Did Comcast Hire Public Stand-ins For Neutrality Hearing?
Napping, disinterested attendees mysteriously appear, cheer Comcast
The Save The Internet Coalition, a coalition of consumer advocates like the Consumers Union (authors of Consumer Reports) and the Free Press, is claiming
that Comcast bussed in a large number of disinterested individuals to yesterday's public FCC hearing at Harvard on network neutrality and traffic shaping. The group is claiming Comcast paid these individuals so those seats would not be filled with interested, question-asking participants. Many didn't even know what the meeting was about:
They arrived en masse some 90 minutes before the hearing began and occupied almost every available seat, upon which many promptly fell asleep. One told us that he was “just getting paid to hold someone’s seat.” (audio) He added that he had no idea what the meeting was about. Many of this early crowd had mysteriously matching yellow highlighters stuck in their lapels. We also photographed them outside the venue being handed papers by an organizer who had been seen earlier talking with several of the Comcast people at the hearing.
Attendees say those who weren't napping applauded loudly at the end of Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen's presentation. Cohen spent the day deflecting criticism of Comcast's decision to throttle upstream BitTorrent traffic via forged TCP packets. Update
says that Comcast has admitted to hiring the people, but claims they were simply being used as line placeholders so that company employees could attend the hearing. However, the fact remains these "placeholders" stayed through the meeting prohibiting others from attending:
Comcast spokewoman Jennifer Khoury said the company paid some people to arrive early and hold places in the queue for local Comcast employees who wanted to attend the hearing. Some of those placeholders, however, did more than wait in line: they filled many of the seats at the meeting, according to eyewitnesses. As a result, scores of Comcast critics and other members of the public were denied entry because the room filled up well before the beginning of the hearing.
A video of the hearing is now available at the FCC website
(albeit in Real Player format). It's increasingly clear that if the FCC does anything at all, it will likely be to require greater transparency in exactly how ISPs manage their networks. That should allow broadband consumers to make an intelligent choice between ISPs that throttle upstream P2P traffic and boot egregious bandwidth users (Comcast), and providers who do not (Verizon).
106 comments .. click to read
Yarmouth Port, MA
COMCAST: Crowd Shaping is Reasonable Seat Management
said by ars technica :(article link)
...allegations have surfaced that Comcast paid people to show up and sit in the meeting room in order to keep people from expressing their feelings about Comcast's actions to the FCC. Save The Internet is accusing Comcast of busing in a crowd of supports to pack the room.
"These seat-warmers were paid to fill the room, a move that kept others from taking part," according to a posting on the Save The Internet blog. "They arrived en masse some 90 minutes before the hearing began and occupied almost every available seat, upon which many promptly fell asleep."
Comcast denies packing the room. "We did pay some individuals to stand in line and hold seats for Comcast employees," Comcast spokesperson Charlie Douglas told Ars. "It's a common practice in Washington, DC."(article link)
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- Hillsboro, Oregon
"We don't throttle any traffic," -Charlie Douglas, Comcast spokesman, on this report.
Yarmouth Port, MA
|reply to 81399672 |
said by 81399672:No, it's not standard practice -- but is it "reasonable network management?"
Comcast paid them to be there. They hired them, this is not standard practice.
PolarBear03The bear formerly known as aaron8301Premium
To be serious
I would think that the bad PR resulting from this action would be worse than if they had just let the protesters in. It's kind of like the old saying "it is better to remain quiet and appear foolish than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." I see the protesters as making Comcast appear foolish, and I see this stunt of filling the seats with sleeping Comcast dummies as removing all doubt.
Good job, Comcast. You could have let protesters make you look bad, but instead you made yourself look bad all on your own. Bravo.
There comes a point in your life when you get tired of fixing everything and wiping everyone's ass. But its not giving up. Its realizing that you dont need certain people and the bullshit and drama they bring to your life.
|reply to FFH |
Re: Did they get paid extra to cheer?
It would have been cheaper to use employees...
They're already trained to sleep on the job
Canada = Hollywood North