So yesterday, John Oliver sort of broke the Internet.
In the 13-minute clip up there from Mr. Oliver’s new HBO show Last Week Tonight, the host discusses the Federal Communication Committee’s Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet proposal, which would create a “tiered internet” where major companies could pay for faster internet, seemingly ending “net neutrality.” Because for some reason they thought this was a good idea, the FCC had a 120-day open commenting period on its website for people to discuss the proposal.
Mr. Oliver urged those who roam the internet — usually busy fighting in the Youtube comments section — to take advantage. ““We need you to get out and, for once in your lives, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction,” Mr. Oliver said.
A funny concept, definitely. But then this happened the day after the segment.
Today the comment section was restored, and I thought to myself, “There’s got to be some gold in there.” I roved through the comments the FCC received between Monday and Wednesday — all 684 pages of them — and what I found was varied. I was surprised to find hundreds of reasonable, calm responses that differed from the angry, racist Internet I’m used to. Then there was, well, the angry, racist Internet that I’m used to.
Here are the best, ranked from the rational to the insane.
1) An argument backed up with examples, and not one exclamation point was used. This is new.
2) Numbered arguments and everything. Maybe the Internet isn’t as crazy as I thought.
3) They even use fancy language. Bravo.
4) This one gets kind of, really weird at the end, but it starts off well! Still pretty impressive, Internet.
5) Oh, here we go.
6) I don’t know what I was expecting.
7) Actually I was expecting something pretty much exactly like this.
So, to conclude, the Internet and those on it are still angry. They’re still racist. And they’re still insane. But they actually, kind of, sort of, made a difference in something. All because of a TV show, and a win for TV is a win for everyone.