Guy Files Dishwasher User Manual As An FCC Comment On Net Neutrality

from the performance-art? dept

The FCC has confirmed that over 1 million comments have already been filed in the open comment period concerning net neutrality and the open internet. The official comment period closes tonight at midnight (and even that’s kind of meaningless because there’s a “reply” commenting period for the next few months that will let people respond to initial comments), and we’ve started sorting through some of the many comments filed. We’ll be highlighting some interesting comments and trends that we spot, but last night I found one filing so odd, it deserved a quick post on its own.

Kurt Schaake of Lawrence, Kansas, appears to have filed the Dishwasher User Instruction manual for a Whirlpool dishwasher as his comment.

I don’t know if this is an accident, performance art, a weird and incomprehensible statement on the nature of the free and open internet or what. About the only immediate information I can find on Schaake is that he’s an engineer who spent a bunch of time helping to rebuild Iraq a decade ago. Here’s a photo of him sitting in a “golden throne” at Saddam Hussein’s presidential palace. What any of this has to do with net neutrality is beyond me, but it is oddly amusing.

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Comments on “Guy Files Dishwasher User Manual As An FCC Comment On Net Neutrality”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t know if he was trying to make a statement or not but as a web developer for a large company with some Top 500 websites … I can confirm that anytime you put an upload form on anything on the web you will get the most random stuff you can possibly imagine.

Trust me when I say that irrelevant filings in this FCC database – political statement or not – are most certainly plentiful!

MondoGordo (profile) says:

Perhaps ...

it’s commentary on the efficacy of the FCC commenting process.
We all know the FCC is, statistically speaking, most likely to do whatever the moneyed interests want without regard to the interests and opinions express by the public commentary.

Perhaps this is his way of illustrating his recognition of the probable futility of commenting, and at the same time participating in the process. Like writing “Maytag Repairman” on your ballot …

Anonymous Coward says:

Perhaps he’s trying to say that the Internet will be less useful, technologically advanced, and interactive than a dishwasher if Net Neutrality dies. At least with a dishwasher, you get to choose which dishes you want clean and how you want them arranged (at least until some asshole decides to implement DRM that denies this).

Applesauce says:

To assist with washing their dirty money

He may be suggesting that our good and honorable public servants will have a use for a dishwasher for the money they will get from Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon when they leave the government and go to work for the private sector?
He’s just trying to be helpful.

Anonymous Coward says:

Well, why not?

Everyone knows that the comments filed with the FCC are a complete waste of time. Nobody there will read them. They’ve already been bought and paid for by their buddies at the major ISPs, and they’ll do their job — that is to say, they will do whatever it takes to ensure that their pals continue to make record profits.

Come now, surely you don’t think a comment system which crumples under modest load was actually intended to work? Please. Spare me. The idiots, the fools, the naive suckers busily sharing their thoughts with the FCC might as well be sending dishwasher manuals and cat pictures for all the good it will do.

Anonymous Coward says:

Actually, his cousin (who lives several thousand miles away) desperately needed help with that particular model of dishwasher, and the FCC comment page was the only way to share the document due to the fact that his heavily-filtered internet connection at work is set up to block sites for sharing files and/or documents.

Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

I have a pretty good guess as to why he did it

The first three times I attempted to file a comment with the FCC on Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable, I got redirected to a page for uploading documents, with no box or link for typing in comments. It wasn’t until I connected via Tor Browser that I was able to get through to the correct page on the FCC’s site.

My guess is that the same thing happened to Schaake, but that he never actually managed to get through to the right page. Being unable to type in a comment, he instead uploaded an irrelevant document as a form of protest.

I must say, by my third attempt, I was on the verge of uploading something myself. It would have to be something relevant, though — something representative of what the FCC seemingly arranges for American consumers to do every time the country’s media, cable, ISP, and telecoms oligopolies come before it with new demands. It would have to be a goatse pic. But since I was pretty sure a goatse pic wouldn’t make it into the public record, I just fired up Tor Browser instead and described in a more socially palatable manner the many ways in which I felt I had been personally goatse’ed by the FCC commissioners’ past and future benefactors and requesting that, if possible, the FCC consider doing something to make it stop.

fgoodwin (profile) says:

"Frivolous" comments are illegal

See 47 CFR 8.13(d):

Frivolous pleadings. It shall be unlawful for any party to file a frivolous pleading with the Commission. Any violation of this paragraph shall constitute an abuse of process subject to appropriate sanctions.

Of course the FCC doesn’t have the resources to sue 1M spammers and trolls. But maybe they should “subject” some of them to “appropriate sanctions”.

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