When John Oliver says “fight for Net Neutrality” the US listens: new study parses 800,000 FCC comments

yea for John Oliver. No one should control our Net. So it was designed.


When the FCC asked the public to comment on its idea for internet “fast lanes, it received more than a million responses ranging from expert opinion and rants to form letters and, in one case, the entire text of War and Peace. While this reflected the high public interest in the topic, it also posed a problem as to how the agency — or anyone else — is supposed to slog through all that.

One way is to apply big data tools to the job and the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit group that promotes government transparency, has just released its own findings based on machine learning and sentiment analysis. What did it find?

The most significant finding may be the lop-sided nature of the comments: fewer than 1 percent are “clearly opposed” to net neutrality, while around 5 percent of the comments represent opposition to regulation in general. Meanwhile, about two-thirds are actively opposed to paid fast-lanes or…

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