23 APRIL 2018

WeTransfer launches PSA and ISP in the Final Days of Net Neutrality in the US

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Coinciding with the end of net neutrality in the United States on April 23, file-sharing company WeTransfer, which has a US headquarters in Los Angeles, has launched a multi-part effort to combat the effect of this legislation through education and community tech activism. WeTransfer has always centered its work on providing an experience of the internet that is ethical, simple, and seamless, placing digital sustainability as a central guiding principle for the company.  The end of net neutrality works in direct conflict with this, and inspired the company to use its platform to rally its community to action.

In order to educate internet users on the convoluted details of the effect of the end of net neutrality, WeTransfer released a Schoolhouse Rock style animated video, creating a sing-a-long that explains the premise, effect, and impact of the legislation in simple terms to provide context for both children and adults.  This video is bolstered by an article on their editorial platform, WePresent, offering insights into how individuals can take action to combat the end of net neutrality and contribute to a better internet.

In tandem with this initiative, WeTransfer has committed to taking action, and has partnered with Los Angeles’s Community Broadband Project to launch a grassroots net-neutral internet provider, starting in WeTransfer’s local neighborhood in Venice, California. A start-up of young entrepreneurs dedicated to creating a cost effective, fast, and neutral service, Community Broadband Project is building a new business model for local, community-owned internet service providers that offer net-neutral access. This partnership allows both companies to accelerate timelines to provide a net neutral ISP alternative in beta for the neighborhood as FCC legislation comes into effect.

Damian Bradfield, President of WeTransfer, noted:

“Since opening our US headquarters in Los Angeles in 2016, there has been enormous change in legislation and public conversation in the United States, on who controls the internet, how it should be accessed and monitored, and what the government and tech companies owe the public in this sphere. This is a conversation we welcome, as we have always been committed to putting WeTransfer users first, and creating a system that does not take from them, but provides a clear, simple, and easy conduit for the transfer of ideas and information. To back up this commitment with meaningful action, we’ve partnered with Community Broadband Project to build a net neutral independent internet service provider for our local community, and test their model which could be used across the country. We’re also excited to share our video on net neutrality to help illuminate the potential effects of this legislation, and partner with WeTransfer users in the US to combat this harmful legislation.”

The video, article, and information on the ISP are available on WePresent we.tl/netneutrality.

These projects continue the work WeTransfer has done through the years to support the development of an internet that brings offline respect and decency online - including their data policy, their site which is designed without a sign up or banner ads, and partnerships with like-minded businesses. As WeTransfer expands its work in the US, it will also open up its API to developers around the world to ensure the service can be molded to new potential use cases, and WeTransfer can continue to grow and support its core user base, allowing everyone on the internet to transfer their information simply and easily.

Animation Credits:

Executive Producer: WeTransfer

Creative Agency / Executive Producer: Doubleday & Cartwright

Executive Creative Director: Aaron Amaro

Creative Director: Matthew Reed

Producer: Adam Argersinger

Production Assistant: Cary Nakamaru

Animation Director: Chris McDonnell

Singer/Songwriter: Adam Roth

Music: Granted, Allen Blickle

Sound Design: Granted, Allen Blickle

Animation Assistant: Colton Barto

Animation Assistant: Angel Kawash

Animation Assistant: Gia Pedicone

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About WeTransfer

WeTransfer makes beautifully obvious tools that bring ideas to life. Founded in 2009 in Amsterdam as a simple, well-designed file sharing service for the creative community, WeTransfer has grown to include tools that scale across the creative spectrum, including editorial platform WePresent (with over 2M monthly readers), mobile app 'Collect by WeTransfer' (with over 4M monthly users), quick slide-making tool Paste™ (with over 100,000 teams), immersive sketching tool Paper® (with over 25M downloads), and the original web platform with 42M monthly users and over a billion files sent each month.

From the beginning, WeTransfer has prioritized bringing “offline” values - trust, transparency, and ethics - online. This means the leanest data policy possible and tools that don’t distract people from their creative flow. WeTransfer has pioneered a new means of online advertising, resulting in the platform’s full-page wallpapers, designed by our award-winning in-house creative studio. Advertisers include industry-leading brands like Apple, Saint Laurent, Google, Balenciaga, Samsung, Netflix, Adidas, and Squarespace.

Since its founding, WeTransfer has proudly supported the creative communities and given up to 30% of advertising space to support the arts, donating over 5 billion impressions in 2017. Through our ongoing advertising grant program and content platform, WePresent, we have partnered with hundreds of groundbreaking artists and organizations, including Björk, King Krule, FKA twigs, Ryan McGinley, Ami Vitale, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the UN Development Program, the World Wildlife Foundation and the Prince Estate. In 2016, WeTransfer launched the world’s first free Masters of the Arts in design thinking with the University of the Underground and Worldwide FM, the global radio station run by legendary BBC DJ Gilles Peterson.

Following a $25 million investment from Highland Europe in 2015, WeTransfer opened a US office in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, to add to the Amsterdam headquarters. In 2018, WeTransfer acquired popular creative apps Paper® and Paste™ and expanded its US presence to Seattle and New York City.

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