back to article Smut site fingered as 'source' of a million US net neutrality comments

An analysis of comments submitted to the United States Federal Communications Commission's consultation on the future of the nation's net neutrality rules has shown the whole process of public comments was fatally flawed. Speaking at the Shmoocon hacking conference in Washington DC, Leah Figueroa, lead data engineer at data …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I'm reminded of the old saying that applies to the FCC and the bozo in charge: "Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Write it down and ignore it!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, this is all bogus, but BEFORE the election it was all legit commentary!

        At least, that's the current line...

        1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Before the election, we had a dingo in charge, not a bozo.

          Seriously, the FCC changed leaders. You can't just assert that this is all about anti-Trump sentiment.

  2. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

    Oh, *now* it's party political?

    When the Democrats, then in charge of the executive branch, used their majority on the FCC to implement net neutrality, it wasn't political?

    Grandly declaring political decisions not political when you agree with them is a bit..political :-)

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Oh, *now* it's party political?

      Well they had Pai on the other side... which would refuse to accept black is black unless a lobbyist paid him for that.

    2. Uffish

      Re: Oh, *now* it's party political?

      All politics is political. The USA constitution expects, protects and uses differences of opinion (a.k.a.politics) in an attempt to provide the best governance in an imperfect world.

      Doesn't always work.

  3. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Culprit Identified

    Such submissions were also typically in ALL CAPS, rather than conventional text.

    Bombastic Bob in the study, with the batch mailer.

  4. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    I weep for my country...

    Our Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves every time they see what the powers that be have done to this place, and then curse fit to make a hardened sailor blanche when they see what said powers are doing to the rest of the world in turn.

    As a member of We The People please accept my sorrow over what they've done, what they're doing, and that I can't join in the armed revolution that needs to happen in order to put us back on track.

    I can only hope that things will get better soon, but said optimism is greatly countered by the pessimism that it will get very worse before it can ever hope to start.

    Sometimes I think our government is a cancer on the world in dire need of being excized, cauterized, sterilized, & chucked in the fire before it kills us all.

    To the rest of the world, please accept my appollogies for my government. It's not much but it's all we've got. And before you crow about how much better yours is, please put your own political house in order before casting the first stone.

    =-(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I weep for my country...

      SS, I see Trump's election as the system working as intended. He is a badly needed purgative, and the results are most promising so far. Sure, we really dodged a bullet with Hillary, who almost achieved total power, but it didn't happen. Instead we get a few more years of grace, and maybe, just maybe, we can fix the systemic problems that almost let one party become the Permanent Party.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I weep for my country...

        "[...] we can fix the systemic problems that almost let one party become the Permanent Party."

        You mean the GOP who currently hold all the branches of power and are taking political control of the judiciary? That way lies a totalitarian state.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: I weep for my country...

          Wikipedia:

          Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life

          I think you are just throwing unpleasant words around without knowing what they mean.

          The FCC is failing to regulate, not over-regulating. In this case, the lack of competition in the isp market indicates a requirement for them to step in.

          By definition, totalitarianism means an increase in government intervention. If you want to get political, ask who tries to do that.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life"

            Not so easily today. Sometime totalitarianism can have a degree of economical laissez-faire - of course as long as you're on the government side (and bribe them enough), just look at China or Russia. Often they explicitly don't regulate what other democratic countries believes needs regulation (monopolies, workers' rights, pollution, IP, etc:) because it would bound the power of the oligarchies.

            Marxist totalitarianism, and their obsession for regulations because of the ideals of a new society, are just a kind of totalitarianism - other kinds exist - less idealist, maybe, more mafia-like probably, but not less dangerous.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life"

              "Sometime totalitarianism can have a degree of economical laissez-faire "

              Parties on the right often seem to be libertarian when it comes to maximising profit for a few - while doing everything they can to stop ordinary people doing things.

              Margaret Thatcher pursued economic libertarian aims - and was disappointed it did not result in an resurgence of Victorian philanthropy. At the same time she attempted to remove workers rights - and Clause 28 restricted people's private lives.

              So it appears with the GOP. Cut taxation on corporations; allow pollution of the environment of ordinary people; stop women having rights over their own bodies; impose biblical dogma on people's sexuality.

              1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

                Re: "strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life"

                "stop women having rights over their own bodies"

                Meh. No rights have been removed. Merely the funding. There's no funding for gay marriage or my spectacles, why funding for abortion? I'm all for the right to abortion, but I'm not paying for your shoes, so why this?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life"

                  Meh. No rights have been removed. Merely the funding

                  Not just the funding. Conservative "christian" lawmakers keep pushing more and more restrictions on getting an abortion. It's pretty obvious. Every time they advance a regulation [don't you just hate restrictive government regulations? Oh that's right - only when they apply to corporations] and laws "protecting unborn children" they're making it harder to get abortions.

