It all started with a screenshot.
On Tuesday, Yuri Victor, the senior user experience designer at Vox Media
, snapped a picture of a Netflix loading screen that said “The Verizon Network is crowded right now. Adjusting video for smoother playback…” and posted it to Twitter:
Someone at Verizon saw the message and didn’t like that the streaming video service was blaming the Internet service provider for the slow speed. On Thursday, the company sent Netflix a cease-and-desist order demanding that the company stop putting those types of messages on loading screens.
“Failure to provide this information may lead us to pursue legal remedies,” Verizon’s general counsel, Randal Milch, stated in a letter to David Hyman, general counsel for Netflix. He added, “Netflix's false accusations have the potential to harm the Verizon brand in the marketplace.”
that Netflix doesn’t seem to be backing down.
“This is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider,” Jonathan Friedland, a spokesman for Netflix, told the news agency. “We are trying to provide more transparency, just like we do with the ISP Speed Index, and Verizon is trying to shut down that discussion."
Based on the comments both brands have been getting on Facebook, Netflix appears to be winning over the public a little better than Verizon.
The overwhelming majority of comments on Netflix’s Facebook page
are about the new season of “Orange Is the New Black,” but the few comments about Verizon and other Internet service providers seem to be on Netflix’s side. For example, one commenter said Netflix should start offering its own Internet service so customers can drop Comcast and Verizon.
Meanwhile, on Verizon’s Facebook page, a huge number of commenters are mentioning Netflix. Here’s a response to a post about “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” being available on demand: “Maxin, relaxin with my crippled Netflix experience due to Verizon's shoddy network infrastructure.”
Other comments are worse, with some people saying Verizon is “trying to ruin the Internet.”
Verizon is one of several Internet service providers backing proposed FCC rule changes that would allow Internet “fast lanes,” which streaming companies such as Netflix would have to pay extra to get access to.