“Among the nearly 22 million public comments about net neutrality filed with the Federal Communications Commission in recent months, only 6% of them were unique comments,” USA Today reports, citing a study by the Pew Research Center.
If you’ve spent any time at all on the internet in recent weeks you’ve no doubt seen somebody, somewhere insinuating that the roll-back of Obama-era regulations put in place in 2015 would somehow mean the end of the internet as we know it. Which is baloney. As I wrote recently in a print column, there’s nothing “neutral” about policies giving the FCC (a federal bureaucracy notorious in decades past for their attempts to censor broadcast media) a foot in the door to regulate the internet.
Fear mongering over net neutrality has become a useful partisan weapon. Here in North Dakota left wing activists organized a protest outside of Congressman Kevin Cramer’s offices over the issue.
But how much of the Sturm und Drang over net neutrality is authentic? And how much of it is manufactured noise from left wing groups allergic to the idea of any enterprise allowed to flourish relatively free from government intervention?
Not much of it, based on those numbers from Pew.
This tells us two things.
First, there probably aren’t as many people opposed to net neutrality reforms as it seems.
Second, a lot of the people who are engaged in opposition on the issue probably don’t understand it very well. Even if the millions and millions of identical messages sent to the FCC were all generated by an actual living, breathing American citizens the fact that they couldn’t take the time to express their own unique thoughts on the topic makes the advocacy ring hollow.
I think the FCC is going to be successful in rolling back net neutrality regulations.
What will opponents do when their dire, apocalyptic predictions for that outcome don’t come to fruition?
Who will hold them accountable for perpetuation irresponsible nonsense?