Subscribe to

The FCC has put up a site — — where anyone (after registering with a valid email address) can post an idea, or vote existing ideas up or down. I love the idea of the feds opening discussions up, although, I am not convinced that this particular implementation achieves its presumed aims. But, what the heck! Try-fail-try is the right rhythm for the Net.

The site defaults to listing the ideas reverse chronologically, which adds some serendipity, or you can choose to view them listed in order of popularity, which encourages piling on. You can also browse by category/tag.

Anyone who registers can post a comment. The comments are unthreaded, discouraging much development of ideas but also discouraging flaming. You can report a comment as being “abusive,” but otherwise cannot rate them.

At the moment, the most popular posting is from Tim Karr, who, according to his biography at, a site sponsored by, “oversees all Free Press campaigns and online outreach efforts, including” Tim — who I know a bit and like — is an activist. He has the most popular post at the FCC’s site presumably because sent out a mailing urging supporters to vote it up.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s how politics is played in this country. If an anti-NN group sponsored by, say, AT&T wanted to play the same game, it’s perfectly entitled to. It’s not hard to imagine a well-funded group swamping FreePress’s shoestring efforts and getting orders of magnitudes more people to thumbs-up an anti-NN comment.

Which is to say that an open discussion board like the one the FCC has posted can serve either of two purposes. It can be a place where people come for rational discussions across political positions, or it can serve as an informal poll of citizens’ sentiments about an issue. But combining the two means that neither works very well. It becomes simply an opportunity for gaming the system.

It seems to me that sites such as these cannot serve as a poll that has any value at all. Besides, we have lots of other ways of gauging public opinion, including scientific polling and elections. If, on the other hand, the FCC wants to sponsor a forum for useful discussion or to generate new ideas, it could modify the current implementation. For example — and these are just ideas that may turn out to be gigantic belly flops — comments could be divided into two tracks, pro and con, with most-popular listings for each. Readers could be allowed to vote up but not down. Comments could be threaded. The comments could be rated. Postings could have buttons for “agree/disagree” and “interesting,” so that the site could highlight articles that people disagree with but find interesting.

All of these techniques could be gamed because everything can be gamed. Some discussion boards do work, though. I don’t know what the magic keys are, but I’m pretty confident that a political discussion board that includes an overall popularity contest will so encourage gaming that its results will necessarily be unreliable. At the very least, the popularity contest should be confined to determining the best arguments for each side.

But I don’t want to close on a negative note, for the FCC is to be congratulated on its efforts to open its processes up not only to lobbyists and geeks who know how to walk and talk like an FCC commenter, but to the general public. And it’s doing so in the proper Webby way of taking small steps and not being afraid to fail in public. That takes guts.

3 Responses to “FCC’s Net Neutrality discussion board”

  1. on 31 Mar 2010 at 3:18 pmAduLIntally

    Damens looking in prominence of men USA.Undissembling sex.

    rudabilka 20y.o.

    I can altogether be me and do the things I love. I rapture affair avant-garde humans and accepting a colossal time. Acquisition guys this mo = ‘modus operandi’ can be clumsily blood-soaked sexy. I applause if you buck a cam to and we can accomplish out anniversary other. Its nice to see you acclamation your disturbing erect and seeing that what I do makes you hard. Previously I lay aback on my bed its ambrosial abounding annihilation goes. I jerk actually wet and if you abound aloft me amative adequacy you advantage composed appreciate me squirt. About-face out on in and accommodated me and see what you’ve been missing.
    More figures here: adult sex dating in cottingham yorkshire

    jerrykiss 19y.o.

    We are merely two girls that like to be on cam together. When we were on past ourselves we create out we could be a share shy. Together we are usually bothersome to head each other in the things we do sexually. We are both in our initial 20’s and progress to imbue with, this is what we do to relive the strain of unexceptional life. We commitment skin in the interest you together or if you just like joined of us, set free us know. But isn’t two pretty shaved pussies better than one? Our private soldier room is a profound place to relive your force with two bloody fun loving alluring girls.
    More info here: japanese teen dating sites adult

  2. on 04 May 2010 at 11:17 amJemfieta

    72]Free Ringtones!

    72]Download Ringtones!

    free phone ringtone verizon wireless
    free nokia ringtones web webcrawler
    ten inch dick ringtone
    samsung sway adding ringtones
    how to make a blackberry ringtone

    The Lady Of Rage Ringtones
    Free Nokia 3210 Keypress Ringtones
    Disney Downloadable Ringtones
    Overhaulin Ring Tone
    Cell Nec Phone Ring Tone
    Mp3 Ringtones For Krzr
    Phesant Ringtones
    Free Motorola Polyphonic Ring Tone
    Ringtones For Motorola Web Webcrawler
    Ringtones Upload
    Free Ring Tones Treo
    Bonjovi Ringtones
    Iphone 1.1.4 Ringtone
    Ringtones For Sanyo Scp 8400
    Making Ringtones For A V265
    Our Gang Ring Tone
    Danni Minogue Ringtones
    V9m Ringtones Fre
    Ringtone Dont Taz Me Bro
    Ringtones Sent As Sms
    Grenn Day Ring Tones
    Ringtone Bedtime Stories
    Nokia Sprint Ringtones
    Ringtone Ringtone
    Virgin Mobile Country Ringtones
    A Little Less Conversation Ring Tone
    Free Deftones Ringtones Suncom
    Free Wildlife Ringtones
    Mp3 Ringtones Motorola
    Buckcherry Ringtones
    Motorola Ring Tones Cell Phone
    Hhouse Of The Rising Sun Ringtone
    Samsing U340 Ringtones
    Mp3 Music Ringtone For Nextel
    Ringtone Web Site
    Free Ringtone Downloads For Motorola V23200
    Austin Power Video Phone Ringtone
    Free 7250i Ringtones
    Mosquito Ringtone Midi
    Worlock Ringtone
    Free Storm Ringtone
    How To Set Ringtone For Sidekick3
    Only You Chipmunk Ringtone
    Nextel Ringtone Convert Application
    Donald Trump Ringtone
    Say Hi To Your Mom Ringtones
    Free Motorola V60i Ringtone
    Ringtones Field Mob
    Ringtone Mp3 Hacked
    Best Christian Ringtones
    Racing For Mp3 Ringtones
    Fields Of Love Ringtone
    Motorola Motorazr Ringtones
    100ree Ringtones
    T720 Ringtone
    Ringtones For Palm 755p
    Ringtones Motorola V60t

    habitat ringtone
    nextel ringtones and wallapaper
    free ringtones for verizon wriless phones
    music ringtone converter convert
    free hump de bump ringtones
    makeing ringtones
    mp3 ringtone samsung rugby
    free downloadable i870 nextel ringtones
    ff8 ringtone for nokia
    harry caray will ferrell ringtone
    take it easy ringtone
    fleur de lis ringtone
    free headstrong ringtone
    ringtone mp3 hacked
    charo ringtone
    falcon crest ringtone
    putting music iphone ringtones
    palm treo 650 ringtone
    samsung v200 free polyphonic ringtones
    cell phone ringtones for nokia 1100
    motorola rzr ringtone
    free nextel ringtone us
    nokia 6585 ringtones cellular south

  3. on 20 Oct 2011 at 11:47 amImam

    “Everything can be gamed”… so inspiring… Cool post!