What Happened To Everyone Complaining About The Length Of The 2015 Net Neutrality Rules?

from the oh-look,-they-were-lying dept

If you've followed the whole net neutrality debate for a while, you may remember one of the more ridiculous talking points when the 2015 rules were put in place: it was the line that the rules were "400 pages of regulation on the internet." People kept listing out the page numbers to suggest how crazy it was, and just how much bad stuff the FCC must be doing in "regulating the internet." Ajit Pai kicked it all off with his tweet with a picture of himself holding the initial version of the rules, complaining that it was "Obama's 332-page plan to regulate the internet."

Others picked up on this theme. The eventually released rules were 400 pages exactly, leading to lots of hand-wringing and whining from the usual suspects about how this was some sort of massive takeover of the internet, hidden in so many pages. Of course, that ignored that the actual "rules" take up just a few pages in the order. It's actually eight pages. You can see them on pages 283 through 290 of the 400 page document. All the rest of it just explains the rules -- as is required by law -- responding to comments that had been raised during the open comment period. And, even more pages are devoted to explaining what the rules do not allow the FCC to do. Also, part of the 400 pages included Ajit Pai's own 64 pages of "dissent." It's hard to see how that should be counted as part of the "regulation."

And yet that didn't stop the likes of Ajit Pai from insisting that there were 332 pages of regulations in there. And for others to pick up on similar numbers or the full 400 page number. A group called "American Action Forum" called it a "400 page monstrosity." During her campaign for President, Carly Fiorina said the first thing she would do as President is "roll back the 400 pages of regulations the FCC just rolled out over the internet." Leaving aside that the President can't overrule the FCC like that, she's also relying on that misleading 400 page number. Infowars got in on the action also, saying that the hidden within the 400 page rules were a plan "to seize the entire internet." And, oh boy, were there lots of tweets attacking the whole 400 pages thing. For example, here's Mike Wendy, a consistent gadfly in policy discussions, always always always supporting the telco's position, insisting that the new rules are 400 pages (even though he, of all people, knows better):


But, I'm curious where are all these people now, in commenting on the size of Ajit Pai's order? In its current form, it weighs in at a hefty 210 pages (and that's before additional things like Commissioner statements/dissents will get added). It's true that these "rules" are "shorter" than Wheeler's. The actual rules this time are 2 pages, rather than 8. But, I'm curious why Carly Fiorina isn't complaining about 200+ pages of "new" rules for the internet. Indeed, I can't find any comment from her anywhere. American Action Forum doesn't have a story up complaining about 200 pages of new internet regulations. Infowars seems positively giddy that Ajit Pai has released 200+ pages of new rules, apparently freeing us from some sort of George Soros conspiracy or something. Meanwhile, I've gone through Mike Wendy's tweets, and despite him tweeting many, many, many times about the "400 pages" in Wheeler's rules, somehow he doesn't ever seem to mention the over 200 pages in Pai's rules. He doesn't mention why it takes "over 200 pages to explain" why Pai is rolling back the last order. I wonder why. Instead, he's declaring these new 200+ pages of rules a "win for consumers, society, innovation and free speech." Hmmmmmm. It's almost as if it's not the page count that matters at all...

Incredibly, many of the people now cheering on the new rules are still attacking the original order as being "400 pages" without acknowledging that the new "rules" are over 200 pages.



Obviously no one is complaining about 200+ pages of new regulations because these aren't 200+ pages of new regulations. But neither was the FCC's 2015 order 400 pages of new regulations. There are lots of things to be concerned about with what Ajit Pai is doing here, but it does seem important not to forget the absolute bullshit that some people spewed in response to the 2015 rules, complaining over and over again about how they were so many pages long (even though they really weren't) -- when literally none of those people are commenting on the length of the new order.


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2017 @ 9:49am

    "Too Much Free Time" -- You has it.

    First, those complaining about length of "Obama's" rules are glad to see them gone. WHY would they complain about that?

    2nd, those persons again may be glad to see the rules now. WHY would they complain about that?

    Do you see your LACK of sense and substance now? ... No? Didn't expect you to!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 6 Dec 2017 @ 10:20am

    As always, IOKIYAR.

