- Burger King released a pseudo-educational prank video that shows what would happen if the company repealed “Whopper neutrality,” the Burger King equivalent of net neutrality.
- In the prank, the company adopted tactics that consumers fear internet service providers will use with the repeal of net neutrality, like throttling internet speeds for certain websites unless customers paid more.
- Customers were outraged.
- This is Burger King’s first public show of support for net neutrality.
Burger King released a hilarious prank video on Wednesday that shows what would happen if the restaurant industry mimicked the potential effects of the FCC’s recent repeal of net neutrality.
In the world of the video, Whopper neutrality was repealed. “They voted on it,” a Burger King cashier tells an outraged customer.
In the video, customers, unaware of the prank, were alarmed to suddenly find that their usual Whopper sandwich orders would be made at a slower “mbps,” which the fast-food chain twists to mean “making burgers per second.”
In the real world “Mbps” is usually a measure of internet speed and stands for “megabits per second.”
Check out the video:
“The repeal of Net Neutrality is a hot topic in America, but it can be very difficult to understand. That’s why the Burger King brand created Whopper Neutrality, a social experiment that explains the effects of the repeal of Net Neutrality by putting it in terms anyone can understand: A Whopper sandwich,” writes Burger King in the video’s description.
In the video, customers paying the minimum amount for their Whoppers needed to wait 15 to 20 minutes unless they paid dramatically more – from $US13 for the fast mbps to $US26 for the hyperfast mbps option for a single Whopper order. Back in reality, a single Whopper usually costs about $US4.19.
Only super-high-end restaurants charge anything close to $US26 for a burger.
“Are you kidding me? You paid $US26 for a Whopper?” a woman asked a man, who opted for the hyperfast mbps option. The Burger King cashier then answers the woman’s question, “He’s higher priority, so … “
Unwitting customers were visibly confused and upset. “Oh, my God – this is the worst thing I’ve ever heard of,” exclaimed an angry customer.
Burger King is suggesting that internet customers would be equally confused and upset if they unexpectedly faced the potential consequences of net neutrality’s repeal.
One of the fears expressed by backers of net neutrality is that the repeal opens the door to allow internet service providers (ISPs) to charge customers more for faster access to certain websites and services – similar to the scenario satirized by Burger King’s video.
For example, without net-neutrality rules, an ISP could charge Netflix customers more if they want to stream videos at higher resolutions, like 4K, which requires faster internet speeds and more bandwidth than regular 1080p video streaming.
The repeal of net-neutrality rules has yet to officially go into effect, with 30 US senators backing a plan to block the FCC’s move through congressional action. And the Internet Association, a trade group representing online companies including Facebook and Google, said it planned to sign on to an expected lawsuit seeking to block the repeal through the courts.
This appears to be Burger King’s first statement on net neutrality.
In the video’s description, Burger King describes the reasoning behind speaking up:
“This effort aims to help people understand how the repeal of Net Neutrality will impact their lives. The Burger King brand believes the Internet should be like the Whopper sandwich: the same for everyone.”
We asked Burger King for additional comment.