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The US broadband industry funded millions of fake comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the 2017 repeal of net neutrality, according to a report published Thursday by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Of the record-breaking 22 million public comments that the FCC received, a staggering 18 million were fake, James’ investigation found. Millions of the fake comments, her office said, were funded by the broadband industry as part of a “secret campaign” to create the impression of grassroots opposition to net neutrality rules while the agency weighed repealing the policy. “Americans’ voices are being drowned out by masses of fake comments and messages being submitted to the government to sway decision-making,” James said in a statement. “Instead of actually looking for real responses from the American people, marketing companies are luring vulnerable individuals to their websites with freebies, co-opting their identities, and fabricating responses that giant corporations are then using to influence the policies and laws that govern our lives.”

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