28 senators, led by Senator Maggie Hassan, have just signed and sent a letter to the FCC asking them to delay their vote on whether or not to continue protection under net neutrality. The letter itself claims that the proposal’s public comments were bombarded with a large number of fake posts and that the vote needs to be delayed so there can be an extensive review of the comments.
"A free and open internet is vital to ensuring a level playing field online, and we believe that your proposed action may be based on an incomplete understanding of the public record in this proceeding," the senators wrote. "In fact, there is good reason to believe that the record may be replete with fake or fraudulent comments, suggesting that your proposal is fundamentally flawed."
A few groups have found evidence that a significant number of the 22 million public comments on the proposal could quite possibly be fake. For instance, data scientist Jeff Kao has concluded after conducting a study that “at least” 1.3 million of the comments in support of the proposal were fake and actually came from a central source.
Also, the Pew Research Center believes that over half of the comments came from either fake, temporary or duplicate email addresses.
After evidence that some comments actually used people’s identities without their consent, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also sent a letter to the FCC calling for them to investigate the possibly fraudulent comments. In his letter, he states that his office has reason to believe that the fake posts are posing as “hundreds of thousands" of Americans. He goes on to say that this violates New York law and he’s investigating the issue for the citizens of New York.
The letter sent by the senators, which was signed by the likes of Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, requests that the FCC delay the vote on net neutrality until it can review in detail the public record and prove its accuracy.
They write that "The FCC must invest its time and resources into obtaining a more accurate picture of the record as understanding of that record is essential to reaching a defensible resolution to this proceeding."