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Websites to Protest Net Neutrality Plan

Dozens of Web companies and advocacy groups, including Reddit, Netflix Inc. NFLX +0.03%and Upworthy, are planning an online protest Wednesday to urge regulators to ban any fast lanes on the Internet.

The protesters plan to place a spinning-wheel icon on their websites to convey their view that the Internet would function slowly if regulators let broadband providers privilege some content at others’ expense.

The icons wouldn’t actually slow down the websites, but if clicked they would link to a website where users can take action on the issue.

The protest could ultimately include thousands of websites and is designed to mirror a 2011 effort in which an online protest strategy was used to scuttle the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, which would have significantly enhanced online copyright protections. A coalition of Web companies, nonprofits and activists banded together to oppose the bill, which was backed by the entertainment and retail industries.

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