If you're noticing some strange pop-ups around the web today, there's a reason: it's Internet Slowdown Day - a day of protests in which major sites look to bring the concept of net neutrality to a wider audience.
The protest, which will take place all day today, sees pop-up banners with a spinning 'loading' animation appearing on major websites throughout the world - everywhere from content aggregation and social networking site reddit and Firefox creator Mozilla to adult entertainment platforms Pornhub and Redtube and even video streaming giant Netflix. 'If there were Internet slow lanes,
' the graphic warns, 'you'd still be waiting. Protect Internet freedom. Defend net neutrality.
The protest comes as internet service providers threaten to artificially reduce connection speeds to bandwidth-hungry services like Netflix unless they can farm off some of their infrastructure costs. This was positioned by the US Federal Communications Commission as creating 'fast lanes'
for particular sites - but its critics claim that in reality it's creating 'slow lanes' for every site that can't afford to pay a chunk of change to every major ISP that wants a slice of the pie.
Although it's dubbed Internet Slowdown Day, the protest doesn't actually affect the loading of any site: content will appear in the background at the same speed as normal, while the banner itself can be dismissed with a click if you don't want to hit the 'Take Action' button to submit your own comments. More details are available at the official website