Thursday was a big day for net neutrality advocates, as the FCC voted 3-2 to regulate broadband internet and ban companies from creating “fast lanes” to prioritise some content over others.
The Reddit community was a big reason this historic ruling happened. And President Obama was keenly aware of this fact.
So, President Obama sent two notes to Reddit: One was a message he asked be shared with the entire community, and another was a special handwritten note.
Here’s what the first message read:
Earlier today, the FCC voted to protect a free and open internet — the kind of internet that allows entrepreneurs to thrive and debates over duck-sized horses and horse-sized ducks to persist.
This would not have happened without the activism and engagement of millions of Americans like you. And that was a direct result of communities like reddit.
So to all the redditors who participated in this movement, I have a simple message: Thank you.
— President Barack Obama
And here’s Obama’s second handwritten message:
In case you can’t read the President’s penmanship, it says, “Thanks Redditors! Wish I could upvote every one of you for helping keep the internet open and free! Barack Obama.”
For over a year, thousands of people petitioned the FCC and their local representatives thanks to initiatives taken on Reddit’s social platform — the community had similarly helped overturn two other controversial bills that would affect the internet recently, including SOPA and PIPA.
In a Thursday blog post, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian explained how Reddit’s efforts were able to stifle the millions of dollars lobbying the government to cancel net neutrality and let companies pay for faster access to their customers. You can read the full blog post here.