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18 Million of the 22 Million Net Neutrality Comments Received by FCC in 2017 Were Fake

A multi-year investigation into 2017 net neutrality rulemaking finds 18 million fake comments were filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and half a million fake letters were sent to Congress. According to the Office of the New York Attorney General, which carried out the investigation, broadband industry funded six companies that engaged in illegal activity and impersonated millions of Americans. Net neutrality prohibits internet service providers from blocking, slowing down, or charging companies to prioritize certain content on the Internet.

From the report:

“To help generate these comments, the broadband industry engaged commercial lead generators that used prizes—like gift cards and sweepstakes entries—to lure consumers to their websites and join the campaign. However, nearly every lead generator that was hired to enroll consumers in the campaign, instead, simply fabricated consumers’ responses. As a result, more than 8.5 million fake comments that impersonated real people were submitted to the FCC, and more than half a million fake letters were sent to Congress.”

“The OAG also found that the FCC received another 9.3 million fake comments supporting net neutrality that used fictitious identities. Most of these comments were submitted by a single person—a 19-year old college student using automated software.”

“In all, the OAG confirmed that nearly 18 million of the more than 22 million comments the FCC received in its 2017 proceeding to repeal net neutrality rules were fake.”

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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