John Oliver Rallies Internet Commenter "Monsters" For Net Neutrality

John Oliver Rallies Internet Commenter "Monsters" For Net Neutrality

The Daily Show graduate makes impassioned 13-minute plea on his weekly HBO news series

Former Daily Show reporter, writer and guest host John Oliver's weekly HBO news satire series Last Week Tonight has been getting solid notices from critics and audiences alike; but he's getting some of his most enthusiastic praise yet for a soaring 13 minutes of editorial comedy on the subject of net neutrality delivered on this weekend's episode of the show.

Launching from a riff on how the "boring" details of the net neutrality issue is preventing the public from being informed of the issue, Oliver went through a detailed and brutally funny "plain english" explanation of what's at stake (short version: the U.S. government is on the verge of allowing internet service providers to offer superior "fast lane" connection speeds for corporations willing to pay extra, which many believe will create an anti-competitive class-division among tech companies) and some the questionable entities and players involved in the current decision making. Appropriately, the crowning moment was saved for the finale, as Oliver made an earnest (if still sarcastic) plea for the "monsters" of internet comment forums to rise up and use their trolling for good - by giving the Federal Communications Commission's comment page an earful.

Launched earlier this year, Last Week Tonight is a weekly news and current-events comedy series in the vein of The Daily Show but unencumbered by the former's basic-cable content restrictions.

Source: Last Week Tonight

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*Last Week Tonight

Overall I like it as much as something akin to the Daily Show can be liked, hopefully they'll avoid taking too much advantage of their broadcast networks eh... looser regulations any further than they have. You can only see old man penis so many times afterall.

PuckFuppet:
*Last Week Tonight

Overall I like it as much as something akin to the Daily Show can be liked, hopefully they'll avoid taking too much advantage of their broadcast networks eh... looser regulations any further than they have. You can only see old man penis so many times afterall.

On the other hand, it1s not just all swearing and nudity, the same looser regulations are the ones that allow them to criticize corporations, not having to care about adverstisers.

45,000 comments so far and they're all polite. Literally all of them, I've only found one partially impolite comment so far. They must be filtering them or something right? They all had punctuation.

...not that it's going to matter. It's necessary to say something so that we can know that we've been wronged but the hijackers got promoted to ships captain. They're going to smile, say that they've listened to all 45,000 comments and that they take net neutrality very seriously and do all they can to protect it... and then tear it to shreds.

I mean the guy in charge is the one who recently gave a press release saying he was firmly committed to net neutrality and that nothing in his new regulations removed net neutrality and then refused to answer every single journalist who asked that wasn't it true, since net neutrality was technically removed by the law courts earlier that there wasn't actually any net neutrality for his regulations to remove? The whole point was it's already gone.

This guy has been paid millions and millions to do one thing. He is prepared to lie every lie in order for that thing to happen.

This is like one of those odd movie tropes that comes up once in a while, like say in Godzilla or Hulk movies, "We can't control the monster, but maybe we can aim it." I'm not entirely sure it's wise to point trolls at the FCC website. It might just add to their reasons to make a more restrictive internet, even though it is technically free speech and should not be prohibited.

BrotherRool:

This guy has been paid millions and millions to do one thing. He is prepared to lie every lie in order for that thing to happen.

This is what everyone keeps forgetting, there's no way he's going to listen because he knows full well what is going on, he the one trying to make it happen after all. I guess I can only hope that Europe doesn't go this far so that we'll shoot ahead tech-wise and force the US to adapt. They'll only listen to profit after all.

Remember ACTA? We beat that, lets aim our collective sights on this.

Alterego-X:

PuckFuppet:
*Last Week Tonight

Overall I like it as much as something akin to the Daily Show can be liked, hopefully they'll avoid taking too much advantage of their broadcast networks eh... looser regulations any further than they have. You can only see old man penis so many times afterall.

On the other hand, it1s not just all swearing and nudity, the same looser regulations are the ones that allow them to criticize corporations, not having to care about adverstisers.

Its good. But in moderation. :D

Ninjamedic:

BrotherRool:

This guy has been paid millions and millions to do one thing. He is prepared to lie every lie in order for that thing to happen.

This is what everyone keeps forgetting, there's no way he's going to listen because he knows full well what is going on, he the one trying to make it happen after all. I guess I can only hope that Europe doesn't go this far so that we'll shoot ahead tech-wise and force the US to adapt. They'll only listen to profit after all.

At this point, I think it would take an angry mob thousands strong outside Wheeler's house with pitchforks and torches to get the message across. The internet is just words, and can be ignored, but when you see crowds of people outside very clearly pissed off with you - on a personal level - that's a little harder to shrug aside.
Mind you I'm not advocating actual violence, just saying there needs to be a very tangible message send that the population will not stand for such a thing. Because otherwise, silence is consent.

Kieve:

Mind you I'm not advocating actual violence, just saying there needs to be a very tangible message send that the population will not stand for such a thing. Because otherwise, silence is consent.

