The 'Fake Comment' Problem

Stolen Identities, Tampered Submissions Are New Democracy Threat

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When the Federal Communications Commission closed the public comment period regarding its proposed net neutrality repeal last year, the final tally of total comments they received was unbelievable.

The agency, tasked with overseeing America's broadcasters and internet providers, received almost 23 million public comments about the subject-one of the most controversial policy issues to be put before the public in years. But to log that many comments, 1 out of every 15 American citizens would have had to submit a comment to the agency-a scenario that would seem to test reality just as it might government servers.

Posted on August 7, 2018
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5 Tech Solutions to Comment Period Hurdles

How Agencies Are Relying on Technology To Address Modern Challenges

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One of a free society's most fundamental attributes is the ability of citizens to interact directly with the people overseeing the public policies affecting their lives and environment.

Very often, this interaction takes the form of a public comment period, where citizens are invited to give their opinions on a regulatory proposal or Environmental Impact Report, with the understanding that their input will be considered and responded to during the decision-making process.

Posted on May 2, 2018
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Will an Infrastructure Fix Really Happen?

The 5 Biggest Obstacles in the Way of a Final Bill

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Is an actual infrastructure bill the great promise -- or tease -- of 2018?

That's the question on the minds of millions of Americans as both Democrats and the Trump Administration this month unveiled plans to tackle the problem of our country's crumbling roads, bridges, airports and other critical systems. While the two proposals remain a long way apart philosophically--and are both notably short on details--the fact that actual numbers have replaced mere conjecture means there is at least movement on the playing field--a marked departure from last year when we could only guess what a potential infrastructure plan might look like. Of course, whether we are closer to getting the bulldozers moving remains to be seen.

Posted on February 28, 2018
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A Year of 'Smart' Growth

Innovations, New Clients Promise an Exciting 2018

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Every business has that year when groundswell becomes growth. When prospects begin turning predictably into projects. When they're able to stop worrying about getting clients and instead focus exclusively on delighting them.

At SmartComment, 2017 was that year. With thousands of projects and users across the country, we're both thrilled and humbled that so many project leads are turning to us to help manage public comments related to their most critical infrastructure efforts and public engagement campaigns.

Posted on December 29, 2017
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Five Steps to a Lean Organization

How Agency Leaders Are Doing More with Less

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SmartComment was lucky to spend several days last month with the leaders of some of the nation's most innovative environmental agencies at the annual Environmental Council of States (ECOS) conference in Jackson, Wyoming.

Alongside clients, contacts and new friends, we attended sessions that focused on some of the most current - and critical - issues facing environmental regulators today: streamlining state coordination with the EPA, better communicating program outcomes with the public, improving the permitting process, and many other important topics.

Posted on October 5, 2017
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