Technology

‘The front page of the internet’ says Congress is owned by Comcast, Verizon and AT&T

Reddit users flooded the site’s front page with pro-net-neutrality posts
Reddit users flooded the site’s front page with pro-net-neutrality posts Reddit screenshot

Redditors flooded the site’s front page with posts showing the amount of money elected officials had reportedly accepted from telecommunications companies — and shaming them for it.

“This is Representative Gregory Walden. He sold me, my fellow Oregonians, and this nation to the telecom lobby for the price of $155,100,” one post read Friday afternoon.

Following that were dozens of posts with similar messages on the popular social media site that has branded itself as “The Front Page of the Internet.”

“This is senator John Boozman. He sold me, my fellow Arkansans, and the nation to the telecom lobbies for $56,450.”

“This is Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. He sold out all Arizona citizens to the telecom lobby for $27,955,” another post read.

Other senators named and shamed, mostly Republican, include Sens. John McCain, R-AZ, Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Cory Gardner, R-CO.

The posts include donation figures reported by The Verge, according to Ars Technica.

One Reddit user told Ars Technica he made his anti-Sen. John Thune, R-SD, post after noticing the flood of protests posts.

“I opened the Reddit app and noticed a couple posts with pictures of senators and similar wording about getting bought out by Telecoms,” Reddit user ChrisTahoe told Ars. “I remembered I read The Verge article that laid out what each senator and representative got paid, and knew my senator, John Thune, had been paid a hefty sum compared to most others.”

All the posts on the front page weren’t bashing elected officials, however. Other posts included praise for Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who reportedly didn’t accept donations from telecoms companies, according to The Verge.

“This is my senator. He refused to be bought out and is fighting to keep Net Neutrality,” a post read in support of Booker.

“This is senator Richard Blumenthal, he didn’t accept a payout from the telecom lobby and is working hard to fight against the FCC, thanks Richard!!” another post read.

There are also several joke posts making light of the trend.

“This is Senator Dog. He did not take money from the telecom lobby because he is a dog and is not able to use the internet,” one post read.

These posts come after the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to roll back net neutrality, which supporters say prevent telecommunications companies such as Verizon, AT&T and Comcast from throttling internet speeds for some websites while favoring others.

Proponents for rolling back net neutrality, including FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, say current net neutrality rules are stifling competition with regulatory overreach.

The FCC won’t officially vote on the rollback of net neutrality until Dec. 14.

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