John Oliver takes on net neutrality with devastating humor

It’s Monday morning, and we’re still clearing the cobwebs from our weekend brains, so it seems odd to delve into the soporific topic of net neutrality. If you’re reading this, I’m going to say there’s a 99.9% chance you’re on the internet, which means this current hot topic is relevant to your interests. However, the finer grained details of the subject can be difficult to follow. Luckily, former Daily Show star John Oliver is willing to break it down for you in this humorous 13 minute summary.

Remember, while humor is for entertainment, you can learn from it as well. So why not get two things done at once by watching the above video, then head into comments and share your thoughts on the debate.

What’s your answer? Mine is similar to the one at the end of Fight Club (1999).


Reader comments

John Oliver takes on net neutrality with devastating humor


Also.....on an totally unrelated subject....i hope you all fall on your penises and your future generations may be vanquished into thin air....

Already watched 5 minutes ago. You're too slow. Gizmodo got to it first. Lol. Gotta be faster if you want that ad revenue. :P

Gizmodo has become a steaming pile. They are a mere shadow if their former selves when they started years ago.

I definitely agree. But,I still just check out the first page of new articles every morning. Never more than that per day.

I actually finally leaned what this whole needy neutrality issue is from that. That guy should be a college professor.

What is net neutrality? Been hearing and seeing them all over but never kinda read to understand. Someone explain it and why the controversies'

Why are you linking it to another video? The video on this article explains it perfectly and is entertaining at the same time, unlike the video you are linking to.

John Oliver is awesome. I don't watch Daily Show, but I know him from Community. I'll check this out.

Quite possibly one of the best internet vid ive seen. Even though I'm not American, I got some of the references he made.

Isn't it sad when you have to watch a comedy show to get the REAL unbiased news, while the news networks keep covering complete BS.

John Oliver is brilliant, the funiest and most informative thing to come to TV in a long time.


Haha that was actually pretty good. 


The United States is the jurisdiction of the FCC.  As a Canadian, would this affect me too?  Without net neutrality, would Netflix stream slower for me up here too? 


I guess I'm just wondering if the FCC can control the speed of data LEAVING the country too, affecting customers on the global scale who aren't in the FCC's jurisdiction. 

I've heard people say it's possible, but I don't think so.  The Cancadian ISPs would probably be held to different standards.  Controlling speeds is something the ISPs want to do.  But the ISPs are not the "Internet".  The Internet is controlled by other data servers and ISPs do just as their name conveys: provide Internet.  But they don't "host" the Internet.  ISPs look at DNS systems for where things are located.  From there, you are routed to what you need.  Even if something is hosued in the US, it has its own IP address that is outside the jurisdiction of the ISPs in controlling the data flow.  Only if your stream of data was somehow routed through a US ISP taht has implemented restrictions, would that possibly happen.

Ok, well, that's good, for Canadians.  But now it brings the situation where international customers could enjoy better, faster service.  And then Americans would have to pay a premium for an American service (like Netflix) to enjoy the same level of service the rest of the world does, or live with poor service and speeds.  This will undoubtedly create a shift in the economics of consumer data consumption in the United States.  It might make it less appealing for an American to choose to pay for an American service over a competing overseas service.  It all sounds like BAD NEWS.

I believe this deals are related to the last mile of service to your house. If comcast isn't providing service in Canada, they can't slow it down.

It starts there, at the last mile to your house.  But what's to stop it from spreading closer and closer to the server in the future?  That's why it's got to be stopped NOW.  This is all just a bunch of bullshit to make a very very tiny number of Americans a LOT richer. 

It is, except on iMore where they're too wrapped up in the more of the same announcements coming out of WWDC today.

I've seen so little comments on their articles today though. You'd think they'd get more with those topics.

For any of you that may want to really get down in the weeds on this topic in a serious way, the 17 May episode of "This Week in Law" had a highly contentious, but educational, debate between two guests in the legal profession. Well worth listening to if you really want to get both well informed sides of the argument.

Never heard of John Oliver before (being in the UK), but that was a good rant and all of you US readers should do as he says at the end of the video.

His Lobbying graph needs more data.  He mentioned Google on one side, and Comcast on the other saying it's Comcast that owns the government by the lobbying spending being greater thant Northrop. That is only true if you use outdated data.

The reality of that order, currently. (From largest lobbyiest to smallest):

Northrop Grumman
Southern Co
Lockheed Martin


Google is the one outspending defense contractors and telecom provider.

He also obfuscates the whole rights of way issue.  That isn't cable companies agreeing not to compete, many of them would love to, that is local governments and municipalities making deals to give certain companies cabling rights of way within their communities and essentially locking out competitors with municipal law.

The lack of competition most people see with cable providers is a failure of their local governments.

I've always liked John Oliver but the truth behind his humor is fucking scary. Everyone, share that video on any and all social websites you're a part of and go to FCC.gov/comments to tell them how you feel. Come on Monsters, now is your time to shine.

Sheet... I was ready to eviscerate 'em but the site won't load...

Even were the site "loading", I presume they'll listen to those major companies more than an indidvidual complaint. Also, why is there that eery feeling that backroom contracts are already being drawn up to allow the big players unfettered access to the country's fiber?


Wow. And the website is kind of a joke. You have to download comments to view them, it seems. They are not making this easy for the users to voice their opinion.

OMG, the whole net neutrality aspect of this was meh, but the call to commenters at the end made me have to shut my office door to laugh out loud. epic.

John Oliver wins the internet. The Usain Bolt one that is.
There, all caps comment done. Not on the FCC's webpage - because you know the FCC won't actually read what the people that they're making the laws for have to say. I think if it ain't broken don't fix it.

He's even made another video on the FCC finally adopting sweeping net neutrality rules. Type "net neutrality update" on YouTube and you'll find it.