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FCC Website Hobbled By Comment Trolls Incited By Comedian John Oliver 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the sweep-the-leg-johnny dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a recent segment of his new HBO show, Last Week Tonight, comedian John Oliver delivered a commentary (video) on the current net neutrality debate. He ended the segment by calling on all internet comment trolls to take advantage of the FCC's open comments section on the topic. 'We need you to get out there and for once in your lives focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction,' he said. 'Seize your moment, my lovely trolls, turn on caps lock, and fly my pretties! Fly! Fly! Fly!' While the true impact of John Oliver's editorial cannot be confirmed, the FCC nevertheless tweeted shortly after it aired that its website was experiencing technical difficulties due to heavy traffic. They accept comments via email as well at openinternet@fcc.gov."
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FCC Website Hobbled By Comment Trolls Incited By Comedian John Oliver

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  • by Chas (5144) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @09:46PM (#47161715) Homepage Journal

    Seriously. I watched the video earlier today. It was remarkably clear, fairly concise and very accurate.

    If this guy actually motivates enough people, even if for the wrong reasons, I salute him.
    If he actually gets people motivated for the right reasons? Oh hell, he's up for sainthood.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @10:36PM (#47161883)

    > Some random comic makes a joke to a small segment of the TV watching late-nighters, and this somehow took down an FCC web site?

    That youtube video of his entire net-neutrality bit has 1.2M views as of 48 hours after it was broadcast on HBO - that's 7 people per second.

    Nevermind who saw it on TV, a metric fuckload of people saw it on youtube and they weren't just random people, they were people specifically interested in the topic else they wouldn't have clicked through to youtube in the first place.

  • by WolphFang (1077109) <mjoyner@@@vbservices...net> on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @10:45PM (#47161919) Homepage
    I actually found this video quite informative and too the point. He definately attacks the issue head on while "sugar coating" everything in comedic form to hold attention. His approach to getting this message out in this video might be one of the most effective ways I've seen to date.
  • A call to arms! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by McLae (606725) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @11:08PM (#47161967) Homepage
    If any site deserved the "Slashdot effect", this is it!

    I just left a comment. The number 2 issue with comments had about 200 of so. This issue has 45k and rising. Lets tack another digit in the end!

    Thoughtful, reasoned, and on point. Let see if we can make a difference.

  • by TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @06:22AM (#47163073)

    What a long way down to this.

    TWENTY YEARS ago when a 1 megabit T1 cost $10,000 a month installed to the Caribbean -- with an equal measure of determination, deft grantsmanship and elbow grease we managed to bring Internet to the US Virgin Islands with the Virgin Islands Freenet [usvi.net]. One day in September 1994 connectivity was available for ~40 cents a minute if you dialed long distance to the states, a couple thou a month for 56kbit or 10k for T1. The day after you could get an email address, access Usenet groups and browse the web with Lynx on 4 (and later as many as 12) local dialup lines.

    So when the National Telecommunications Information Administration announced the first-ever roundtable discussion on the future of the global Internet [columbia.edu] we were there, and carried the newsgroups so our growing user base could follow and participate in this near real-time discussion. The issues were well presented, the discussion was formal and polite.

    There does seem to be a general lack of civility and willingness to participate in process these days.

    Now I do hold some measure of contempt for the Federal Government as a whole in its hubris over control of the Internet. The NSA is pushing net neutrality in its charter-be-damned initiative to listen to everyone [slashdot.org], the president-du-jour tolerates 'Internet kill switch' dialogue throughout the Executive Branch as if martial law security checkpoints should be written into law, and let's not forget the peoples' hero Al Gore who lobbied for the government to hold our encryption keys in escrow. There is a large bullshit factor.

    But attacking the FCC is sort of like going after park rangers. For better or worse (mostly better) it presided over the breakup of the Bells. It helped to ensure that even rural USA modernized its telecom [fcc.gov] to bring about modern access choices, the ones we take for granted today, to as much of the country as possible. And now they are charged with accepting comments on 'net neutrality' -- which will be as hard to adequately define in the modern context as it would be to discuss.

    Now more than ever we need the real voices of people who aren't afraid to write their thoughts into multi-paragraph letters and opinions, no matter the medium, so say something about it. Just like my Freenet folks twenty years ago were eager to do. These folks are not wanting to know how to control, they are asking in what ways it may be best to regulate.

    Control is what we generally try to avoid. Regulation that occurs with a majority of support that accomplishes useful goals -- such as the rural electrification and building of telecom in America -- is a necessary part of due process.

    Time to try to recapture just a bit of the cultural restraint and intelligent determination of yesteryear, methinks.

  • Re:Wait a second (Score:3, Interesting)

    by josquin9 (458669) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @10:21AM (#47164539)

    The segment was online Monday. There was a link from The Daily Kos. Oliver also suggested that "net neutrality" sounded too borring to get people interested, and suggested the more accurate "Prevent Cable Company F*^kery" to describe the legislation.

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