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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Harnessing the Anger of Trolls

"If you want to do something evil, put it in something boring."- John Oliver

John Oliver, host of the HBO comedy show “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” made one of the most brilliant rants in the history of internet. Not only was it funny and made people laugh, but it also made them outraged about something a great majority are clueless and apathetic about: net neutrality

The rant was directed against the US Federal Communications Commission’s proposed net neutrality regulations, which was deemed so egregious it forced activists and corporations to be on the same side. The FCC, however, invited the public to post their comments on their website.
And this made Mr. Oliver appeal directly to the trolls and lurkers and other internet commenters out there to “seize their moment” and let their outrage show using their most potent weapon: the keyboard.
   "For once in your life, we need you to channel that anger, that badly spelled bile that you normally reserve for unforgivable attacks on actresses you seem to think have put on weight...or politicians that you disagree with...or photos of your ex-girlfriends getting on with their lives...or non-white actors getting the part of 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! Fly!"
Is John Oliver’s call on internet commenters as rousing as Theoden’s speech to the Rohirrim, as stirring as Churchill’s “Finest Hour” speech to the British? Well, I wouldn't go that far, but it apparently worked. FCC’s website “experienced technical problems” after thousands upon thousands of faceless commenters flooded the website with their outraged comments. Website's up now, but the point was made.
They heard you, John Oliver.

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