          2. Alistair Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: I weep for my country...

            P.Lee:

            Whilst wikipedia's definition is effectively correct, one could simply substitute "corporation" for "state".

            At which point, the use of the term in context becomes correct.

          3. inmypjs Silver badge

            Re: I weep for my country...

            "the lack of competition in the isp market indicates a requirement for them to step in."

            Yes, but, net neutrality discourages competition so in this case stepping out is the right thing to do.

            As I understand it the FCC still has plenty of powers to deal with abuse of monopoly.

          4. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: I weep for my country...

            > Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life

            Look up "corporatism", "mercantilism" and "Inverted totalitarianism"

            Incidentally, the "land of the free" is one of the least free countries out there and falls a very very long way down the list on both human rights and quality of life. It's a bit like seeing countries called "democratic republic" or "people's republic", which tend to be neither.

            And that's without even going into the intricacies of a national anthem which has verses celebrating the persecution of slaves.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I weep for my country...

          So how come the downtrodden, penniless and powerless Democrats have managed to bring the US of A to a complete grinding halt then? Funny how it was all the fault of the evil GOP when Obama managed to screw up the budget but now it's the fault of the GOP because... oh wait, it wasn't them stopped it this time. Oh dear, that's not going to help the wasteful leftie policies that have all but driven the UKs economy into the ground have the same effect on the other side of the pond...

        3. Mike Moyle Silver badge

          Re: I weep for my country...

          "You mean the GOP who currently hold all the branches of power and are taking political control of the judiciary? That way lies a totalitarian state."

          ...and whose demonstrated rampant gerrymandering and voter suppression are intended to create a "Permanent Party".

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I weep for my country...

        "He is a badly needed purgative"

        Purgatives work by being somewhat toxic.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: Purgatives work by being somewhat toxic.

          "Operation successful. Patient dead."

      3. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        At Big John, re: Trump.

        Let us agree to disagree on that one.

        I've tried to rewrite this post three times now to "dial back" the vitriol, so I'm forced to leave it like this:

        The TL;DR version: Trump is the visible expression of a deep cancerous ailment that needed to be scooped out, cauterized, sterilized, & ejected into space a very long time ago.

        We are well & truely fucked. =-(

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Meh

          Re: At Big John, re: Trump.

          SS sez:

          "Trump is the visible expression of a deep cancerous ailment that needed to be scooped out, cauterized, sterilized, & ejected into space a very long time ago."

          This is your dialed back, sanitized version? So what's the full version? Put the entire Trump family up against the wall? Send all who voted for him (that deep cancerous ailment) to the camps? Or maybe just have them "reeducated"?

          Do tell SS, and please don't dial back.

          1. unwarranted triumphalism

            Re: At Big John, re: Trump.

            Are you being paid for this?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Thumb Up

              Re: At Big John, re: Trump.

              Your sad 'comeback' is payment enough. ;-/

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: At Big John, re: Trump.

          "Trump is the visible expression of a ..."

          There have been 3 past presidents like Trump. In every case there was a short uptick in the USA economy followed by a prolonged and deep recession.

          As you say, Trump is the visible expression but the problem runs far deeper in the structure of the current american system.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I weep for my country...

      " and that I can't join in the armed revolution that needs to happen in order to put us back on track."

      History suggests that the resulting chaos often allows a possibly even worse regime to take power.

      Like many areas of concern it is education of the masses that leads to a society with checks and balances that work by mutual consent.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I weep for my country...

        "History suggests that the resulting chaos often allows a possibly even worse regime to take power."

        You are 100% correct!

        History has also shown that Non Violent Protest is highly effective.

        There are many examples, but one that comes to mind for more recent changes to oppressive regimes is Gene Sharp's "Albert Einstein Institution".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I weep for my country...

        Like many areas of concern it is education of the masses that leads to a society with checks and balances that work by mutual consent.

        Good thing then that the Republicans are intent on removing education for all but the wealthy (via increasing public college fees, stripping away public school funding, and promoting for-profit education)

        It even took Pence to cast the vote to confirm Betsy DaVros

    3. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: I weep for my country...

      OMG how pathetic.

      In this case your government has rightly decided it is better to butt out and not interfere with business and the market. Generally the less governments do the better but it is making you cry.

      You are making me cry, just can't decide if it is with sadness or laughter.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I weep for my country...

        Generally the less governments do the better but it is making you cry.

