John Oliver rallied Americans to unite to defend Net Neutrality on Sunday night and enough responded almost immediately to crash the Federal Communications Commission's website.
The "Last Week Tonight" host dedicated the majority of the HBO show to the topic, taking aim at chairman Ajit Pai, who intends to scale back rules protecting Net Neutrality, which in basic terms, prevents internet service providers from picking favorites and selectively slowing down other sites.
"But Net Neutrality is about more than just speed," the comedian said in the segment (above). "At its heart, it is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs)… should not be able to engage in any sort of f--kery that limits or manipulates the choices you make online. It also helps ensure a level playing field, so that big companies can not undermine small companies before they can take off. And without it, Ancestry.com could easily crush my new site, JustTellMeIfImRelatedToANazi.com."
The segment comes three years after Oliver first tackled the issue and called for viewers to flock to the FCC's website to leave comments, but the organization has since made it harder for the public to even find the subject on its website to weigh in. Luckily, Oliver streamlined the complicated process by buying the domain www.GoFCCYourself.com, which links visitors directly to the FCC's page where they can leave a public comment on Pai's Restoring Internet Freedom proposal.
Observers were quick to note on Twitter that the FCC's website went down shortly after "Last Week Tonight" aired on HBO.
"Every internet groups needs to come together, like you successfully did three years ago," Oliver said. "Every sub culture must join as one: Gamers, YouTube celebrities, Instagram models, Tom from MySpace —- if you're still alive —- we need all of you, even —- and I can not believe I'm saying this -— Donald Trump's internet fans on sites like 4chan and Reddit, the most powerful online trolls of all. This subject is one of the few things that we actually really agree on, so simply express yourself and harness the rage you normally reserve for me."
"The point is, everyone needs to get involved," Oliver continued. "Comment now … even call your representative and your senators. And do not tell me that you don't have time to do this. If the internet is evidence of nothing else, it is evidence that we all have way too much time on our hands. And yes, I'm talking to you, everyone who posted 'May the 4th be with you' for 'Star Wars' day … and you can not say you are too busy when 540,000 of you commented on Beyonce's pregnancy announcement."