Net neutrality comments to FCC gamed

Pew reports that 21.7 million comments were submitted electronically to the FCC in response to the Commission’s call for comments on the FCC’s net neutrality rule. “[Pew] Center’s analysis of these submissions finds that the comments present challenges to anyone hoping to understand the attitudes of the concerned public regarding net neutrality. It also highlights the ways in which individuals and groups are using modern digital tools to engage in the long-standing practice of speaking out in order to influence government policy decisions” according to Public Comments to the Federal Communications Commission About Net Neutrality Contain Many Inaccuracies and Duplicates (Nov. 29, 2017).

Pew’s findings include the following:

  • 57% of the comments utilized either duplicate email addresses or temporary email addresses created with the intention of being used for a short period of time and then discarded
  • Of the 21.7 million comments posted, 6% were unique. The other 94% were submitted multiple times – in some cases, hundreds of thousands of times.
  • On nine different occasions, more than 75,000 comments were submitted at the very same second – often including identical or highly similar comments Three of these nine instances featured variations of a popular pro-net-neutrality message, while the others promoted several different anti-net-neutrality statements.

Interesting. H/T to beSpacific. — Joe

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