- Reddit users on Friday took to the site to call out congressional opponents of net neutrality.
- Users not only named net neutrality opponents, but posted how much in campaign donations the members of Congress reportedly received from the telecommunications industry, which is pushing for a repeal of the net neutrality rules.
- The posts come less than two weeks before the Federal Communications Commission is slated to vote on a repeal of those rules.
With the Federal Communications Commission slated to repeal its net neutrality rules in less than two weeks, Reddit and its users are ramping up their opposition to the move.
On Friday, Reddit users by the dozens posted pictures of members of Congress who oppose the rules. The posts also typically included the amount of money the senators and representatives reportedly had received in campaign donations from the telecommunications industry.
A post by Reddit user jpmmcb was typical: “This is Senator Cory Gardner. He sold me, Denver, and all of Colorado to the telecom lobby for $US95,023.”
The posts followed a call to action issued by Reddit earlier in the week. On Monday, the company placed banner ads on its site that asked users to “help us support the free and open internet.” The ads linked to a post that encouraged users to share on the site how they would be affected if the FCC eliminates the net neutrality rules.
The rules, which the FCC voted in place in 2015, bar broadband providers from blocking, throttling, or providing preferential access to particular internet sites or services. Although the general public largely supports the rules on a bipartisan basis, Republican officials have generally opposed them, as have many of the largest telecommunications companies. By contrast, the rules are supported by most Democratic officials and by many internet companies.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made clear that he planned to overturn the rules even before he took over as head of the agency in January. The FCC will vote on his proposal to do away with the rules on December 14. With Republicans holding a 3-2 edge on the commission, the proposal is expected to pass.
The Reddit posts relating to congressional opponents of net neutrality can be found by clicking on the site’s “Popular” tab. That page is the default view the site offers to those who aren’t logged into it. Although many of the Reddit users posting about net neutrality on Friday were calling out opponents of the rules, some also praised members of congress who favoured them.
Reddit’s site is the fifth most visited in the US, with more than 500 million unique pageviews a month, and ranks eighth in the world, according to Alexa, an Amazon-owned market research firm. The site serves as a discussion forum for a wide range of topics, and the company bills it as the “front page of the internet.”