FCC’s Complaint System Gamed

I’ve got a backlog o stories to post here, including this old one about broadcast programming complaints to the FCC. The FCC reports that it received a mere 350 complaints in 2000, but 240,000 in 2003. So what can account for the nearly 700-X increase? The FCC did some homework on the matter:

According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all indecency complaints in 2003 — 99.8 percent — were filed by the Parents Television Council, an activist group. This year, the trend has continued, and perhaps intensified. Through early October, 99.9 percent of indecency complaints-aside from those concerning the Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show broadcast on CBS- were brought by the PTC, according to the FCC analysis dated Oct. 1.

ArsTechnica‘s coverage of the story is worth looking into if you haven’t seen this covered elsewhere already.

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