Automattic announced its intent to protest the FCC’s attack on net neutrality today by making a way for the millions of WordPress.com users to join in. The company’s logo has been listed on the Save Net Neutrality event website for some time but it had yet to announce how it would be participating. WordPress.com users are encouraged to send a message to the FCC and also enable the Fight for Net Neutrality Plugin via the dashboard Settings screen.
The plugin is open source and available to self-hosted users on WordPress.org. Unlike the existing plugins that support the event on July 12 by presenting visitors with a banner to raise awareness, Automattic’s plugin simulates what life might be like in the “slow lane” if the FCC abandons the principle of net neutrality. It replaces a few of the posts on your site with a “Still Loading” spinner. This plugin doesn’t seem to offer a way to test it ahead of the event, but it essentially displays a message at the bottom of your website and slows down some of your posts.
The plugin will automatically be disabled after the event has concluded, so both WordPress.com and self-hosted users do not have to worry about turning it off and can remove it later. If you are uneasy about slowing down some of your posts as part of the protest and feel more comfortable displaying a modal or a widget, check out the Internet Defense League Cat Signal or the Fight for the Future Alerts plugins as alternatives.