Ajit Pai

Ajit Pai

Part of a series on Net Neutrality. [View Related Entries]

Updated Sep 10, 2020 at 05:45AM EDT by shevyrolet.

Added Dec 14, 2017 at 11:40AM EST by Don.

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Ajit Pai is the current Chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) who has been widely criticized online for supporting the repeal of Obama-era regulations ensuring the protection of net neutrality.


In February 2001, Pai became the Associate General Counsel at Verizon Communications Inc. In April 2003, Pai left his position at Verizon was hired as Deputy Chief Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts. After the next eight years, Pai served in various positions at the Department of Justice and the FCC's Office of General Counsel. In May 2012, Pai was appointed to the FCC by President Barack Obama at the recommendation of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. In January 2017, Pai was appointed as chairman of the commission by President Donald Trump. In April, Pai proposed a repeal net neutrality rules enacted under the Obama administration. In July, protests were held against Pai’s proposal. In mid-November, the FCC revealed plans to hold a vote in December to end the Obama-era net neutrality rules.

Online History

On May 13th, 2017, the Independent Journal Review YouTube channel uploaded a video of Pai reading various insulting tweets directed toward him, mimicking a recurring comedy segment on the talk show

In November, numerous image macros condemning FCC chairman Ajit Pai as greedy and beholden to corporate interests were submitted in the coming days, many of which reached the front page of the /r/dankmemes and /r/memeeconomy subreddits (shown below).

meme with Ajit Pai warping and going glowy eyed at the suggestion of micro transaction on the internet image comparing appealing net neutrality to having EA as your internet provider distracted boyfriend meme with Ajit Pai getting distracted by money

On November 30th, PewDiePie uploaded a video about Pai titled ''The Most Hated Person on the Internet'' (shown below). Within two weeks, the video gained over 3.03 million views and 15,400 comments.

Federal Communications Bar Association Dinner

On December 8th, 2017, a video was leaked online showing Pai's speech held at the annual Federal Communications Bar Association dinner, in which he made several jokes about the net neutrality controversy and jokingly referred to himself as a "Verizon puppet" (shown below).

The Daily Caller PSA

On December 13th, the conservative news site The Daily Caller[3] published a video in which Pai performs the "Harlem Shake" after presenting a list titled "7 Things You Can Still Do on the Internet After Net Neutrality" (shown below).

That day, various image macros mocking Pai's apperance in the video reached the front page of /r/dankmemes (shown below).

fake history image of Ajit Pai in 3D glasses and a Santa hat as Hitler about to invade Poland image of Ajit Pai in 3D glasses and a Santa hat about kill the internet image of Ajit Pai in 3D glasses and a Santa hat described as an Autistic man celebrating Christmas

Ajit Pai Eating Popcorn

On December 17th, 2017, Redditor Markmeoffended posted a video of Ajit Pai eating popcorn in front of a green screen to /r/MemeEconomy,[4] where it gathered more than 34,900 points (89% upvoted) and 560 comments within 24 hours. In the comments section, Markmeoffended replied with a Droste effect version of the clip (shown below).

Over the next day, more edited versions of the clip reached the frontpage of /r/dankmemes and /r/MemeEconomy (shown below).

gif of Ajit Pai eating popcorn in front of the T-Rex Chrome Offline Game Ajit Pai eating popcorn next to Kim Jong-un

Net Neutrality Senate Vote

On May 16th, the United States Senate voted in favor of a resolution to block plan's to repeal net neutrality. That day, Twitter user Adam Best tweeted a photo of Pai drinking out of his giant Reese's mug, along with the message "Ajit can put that Senate #NetNeutrality loss in his giant Reese's coffee cup (shown below, left). Meanwhile, Twitter user @ManInTheHoody tweeted "Hey Ajit Pai, fuck you" (shown below, right).

tweet in favor of net neutrality with a picture of Ajit Pai drinking from a giant mug m ith @ManlnTheHoody hey ait pal, fuck you #NetNeutrality:14

That same day, Twitter user @SkurpsSLP tweeted to declare May 16th "'Everybody give Ajit Pai the middle finger' Day" (shown below). Also on May 17th, The Daily Dot published an article titled "Internet mocks Ajit Pai after Senate net neutrality victory."[6]

picture of Jennifer Lawrence holding her middle finger up and text about directing it to Ajit Pai

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