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Broadband companies used fake comments and dead people to fight net neutrality

These major corporations have way too much influence.

person using internet in regards to net neutrality
Image: Unsplash

Just a few years ago, there was a lot of noise surrounding the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality laws. Now, the New York Attorney General’s office has revealed the findings of a multi-year investigation looking into how broadband companies influenced the FCC’s decision on net neutrality.

Net neutrality was repealed in 2017, and there was a good deal of public outcry. NY AG Letitia James revealed the report on Twitter, stating that the office had found evidence of a secret campaign from major broadband companies to influence the FCC to repeal net neutrality.

Net neutrality was officially established in 2015 to help protect internet customers. The law prevented internet providers from utilizing their monopolistic powers to take advantage of customers. But the FCC decided to repeal these measures in 2017.

According to VICE, the AG’s office found that broadband companies hired three different marketing firms to assist with this campaign against net neutrality. Fluent, Opt-Intelligence, and React2Media all worked with broadband companies to fabricate millions of comments showing support for the repeal of net neutrality.

The article claims that nearly 18 million of the total 22 million comments that the FCC received were fake. The marketing companies were hit with a $4.4 million fine.

The marketing firms would create completely fake names, or even sometimes use someone’s name without them knowing, including those of dead people. The investigation found that many of these fake names were enticed to give their personal information to these firms, through the guise of giveaways or other benefits.

Apparently, this practice has become relatively common. Fake comments have been used to influence the finance industry, and even the NFL has been involved in a fake comment scheme. These revelations are pretty scary, and they show just how much power these big corporations have. The fact that they have the power to influence these government decisions so easily is very dangerous.

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