After leaving a public comment on the FCC’s website last summer, I decided to snoop around and take a look at other comments made. I was surprised and suspicious by what I found; not only were a great many in favor of Ajit Pai’s plans to dismantle the Title II utility classification of our internet, but they were written in the exact same way. Curious.
So I refined my searches, brought up the Pro-Pai comments that were left in a small town near me. This little town of Sharpsburg, Georgia was where I grew up, splashing in creeks and stepping on pine cones. Remarkably, HUNDREDS of people there seemed to have left public comments that will help further Ajit Pai’s agenda.
Not one to let curiosity sit still, I began filing these names and addresses, intent to visit them and ask for myself if they truly sent them in. And that’s exactly what I did. I knocked on doors and had recorded conversations with the residents of the addresses listed on the FCC’s official website. The vast majority of these comments are false, not sent by the people it claims sent them. Look at this one from John Skalski, for example:
However, if you go to his house on 11 Tee Pee Row, you will unfortunately speak to a kind person who will tell you that John has been passed away since 2016 and no one else there has the same name. Unfortunately, that is a fake public comment. I found Mr. Skalski’s obituary later:
At house after house, I was told, “No one by that name lived here then.” and “That’s my brother’s name, but he says that he didn’t leave any comment.” At one house in particular, I found a Mom and a Dad, one of whom works in the FRAUD division at the local police department. They were quite concerned to see their daughter’s name on the FCC’s website, so they called her immediately to find out. She had never even heard of the FCC and had left no public comment.
Here, another address that left a comment last summer led me to this “house”:
No one had lived there for a long, long time, the owners told me. Yet this address was implicated with another seemingly false FCC comment. I could not track down the person though. Perhaps he is an authentic human being that lied about his address, but wants Ajit Pai to change our internet rules.
In our current era of lightning fast streams of information, it is up to each and every one of us to learn to see through falsehoods and propaganda. This new form of deception can only be defeated when each of us takes up our own flashlight and shines it into the darkness. Please see for yourself, search the FCC website Docket 17–108 for the comments in a small town near you. Knock on doors. Go and see for yourself the fake grassroots that someone wants you to believe are there.