Well good luck with that (assuming you're American), your political arena at this point is a corporate playground, I'm suprised your country hasn't has seen a resurgence of the left yet.

Ninjamedic:

Kieve:

Mind you I'm not advocating actual violence, just saying there needs to be a very tangible message send that the population will not stand for such a thing. Because otherwise, silence is consent.

Well good luck with that (assuming you're American), your political arena at this point is a corporate playground, I'm suprised your country hasn't has seen a resurgence of the left yet.

The "left" in our country has had a resurgence in the last few years, and they're just as sold-out as any other politician here, but with an extra helping of hypocrisy since they pretend they're not. Wheeler, the one pushing this BS, a former cable lobbyist, was appointed by President Obama, who has done nothing but continued campaigning since taking office. Monsanto execs continue to move through the FDA revolving door, and we've recently seen further impediments to the Keystone pipeline from coming to fruition thanks to a $100 million campaign donation promise from a hedge-fund manager who happens to be an environmental activist.

If we want to see this kind of thing stop, we need to stop putting people in the White House who appoint these kinds of people- and since that's so difficult, because you only get far enough in the process by being a prostitute to the lobbyists, we need to start removing these chucklefucks from office when we see this kind of thing. Let us go through a few terms of decapitating the administration multiple times and maybe politicians will get the message that WE THE PEOPLE are the ones in charge. ...sadly though, we're not. Hedge-fund managers, banking conglomerates, and (the reason we'll never see the scale of outrage necessary) Media Moguls are.

In the UK BT owns all the lines until it gets to your house, then you use whatever internet provider you want. Or am i naive? The USA is turning into a dictatorship, they are gaining control of everything. Land of the free.......not anymore.

tangoprime:
If we want to see this kind of thing stop, we need to stop putting people in the White House who appoint these kinds of people- and since that's so difficult, because you only get far enough in the process by being a prostitute to the lobbyists, we need to start removing these chucklefucks from office when we see this kind of thing.

If your goal is reform, voting is no longer enough. If the youth are to have a voice, then one of them needs to run for office. We need to be encouraging young people, in all countries, to take an interest in public policy, and to run for office as soon as they can. It's a group without much money, but endless resourcefulness, and with some orchestration can get these hacks out of office.

If the government has their way, then many stockbrokers/stock traders will be in the streets because their internet connection will be slower than the people who were granted faster internet. Don't they know this?

I love how the FCC has the shittiest, slowest, most broken website ever (fcc.gov/comments). Really shows their commitment to allowing people to voice their opinions.

Johnson McGee:
I love how the FCC has the shittiest, slowest, most broken website ever (fcc.gov/comments). Really shows their commitment to allowing people to voice their opinions.

I know, I've tried three times and still can't get a comment through.

OT: I particularly like how he blatantly called the companies monopolies seeing as it's absolutely true. I'm not from the US so I'm not 100% sure about this but aren't monopolies supposed to be illegal? I thought the government sued Microsoft when they were getting close to becoming one. Is there no other way to take legal action against them or is it completely up to the government (in which case, the situation is quite hopeless)?

RedDeadFred:
OT: I particularly like how he blatantly called the companies monopolies seeing as it's absolutely true. I'm not from the US so I'm not 100% sure about this but aren't monopolies supposed to be illegal? I thought the government sued Microsoft when they were getting close to becoming one. Is there no other way to take legal action against them or is it completely up to the government (in which case, the situation is quite hopeless)?

Technically, being a monopoly is not illegal, but it is against the law to engage in business practices that encourage monopoly (there are laws against anti-competitive practices, in other words). Mostly because no businesses would branch into new markets, because they'd by default be monopolies and therefore illegal, and that would be bad. So it's not a problem to be a monopoly, you just can't behave in a manner that would drive out competition (like, say, making agreements with competitors to avoid the others' regions of service, drive down prices so that smaller competitors can't afford to keep up, etc).

It came out of the period back at the turn of the century in the US, where Rockefeller, JP Morgan, Carnegie, and all the other business tycoons of the time being, well, robber-barons over their own personal fiefdoms. At the time, something like 85% of the wealth in the country was in the hands of maybe 30 people (gee, that doesn't sound familiar at all, does it?).

Fortunately, for back then at least, Theodore Roosevelt took exception to that and, when a bizarrely improbable sequence of events left him as the President instead of the ineffectual token Vice President he'd been intended to be, he pushed through anti-trust reforms, broke apart the big monopolies, and established a body of law intended to prevent such a situation from arising again.

It's nice to see the government getting back to its roots and undoing all his efforts. Really warms the cockles of my heart.

It doesn't take a village. It takes a revolution. Worked in 1776. It'll work now. The body count might shock historians.

RedDeadFred:

Johnson McGee:
I love how the FCC has the shittiest, slowest, most broken website ever (fcc.gov/comments). Really shows their commitment to allowing people to voice their opinions.

I know, I've tried three times and still can't get a comment through.

