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John Oliver Crashes the FCC Website (Again)

By Dustin Rowles | Late Night TV | May 8, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Late Night TV | May 8, 2017 |

Three years ago, in John Oliver’s fifth Last Week Tonight episode, he took on the FCC. He motivated our asses to go out and protect ourselves from critics of net neutrality by leaving comments on the FCC’s website opposing rules that would chip away at net neutrality, and it worked. The FCC website crashed, and the Obama Administration eventually made the regulations stronger. In 2010, Internet regulations were governed by the less strict Title I of the Communications Act. In 2015, Obama had it changed so that the more strict Title II of the Communications Act governed the Internet. This was a huge deal, because it more or less ensured that we’d continue to have a free and fair Internet.

Now, the new FCC Chair, Ajit Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon, wants to change it back, and if he did so, it would basically mean that net neutrality would be optional, and given the buggery that took place among Internet provides like Verizon, T-Mobile, and Time Warner before 2015, it would only be a matter of time before Internet Service Providers began providing more favorable speeds to companies that they partnered with or that paid them.

In other words, it turns the Internet into yet another f**king corporation instead of a democracy.

Before this rule is proposed, however, Oliver thinks that we should all — once again — offer our input. However, the FCC has also made it much more difficult and confusing to leave a comment, so Oliver found a way around it by buying up the domain, which now redirects to the exact page you need to leave a comment supporting net neutrality.

You won’t be surprised to learn that, last night, the FCC site crashed. Again. Will it matter? I dunno. The Trump Administration has an unfortunate tendency to ignore the will of the people. It doesn’t matter how unpopular a law or regulation is, Trump seems to support it anyway so long as it benefits the rich. But we’ll see. I’ll tell you this, though: Trump doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of Reddit or 4chan, which is basically like being on the wrong side of the intelligence community, only with much more misogyny and racism. Until now, that misogyny and racism has worked in Trump’s favor; if he pisses off these communities, however, they will quickly turn on him.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.