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Morning Report: The Net Neutrality Debate Is Already A Mess (Again)

Morning Report: The bad news is that you have to care about net neutrality again. The even worse news is that it’s going to be yet another mess.

A debate concerning net neutrality is upon us. No, it’s not Tom Wheeler’s FCC, Jon Oliver’s first barrage, or, well, the first for this situation in many ways. But here we are again, immersed in the net neutrality issue.

Setting aside our prior work on net neutrality via startups, venture capitalists, and so forth, today we need to keep an eye on the issue as there are shenanigans afoot. To wit, ZDNet’s Zack Whittaker’s recent piece “Anti-net neutrality spammers are flooding FCC’s pages with fake comments.”

The headline is accurately descriptive. Here are the key passages for our purposes:

[M]ore than 128,000 identical comments have been posted since the feedback doors were opened, now representing a significant slice of the comments on the FCC’s feedback docket. […]

The comments follow the same pattern: The bot appears to cycle through names in an alphabetical order, leaving the person’s name, postal address, and zip code. […]

We reached out to two-dozen people […] A couple of people late Tuesday called back and confirmed that they had not left any messages on the FCC’s website. One of the returning callers specifically said they didn’t know what net neutrality was, and a third person reached in a Facebook message Tuesday also confirmed that they had not left any comments on any website.

If your first reaction is one of disgust, and perhaps pity, bear in mind that FCC Chairman likes to cite the fact that there were quite a number of comments during the last net neutrality cycle that were opposed to the strict rules eventually enforced. Thus the apparently fake comments will create fodder a similar (stretched) belief that the public is in favor of ending net neutrality as it currently exists.

Ah, 2015, where did you go.

From the Crunchbase Daily:

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Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

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