Among the good things to emerge from the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality in the United States is the creativity of net neutrality activists. We’ve already seen some imaginative videos explaining the case for net neutrality, using cats and burgers, among other things.
Even by those standards, what YouTuber Ron Bliss did for his explanatory film stands out.
He actually created slow and fast lanes outside the FCC headquarters. Bliss called his protest “Restoring Automotive Freedom”, a sly interpretation of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s speech against net neutrality, in which he said repealing net neutrality would “restore internet freedom”.
Bliss placed traffic cones in one half of the road and blocked it, and cycled very, very slowly on the other half, forcing traffic to slow down behind them. People who wanted to access the fast lane could buy a “Rob Bliss Priority Access Card” that cost only $5 a month, or drive painfully slowly behind Bliss and his bicycle.
The protest itself invited much protest from frustrated drivers and eventually the Washington DC Police Department as well as the Department of Homeland Security, who didn’t look very kindly upon Bliss’s stunt, removed the cones.
Bliss told The Next Web, “Net Neutrality is a huge issue, it has the ability to shape how we think and see the world. The fact that it hasn’t really been well understood by the public is very concerning and what I was trying to address. By bringing internet traffic to real world traffic, a lot of the issues become immediately apparent. In the video I play the role of the ISP, and everyone’s response proves how society would never allow such behaviour in the real world. So why should we allow it online?”