    (It's OK If You're A Republican)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chuck, 6 Dec 2017 @ 10:29am

    Easily Explained

    "But, I'm curious why Carly Fiorina isn't complaining about 200+ pages of "new" rules for the internet."

    For the same reason why Roy Moore is acceptable for the Republican-controlled Senate but Al Franken has to leave immediately, even though one is a child molestor while the other just made some very crude jokes.

    Because when we do it, it's a conspiracy to take over the internet and/or the "deep state" but when they do it, it's Jesus spreading freedom and democracy on velociraptor-back.

    Oh and hint: if you don't get the joke, you're part of the problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 6 Dec 2017 @ 1:54pm

      Re: Easily Explained

      ...if you think Franken "just made some very crude jokes" then I don't think you've been following the story very well.

      Still, though, point taken; what he's been accused of is bad (and sure looks like it's going to cost him his Senate seat, as it should), but not nearly as bad as what Moore has.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2017 @ 10:45am

    200 pages...

    Bureaucrats cannot say hello in less than ten pages, and measure productivity in pages produced, so Pai has been slacking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 6 Dec 2017 @ 9:32pm

      Re: 200 pages...

      They can say hello in under 10 pages just fine. It's the definition of what hello means (both now, historically, and speculatively into the future) that takes dozens of chapters with over 20 pages per chapter.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2017 @ 11:02am

    Reading is fundamental

    This comment isn't going to make anyone happy.

    Whether it's 200 or 400 pages, it's really not that much to read. It's an evening's work.

    I would think that anyone wanted to weigh in on the topic would be willing to invest that evening. It's not a lot to ask. And it's not necessary to memorize it -- in whole or in part, as one might do for a test -- just to absorb it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 6 Dec 2017 @ 11:20am

    You know...

    we are not supposed to launch ad hominem attacks on Ajit Pai. But photographs and poses like that, on his own Twitter feed no less, are really giving saints a run for their money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 6 Dec 2017 @ 11:27am

    A very limited attention span

    200 pages is just a novel's size, so obviously there's nothing that impressive about it, whereas 400 pages is the size of two novels, and seriously, who's got time to read that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 6 Dec 2017 @ 12:09pm

    Where is it??

    Dig dig dig,
    Dam, I know I put it in here..
    Dig dig dig..
    Dam, I must have loaned it out AGAIN..
    That Lie/BS detector is gone again..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wshuff (profile), 6 Dec 2017 @ 12:13pm

    Looks, it’s all ok because Packergirl read everything and these new rules are going to give us EVEN MORE FREEDOM! I am a bit confused, though, whether the new rules will only be less complicated than before but leave the govt with more power granted by the 2015 rules, or if these new rules both simplify AND take away that govt power, which I think is what turns into the even more freedom that I get to enjoy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 6 Dec 2017 @ 12:23pm

    A little surprised

    I'm just a bit surprised that it took even two pages just to say "whatever Verizon wants is now okay with us". I imagine the other 198 pages are Pai's Christmas list to Verizon, very much like a kid's letter to Santa.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 6 Dec 2017 @ 12:42pm

    Repubs cry about 400 pages the dems wrote... gladly passes 342 pages in the patriot act. I really hate Pai.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 6 Dec 2017 @ 1:57pm

      Re:

      The PATRIOT Act passed the Senate 98-1. It may have been written by Republicans, but it wasn't exactly opposed by Democrats.

      That said, net neutrality is an issue where there is quite clearly a difference between the two parties in Washington. (Albeit not among the general public, where net neutrality and Title II classification are overwhelmingly favored by the general population, regardless of party affiliation.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 6 Dec 2017 @ 1:08pm

    Yeah, it's safe to argue the "400 pages of rules" grievance wasn't legit.

    Everyone seems to like regulations that serve them specifically. But Tea-Party Republicans were the ones that exemplified the only government that benefits specifically me attitude. Granted, the current wave of partisanship started in the George W. Bush era with Tom DeLay rallying a unified front that refused to negotiate with Democrats on anything.

    We've been following the downward spiral of that path ever since.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 6 Dec 2017 @ 2:54pm

    200 pages?

