John Oliver may have crashed the FCC’s comments system

John Oliver may have crashed the FCC’s comments system

John Oliver
John Oliver

On Sunday night, John Oliver dedicated much of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver to talking about net neutrality, particularly as it relates to some proposed rule changes by the FCC. On Monday morning, the FCC’s comments system went down. Coincidence? Well, the FCC isn’t eager to draw that particular line of cause-and-effect; according to Variety, an FCC spokeswoman would only confirm that the system was down for a few hours on Monday, adding that it was “unclear if the high volume was directly related to the John Oliver segment.”

Oh, sure. But if you watch the segment in question (it’s a long one, but it’s great), at around 11:15, Oliver puts up the FCC comments page URL, does away with fancy graphics, and directly implores Internet commenters to do his bidding:

Good evening, monsters. This may be the moment you’ve spent your whole lives training for. […] Ralph Macchio, you’ve been honing your skills—waxing cars and painting fences. Well guess what? Now it’s time to do some fucking karate. For once in your life, we need you to challenge that anger—that badly spelled bile—that you normally reserve for unforgivable attacks on actresses you seem to think have put on weight. Or politicians you disagree with. Or photos of your ex-girlfriend getting on with her life. Or non-white actors being cast as fictional characters. […] We need you to get out there, and for once in your lives, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction. Seize your moment, my lovely trolls. Turn on caps lock and fly, my pretties, fly!

A good encapsulation of net neutrality might throw some people into a frenzy of action—and the video has gone somewhat viral, with over 700,000 pageviews. But a call to action for the trolls, lurkers, commenters, and overly opinionated writers of the online world? Yeah, we can see how that might bring down a website or two.

Watch the full segment here:


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