        Because anarchy and feudalism are so much better than a civilized nation.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: I weep for my country...

        "In this case your government has rightly decided it is better to butt out and not interfere with business and the market. "

        That would be the same government which has for the most part passed legislation and regulation ensuring that only one business is IN any particular geographic market.

        Net Neutrality rules would not be needed if there was competition for supply. Across most of the USA, there isn't and consumers are faced with legislated monopolies.

  5. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

    American democracy

    ain’t it great

    Right words, wrong order

    1. Lysenko

      Re: American democracy

      The USA has only ever been a democracy on paper. It is a de facto Plutocracy, as guaranteed by the First Amendment and Corporate Personhood. It is meaningless to give everyone an equal right to speak if the right to be heard is auctioned to the highest bidder.

      That's why there are only two viable parties today and it is only a matter of time before a sufficiently powerful coalition of billionaires assemble to completely monopolize political campaigning and create a one-party state. Practical electoral choice only exists today because there is still a factional split between the few dozen individuals and corporations who determine who gets elected.

      1. Alistair Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: American democracy

        "it is was only a matter of time before a sufficiently powerful coalition of billionaires assembled to completely monopolize political campaigning"

        FTFY Lysenko.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: American democracy

        "It is a de facto Plutocracy, as guaranteed by the First Amendment and Corporate Personhood. "

        IIRC the Founding Fathers initially gave everyone an equal voice in the passing of laws. They quickly changed the system when "the people" voted for the wealth of the upper classes - which included the Founding Fathers - to be redistributed to "the people".

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: American democracy

          "IIRC the Founding Fathers initially gave everyone an equal voice in the passing of laws."

          Nope, the original Constitution didn't have universal suffrage (that really didn't hit until the 19th Amendment granted the vote to women; the 15th granted it to all men, and the 26th lowered the age to 18 to reflect draft injustices). To be able to vote originally, you had to be a landowner (IOW, have actual skin in the game). The Industrial Revolution IIRC reduced the dependency on land which is why that requirement went away (that and the fact recently-freed slaves were starting from scratch and would otherwise face vicious cycle issues).

    2. KSM-AZ

      Re: American democracy

      Nobody's holding a gun to anyone's head who wants to leave. All those hollywood types promised if trump was elected. . . They were full of sh--t because they like living in their overpriced left coast homes with their illegal alien housekeepers, fleecing the willing from their entertainment dollars.

      If it's really that awful to you, don't live here. Move to mexico or the UK, or Greece, or Canada. Really much better, get the f-ck out, and don't come back.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: American democracy

        "If it's really that awful to you, don't live here. Move to mexico or the UK, or Greece, or Canada. Really much better, get the f-ck out, and don't come back."

        Isn't that the poem written on the Status of Liberty?

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: American democracy

        "Nobody's holding a gun to anyone's head who wants to leave."

        None of the other countries out there are exactly holding up signs saying "Welcome Disenfranchised Americans." Guns at the gate might as well be guns on our heads. Plus most anywhere else is even further along, creating an "out of the frying pan and into the fire" situation because what we're seeing is basically human nature. There's nowhere to go, really.

      3. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: American democracy

        Nobody's holding a gun to anyone's head who wants to leave

        Merely threatening to tax their worldwide income in perpetuity.

      4. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

        Re: American democracy

        Mexico, Greece or Canada if you don't mind (if they can con their way in to those countries) - the UK has enough useless wastes of oxygen already, thank you.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: American democracy

      Well, you get the government you majority vote for (unless there's electoral irregularities at work).

      Is it time to get the Brits in to run the place again?

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: American democracy

        "...Is it time to get the Brits in to run the place again?..."

        Thanks for the vote of confidence but really...we can't run our own country properly right now.

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: American democracy

        "Well, you get the government you majority vote for (unless there's electoral irregularities at work)."

        In general governments are made of the largest minority, not a majority.

        IIRC the actual figures of population voting are not in Trumps favour - but it's only the weird electoral collage system (paint by numbers) that actually votes for a president...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: American democracy

          "the weird electoral collage system (paint by numbers)"

          I don't know whether that was a Freudian slip but I like it.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: American democracy

            @Dr Syntax.

            It was deliberate...

            The EC system is particularly broken because of the way the different colleges decide to handle their votes. Surely a proportional split would make much more sense than each section of the country rounding their votes up to provide 100% support, when a candidate likely only received 60%.

            I'm not suggesting that anywhere else has a perfect system - but this peculiar artefact of the US system is particularly screwy.

        2. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: American democracy

          The paint by numbers thing is (I believe) a result of trying to bring separate states into the union. No sparsely populated state would join if it knew it would always be out-voted by big cities.

