'Last Week Tonight' video: John Oliver gets the Internet to crash the FCC
Warning: The video has some NSFW language because "Last Week Tonight" airs on HBO.
For the first time pretty much ever, John Oliver and "Last Week Tonight" have managed to get the Internet active about net-neutrality laws. The result? Within 24 hours of Oliver's call to arms, users managed to crash the FCC's comment site.
The FCC hasn't publicly said why a shutdown happened, but the government agency's Twitter account posted twice on Monday that it was having problems.
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
This was followed, two hours later, by another notification of FCC failure.
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
Why could this be attributed to Oliver's report? On Sunday (June 1), "Last Week Tonight" aired a lengthy explanation of the issues surrounding net neutrality. The crazy part is that Oliver makes the news story seem interesting -- unlike everyone else in the media. With phrases like "mob shakedown" and Superman analogies, Oliver shows just how messy and unpleasant this issue is.
Then he issues a call to arms (at about the 11-minute mark in the video). It's amazing:
"At this point -- and I cannot believe I am about to do this -- 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 ... This is the moment you were made for, commenters! Like Ralph Macchio, you've been honing your skills, waxing cars and painting fences. Well guess what? Now it's time to do some f***ing karate! 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 or non-white actors being cast as fictional characters ... We need you to get out there 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!"
It looks like they flew.