Science and Tech


Robots May Have Answered The FCC's Call For Net Neutrality Comments

A proposal to roll back Obama-era regulations attracted hundreds of thousands of comments — not all of them legitimate.
Posted at 8:14 PM, May 10, 2017

Before Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai can roll back regulations meant to preserve net neutrality and open internet standards, he had to put his proposal up for public comment. It's not going well.

The "Restoring Internet Freedom" proposal is still open for comment until mid-August. But it's already swamped with submissions — and many of them aren't legit.

More than 128,000 comments just posted the same statement criticizing net neutrality under different names over and over again. ZDNet reports that's likely to be the work of a robot; the outlet contacted several of the named posters, who said they didn't leave any messages with the FCC.

Recode also notes around 30,000 similarly boilerplate comments supporting net neutrality came from a form submission site run by a nonprofit.

Public interest in the proposal hit a high point after comedian John Oliver used his HBO show to encourage comments on the FCC's website. The agency says a flood of traffic took its website offline shortly after that program aired.