          The solution should be to repatriate power to the States. Democracy is supposed to be a means to achieve self-determination not a moral fig-leaf for you to impose your will on those you consider deplorable.

          Decentralise power and Trump becomes less important. Shouldn't that appeal to both sides?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: American democracy

            The paint by numbers thing is (I believe) a result of trying to bring separate states into the union. No sparsely populated state would join if it knew it would always be out-voted by big cities.

            Hamilton thought the constitution ensured "that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications".

            Well, he was obviously wrong.

            The 12th amendment basically required partisan elections and it was the change from proportional allocation for each state in the EC to winner-take-all that set up such an absurd system.

            No, the EC system was not so states would join the union. Direct election wouldn't have worked for the south - slaves couldn't vote, but WERE counted at at 2/5 rate under the electoral college.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: American democracy

            "The solution should be to repatriate power to the States. "

            The US federal government has been on a 70-year long power grab which started with WW2. Stepping down from a war footing _requires_ decentralisation and that's why the USA has been flailing around for enemies since the Cold War ended.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: American democracy

        Now that we'll soon have a Princess Meghan I fully expect a return of power to the rightful leaders ;) It's about time the US had proper royalty.

  6. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Ain't American Politics Great?!

    Especially when the Demorats would rather shutdown the whole of Government (Sans themselves. Oh deary no, we couldn't have that now could we?), Because the President wants to take their Illegal Voters (from Commifonia), away from them.

    Hopefully this will come back to bite them in the arse come November.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ain't American Politics Great?!

      "Hopefully this will come back to bite them in the arse come November."

      It is possibly more likely to bite the GOP. IIRC some Republicans voted with the Democrats.

      The GOP control all three legislature branches. Yet their infighting has created an inability to agree on anything amongst themselves - never mind any consensus with the Democrats.

      The Democrats have taken on board the GOP blocking tactics used during the last administration. One is reminded of the biblical caution "You shall reap what you have sown".

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Ain't American Politics Great?!

      Especially when the Demorats

      Was this what you were saying when the GOP was using the same tactics to try to prevent most of USA having some form of Health Coverage in order to ingratiate themselves with their sponsors from the health care biz. Guess not...

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Ain't American Politics Great?!

      Especially when the Demorats would rather shutdown the whole of Government

      What planet are you on?

      The democrats fucked up, yes, but they fucked up BECAUSE they gave in to trumps demands - THEY GAVE IN TO AVOID A SHUTDOWN, they should have stood firm oh their demands, the spineless wimps.

      But even though they gave in, the republicans still couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery even with the democrats bringing the beer.

      The republicans control the senate, congress, and have the current President. 3 for 3. Full House. Strike! Yet when the government shuts down, it's the democrats fault? You sure you don't want to blame the Greens, or maybe BRexit?

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Ain't American Politics Great?!

        No, it's not a full 3 for 3 because the GOP can't force cloture (they need 60) nor does either chamber have overriding majority (two-thirds: 291 in the House, 67 in the Senate) which is needed to start Amending. Knowing this, the Dems are using immigration as a hot-buttin make-or-break issue to force a concession. And it happens to be an issue that hits the core of both parties' constituents: causing lots of hand-wringing.

        1. sisk Silver badge

          Re: Ain't American Politics Great?!

          Bah, both parties are to blame. The Democrats screwed up, the Republicans screwed up, and none of them give a shit about the people they're supposed to be working for. I say vote them all out and start over.

          Maybe elect a bunch of monkeys to go to Washington DC. They could hardly do worse than the last few batches of politicians have.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Ain't American Politics Great?!

            "Maybe elect a bunch of monkeys to go to Washington DC. They could hardly do worse than the last few batches of politicians have."

            Um, look what happened in the 2016 elections. The trouble with the "Vote 'Em Out" attitude is the risk you actually find something WORSE enters in their stead. Didn't like the Beast? Say Hello to the Smiler.

        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: Ain't American Politics Great?!

          The GOP wouldn't need to force cloture if they were willing to, y'know, actually put a bill up to the vote that would attract some Democratic votes.

          They could do it today. There's easily a majority in both houses for a straight DACA replacement. The reason they won't do it is because Ryan and McConnell are both terrified of pissing off their own hardliners. They'd rather keep their own fractured caucuses together, and keep the Dems out, than pass a law that actually has majority support.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Ain't American Politics Great?!

            Because it's an election year. Piss off the hardliners, and they'll respond with primary challengers. The biggest fear isn't the general election (which in general tend to be safe if not uncontested) but the primary election where the opponent is in the same party. Lose the primary and you don't get to go to the general election, as has been happening lately with moderates.

