Concerns Over Fake Comments on FCC Net Neutrality

WILKES-BARRE -- For the past few months, the Federal Communications Commission asked for comments from the public on whether it should end net neutrality.

Thousands of comments came from people in northeastern and central Pennsylvania. But it appears many, if not most of these comments, are fake.

We called 12 people whose names were listed as making comments with the FCC and none of them said they even contacted the agency. That includes a woman from Wilkes-Barre who admits she doesn't even know what the FCC does.

The Christmas spirit runs through the home of Darlene Mapes in Wilkes-Barre, but her smile goes away when she learns her name is on a government document to the federal communications commission.

"I never did that," Mapes said.

But FCC files show that in August, Mapes wrote, "the Obama-era FCC regulations (known as net neutrality) enable the federal government to exert an unnecessary amount of regulatory control of the internet."

The FCC file shows Mapes writing, "I support Chairman Pai's proposal."

"I don't know a Chairman Pai," she said.

The FCC lists more than 500 people from Dunmore as commenting on net neutrality, including former borough council member Paul Nardozzi. He believes most of his neighbors on the list did not contact the agency.

"If they can use my name and have my address idiotic as that, God only knows what someone else could use your name for," Nardozzi said.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro believes so many fake comments hurt people who opposed the FCC. He wants to see a federal investigation into how the names of so many people were used without their knowledge.

"Approximately one million fake accounts were created, and really it influenced their decision to gut net neutrality," Shapiro said.

Darlene Mapes hopes the new rules don't slow down her internet which she only uses to play games. And she's still concerned about her name being listed on a government document taking a stand on an issue she knows nothing about.

"They don't have a right to use my name."

You may be concerned that your name is connected to a comment with the FCC and there's an easy way to find out. The attorney general's office has set up a web page where you can check to see if a fake comment has been made in your name.

21 comments

  • Catherine

    I followed the FCC link provided & found (unbeknownst to me) My name was used/net neutrality issue. They do provide an online form to submit to advise it was false.

  • trucker

    Maybe the feds can investigate after they first investigate the bomb threats and death threats against Ajit Pai and the death threats against his children by the online antifa that supports the digital version of Obamacare called Net Neutrality.

    • Carl Brutananadilewski

      What? You seem to be parroting this Obamacare of the internet. Which means you have no idea how any of this works.

  • Chuck

    Can’t wait for this to start, it will keep all of the idiots that live up in your area off the net . I wish though I could see the dumber than usual look on their faces when it happens.

  • Bob

    I’m on the list, I’m real….

    So not only do you feel like a hostage negotiator when your begging Comcast or Verizon to lower your rates to a manageable level. Which can be difficult because, they know and know you know their service is or almost the exclusive provider in your area.

    Killing net neutrality can potentially:
    ~Destroy startup’s before proven better that Netflix, Amazon, Hulu…. Big business asking another big business to tie the competitors shoes together before a race!
    ~Give undesired control of the priority of how fast a website can get to it’s destination.
    ~Turn a computer service technician’s job upside down when a common user such as the woman in this piece doesn’t understand any of this means. I can already hear her giving some poor guy grief because Candy Crush doesn’t load faster than Bejeweled..

    If a company such as Netflix is unable to facilitate the ability to service all of it’s users on it’s own without a leg up from the isp someone is pocketing money. They should restructure their price model to reflect quality of consistent service. Or loose there customer base to a company with a truly better service.

    The user on the other side is well aware cheap internet = slower load times of streaming services like Netflix. Sorry DSL customers…. How is it fair to sell service tiers for faster speeds when the dude that pays for the pinto can get to the destination in equal time to the guy that pays for a formula one race car?

    Focus more on helping smaller Internet service Providers compete directly with Comcast and Verizon so there is an alternative option to the bloated 2 we have in the area. Allow companies like Adams cable and PTD to cross territories to compete. New user growth would allow those companies to expand there infrastructure to better service customers.

    Acknowledge DSL is DEAD!!!! Verizon is unaware they are actually zombies…….! Focus on cellphones………
    High five Copper for now *Thank you PTD and Adams*
    Accept you over pay for Comcast but you want the quality of service until someone else can offer the same quality at a lower rate.
    Demand fiber! Understand we live in an area which technology progression is behind by 10 years in most aspects.
    Demand government to find new creative ways to bring companies like RCA back to this area and the fiber will come.
    Do NOT ACCEPT NO FOR AN ANSWER!

    • trucker

      I have DSL in Drums, I love it. it’s like 30 bucks a month.
      I have republic wireless for 13 a month, thank goodness the Kenyan-in-chief did not think of phone neutrality.
      DSL is alive and well!

  • cheap tightwad

    The only thing that has changed is the format. The old way was to have employers lean on their employees to fill out a favorable response to a bill and have the postal service deliver them to the floor of the house and senate for the photo op. I was the only one to refuse and wrote my own letter of opposition and this was the only time that I have received a response from a congressman and senator. This was in 1994 the Gephardt bill that was defeated and reappeared as the affordable care act. Those mail bag could have been filled with junk mail.

  • jack u

    GEORGE ORWELL .telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.. in universal times of deceit ,,or something like that and i cant even believe i just thought that.

  • Dave Bohman

    ROJAZD. There should be a number of the AG’s page to report it to his office. Shapiro plans to join other AG’s who claim thousands of fake posts influenced FCC policy. Thank you.

    • cheap tightwad

      You will find that the other attorney generals lists will be along party lines just like the vote. This is called politics.

  • rojazd

    I find this very concerning. I checked myself and a couple friends because I know they wouldn’t know what this all means and they probably wouldn’t do anything anyway. Looking into one friend I found two filings with the exact same name but in two different cities. The names are Uppercased and CamelCased. Interestingly enough, both comments are exactly the same, go figure. I’d like to point this out to Josh Shapiro but I have no idea how.

    • Damian Rojas

      This is not about hacking, this is plain and simple corruption. To file there’s no need to have an account, just an opinion. This is a concerning matter, seeing that someone is very interested in passing a regulation too many people are not aware of.

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