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Almost All Comments Sent to FCC Last Year Showed Support for Net Neutrality

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sought to repeal the existing net neutrality laws. As it was doing so, the government agency received 22 million comments on its website with people voting for and against keeping the rules in place. Now, it looks like a significant number of those comments were actually voting for net neutrality. 

Stanford University conducted a study that revealed 99.7 percent of non-duplicated comments found on the website were actually against repealing the existing net neutrality laws. This is an important discovery because the FCC requested the public to make a comment on their stand before they would make a decision about the fate of net neutrality. Unfortunately, those comments were not given importance as the government agency voted to kill the laws protecting net neutrality in December. 

The findings of the study, authored by Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society's Media and Strategy Fellow Ryan Singel, is published in "Filtering Out the Bots: What Americans Actually Told the FCC about Net Neutrality Repeal."

Singel's work was heavily influenced by the work previously accomplished by data scientist Jeff Kao. This included analyzing all 22 million comments and extracting those that were not form letters or part of a fraud campaign. Out of that number, Kao ended up with 800,000 comments he tagged as "semantic standouts." Looking at that number, Kao discovered that 99.7 percent were actually favorable to keeping those rules in place according to the 2015 ruling. 

For his part, Singel further analyzed those 800,000 comments and grouped them by geographic area, state, and Congressional district; which earned 646,041 unique comments. The comments give a clear look into the concerns of the citizens, no matter how diverse these are. In addition, the unique commentors show that they truly understand what net neutrality is. The comments also show articulate reasons on why net neutrality should be kept in place. A number of those comments came from rural America, who expressed their problem with insufficient internet provider options.

The comments also reflect that there was no politics involved in retaining the rules of net neutrality. Both Republicans and Democrats were in favor of the ruling. There was also a higher than average number of comments coming from Congressional districts with a hotly-contested race. 

And on the subject on whether or not the non-unique comments were faked, a number of the commentors used the form letters that were published by websites advocating for net neutrality. This just means that these comments were not considered fakes. 

With the results of the study, perhaps it is important for tight race candidates to reevaluate their stand on net neutrality.

Source: Motherboard  

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Comment Page :
  1. Americans are not stupid when it concerns #NetNeutrality. We understand that having the Ajit Pai controlled @FCC repeal net neutrality was wrong and will cost consumers more money each month.
    Americans also understand that Ait Pai will return to either Verizon or another large internet service provider as soon as he can after causing this expensive policy change as Chair of the FCC.

  2. Any remote suggestion that Americans prefer 'net neutrality' 99.7 to 0.3 is laughable. Is it possible that mainly opponents of the repeal 'voted'?

  3. Americans are smart. We weant NetNeutrality. The FCC under the control of Ajit Pai, who was a Verizon attorney, has done a great disservice to the USA

  4. We wanted a wall around our country, not our internet access. But as always, the unelected suits are running amok regardless of who gets voted into office.

    Hillary's FCC would've likely done the same thing, so at least Trump being in office means that sheeple will actually criticize bad decisions instead of defending them for the sake of blind party loyalty.

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