Net Neutrality day: September 10th September 9, 2014 2:39 PM   Subscribe

MetaFilter is participating in the Battle for Net Neutrality on September 10, 2014. For the duration of September 10, you'll see a small modal window linking to a site explaining Net Neutrality and giving you ways to take action. You can also hide it by clicking the [x] and you shouldn't see it again on the site for the rest of the day.

This is being done by the same group behind the SOPA/PIPA protests a couple years ago and thousands of sites are taking part. Net Neutrality affects us all and is part of a large effort to bring more exposure and awareness to a fairly nerdy small issue that the general public doesn't really know about.

It's an important issue for an independent site like MetaFilter. In a world where Comcast might someday meter access to sites, you can be certain Yahoo Answers and Quora would foot the bill to ensure speedier delivery of their sites on those customer's systems. We already live in a world where Google rewards page loading speeds above all else, so I shudder to think about how a future of fast lane and slow lane internet connection speeds to different sites would affect the world.
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 2:39 PM (76 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

Kudos to MeFi for participating in this. If we're not vigilant, the bastards will turn our wonderfully free and chaotic online world into Television 2.0.

...you can be certain Yahoo Answers and Quora would foot the bill to ensure speedier delivery of their sites on those customer's systems.

Relatedly, this is one of the reasons I have the "Personal Blocklist" Chrome extension installed -- it let's me block both of those sites and others that splooge all over Google search results not unlike the ghost who slimed Bill Murray in the recently theatrically re-released Ghostbusters.

posted by Celsius1414 at 2:53 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Excellent!
posted by cashman at 3:13 PM on September 9, 2014


This is a good thing to do; I only wish it didn't feel like shaking a fist at a tidal wave.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:24 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I just came here to ask about the weird banner for net neutrality that I assumed was not legit. So thanks for the info!
posted by travelwithcats at 3:25 PM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


Um, I'm writing from the future, kids.
posted by travelwithcats at 3:27 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I want to help, but is there a point in the non US MeFites signing this? US legislators don't usually care what we think...
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:21 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


You can glower at them menacingly from your bistros and beirhauses and the like.
posted by The Whelk at 4:24 PM on September 9, 2014 [17 favorites]


barbies here
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 4:28 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


I guess we can glower while stroking various venomous animals or something. Stroking a shark? Drop bears? I don't know. Here, have a snag.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:38 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm trying to figure out the anti-net-neutrality equivalent of rolling coal, and the best I can come up with is to throttle my own bandwidth at the router and write a big check to Comcast for no reason. Any other ideas?
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:14 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


You can also hide it by clicking the [x] and you shouldn't see it again on the site for the rest of the day

FWIW, this appears to be scoped per-subsite and not metafilter-wide (I needed to dismiss it on each of the blue, the grey, and the green).
posted by russm at 7:05 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


I want to help, but is there a point in the non US MeFites signing this? US legislators don't usually care what we think...
I wondered the same thing, then tried to have a look, but the "SIGN OUR LETTER TO LAWMAKERS" link didn't work in any of several browsers and devices - maybe they're filtering by IP or something?
posted by dg at 7:39 PM on September 9, 2014


I'm experiencing the same thing reported by russm: that I have to dismiss the banner on each subsite. Not that that's a problem, really.

The mobile implementation looks pretty rad by the way. Trust mefi to make even banner ads look pretty and unobtrusive.
posted by mosessis at 8:07 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Um, I'm writing from the future, kids.

Time travel with cats must be difficult.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 8:16 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


FWIW, this appears to be scoped per-subsite and not metafilter-wide

Dang, sorry about that. I'll ping the people behind it to see if they can set their hide cookies to be domain-wide instead of per-subdomain.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:23 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


paleyellowwithorange: "barbies here"



tell her we say hi
posted by boo_radley at 9:03 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Absolutely excellent! Woot! :)
posted by jeffburdges at 9:13 PM on September 9, 2014


I... probably would have forgotten to sign this thing if you hadn't put the ad up. So thanks, Matt.
posted by cmyk at 9:31 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


The right side of the ad window seems to be cut off for me (Firefox on Ubuntu), after the "y" in (I assume) "you'd".
posted by zeptoweasel at 9:39 PM on September 9, 2014


Hey, anyone else who clicked the thing and then did the address thing and then tried to share it on Facebook, did it let you? I'm assuming it's something weird with the mobile interface and not a shadowy conspiracy trying to suppress net neutrality FB posts, but I could be wrong.
posted by NoraReed at 11:08 PM on September 9, 2014


Um, I'm writing from the future, kids.

