Never underestimate the power of the net when people have a cause to get behind. Don’t underestimate the power of John Oliver and his fans either. Last Sunday, Oliver put his following to the test by giving them a cause and telling them to go online to make their voices heard. And boy were they heard loud and clear.
The FCC decided to mess with the current status quo of net neutrality this past May when it approved a plan to allow internet providers to make deals offering preferential treatment with companies, such as faster service. On the plus side, it did prevent providers from slowing or blocking sites.
Critics of this plan believe, and rightly so, that this will create a system of haves and have nots between wealthy companies and smaller businesses or startups. Which in turn will then mimic the current American economy. But I digress.
“The internet in its current form is not broken, and the FCC is taking steps to fix that.” Oh John, always so succinct and to the point. In, let’s call it retaliation, he posted the link to the FCC website page requesting comments from the public.
By Monday afternoon the FCC Twitter account was posting apologies regarding “technical difficulties due to high volume.” Twice. Soon after Oliver Tweeted “Whoops, it seems that you’ve all crashed part of the FCC website. I hope you’re proud of yourselves.”
As of this afternoon the video of John Oliver’s call to arms has over 1.7 million hits and counting on YouTube. The FCC website lists over 225k hits under “net neutrality” and over 2500 if you search under the name “John Oliver.”