Money & Business

Wednesday Buzz: Last Call for Net Neutrality Comments

By / Jul 16, 2014 (iStock/Thinkstock)

The Federal Communications Commission, citing website downtime, extends the deadline for public comments on its open-internet proposal. Also: Years later, Google+ gives in on nicknames.

If you haven’t yet submitted your comment on net neutrality, you have a couple of extra days.

As we reported this week, the Federal Communications Commission is ending the first part of its comment period on new open-internet rules—a proposal that’s drawn a variety of responses from organizations, companies, and average Joes (lots and lots of average Joes, in fact).

But as the deadline was approaching on Monday, the FCC’s creaky old website started to stumble, blocking people from submitting last-second comments. That led the commission to keep the system open for a few more days.

“We have seen an overwhelming surge in traffic on our website that is making it difficult for many people to file comments,” FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart told The Washington Post. “Please be assured that the commission is aware of these issues and is committed to making sure that everyone trying to submit comments will have their views entered into the record.”

Now you have until Friday to get your comments in.

What’s in a Name?

A few years back, Google+ ruffled some feathers over a controversial policy around the time of its launch. Short version: no nicknames.

The policy was a bit uncomfortable for users, and while Google says it helped ensure its earliest users were actual people, the rule may have done more harm than good, stifling the service’s growth just as it was gaining its footing. (That wasn’t the only issue, however.)

Over the years, Google has softened the policy some. On Tuesday, though, the company said the the policy had outlived its usefulness.

“We know you’ve been calling for this change for a while,” the company wrote in a post on the service. “We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users. For this we apologize, and we hope that today’s change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be.”

What’s your take? Good, bad, or too late? (ht @ASegar)

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Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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