A few weeks ago, we told you about a spambot that was stealing the identities of Americans to post anti-net-neutrality propaganda on the FCC’s website collecting comments on its rollback of net neutrality rules. One would think that the “identity-stealing spambot” label would naturally provide a basis for disregarding those comments, but the FCC is apparently going to consider them.
Vocativ, following up on the story, found that the FCC is acting very much like it’s going to consider the half a million comments saying the exact same thing despite the fact that when followed up, the people who supposedly commented denied ever saying such a thing. Of course, it might simply be that these will all be taken as one comment, and weighed against the enormous, and far more legitimate, response rallied by John Oliver and others.
But it would behoove the FCC to address this more directly, not least because if stealing the identities of Americans works for one aspect of public comment, there’s absolutely no reason not to assume this lazy automated fraud won’t be used elsewhere, burying the government in verbal garbage and making it difficult to discern the true will of the people. That it seemingly doesn’t bother the Federal Communications Commission raises a few eyebrows. If you’d like to weigh in on an open internet, you can do that via the Electronic Frontier Foundation.