OT: I particularly like how he blatantly called the companies monopolies seeing as it's absolutely true. I'm not from the US so I'm not 100% sure about this but aren't monopolies supposed to be illegal? I thought the government sued Microsoft when they were getting close to becoming one. Is there no other way to take legal action against them or is it completely up to the government (in which case, the situation is quite hopeless)?

You too, huh? Thank god it's the FCC, i thought Comcast was doing it on purpose.

Good news: Over 40k people have already done so on the actual site, so we know this is a huge issue.

Better news: Here's their email address. OpenInternet@fcc.gov

I've already sent my personal message. Feel free to flood them.

I still think this is roughly the same thing as a suggestion box hooked up to a furnace, but we'll see where this gets us.

Agayek:

It's nice to see the government getting back to its roots and undoing all his efforts. Really warms the cockles of my heart.

It does, doesn't it?

Thanks for the history US history/politics lesson!

Ninjamedic:

Kieve:

Mind you I'm not advocating actual violence, just saying there needs to be a very tangible message send that the population will not stand for such a thing. Because otherwise, silence is consent.

Well good luck with that (assuming you're American), your political arena at this point is a corporate playground, I'm suprised your country hasn't has seen a resurgence of the left yet.

The only issue we're really divided on in gay marriage. Other than that, making sure we have enough to live and entertain ourselves on. The rest is team backing.

Is anyone really surprised by this? Such a thing was bound to happen, it was only a matter of time. For a country whose national dream is to get rich, they protect the corporations that make tons of money while flipping off anyone who's buying from them.

The only thing that gives me any remote hope in this situation is the sight of big names like Google and Facebook actually agreeing with us for once. And I know we can hardly go a couple months without saying this to some new corporation, but fuck Comcast and the rest of its ilk.

Normally this is the point where I'd smugly laugh at America's broken "democracy", but we Australians just elected our very own, meaner version of Dubya (who was featured in the very same episode) who thinks the biggest problem with Australia is our democracy isn't as fundamentally broken and soulless as America's and plans to spend his term putting corporations firmly in charge where they belong. Our best hope is that the opposition can stop throwing pies at each other long enough to actually oppose him. Fat chance...

gridsleep:
It doesn't take a village. It takes a revolution. Worked in 1776. It'll work now. The body count might shock historians.

You know, in the past I've usually scoffed at this sort of rhetoric. Obviously there isn't going to be any sort of "revolution" akin to what happened in the late 18th century. But when it appears that there's nothing voters can do because even the democratic process is being controlled by large private interests, it really feels like some form of aggressive protest is needed, at least on the scale of what occurred during the Vietnam war.

The only other option I can think of is simply leaving the country, which may begin happening en masse if life in the United States continues on a trajectory of becoming continually worse and worse. I've never really been much of a patriot to begin with so I'd be mostly fine with it.

Such a good share. I hope this goes viral. o-o rawrrrrrrrrrr

Olas:

gridsleep:
It doesn't take a village. It takes a revolution. Worked in 1776. It'll work now. The body count might shock historians.

You know, in the past I've usually scoffed at this sort of rhetoric. Obviously there isn't going to be any sort of "revolution" akin to what happened in the late 18th century. But when it appears that there's nothing voters can do because even the democratic process is being controlled by large private interests, it really feels like some form of aggressive protest is needed, at least on the scale of what occurred during the Vietnam war.

The only other option I can think of is simply leaving the country, which may begin happening en masse if life in the United States continues on a trajectory of becoming continually worse and worse. I've never really been much of a patriot to begin with so I'd be mostly fine with it.

god damnit america. wtf. Let's see... where to go...

shirkbot:

If your goal is reform, voting is no longer enough. If the youth are to have a voice, then one of them needs to run for office. We need to be encouraging young people, in all countries, to take an interest in public policy, and to run for office as soon as they can. It's a group without much money, but endless resourcefulness, and with some orchestration can get these hacks out of office.

not sure about US, but thats not even legally possible here. you MUST be over 45 years old to run for presidency and over 27 years old to run for anything else in politics. the "youth" cant even be legally elected even if it had support of majority.

something I don't understand about American politics. Isn't lobbying basically corporate bribes? Why is it even legal.

Strazdas:

shirkbot:

If your goal is reform, voting is no longer enough. If the youth are to have a voice, then one of them needs to run for office. We need to be encouraging young people, in all countries, to take an interest in public policy, and to run for office as soon as they can. It's a group without much money, but endless resourcefulness, and with some orchestration can get these hacks out of office.

not sure about US, but thats not even legally possible here. you MUST be over 45 years old to run for presidency and over 27 years old to run for anything else in politics. the "youth" cant even be legally elected even if it had support of majority.

I know there are (usually somewhat archaic) limiting factors, but 27 is not all that old, and the president of any given country has a tendency to be something of a figure head. That's not to say they have no power, but that their perceived power is usually much greater than their actual power. Parliament tends to make the major decisions, with presidents playing along/against as it suits them. Imagine a Parliament with even a small number of people under 30. It may not seem like much, but if you could get even a representative proportion of younger members it could make a huge difference. It might even be possible to reduce the age restrictions.

 

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