More than 80 per cent of the comments submitted to the FCC on the future of net neutrality came from bots, according to data analytics company Gravwell, which said only 17.4 per cent of the comments were unique.
Most of the 22 million comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission over the summer had been against net neutrality, it suggested. The administration wants to roll back the pro-net-neutrality rules that were voted for under President Obama.
The analytics team behind the latest bot research said most comments had been submitted in bulk, with many coming in batches with obviously incorrect information. It said this indicated they had not been submitted by individual members of the public.
People who submitted comments directly to the FCC website had been “overwhelming in support of net neutrality regulations”, lead researcher Corey Thuen said. But those that were submitted via the FCC-approved platform for bulk submissions had been anti-net neutrality.
Thuen said: “Seeing a clear difference of opinion between bulk submitted comments versus those that came in via the FCC comment page, we’re forced to conclude that either the nature of submission method has some direct correlation with political opinion, or someone is telling lies on the internet.”