    I think you are a little confused.

    It's 200 pages to explain why we don't need the previous 400 pages. It's not new regulation, rather it's a long and detailed explanation of why the previous government power grab needs to be rescinded.

    If it was published as only the rules part (probably a few pages at most) you would be leading the "where's the beef?" bandwagon. So there is no winning here.

    I notice that as the day approaches, you have turned up the personal attacks, much like Pai. Are you learning anything from him?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Dec 2017 @ 5:03pm

      Re: It's 200 pages to explain why we don't need the previous 400 pages.

      Does it in fact explain that? On which page(s)?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        MyNameHere (profile), 6 Dec 2017 @ 5:06pm

        Re: Re: It's 200 pages to explain why we don't need the previous 400 pages.

        If you read the story, that is the explanation given for the previous 400 page tome. I quote for you:

        "Of course, that ignored that the actual "rules" take up just a few pages in the order. It's actually eight pages. You can see them on pages 283 through 290 of the 400 page document. All the rest of it just explains the rules -- as is required by law -- responding to comments that had been raised during the open comment period."

        it is reasonable to assume that there about about the same ratio of "rule" to explanation.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          athe, 6 Dec 2017 @ 8:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's 200 pages to explain why we don't need the previous 400 pages.

          "It's true that these "rules" are "shorter" than Wheeler's. The actual rules this time are 2 pages, rather than 8."

          The same caveat on number of pages to rules is made for the new rules as the old.

          Having said that, looks like this new one is more bloated, based on the ratios - 2:200 vs 8:400.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 7 Dec 2017 @ 5:02am

      Re: 200 pages?

      Really? Does it explain how the FCC is ignoring the massive bipartisan support the current rules have? Does it explain why the FCC is refusing to release any information on the alleged DDoS on the comment systems? Does it explain why the FCC is ignoring the blatant fraud going on in the comments for this?

      Expect a 1000+ page document if all these things are added.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2017 @ 5:42pm

    Now on Drudge: "Twitter Allows Death Threats Against FCC Chair..."

    "Infowars.com has repeatedly reported that since 2015, when the Obama-era "Net Neutrality" rules were put in place, instances of blocking and censoring have only occurred at a rapid pace on platforms owned by Facebook, Google and Twitter, which all lobbied hard for the 2015 "Net Neutrality" rules, which were carefully crafted so as to not touch those companies."

    Actuality is, as usual, opposite of what Masnick asserts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Dec 2017 @ 6:07pm

      Re: "Infowars.com has repeatedly reported ...”

      You lost me at “Infowars”. Has anybody else backed this up?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 7 Dec 2017 @ 1:57am

      Re: Now on Drudge: "Twitter Allows Death Threats Against FCC Chair..."

      "Infowars.com has repeatedly reported..."

      ...things that are demonstrably untrue, and can in fact never be true except in the ravings of a madman (a role with Jones occasionally plays to try and sell supplements and other crap to incredulous morons).

      Do you have anything from the non-fiction section?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2017 @ 3:00am

      Re: Now on Drudge: "Twitter Allows Death Threats Against FCC Chair..."

      Net Neutrality has nothing to do with platforms like Facebook, only with ISPs and how they treat your traffic to those platforms. With net neutrality, if you cannot speak out on Facebook, you can go to Reddit. Without Net neutrality, you might be limited to Facebook, because Reddit does not pay your ISP to let you connect to them..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 7 Dec 2017 @ 5:00am

    "Oh I read it and it's 400 pages of anti-consumer stuff" said all of those that didn't bother to read and had ISP lobbying bs fit right in their asses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Snape (profile), 7 Dec 2017 @ 6:55am

    But...

    Two pages vs. eight pages...

    The takeover regs are FOUR TIMES longer than the ones that keep the internet FREE!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2017 @ 11:29am

    Here is President Obama's 332-page plan to CONTROL the Internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 11 Dec 2017 @ 1:03am

      Re:

      Huh, you say that but you failed to link to it. Can you do so, or are you just another one of the regular visitors who believes whatever fiction right-wing propaganda sources decide to push in order to distract from their removal of your freedoms?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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