Nobody knew who Greyson Chance was a few weeks ago. But when a video of Chance singing a Lady Gaga song at a school talent show began circulating on the Internet, it became an instant sensation, with more than 25 million people getting to hear a voice that otherwise might never have traveled beyond Chance's hometown of Edmond, Okla.
That's the power and the beauty of the open Internet - anyone with a connection can freely share their talents and thoughts with the world, thanks to Net Neutrality, the principle that protects our freedom to express ourselves online.
Today, a handful of young "stars" who have made their careers on the Internet released this video -- in collaboration with SavetheInternet.com and the Harry Potter Alliance -- urging the Federal Communications Commission - and you - to take action to protect Net Neutrality and preserve the open Internet.
Watch the video:
With YouTube subscribers and Twitter followers numbering from the thousands to the millions, these Internet celebrities use the Internet to showcase their music, their comedy, their books, their blogs and vlogs, their projects for social justice, and even their TV show on the Discovery Channel.
The video includes John and Hank Green of the vlogbrothers; actor and blogger Wil Wheaton; Maureen Johnson, New York Times bestselling author for young adults and "Mashable's Most Interesting Twitter User to Follow" (@maureenjohnson); Shawn Ahmed from the UnculturedProject, one of the most viewed and most subscribed to YouTube channels on global poverty; vloggers and musicians Kristina Horner (italktosnakes) and Luke Conard (lukeconard); and Adam Savage from Mythbusters.
While the Internet allows people to create and share their work with the world without anyone's permission, phone and cable companies like Comcast and AT&T want to control the Internet - deciding which content loads fast, and which doesn't load at all. They could effectively silence artists and media makers everywhere, and you, too.
The group in the video joins nearly 1.8 million people who have told the FCC to safeguard Net Neutrality. Will you add your voice? The FCC has the power to protect the Internet and our free expression online, and to ensure that we all get to keep using the Internet the way we want to.
Follow Megan Tady on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MegTady