40% of Real People Say Their Comments on Another Federal Site Are Fakes

A significant portion of the thousands of commenters on the U.S. Department of Labor website criticizing a new rule intended to prevent conflicts of interest in retirement advice have turned out to be fake, The Wall Street Journal reports. A full 40 percent of the people contacted by the Journal who allegedly commented on the site say they didn’t post the remarks at all. The department is still gathering feedback on the “fiduciary rule” written during the Obama administration that would require investment advisers handling such accounts to act in the best interest of their clients. It won’t be implemented fully until July 2019. “I am disgusted that people can post comments using my name,” said one man reached by the Journal, whose name was used to comment in opposition to the rule. The Labor Department is now the fifth agency, along with the FCC, SEC, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reported to be inundated with unauthorized comments posted on its website.