for comments on the FCC's proposal to roll back net neutrality protections.

Netflix has been an outspoken proponent of preserving an open internet—it participated in the Slowdown Day to raise awareness for SOPA in 2014—but recently stepped away from the issue as the Trump administration renewed its fight to destroy it.

"It's not our primary battle at this point," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said at the Code Conference in May. "I think Trump's FCC is going to unwind the rules no matter what anybody says."

The company has roughly 100 million subscribers globally, and about 42 percent of American households subscribe to Netflix, according to financial research firm UBS. The company has not yet said whether its protest will affect customers in all countries.

In recent days, it's become easier to name the major tech companies that aren't involved in this day of action—more than 40,000 people, sites, and organizations have pledged to take part, according to Fight for the Future. Finally, Netflix—one of the most popular services on the internet—says it will re-join the fray.

If this pace of companies joining the protest keeps up, July 12 could be a pretty boring day on the internet. Your porn, Reddit scrolling, and now binge-watching are all in jeopardy as they work to raise awareness.