The #FightfortheNet isn’t just for the big guys

I’m going dark on July 12. You should too.

On January 8, 2012 the Internet staged a protest. Major websites across the net went dark to protest SOPA and PIPA. Reddit, Tumblr, and Wikipedia went offline to some extent. Google, Mozilla and Flickr all featured the protest and directed people to more information about the bills being proposed. And a miracle happened. We won. It was a great feeling. SOPA and PIPA were shelved and the process that brought about the Net Neutrality rules and Title II regulation of the Internet began. I’ve already talked about how important that is so I won’t repeat myself here.

And now, like a middle school bully that just won’t go away we get to have that fight all over again.

July 12, 2017 will be another Internet protest. The big boys are back and in even greater numbers than before. Reddit, Twitter, Soundcloud and Medium are on board. As are Amazon, YC, and even internet dating giant OK Cupid. As well and good as it is to have them on board, quite frankly it isn’t enough. At this point the giants of the internet wouldn’t really be impacted by the repeal of the Net Neutrality rules. Netflix, Google and Amazon can afford the extortion of the cable companies. They shouldn’t have to, but if push comes to shove they can.

But small publishers and producers like me are the ones who will feel the brunt of the failure to act on the Net Neutrality rules. That’s why on July 12 my podcast, The Folktale Project will not be releasing a show for the first time in a year. Over 200 episodes in with a new show being released every single weekday morning and I won’t release a story. Christmas, New Years, my daughter’s birthday, my wife’s birthday have all seen an episode. Instead I’ll have a quick chat with my audience and let them know why there’s no story for July 12.

Sure, my impact will be much smaller than if Google turned off. But it’s a more realistic example of what we’ll all feel. It’ll be me and other small podcasters and bloggers that won’t be able to get our content to you, our audiences. We’re the ones that won’t be able to grow our fledgling companies. We’re the ones that will fall by the wayside while the media is again controlled by those who can afford to pay the extortioners.

That’s why I’m going dark. And it’s why you should participate if you have a blog or podcast or startup. Death by 1000 cuts might actually be able to make the point that a notice on can’t.

So let’s take the day and remind people what they’ll actually lose.

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