Sites including Twitter, Reddit and Netflix, are on a “go-slow” protest today over proposals that could create fast web lanes for some companies.

Critics say such plans would break net neutrality – the principle that all traffic is treated equally online. Why is my internet slow today? 

“Unless and until someone from the outside world stumbles or storms in and tells them different, everything is just as it should be. They are validated, their beliefs reinforced, however weird and twisted they are.

This is the real way that the internet is changing society. Where 20 years ago, those people would have struggled to find each other, now they are only a keyboard and screen away.”
— Charles Arthur: Secrets of the darknet »

Ryan Block called Comcast, his internet provider, to cancel his account, but the ‘retention specialist’ on the other end of the line really didn’t want him to do that. The resulting conversation was painful to say the least.

Now Comcast has contacted Block directly to issue a cringe-inducing apology: “We are using this very unfortunate experience to reinforce how important it is to always treat our customers with the utmost respect.”

Dying shopping malls are speckled across the United States, left to rot as online shopping and the resurgence of city centres make them increasingly irrelevant to young people. Read more

Photo: Seph Lawless

The future of sex: Can you have sex with a computer? And would you want to? We consider a brave new world of infinite possibilities. Read more

Photo: Sara Morris for the Guardian

'Revenge porn' victims receive boost from German court ruling

Intimate photographs should be deleted at the end of a relationship if one of the partners calls for it, a court in Germany has ruled.

The ruling by the Koblenz higher regional court has resonated throughout a digital world grappling with the balance between freedom of expression and privacy. It was welcomed by experts who said it would empower victims of “revenge porn” to be more proactive when seeking the deletion of compromising images. 

Full story here.

“The internet isn’t harming our love of ‘deep reading’, it’s cultivating it”

Heartbleed: don’t rush to update passwords, security experts warn

Internet security researchers say people should not rush to change their passwords after the discovery of a widespread “catastrophic” software flaw that could expose website user details to hackers.

Suggestions by Yahoo and the BBC that people should change their passwords at once – the typical reaction to a security breach – could make the problem worse if the web server hasn’t been updated to fix the flaw, says Mark Schloesser, a security researcher with Rapid7, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Tumblr, which is affected, issued a warning to its users on Tuesday night. Although the firm said it had “no evidence of any breach”, and has now fixed the issue on its servers, it recommends users take action. Full story

Social porn: why people are sharing their sex lives online

From PornTube to Pinsex to Pornostagram, sex websites are following the lead of social networks, allowing users to like, share, repost and comment on each other’s pornography. Read more

Photograph: Fabrice Lerouge/Getty Images/Onoky