John Oliver made a huge impact in 2014 when he asked his fans to help him save the internet. The Last Week Tonight Show host addressed the issue on his fifth episode which shockingly took his ratings through the roof. Now two years later, Oliver is once again asking his viewers to help with net neutrality.
In 2014, Oliver explained the repercussions that could come in the debate over net neutrality and encouraged viewers to leave comments on the Federal Communications Commission’s website. Oliver got so many people commenting that they were able to crash the site in the process.
This year, Oliver is bringing up the concern because he says, “once again, net neutrality is in trouble.” His “once again” comment is referring to the new Trump administration’s views on net neutrality. Oliver introduced the topic on his show saying:
“It seems that the Trump era will basically control-Z [undo] everything that happened on Obama’s watch,” Oliver said by way of introduction. “I genuinely would not be surprised if one night Trump went on TV just to tell us that he personally killed every turkey that Obama ever pardoned.”
Oliver also made fun of the new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, who previously worked as a lawyer for Verizon. The two jokes directed at Pai were how Pai likes to tweet quotes from The Big Lebowski and how he always takes his Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups novelty mug to press conferences. After jabbing at Pai, Oliver went on to attack the FCC as a whole:
“So sadly, it seems once more we the people must take the matter into our own hands. Because the FCC are again going to invite public comment on their website – and conveniently for them, the process is actually a lot more complicated this time than it was three years ago.”
After walking his fans through how to make a comment, he gave them the URL, “gofccyourself.com.” This URL will directly lead people to the comment page to voice their opinion. “Do not tell me you do not have time to do this,” Oliver told his fans. “If the internet is evidence of anything else, it’s evidence that we all have too much time on our hands.”
But all the deflection from Oliver’s fans could be all for not. According to an interview with NPR, Pai deflected the one question that mentioned if public opinion could sway the result:
“We have to make a decision based on what is called substantial evidence. That is the aim that we have under this FCC, is to make sure that we proceed in a way that preserves the free and open internet and preserves that incentive to invest in networks. Those are the twin goals we are going to be focused on.”
Credit: USA Today