The Internet Creators Guild (ICG), a nonprofit formed by YouTube star Hank Green last year to champion digital creators, has helmed an open letter to FCC chairman Ajit Pai and members of Congress affirming their support for net neutrality. Net neutrality is a founding principle of the internet stating that service providers like Verizon and Comcast should treat all content the same with no sites being prioritized via quality or speed.
All told, 132 YouTube stars with a total of 161 million subscribers have signed the letter thus far, including The Fine Brothers, Rooster Teeth, Mindy McKnight, and Meg DeAngelis.
“Thanks to strong net neutrality rules, users have been in the driver’s seat of choosing what is successful online, without interference from government or internet service provider (ISP) gatekeepers,” reads the letter, which arrives just before the Day Of Action For Net Neutrality — an online protest supported by Amazon, Kickstarter, Vimeo, and more — on July 12. The letter states that if net neutrality were to be rolled back, as the Trump administration intends, online creators would be “greatly disadvantaged.” Such a change could also “have major implications for the diversity of voices available online.”
Right now, according to The Daily Dot, the FCC is seeking to overturn the 2015 Open Internet Order to make internet service providers less strictly regulated. This would mean that telecom giants — which also own media outlets — would have a greater hold over how users access content on the web. Without net neutraility, telecoms could presumably “block, throttle, and divide the internet into fast and slow lanes,” according to the ICG.
As part of its efforts, the Guild has also created an open letter where any creator can add their signature, and is providing a video bumper (below) that creators can share with audiences to help them explain what’s at stake. The organization is also encouraging creators to change their social media avatars to a loading sign ahead of the Day Of Action in order to spread the word.