  7. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Ah, America

    Land of the Vested Interest

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, America

      What land isn't?

  8. jake Silver badge

    As an aside from the ineffectual political bickering of the rabble ...

    How long have you been sitting on the phase "smut site fingered", ElReg?

    We now return you to the usual complete waste of time that is apparently necessary in all online threads with anything resembling politics in them.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes sense it's a smut site because net neutrality is going to **** a lot of people.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conspiracy 101

    Comment provider "Big John" is probably American

    He is probably "big"

    He is clearly a GOP/Trump advocate

    Trump is American

    Trump is big

    Trump's middle name is "John"

    Therefore: Big John is actually ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Conspiracy 101

      Therefore: Big John is actually ...

      Hillary?

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Conspiracy 101

      "He is probably "big""

      Both observation and tradition suggest otherwise.

      1. Chrissy

        Re: Conspiracy 101

        Big in physical size; not in thinking.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Conspiracy 101

      The Honey Monster?

      Not sure I'm understanding this right.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Therefore: Big John is actually ...

      I usually disagree with Big John, but even I have to acknowledge he is far too coherent, in his phrasing if not his thinking, to be Trump himself. I'm not sure Trump is a purgative at all - more an irritant or an allergen: he doesn't seem to have unblocked very much at all but he has caused no end of adverse reactions.

    5. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      Re: Conspiracy 101

      "Therefore: Big John is actually ..."

      Can't be. BJ understands technology enough to be here and, despite everything, he appears to be at least semi-literate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: Conspiracy 101

        I understand very little. Trouble is, there are some posters here that understand EVERYTHING.

        BTW, I want to thank you all for discussing my many failings so earnestly, and I promise to take all criticisms under advisement. You've been most helpful!

        Oh, and I am NOT Hillary! The very idea...

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. EddieD

    Dear oh dear, what is the Reg coming to?`

    All this material and not one double entendre? No-one though that the bill faced stiff opposition? That the thrust of politics was making boobs out of everyone? And that, when it comes down to it, folk who oppose net neutrality are a bunch of c***ts who have just fucked us all?

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Dear oh dear, what is the Reg coming to?`

      Jake pointed out one they made: "smut site fingered"

  13. handleoclast

    One man, one vote

    Trump is firmly committed to the policy of one man, one vote. Just as long as he is the one man who can vote.

    Thanks, Pterry.

  14. ForthIsNotDead
    Coat

    Smut

    I'll be honest: I'm only here because the title mentioned smut!

  15. Tubz

    Pai and his ISP mates very busy spamming the FCC.

  16. unwarranted triumphalism

    So the 'massive grassroots internet campaign' was nothing of the sort.

    Face it dweebs, you've been rumbled. The grown-ups are taking over now.

  17. BoldMan

    "Nobody's holding a gun to anyone's head who wants to leave."

    Except for the punitive cost of renouncing American Citizenship (currently the most expensive in the world at over $2000).

    Anyway this sort of statement is so juvenile, the sort of thing bullies say in the school playground. You don't leave a country if you are unhappy with its leadership, you work to change it - unless of course you are some pathetic whining alt-right moron.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      unless of course you are some pathetic whining alt-right moron.

      I'd just like to point out that so many left-wingers tried to leave when Trump was elected that Canada's immigration website crashed. That being the case I think your statement would be more accurate if you left out "alt-right" and just included all whining morons, regardless of their political leanings.

  18. sisk Silver badge

    Hundreds of thousands of comments were submitted at exactly midnight on four separate days in July

    Cripes. They're not even TRYING to look authentic.

    American Democracy

    That's not a thing anymore. It hasn't been for a long, long time. They're keeping up the illusion, but the fact of the matter is that America is actually an oligarchy these days and the will of the people counts for exactly crap.

    1. veti Silver badge

      "Signing petitions with joke names" is a tradition - older than modern democracy itself.

      The great Chartist petition of 1839 was signed Queen Victoria - several times, in different handwriting oddly enough - and quite a few other people of similar levels of improbability.

      It's not about "looking authentic", it's likely just people having a laugh. Trolls, as we call them nowadays.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fuck Net Neutrality

    massive increases in speed over the next decade will wipe out any percieved throttling. I have a mere 200Mbit - my ISP trottles to 40-50mBit at times and for certain services - makes zero difference to watching shit on Strem.io or Watchseries-online. I seriously do not give a toss. And if a business wants a phat pipe they should pay for it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "either each staffer sent in 18,000 comments..."

    Well, some people *are* very vocal about their opinions. :-)

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