Net neutrality debate exposes weaknesses of public comment system

As citizens increasingly use digital tools to engage with government, federal agencies should weed out fake comments to create a more robust public comment system. If agencies are required to solicit public input, it should take on a form that the agency can easy incorporate into new rules. The Administrative Procedures Act could not have anticipated the digital communications tools available to citizens seven decades later. An updated method of collecting feedback would require commenters to verify their identity, or at least verify they are human. Another approach would automate the search for the search for spam comments, pitting spam bots against spam filters. However, the filtering out of fraudulent comments should be used not discourage authentic commentary from interested individuals. Creating a universal, easy-to-use interface for public comments would increase participation without diminishing the quality of comments. With a more secure online comments system, voters would feel more confident that agencies seriously consider their input.


Net neutrality debate exposes weaknesses of public comment system