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Twitch community, YouTube creators join protest to save net neutrality

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‘We can stop censorship and corruption’

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Dozens of websites and internet agencies are banding together to protest the FCC’s decision to kill net neutrality.

Internet advocacy group Fight for the Future has organized Operation: #OneMoreVote, which will take place on Feb. 27. The campaign will enlist the help of communities like Twitch’s and companies like Reddit alongside organizations like YouTuber Hank Green’s Internet Creators Guild, to raise awareness about the appeal process. Only one more vote in the Senate is needed to take the case to the House of Representatives, where cosponsors can vote to block the repeal of net neutrality. If unsuccessful, net neutrality will be repealed in April.

“We’ll provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your followers / visitors to take action,” Fight For the Future’s site states. “From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption.”

Members of Twitch and Reddit communities shared their own concerns about the death of net neutrality on the Twitch subreddit.

“As you may recall, the FCC voted to kill net neutrality, letting internet providers like Verizon and Comcast impose new fees, throttle bandwidth, and censor online content,” the message reads. “If this happens, subreddits like this could no longer exist.”

Reddit executives have been some of the biggest supporters of net neutrality, helping to lead protests like the SOPA blackout in 2012 and the day of Internet Slowdown in 2014. Twitch’s executive team published its thoughts on the net neutrality debate in December, when Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said:

Net neutrality has played an important role in the history of Twitch. Without it, we might not be here today, and our streamers might not be here tomorrow. Net neutrality prevents ISPs from abusing their position of power​, such as ​giving priority to specific sites, slowing down access to sites that refuse to pay for a fast lane, and ​arbitrarily ​blocking sites. Because our streamer community — many of which are small business owners — depend on their viewers having easy access to their channels and reliable quality of service, repealing net neutrality will erode the power of the internet to enable and create these types of jobs. This is why we are lending our voice to ​championing a free and open internet​.

The fight for internet equality, which entails not having to worry about a fast lane impending their audience or internet service providers blocking sites, is at the center of conversation for many Twitch streamers and YouTube creators.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance in this world,” dmbrandon, a popular Twitch streamer and outspoken advocate for net neutrality, told Polygon in December. “Will everyone [fight]? I don’t speak for the entire country, it’s impossible for me to know that. What I know is that I will always do my best to influence people on what I believe is right, whatever harms the least amount of people; the greater good is very important.

“In this case, the internet is the greatest good.”

On Feb. 27, participating websites will display banner ads, while companies send push notifications via apps and tweets are shared highlighting the importance of the vote. More information about the protest can be read on Fight for the Future’s site.