Elizabeth Entenman
January 25, 2018 9:56 am

On December 14th, 2017, the FCC officially voted to repeal net neutrality. Net neutrality essentially means that all internet content, and access to that content, is treated equally by internet service providers. So ending net neutrality could have huge implications for people who use the internet. (Which is basically everybody.) Net neutrality protection policies were put in place under the Obama administration. But without these laws, internet providers could do things like charge you more to access certain websites or to use Twitter. Net neutrality is complicated. But one company just stepped up to try and explain it: Burger King.

Burger King decided to explain net neutrality in their own terms. They staged a social experiment called “Whopper Neutrality” in an actual Burger King restaurant to help educate consumers about the consequences of net neutrality. In the prank, they told hungry customers that there were three tiers of Whopper pricing: $4.99 (slow mbps), $12.99 (fast mbps), and $25.99 (hyperfast mbps). In internet speak, “mbps” stands for “megabits per second,” which references how long it will take to download something. But Burger King put a cheeky spin on the term, making it stand for “making burgers per second.”

Basically, if a Burger King customer wanted to eat a Whopper right away, they’d have to pay more.

And people were NOT having it. “So if we want a Whopper now, we have to pay $26?” a customer asked. “Well, that’s how you get it fast,” the Burger King employee (or the actor posing as a Burger King employee) responded. “That’s the highest priority.”

“You can’t give me the sandwich? It’s ready, but you can’t give it to me?” another particularly angry customer asked. “Oh my god, this is the worst thing I’ve ever heard of!”

Watch Burger King’s net neutrality prank below.

The burger chain certainly made their point.

“I didn’t think that a Whopper — ordering a Whopper — would really open my eyes up to net neutrality,” one customer said of the experiment. Another added: “The Whopper actually taught me about net neutrality. It’s stupid, but true.”

The best part of the whole net neutrality prank? At the very end, the Burger King mascot drinks from a ridiculously oversized Reese’s mug. It’s a nod to Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC, who sipped from the same giant mug during the hearing. Burn.

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