The roll back Net neutrality protections proposal of FCC was up for public comment between 27th April 2017 and 30th August 2017. At least 22 million comments were submitted. There was a discussion about who registered those massive amounts of comments and their accuracy from the public opinion regarding the supposed plan. The Pew Research Center recently published its discovery about those millions of comments. The center indicated that a small amount of comments were unique and at least half of the million comments came from duplicate or temporary email addresses on multiple occasions. Its report also indicated that tens of thousands of comments were submitted exactly at the same time and it was supposed the use of Bot campaigns.
The comment system of the FCC was supposed to use a verification process that could confirm the authenticity of users’ email addresses. The discovery of Pew just confirmed that 3% of comments were authentic. More than 57% of those comments used duplicate or temporary email addresses. There was a large number of email addresses linked to at least one other comment. 10% of comments didn’t have registered an email address. Thousands of comments weren’t actually registered to appropriate names. The report also pointed out that just 6% of comments were found unique and the other 94% came from posts provided by websites such as battleforthenet.com and various groups such as Taxpayers Protection Alliance. There is a large amount of comments generated by some automated processes such as Bot campaigns. At least 25 thousands were submitted exactly at the same time on 100 occasions and 75 thousands on 9 occasions.