The Internet Responds To Net Neutrality in a Big Way

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - 12:27 PM

(Free Press/flickr)

On this Sunday's episode of John Oliver's new HBO show "Last Week Tonight," he gave a 13-minute soliloquy about the fragile state of net neutrality, and ended with a plea exhorting the trolls of the internet to contact the FCC and let it know just how they felt. It looks like his plea worked, as over 45,000 people have contacted the FCC asking them not to make this change.

By comparison, that's just under 44,000 more public comments than any other FCC proposal has received. Most receive just a couple dozen. And to be honest, most of the comments are pretty reasonable. 

peter mcmahn: Do not allow cable companies to establish "fast lane"/ preferential treatments. Preserve true net neutrality. Establish internet as a public utility, with the controls appropriate for a public utility

Matthew Pope: Please do not take action that will result in an erosion of the current rules surrounding net neutrality. I believe that having net neutrality in place encouragescompetition and innovation in internet companies. If action is taken to create a newmarket for ISPs to act as a middle man to content providers, it would be a great disservice to the American people.

But since Oliver asked for trolls, they did oblige. For example:

Captain Obvious: STOP THE CABLE COMPAANIES FROM RAPING ME!!!!
IF YOU LET THEM HAVE HYPER SPEEDS THEY WILL JUST USE THEM TO HYPER RAPE!!!! DON'T YOU SEE!?

fuck the freaking fcc: DIE now fucking fcc complaint shit bitches who try to get all that we DESERVE RIGHTFULLY

And then there are some that straddle the line between reasoned argument and just goofing off:

This Some Bullshit: This some bullshit. It would not be fair to smaller companies who can not afford the steep price it would most likely be, you dumb fucks. Get a clue. This capitalistic approach doesn't work for everything. I mean yes, it worked for big banking, and it worked for the automobile industry, and it's also working for my apparent sarcasm. Open internet for the people. If you start charging for the air we breathe, can I at least get a coupon code? Lame ass fucks. Suck it. Better leave this net neutrality shit alone.

Even with the profanity and stupidity, I like that this is happening. It captures, if nothing else, the range of expression on the internet. And you can'd deny that all the commenters are passionate. The FCC's comment period remains open, so if you have a yen to let Tom Wheeler know how you feel about the open internet, or just want to type a string of profane non sequiturs, go to the FCC website and comment

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Comments [4]

Don't forget the other groups encouraging comments, FreePress, Fight for the Future, Credo, Democracy for America, ResettheNet, EFF, etc., etc.

Jun. 05 2014 05:20 PM

openinternet@fcc.gov is the link. Why is OTM needlessly complicating the comment process????

This shouldn't be TLDR, it should at least be 2nd/3rd in the show main lineup.

Finding the proper docket # isn't complicated, but it can be confusing!

Jun. 05 2014 05:17 PM

The link is a poor choice to get people to act as you have to navigate twice to get to the comment page. To comment you can email: openinternet@fcc.gov. Also, a single comedian isn't the only person encouraging comments: www.resetthenet.org

Jun. 05 2014 07:55 AM
Aliya from NYC

The link you included for commenting seems ridiculously complicated... is it really that hard to submit a comment? What is a proceeding number and how do I get one?

Jun. 04 2014 09:14 PM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman. You can subscribe to our podcast here. You can follow our blog here. We’re also on Twitter, and we play Team Fortress 2 more or less constantly, so find us there if you like to communicate via computer games from six years ago.

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