New York AG Busts MSNBC’s Parent Company Gaming System On With Fake Comments: “These illegal schemes are unacceptable”

 

New York Attorney General Letitia James just claimed in a new report that nearly 18 million of the more than 22 million comments the FCC got when it was deciding what to do about net neutrality were faked.

The report says the comments were faked by industry heavyweights in a $4.2 million effort to sway the result that was funded by Broadband for America. The group includes major internet providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Charter. In one case, a teenage college student in California submitted millions of comments.

“The Office of the New York Attorney General (OAG) found that fake comments accounted for nearly 18 million of the more than 22 million comments the FCC received during its 2017 rulemaking,” the AG’s report reads.

“This type of fraud has significant consequences for our democracy. Federal and state agencies rely on public comments to set standards that govern many aspects of our lives, from public health to consumer protection to the environment, and, in this case, the rules that govern how we share and consume content over the internet.

“Public comments can also influence legislators and the laws they enact.”

“The OAG found that millions of fake comments were submitted through a secret campaign, funded by the country’s largest broadband companies, to manufacture support for the repeal of existing net neutrality rules using lead generators.

“And millions more were submitted by a 19- year old college student using made-up identities. “The OAG also found that the FCC’s rulemaking proceeding was not unique. 

“Some of the same parties and tactics have infected other rulemakings and processes for public engagement.” 

“These illegal schemes are unacceptable,” AG James wrote on Twitter.

“Today, we stopped three of these marketing companies from continuing their illegal behavior and recommended reforms to stop this type of fraud in the future,” she added. 

“We will continue to shine a light on abuses and disinformation that drown out the voices of the American people.”

 

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