UPDATED, 6:30 PM: An FCC rep today has been telling reporters it’s not clear if Monday’s disruption to its email comments system was caused by John Oliver‘s call to action. Only one way to find out — another Oliver call to action.
PREVIOUSLY: John Oliver’s call to action on the subject of net neutrality, on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, appears to have crashed the FCC’s comments system.
We’ve been experiencing technical difficulties with our comment system due to heavy traffic. We’re working to resolve these issues quickly.
— The FCC (@FCC) June 2, 2014
We’re still experiencing technical difficulties with our comment system. Thanks for your patience as we work to resolve the issues. — The FCC (@FCC) June 2, 2014
The tweets appeared yesterday after Oliver called on viewers to lodge protest with the FCC, which Oliver noted now is run by Tom Wheeler, the guy who used to head the cable companies’ lobbying efforts — which Oliver likened to hiring a dingo to babysit your infant.
On his Sunday show, Oliver said cable companies are trying to create an unequal playing field for Internet speeds, but they’re doing it so boringly that most news outlets aren’t covering it. Oliver explained the controversy, and urged viewers to voice their displeasure to the FCC: “I would like to address internet commenters out there directly. Good evening, monsters. This may be the moment you’ve spent your whole lives training for….For once in your life, we need you to channel that anger — that badly spelled bile that you normally reserve for unforgiveable attacks on actresses you seem to think have put on weight, or politicians that you disagree with, or photos of your ex-girlfriend getting on with her life… We need you to get out and, for once in your lives, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction. Seize your moment my lovely trolls, turn on caps lock, and fly my pretties, fly, fly!