Are you writing from 2084, by any chance?
posted by homunculus at 11:13 PM on September 9, 2014


The x button seems to work on a per-subsite basis which I'm betting is a cookies issue. On android mobile chrome, anyway. So yeah, a technical note regarding how it's presenting on this phone. Hooray for net neutrality.
posted by axiom at 12:20 AM on September 10, 2014


On an iPhone. I honestly thought I'd caught a virus or one of these "improve your internet" fake antivirus ads that give you a virus. What with the "if there were internet slow lanes you'd still be waiting" stuff. And I sure as hell wasn't going to click on the x in that case.

So yeah, glad this is happening but the format made me briefly panic.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:27 AM on September 10, 2014 [17 favorites]


Thanks for posting that this was going on. My first reaction was also sadly to try to figure out if Chrome had a malware extension, because the popup struck me as not quite fitting.
posted by frimble at 12:32 AM on September 10, 2014


I'm not seeing anything special, but that's okay, I'm not in the US anyway and there is probably no good that it would do for me to see that small modal window (I'm also not sure what modal means).
I'm feeling rather excluded right now. But good luck with whatever all of this means.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:33 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit eh about the campaign (not Metafilter's fault, necessarily, but still). My internet is NOT speedy, especially not on my phone while on data. And I am in the US. I also thought it was a virus or an ad, because it reminded me of the zillions of "Clean Up Your Computer Now!" popups I keep experiencing.

This has nothing to do with my views on Net neutrality, just the design of the campaign. Also as a non-citizen I don't know how important my voice is.
posted by divabat at 12:44 AM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am but a simple man from the northern hinterlands of Canadia. What is this mythical beast you call Comcast, and how may I fight it from atop my Moose?
posted by mannequito at 12:52 AM on September 10, 2014 [19 favorites]


I'm also not sure what modal means

"Modal window" means a popup that prevents you from interacting with the main app/site until you close it. This popup isn't modal, so I'm not sure why Matt described it that way.
posted by axiom at 1:39 AM on September 10, 2014


[This is good.]
posted by trip and a half at 2:20 AM on September 10, 2014


This popup isn't modal, so I'm not sure why Matt described it that way.

Well, it blocks what's under it, and cannot be moved, so definitely more modal than your average non-modal popup.
posted by effbot at 2:33 AM on September 10, 2014


Thanks, #1!
posted by kimberussell at 3:38 AM on September 10, 2014


I thought it was malware too. Scared the bejeebus out of me! Came straight here, though, and WHEW.
posted by Stewriffic at 4:00 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I thought it was a virus or something too. I really don't like things that take over my computer, even if it's just momentary.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:06 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thanks, I had no idea The Internet had even planned anything until I saw this. I added the cat signal plugin to my WP install just now and actually learned how to modify my piwigo installation to display the sidestripe thingy just like on here. That should maybe alert 1-2 people, a few spammers and the google bot. I also made a few posts about it on facebook and urged others to do the same. Oughta cover a few more people. I wish there was more I could do.
posted by mcrandello at 4:09 AM on September 10, 2014


On an iPhone with cross site cookies turned off, and it's showing for me on every new page, except on meta talk.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:27 AM on September 10, 2014


Ironically, the popup loaded slowly benough at first that I figured metafilters ad server got hacked.
posted by smackfu at 4:37 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Gah! Popups! Cookies! Kill em with fire.
(Also, get this off my Canadian lawn. It reloads repeatedly every time I go to a *.metafilter address)
posted by scruss at 4:44 AM on September 10, 2014


Matt

Matt

Matt

It's appearing on pretty much every link, except MetaTalk, Matt.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:45 AM on September 10, 2014


Mac Firefox, and it doesn't go away. Had to adblock it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:56 AM on September 10, 2014


Any sort of labeling that this is actually approved by metafilter would help. I don't mean to be histrionic on this, but vibe and look is SO BAD on iphone, that my immediate reaction was to exit metafilter IMMEDIATELY.

On iPhone Safari, I feel completely helpless in debugging understanding content. Which is a trade off I made when I thought where were no viruses :).

Totally feels like a hack (of the bad kind). Right aim, wrong technique.

