Voices from the Movement to Save the Internet

In just the last few weeks, hundreds of organizations and companies, dozens of tech investors and artists, and millions of activists have spoken out in the fight to save Net Neutrality.

And thousands of Americans have condemned FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal to allow rampant discrimination online in comments filed in the Federal Communications Commission’s database.

Here’s a sampling of what we found:

Net Neutrality is important to me for many reasons. But importantly, because I am a gay black man. The Internet is the source I turn to first for news and information on topics such as: civil rights and gay equality, HIV/AIDS prevention, and news of importance from my local community. Since these important issues are not commercially monetizable, I fear that access to this information will be at risk if ISPs are allowed to give preferential treatment to paid traffic. With the demise of newspapers and decline of broadcast journalism, the net has become the modern equivalent of the “free press” and as such it must be protected. … Therefore, I strongly implore the commission to declare ISPs to be common carriers subject to regulation in the public’s interest. — Christopher Flournoy

Protecting Net Neutrality needs to be your highest aim. Allowing ISPs to allocate bandwidth at their discretion is akin to censorship, in effect allowing private interests to quiet competing voices, a corporate gag order on free speech akin to government censorship in less democratic parts of the world. With the commercial interests of a company at stake, minority interests will be quashed. … For the sake of continuing in an open, democratic society, we need Net Neutrality. — John Arnst

Being a self-employed media professional, I rely on the Internet to communicate with my clients, as well as transfer and store vital business data via FTP and cloud services. The idea that my relatively small data usage could be curbed in favor of corporations with significant financial power is disturbing to me on a personal level, but also on a broader level seems to go directly against what the Internet itself was created to be. So both personally and altruistically I ask you to please reclassify broadband Internet as a common-carrier service, and do everything in your power to maintain a truly open Internet in America.— Makoa Johnson

Listen. I get it. You used to work for Comcast or Time Warner or somebody else. You’ve worked with the lobbyists, you know everyone in the industry, you just want to do your friends a favor, right? But do you really want to know, without any doubt, that you had a hand in destroying the greatest invention to ever grace our species on this good earth? I hope not. Please. Please. PLEASE support Net Neutrality; ignore the pervasive political money coming in and do the right thing. — Tyler Mathison

Controlling the speed at which we have access for data is the same as censorship. Time Warner Cable and other companies should not be allowed this type of oppressive power. Please continue to keep an open and accessible Internet for all. — Elizabeth Somppi

I am a small-business owner who creates educational videos for free use by teachers and students. We have around 100,000,000 views. As you might imagine, the margins aren't super-high, but we believe in what we do. If our content is slowed because other, more well-funded companies are able to pay, we could lose out to much more well-funded competition (that charge for their videos) very quickly. Please keep the playing field level and don't make broadband companies make me pay to access consumers who are paying to access us already. — William Green

When ISPs are allowed to basically control your content, it becomes a slippery slope. Consumers already pay for the service to access the Internet and without a Net Neutrality agreement, ISPs will also charge content providers on top of charging consumers for certain content. These ISPs are companies that have monopolies in most areas and are being allowed to price gouge for subpar services. They cannot be trusted with something as precious as the Internet. The Internet that has sculpted our last 3 decades and opened the minds and doors to countless millions of people. I urge you to please listen to the voices of those same countless millions that want an open and free Internet. — Tuong Vi Le

Don’t make America look foolish by allowing corporate greed to direct the laws covering the Internet. … If you let ISP companies prioritize content based on payment from those content owners you will stifle creativity and innovation. New and exciting Internet startups will not be able to cough up the money an established giant like Facebook could, and therefore would not be given a fair chance. It would be like if politicians only paid attention to the voters who donated tons of campaign money ... oh wait. — Tim Cullen

No! No! No! No! No! — Trudy Helms

If you’d like to register your own comment with the FCC, go here and enter 14-28 in the “proceeding” field.