Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"Once again, net neutrality is in trouble," says John Oliver. (Screengrab: "Last Week Tonight")

"Once again, net neutrality is in trouble," says John Oliver. (Screengrab: "Last Week Tonight")

John Oliver Leads Net Neutrality Defenders to Crash FCC Website. Again.

'Last Week Tonight' host directs viewers to gofccyourself.com in bid to save open internet

Andrea Germanos

He's done it again.

"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver on Sunday issued another powerful rallying cry to save net neutrality protections, and, repeating the outcome of his 2014 plea, his viewers flooded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) site, causing it to temporarily crash.

Net neutrality, he said, is "about more than speed" of internet content. "At its heart is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs)  [...] should not be able to engage in any sort of fuckery that limits or manipulates the choices you make online. It also helps ensure a level playing field so that big companies cannot undermine small companies before they can take off."

But, as it was before the FCC 's 2015 reclassification of the internet under Title II of the Communications Act in 2015, net neutrality is again in trouble, Oliver said.

That's due in large part because of FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who previously promised to take a "weed whacker" to FCC regulations and declared that net neutrality's "days are numbered."

Unsurprisingly, he announced last month plans to roll back the protections, and Senate Republicans appear willing to help move such action forward as well. Craig Aaron, president and CEO of open internet advocacy group Free Press, adds:

Net neutrality is a top target of the Trump administration for many reasons: because the phone and cable giants that give this crew a ton of money hate it and want to kill off their competition, because the Obama administration made the rules, because the president doesn't understand how the internet works. This administration does know that an open internet makes space for independent voices, undermines dominant narratives, and gives a platform to communities that never had one before. The Trump team hates net neutrality because it fuels resistance.

As for the chairman, Oliver said it's worth noting that Pai is "a former lawyer for Verizon," a company which "won a lawsuit which meant that if the FCC wanted strong, enforceable protection, its only real option was to reclassify the ISPs, and yet he cheerily insists under questioning that there is just not evidence that cable companies were engaging in rampant wrongdoing."

"Title II is the most solid legal foundation we have right now for a strong, enforceable net neutrality protections," Oliver said, and urged "we, the people, [to] take this matter into our own hands."

To that end, "Last Week Tonight" bought the domain name gofccyourself.com, which redirects users to the official FCC page where open internet advocates can leave a comment and call for these protections to remain in place. (Oliver notes that it simplifies the commenting process the FCC "has made more difficult since three years ago.")

Once at the FCC site, users should click on "Express" and "comment telling Ajit Pai that you specifically support strong net neutrality backed by Title II oversight of ISPs," Oliver said, adding that "every internet group needs to come together like you successfully did three years ago."

"Everyone needs to get involved. Comment now, and then maybe comment again when the FCC makes its proposal official. Even call you representative and your senators," Oliver urged.

So successful was the start of his campaign, according to Motherboard, that there was such a high volume of traffic flooding the Federal Communications Commission that the site temporarily went down. As of this writing, it is up and running again.

Watch the segment on net neutrality uploaded by "Last Week Tonight" below:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Report Reveals Corporate Capture of Global Biodiversity Efforts Ahead of Summit

"Their 'solutions' are carefully crafted in order to not undermine their business models; ultimately they do nothing for the environment," said one Friends of the Earth campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


UN, EU Officials Demand Probe Over Extrajudicial Killings of Palestinians

"In the last 72 hours alone 10 Palestinians were killed by ISF in what appears to be an excessive use of lethal force," the European Union Delegation to the Palestinians noted after the killing of 22-year-old Ammar Mufleh by Israeli security forces.

Brett Wilkins ·


Supply Chains Woes Didn't Slow Down Global Arms Sales, Analysis Shows

Responding to the report, the U.S.-based group Win Without War said that "our economy prioritizes profits over people, leading to unnecessary violence and death. It makes us less safe."

Brett Wilkins ·


After US Prevents Railway Strike, South Korea Moves to Crush Truckers

"Part of why internationalism is so essential is because of how many international labor struggles can be used to demonstrate to U.S. workers what type of power we have to shut things down," said one labor advocate on the heels of a similar U.S. rail dispute.

Julia Conley ·


Groups Warn Pelosi, Schumer Against Allowing Manchin 'Dirty Deal' in Pentagon Spending Bill

"This obvious fossil fuel giveaway would devastate communities and set back efforts to avoid a climate catastrophe," said one campaigner.

Jon Queally ·

Common Dreams Logo