Given the other traffic problems with metafilter lately, consider whether potentially accidentally alienating users is Worth It.
posted by gregglind at 4:58 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I approve the message, but also thought this was some kind of spyware ad that I shouldn't click. I was surprised to see those ads on Metafilter, but I wasn't logged in and figured maybe Metafilter was experimenting with new ads.
posted by blub at 5:10 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


whew. I also thought it was some kind of spyware or unapproved browser addon. I approve of this too, now that I know I haven't be infected.
posted by royalsong at 5:11 AM on September 10, 2014


Nervous Nellies.
posted by pracowity at 6:11 AM on September 10, 2014


His thoughts were red thoughts: "I want to help, but is there a point in the non US MeFites signing this? US legislators don't usually care what we think..."

US legislators don't care what we here in the US think either...
posted by 724A at 6:16 AM on September 10, 2014 [9 favorites]


I like when we use the top banner for things like this. I know it's used for tracking donations right now, but it's so much less spammy than this type of pop up. I think we need a solution to the top banner issue at this point in time. Donations should be tracked in the sidebar now, maybe with an annual banner every May.

I read this thread and knew about it and was expecting it and I still thought the pop up was a virus or spam.
posted by sockermom at 6:47 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


If we voted #1 quidnunc kid, would this problem all go away?
posted by desjardins at 6:49 AM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


This announcement keeps freaking me out, like my ISP knows I've been talking about butts too much, and is sending the po-po after me
posted by Greg Nog at 7:34 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


This felt really spammy to me - I assumed that it was some type of malware on my computer or problem with Metafilter. I actually took a screenshot and was about to contact the mods, but decided to check MetaTalk first to see if anyone else was having the same problem.

I agree with the comments that a banner on top would work, or even some kind of popup that clearly is authorized (perhaps something with a link to the MetaTalk annoucement?).
posted by insectosaurus at 7:48 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah ditto, when I first saw the pop up, especially over MetaFilter I thought I had gotten infected with AdWare. Took me a while to figure out it was legit.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:09 AM on September 10, 2014


Mr. Nog, we're the Butt Police. Your internet sent us to arrest you.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:27 AM on September 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


But officer, I'm sure you'll find this butt is street legal. Won't you... won't you come inside and take a look
posted by Greg Nog at 8:31 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hey, to solve the annoying-ness issue, we're going to restrict the popup to metafilter.com only, so you shouldn't have to whack this on seven different subsites if you click around. Sorry about that aspect of it, I assumed they'd honor closing it once across the entire server.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:36 AM on September 10, 2014


(Incidentally, the battleforthenet.com form doesn't work on my browser either -- I can't enter my name, email, or address, although the zip code field does work -- so maybe my issues are the browser's fault.)
posted by zeptoweasel at 8:40 AM on September 10, 2014


This is a lovely idea, but I couldn't even check MetaTalk to see it if was legit without having to click on it (the X granted, but still)

(Errrr, I suppose I could have typed the URL in, but 2014 lazy etc)
posted by maryr at 8:40 AM on September 10, 2014


Subsite links are at the bottom of each page, maryr!
posted by phatkitten at 9:18 AM on September 10, 2014


Oh, hey, so they are. I thought those were RSS only.
posted by maryr at 9:22 AM on September 10, 2014


There is also Don't Break The Net apparently, from people who used to be part of the SOPA group but who disagree with these people now. I am not American and have no idea or reason to care about the detail of US broadband policy, but I found it interesting from the "policy debates should not appear one sided" perspective.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 9:23 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I saw this MeTa yesterday, so I knew this was coming, but for about five seconds I still thought it was some weird browser hijack malware thing. It just looks so weird and obviously not a part of the rest of the site, like it's just been clumsily pasted over the top of things.

It also wasn't clear that it was about Net Neutrality. "If the internet had slow lanes, you'd still be waiting", accompanied by a Flash throbber icon with no additional context, is pretty cryptic. After a few seconds of confusion I remembered that there had been an announcement about an upcoming Net Neutrality popup on the front page and assumed that this must be it, but until then I didn't even feel safe clicking the X.

Not MetaFilter's fault of course, since they didn't design the popup. However, the people who did design it should be made to go stand in the corner for ten minutes in penance. It seems really quite shoddily executed, to me. The fact that it keeps coming back on different subsites even after I've closed it is just icing on the cake.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 9:56 AM on September 10, 2014


I clicked it, signed the letter, made the phone call they'd set up, and actually got a live person on the line in Maria Cantwell's office.

Very satisfying; thanks for participating in this and giving me that opportunity, Matt.
posted by jamjam at 9:56 AM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I wish it weren't in the same color scheme and intrusive format as the useless, despicable Comcast (!) popups (which the company calls watermarks) that appear in the bottom right of the screen periodically when signed into a Comcast hotspot. Until I got to a different internet connection at work, I thought Comcast was trying to take over another quadrant of the screen, and coopting the net neutrality message at that.

