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Tumblr raises the alarm for net neutrality

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(again)

Between the SOPA blackout and the day of action for net neutrality, big names on the internet like Reddit, Netflix, and Tumblr have harnessed their vast platforms to call their users into action. Today, Tumblr continued that recent tradition by placing a big yellow button in everyone's dashboard that says "SAVE THE INTERNET." The button directs users to a site that explains the net neutrality issue, and asks them to "help the FCC protect the internet."

save the internet

Once again, Tumblr wants its users to contact government officials to influence net neutrality policy. In an official post, Tumblr writes:

This is it, guys. We’ve been been fighting this fight together for a long time now. You did a sensationally good job back in September, making 135,343 calls in a single day and shifting the political momentum back toward real internet freedom. You have been pulling more and more policymakers — including the president himself — over to the side of internet freedom. We’re almost there. Let’s bring this one home.

It's a timely call to action. The FCC is expected to propose that ISPs be reclassified as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act: a contentious move that big internet providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have been fighting in the courts and in Congress. That proposal could leak as early as this week, and then the FCC will vote on it during a February 26th meeting.

This time, Tumblr isn't asking people to call the FCC. Instead, it's directing them to members of Congress. That's a smart move, considering the fact that the Republican-controlled Congress is skeptical of the FCC's authority. Moreover, Congress is considering independent action that could take the decision on net neutrality out of the FCC's hands.

So far we've seen that companies like Tumblr can generate lots of internet comments. We'll find out soon if they can actually make a difference.