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Since recently, the following message is displayed in the upper bar of the website :

Join Stack Overflow in Standing Up for Net Neutrality

For a little context, Net Neutrality is a principle, implemented into the US and EU legislation, stating that all internet flux has to be treated equally by internet providers. The main motivation was to prevent providers to do packet (cf IP stack) discrimination.

As I understand it, the concept is quite "popular" in the silicon valley. Besides, it uses "universally accepted laguage" such as "neutrality" and "equality", which have a positive connotation.

Yet, Net Neutrality is far from unanimously suported. This page is well sourced and contains a good summary of the arguments in favour and against Net Neutrality, both technical and economical. The arguments against it seem relevant, especially the technical loss in quality of service, and the economical repartition of the profit (Service providers such as Google, Facebook, (Stackexchange ?), make huge margins with "little" investments, while internet providers make very small margins due to the huge investments in antennas and fiber cables which have to cover entire continents, especially in Europe where providers are cheap).

My question: Isn't this open support against the site's policy/culture ? It goes against site neutrality.

Sidenote: I know the CEO sometimes makes political or solidarity statements, like this one. But it is different than inciting the site's users to join a (neither unanimous nor easily understood) cause.

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    Notice that in this case, while the case is addressed from a political point of view, it has very much to do with it economics and social repercussions, which is why, despite the highly politicized topic is of keen interest to SE. – Braiam Jul 14 '17 at 20:00
  • "internet providers make very small margins" [citation needed] – Mazura Dec 2 '17 at 17:13
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Staying politically neutral is a principle of the community of politics.stackexchange.com, because we believe that it leads to a more productive culture which produces more fact-driven content. But this doctrine is specific to Politics.SE.

But Politics.SE is still a part of the larger Stack Exchange Network owned by Stack Exchange Inc.. The appeal to support net neutrality was posted on every single site of the Stack Exchange network. And there is nothing wrong with that. If Stack Exchange Inc. wants to exercise their freedom of speech rights and spread political messages around their website, there isn't anything we can or should do about that.

Personally I am a proponent of net neutrality and support the move by Stack Exchange to generate awareness for this issue. But as one of the moderators I would have preferred not to see that announcement on Politics.SE specifically due to the site's doctrine to stay neutral on political issues. I wasn't asked, though, and I would not have expected to be asked about this, because this is not my website.

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    But as one of the moderators I would have preferred not to see that announcement on Politics.SE specifically due to the site's doctrine to stay neutral on political issues. - I agree with this. I also am a proponent, but for this specific stack it may not have been entirely appropriate. If it was going to be a long-term banner, I would suggest discussing it with them and maybe getting a custom (more neutral) message, but for a one-day thing, it's not a big deal. – Bobson Jul 13 '17 at 16:17
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    Ironically, i personally see 'showing up on Politics.SE' as the LEAST disturbing aspect of the banner. the fact that I had to endure that spam on a grand total of ~15-25 sites on SE network, since they were too lazy to only display it ONCE per SE login (as opposed to once on every SE domain on every PC used to visit) made me desperately want to organize campaign to oppose net neutrality, out of sheer annoyance. – user4012 Jul 14 '17 at 15:59
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Some days I think that it would be better if Stack Exchange would stay away from politics, whether it be net neutrality, same-sex marriage, or travel bans.

Other days I think that the world would be a much better place if more people would speak up for what they believe is The Right Thing™.

Either way, it is what it is. This site is run by a privately owned company and they can do what they want with it. They've indicated pretty clearly that they will occasionally step in to political matters, even if some of the community is very much opposed to that. Whether this is wise decision is besides the point here: it's the decision they've made, and I don't think anything any of us say here will change that; it's been discussed pretty extensively already.

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    "Other days I think that the world would be a much better place if more people would speak up for what they believe is The Right Thing™." Agreed. However, one doesn't have to speak up in every place one visits - Infesting every place with the same discussion just isn't useful. – Sjoerd Jul 12 '17 at 21:14
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    @Sjoerd Perhaps, but shrugging and contininueing with business as usual when you see banana republic "laws" being passed isn't very useful, either. – user11249 Jul 12 '17 at 21:34

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