Comcast Hires People Off The Street To Fill Seats At FCC Hearing

from the better-to-keep-out-those-net-neutrality-hippies dept

We pretty much ignored yesterday's FCC hearing concerning Comcast's traffic shaping activities, as the whole thing seemed like a bit of grandstanding. However, it's fairly stunning to find out that Comcast has admitted to hiring people off the street to fill seats at the hearing, blocking out many Comcast critics who were turned away once the room was full. Comcast claims that they hired the people merely to act as placeholders for Comcast employees (since, apparently, Comcast employees are too important to actually show up on time and wait in line like everyone else). However, as the picture at that first link shows many of the "paid" sitters stayed throughout the event and either slept or cheered on Comcast.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Feb 26th, 2008 @ 4:15pm

    I guess we can thank the Bush Administration for t

    What a joke, if the head of FCC does not stand up and put some regulation in effect ASAP, then he has failed his country for good.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2008 @ 4:26pm

    yeah its really The Presidents fault comcast sucks... why not... blame it on him....

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Tony, Feb 26th, 2008 @ 4:30pm

    OMG!

    We're innocent! That's why we're going to hire people to fill up the room and not allow anyone to speak out against us!

    That's a new low, even for Comcast.

     

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  4.  
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    rwbronco, Feb 26th, 2008 @ 5:02pm

    Few People Stayed - Scores Left Out

    From the article:

    "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."

    Explain to me how a few people staying in the courtroom keeps scores of critics and "other members of the public" out of the courtroom...sure if a few stay - a few critics are denied entry. It's not 3 critics to 1 random seat filler. Don't hype it up by making it sound like every critic that wanted in couldn't get in because the 2 college students shown in the picture were sleeping.

    Also who is "other members of the public?" and why is it necessary to lump them in with the critics? If they're against Comcast's practices - they're critics...they don't have to be journalists or have a weblog to be called "critics."

    Stupid one-sided journalism.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    LBD, Feb 26th, 2008 @ 5:05pm

    Holy fuck....

    Wow. That's just. Wow. Low. Wow. Like the news-blank on Anon's protests.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Alfred E. Neuman, Feb 26th, 2008 @ 5:44pm

    Alberto Gonzales syndrome

    At best, the Comcast stifling of free speech was unethical.
    And certainly their man in the middle attacks are illegal.
    Why has this escaped our esteemed DAs ?

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2008 @ 6:37pm

    HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2008 @ 8:01pm

    Re:

    He didn't say President Bush, he said the Bush Administration.

    Do you know the difference? Apparently not.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    zeroJJ, Feb 26th, 2008 @ 9:16pm

    so to put that in IT terms that you can understand

    You're right Tony, it is a new low.

    You can bet we will be seeing more of this type of DDoJ attacks...

     

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  10.  
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    scpsr1, Feb 27th, 2008 @ 3:47am

    Comcast Blocking the Flow Again.....

    They were not really blocking the seats, just rerouting them and holding them for a while befor releasing them. (After the hearing)

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2008 @ 4:57am

    Re: Re:

    Bush is the reason his administration sucks though. He is a god awful judge of talent.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Crazy Coyote, Feb 27th, 2008 @ 5:12am

    Novel idea

    Courtroom Traffic shaping... Juror shaping next???

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2008 @ 5:55am

    Re: Few People Stayed - Scores Left Out

    Well, if 'scores' were kept out, maybe it was 'scores' who were payed to take up seats. I haven't read TFA, but does it give numbers? Do they say how many (or how few) people Comcast paid to be there?

    Comcast critics, Comcast-paid stand-ins, and other members of the public are three sepparate groups. Yes, critics and other members of the public may be, but don't have to be, the same people. However, The stand-ins are not "other members of the public" because they were paid by an interested party to be there and probably had no other motivation to attend; other members of the public at least had something to offer which was not tainted by a payoff.

     

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  14.  
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    Top, Feb 27th, 2008 @ 7:26am

    Free Press mirror

    Relying on "Comcast critics," who have an incentive to make this seem like a grand conspiracy, as sources, and then taking pictures of two random people in the audience (who very well may have been there at the behest of Free Press) is poor journalism. The folks at Free Press have a habit of screaming that the sky is falling -- and always on them, and by extension, the concerned public that is being shut out. Free Press and their ilk are just upset that they got beat at their own game -- overloading public hearings with "concerned citizens" that all walk to the mic carrying Free Press talking points.

    Comcast may not be innocent in the whole Net Neutrality game, but using line standers is hardly reason to claim the whole hearing was a sham.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2008 @ 7:30am

    You can't make this crap up. It actually is pretty funny. Hopefully the FCC will bitchslap Comcast and pretty much everyone else from a provider side.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    MaxB, Feb 27th, 2008 @ 3:21pm

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest this is the text book definition of "making a mountain out of a mole hill." They paid people to stand in line and if after these people received their payment they chose to stay and watch the hearing don't they revert back to being the same "members of the public" that Free Press likes to talk about? Just a thought?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Coaster, Feb 27th, 2008 @ 5:29pm

    less critics is bad?

    I'm sure Comcast is not the first group, business or individual to do this. Perhaps they are just the first ones to lower the population of critics. Not really a bad thing, if you ask me. The audience isn't the show. Who cares who came to watch? I just want the judge to be there and alert.

    Also, #16 hit it dead on.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Coaster, Feb 27th, 2008 @ 5:35pm

    AHAHAHAHAHA I just read the entire article...

    This is from the last line - Unlike Comcast, Free Press did not pay anyone to stand in line...

    And THAT is the entire story. Comcast only paid those people (and we don't even know how many) to stand in line. They sat through the whole thing of their own accord. That makes them members of the general public at that point. Free Press is just upset that they didn't think of it first.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    brajabu, Feb 28th, 2008 @ 7:13am

    Apparently Comcast is paying people to comment on the internet also. I don't think there are really this many people who honestly have to search their souls to understand why paying people to attend a public meeting is a scumbag thing to do. Unless you are a financial dependant of afformentioned scumbags. Problem is that these companies have soiled there own reputations so badly, that when I read support for their underhanded practices. I automatically assume said supporters are working for these companies, and only digging a deeper dirtier public relations mess for themselves.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Jim Sommers, Apr 3rd, 2008 @ 5:31pm

    Comcast

    Someone should look into the criminal backgrounds of their contractors, they not only hire people off the street to fill a hearing room, they allsom contract fellons to enter their customers homes.

     

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