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John Oliver Might Have Crashed The FCC’s Comments Section

On last week’s episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver did an entire 13+ minute segment on the issue of net neutrality. Not only did he concisely break down the importance of defending net neutrality, John Oliver, as he is quite capable of doing, made it damn funny as well. At the end of the segment, John launched into a call-to-arms, summoning the dark powers of Internet commenters anywhere and everywhere to take the FCC up on their open net neutrality forum.

Apparently, after the segment aired on HBO and was uploaded to YouTube, the FCC comments section hadn’t experienced that volume of traffic before and crashed. The link between Last Week Tonight‘s segment and the crash would be difficult to verify, but it’s hard to imagine why else it would happen. When it comes to taking action on net neutrality, there has been plenty of essays written on the matter, but not many people have encouraged the wild masses of the internet to share their thoughts with the FCC comments section until Oliver brought it up.

On top of crashing the site, Oliver also received a beautifully satirical letter from POM Wonderful, successfully setting himself apart from being just the “fifth day” of The Daily Show. The interactivity and real world change resulting from Last Week Tonight has been a perfect example of how comedy, politics, social justice, and pop culture can intersect. At the end of many of Oliver’s segments, he usually encourages his viewers to do specific acts if they agree with his point of view.

For all the times that jokes have tried to send a message, John Oliver is definitely making sure that his are well-received.

HT: Variety


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  1. Max says:

    Don’t know if its just me, but this isn’t funny. Perhaps it’s just the American sense of humor. I get his point, but he just isn’t funny 

  2. Misty R says:

    The beautiful thing about this is that John Oliver has both explained the situation in simple words AND gave an action plan to get our complaints and concerns to the FCC beyond “liking” a YouTube video. At this moment, there are almost 50k comments posted in connection to the issue and I imagine more are coming since they review the comments for viruses, questionable content, etc, etc.

    Back in my graduate days, the professor mentioned that in the 70’s the FDA was on the edge of banning diet sodas for some of the questionable chemicals and cancer links. They received hundreds of letters from people demanding that they couldn’t lose their diet soda when they typically received tens of comment letters, and the FDA actually listened (for better or worse). While that was less of a lobbyist’s world, hopefully this type of response will make the FCC question their actions before they make a final decision.

  3. Nico says:

    I LOVED it. It was a perfect 13 minute rant that took the issue and explained it in a way that my parents can understand. Everyone I know is sharing the clip on Facebook and leaving their comments with the FCC – personally, I could not be happier that people are finally giving attention to this (as he says, “BORING”) issue.
    We’ll see if the FCC listens to what the public has to say, or if the comments site is essentially the ballot box/trash can metaphor. I’ve got the lowest hopes, but we’ll see!

  4. Illusion-XIII says:

    That right there was a thing of beauty.