When the Federal Communications Commission voted in December to repeal the rules surrounding net neutrality it sparked conversations and outrage nationwide. However, with terms like throttling, fast lanes, and ISPs surrounding net neutrality, it can be easy to become overwhelmed at the topic and not be part of the important conversation.
The widely known fast food chain Burger King decided to simplify the ongoing debate with a prank using a topic most of us can relate to: ordering food at a fast food place.
Burger King’s approach to creating a metaphor that linked fast food and net neutrality was to create different prices for the same product, the Whopper. The amount you paid dictated the level at which the workers would prioritize your service. This simulated the fast and slow lanes that became a hot topic in regards to net neutrality.
The prices ranged from $4.99 for a Whopper at the lowest priority to $25.99 for a Whopper almost instantly. This was a drastic change for a customer base that is used to quick, unbiased service.
Customers were understandably angry at the prices and service during the prank. “Oh my God! This is the worst thing I’ve ever heard of,” one angry customer exclaimed.
Another customer who appeared to be served instantly grabbed the attention of a woman who had been waiting for her food. “Are you kidding me? You paid $26 for a Whopper?”
“This effort aims to help people understand how the repeal of Net Neutrality will impact their lives,” Burger King states in the video description. “The BURGER KING® brand believes the Internet should be like the WHOPPER® sandwich: the same for everyone.”
Without a doubt, the prank opened the customers’ eyes to the potential consequences we could face with the repeal of net neutrality. “I felt like I was being taken advantage of in a sense,” one customer said after the prank. “[I’m] just as a customer coming in to get their food. It felt like a power move.”
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