I'm left with a general irritation at popups in general. I like it when Metafilter indicates news with a subtle alert stripe at the top (which is still plenty noticeable).
posted by Mapes at 10:30 AM on September 10, 2014


Ars Technica on how it's goin'. Weirdly, Comcast is acting like it's onboard, but it's clearly misdirection when you read the details. Buried several paragraphs deep is the gist which is the usual "regulation is bad, let the market decide" guff. Less weirdly, the NCTA (cable provider business association, basically), is doing a counter-campaign that makes their opposition a bit more upfront.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:13 PM on September 10, 2014


I also came here, moderately irritated, to see if this popup was affecting everyone else. I'm glad to see it is, and deliberately so. Thanks, Matt!

Anyway, now that that question's answered, I have another: I cannot read SOPA/PIPA without thinking about sopapillas and getting very very hungry. Is anyone else affected, or it just me?

Mmmm, sopaipillas.
posted by Westringia F. at 12:14 PM on September 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I really meant to make a STOP SOPA fake ad with a photo of a basket of sopapillas back when that was a thing.
posted by NoraReed at 12:59 PM on September 10, 2014


Don't Break The Net

Grateful Dead, Lessig, and cats? They win. What was this thing about now again?
posted by effbot at 1:31 PM on September 10, 2014


Now that I'm done getting my grump on*, I'm totally on board with MetaFilter doing this. Rock on, Matt.

* Because the site makes it sound like this affects everyone in the whole wide world, which is not the case. But most of all, because I can't actually do anything to help.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:35 PM on September 10, 2014


Westringia F.: I cannot read SOPA/PIPA without thinking about sopapillas and getting very very hungry. Is anyone else affected, or it just me?

I hadn't seen SOPA/PIPA since moving to New Mexico. Now I am here, and now I cannot un-see the association.

NoraReed: I really meant to make a STOP SOPA fake ad with a photo of a basket of sopapillas back when that was a thing.

You would have gotten confused looks from most of the world, outside those who live in or have traveled much to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, New Mexico, Colorado, Peru, Texas, and Uruguay. (Everyone else, please send me your spare sopapillas, I have extra honey that is not being used. OK tnx.)
posted by filthy light thief at 1:38 PM on September 10, 2014


Oh, I know. I don't care if it means "soup" or "small bread" or "the kind of small bread you eat with soup" or whatever. It's motherfucking sopapillas and I live within walking distance of Los Cuates and they give you TWO and my life is superior to all y'all's
posted by NoraReed at 1:51 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


> It's motherfucking sopapillas and I live within walking distance of Los Cuates and they give you TWO and my life is superior to all y'all's

Yeah? Well I still have a good apple orchard so WHATEVER
posted by Westringia F. at 2:00 PM on September 10, 2014


HOW DARE YOU BRING UP MY ACTIVITY IN OTHER THREADS HERE

(weeps into her sopapilla basket and out of state apples)
posted by NoraReed at 2:11 PM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oohhh, I went to check out the Don't Break the Net one (for science!) and when I filled it out, I got a kitty pic as a reward!
posted by misha at 8:16 PM on September 10, 2014


I am not American and have no idea or reason to care about the detail of US broadband policy

Neither am I, nor is Birgitta Jónsdóttir but that didn't stop her showing support from Reykjavík [link via @jessamyn]. I think there's a decent argument to be made about leaving other nations' legislative process to them, but even then net neutrality by its nature has cross-border implications and I can only support this effort.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 2:52 AM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


If I visit the main site without logging in I still get this banner. Wasn't this supposed to be a one-day thing?
posted by DanSachs at 10:56 AM on September 11, 2014


Yeah, we completely removed the code earlier this morning. And they set their code to run only on September 10th.

My guess is that you're seeing a locally cached version of the page. You might try clearing your browser cache to see if that gets rid of it.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:19 PM on September 11, 2014




Don't Break The Net

Grateful Dead, Lessig, and cats? They win. What was this thing about now again?


I dunno about the Dead or cats, but Lessig at least has said he was quoted out of context, and staunchly, fervently disagrees with Don't Break the Net.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:49 PM on September 11, 2014


Mefites might also want to ask Apple to make public statement regarding their position on the issue. Currently AFAIK they are still silent on the issue, although they are apparently working on a deal with Comcast.
posted by Poldo at 8:53 AM on September 12, 2014


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