Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the vax-attacks dept

This week, Yahoo was facing accusations that it wasn’t entirely honest about its ability to recover communications that it claimed were deleted. That Anonymous Coward won first place for insightful by expanding on the problems with the situation:

Parallel construction should never be acceptable. To violate any alleged protections citizens have, and then build a fantasy way to explain how they obtained it to hide the actual source seems to be an affront to Justice.

But then we let court officers lie with no downside, Judges refuse to shame prosecutors who violate the law in order to secure a conviction against someone they knew was innocent, they throw out all the rules to get the bad guy and when caught they dismiss cases rather than admit what they are doing is wrong.

This isn’t how the legal system is supposed to work, and its looking like the rot has spread to far for us to save it. No bandaid is going to fix this, we need to cut out the bad parts to save the system.

Meanwhile, after we made the point that the content of the leaked DNC emails is relevant and important regardless of whether or not it was Russians who obtained them, one anonymous commenter won second place for insightful by agreeing wholeheartedly:

I’ve been yelling this article’s point at my computer screen all weekend. If the DNC hadn’t done nefarious shit and communicated about it over an insecure medium, there’d be nothing for whoever, Russian-sponsored or otherwise, to hack and release! This is shooting the messenger – the same way Edward Snowden was blamed for endangering Americans when it was the illegal and nefarious actions by the government that he exposed that had done that.

I don’t care if the email leaks came from Satan himself. If the content is factual, it’s relevant.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start with another aspect of the DNC email hack: the claims by the party that Wikileaks is full of malware. Mcinsand pulled out the political dictionary:


Apparently, ‘malware’ is a new term for inconvenient truths.

Next, we’ve got a response to the defamation threats from an anti-vax film distributor trying to squash criticism, which will be the source of both of our top winners on the funny side. But before that, PaulT offered an excellent summary of anti-vax psychology, and why it’s not all just about pure stupidity:

There’s 2 things at play here. One is ignorance, of course. The other thing is the thing that’s harder to deal with, and the thing that these anti-vaxxers are deliberately altering for the worse – perception.

In my parents’ era, it was easy to see the benefits of vaccines, and the dangers on not having them. Smallpox was real, measles was killing people and most knew people who had suffered and been disabled by polio (my uncle’s right arm was useless from a young age from the disease). Meanwhile autism was a relatively new diagnosis and wasn’t properly understood.

Fast forward to today – smallpox is dead, destroyed by vaccination. Nobody really knows anyone who’s suffered with diseases like polio, while things like measles have been weakened so that it’s often lumped in with less dangerous diseases. Measles is an inconvenience in the minds of parents who haven’t been exposed to the scarring, blindness and death a strain can cause. However, they are well aware of autism and most likely know people who have been diagnosed somewhere on the spectrum.

This is why anti-vaxxer propaganda is so dangerous. It preys on the fears of parents who are scared their child might be autistic, but are ignorant of the very real dangers that come with lower levels of vaccination. The biggest problem is that even discredited frauds like Wakefield and outdated talking points like mercury in vaccines can somehow convince some people better than verifiable science.

But enough of the dry analysis — first place for funny goes to Vidiot, who illustrated the backfire that comes with frivolous defamation threats like these:

Like a Warner Bros. cartoon

Lesson number one: When you load up the defamation cannon, you can probably expect that the biggest explosion won’t be coming out of the front end.

In second place, we’ve got Dale Evans, who saw right through our ploy:

PR firm propaganda, paid for by Big Pharma $$$

Nice propaganda effort, this article, web page, and the fake comments included. Shows you what Big Pharma profits $$$$ can purchase in the way of public relations firm services. Pretty convincing. Very God-less and immoral. These PR firms should be shut down and their staff sent to prison!

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we head to the news that Russia’s state internet censor accidentally blocked its own security certificate authority and took down its own website, where we have two quick-and-dirty jokes in response. First, it’s Berenerd wondering what the problem is:

Seems like its working as it should, blocking those bad propaganda sites

And last but not least, it’s Lord Lidl of Cheem (lord who of where?) with a slightly tortured but still amusing twist on a classic:

In Soviet Russia, site ban bans ban.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Comments on “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt”

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Whatever says:

Re: Re: Re:

I can’t debate you (or anyone else) when my posts take 24 to 48 hours to appear…

Don’t you get it? Techdirt is censoring my posts (by delaying them enough to be less relevant). This on a site that pushes endlessly for free speech.

Oh, and anonymous coward, I don’t spam. EVER. I just express an opinion or two that isn’t in keeping with the Techdirt view of the world, which gets some people’s knickers in a bunch.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Like this piece of tactful, insightful, intellectually deep rebuttal?

The funny thing is, not only did this show up as the top message, you got replies within 12 hours. Same for your reply to Ninja. Clearly the delay isn’t working or you decided to screw with your IP address settings again.

Honestly, why do you even bother? Week in, week out, you post absolute garbage and expect to be respected for it, on a website you can’t stand yet somehow continue to obsess over. It’s like a vegan showing up at a steak barbecue and complaining that there isn’t anything to eat. Shouldn’t you have moved on by now?

Whatever says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

It’s my opinion. Read the story, he has been a “victim” before, seems a little odd that someone in that position would allow it to happen repeatedly.

As for the speed of replies, it’s because I happened to post it early on a Monday, and one of the minions approved it more quickly (mostly I think because I am complaining about it, and guys like Leigh love to try to make me look bad). Otherwise, I post comments on Friday and Saturday and I get to wait until Monday for them to get published.

This one is a good example, posted on the 31st by me, but first answer is 24 hours later (Monday again) after the minions have deemed my post worthy. it’s a form of censorship, one that Mike is loath to address. he would rip a new eye hole for any other site doing it, but in his own world, it’s entirely acceptable. It’s really a shame, and shows perhaps more of his true nature.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Every “debate” you engage in begins as or eventually devolves into a whinefest about Masnick, PaulT or some other reader whose presence triggers the stick buried up your rectum. Anyone can read your post history to verify the claim about your “spam”, never mind that it’s public knowledge you log in and out and change your IP to screw with the spam detectors, then when whine it works as designed. Do you really think we’re all infants in diapers to not see past such a sad, pathetic attempt at straw grasping?

Whatever says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Actually, it does not. Mike writes many of the stories, so I tend to address him. For Paul, he tends to come out like a rabid attack dog trying to tear down everything I say. I could say the sky is blue and he would say I was delusional. He thinks he can shout me down, and that’s just not the case.

I think you still miss the point: Why are my posts specifically delayed by nobody elses are? Do you not see censorship in action here?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Once again, none of the points addressed, just more complaining, paranoia and playing the victim card. Over this week you have made posts and they have been addressed. Despite your consistently obnoxious behavior and definition of what constitutes “insightful” you are still permitted to relentlessly post your spam, and responded to within 24 hours. Any third party can see that your claims are unsubstantiated at best, and willful lying at worst.

You’re not being shouted down; it’s simply that more than one person finds it bewildering that you dedicate so much time and obsession on a website you openly loathe.

Whatever says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

The problem, Mr Baiter, is that it took 24 hours for my post to appear. In most cases, that is a conversation killer. If you look, many of my comments go entirely unanswered even as others have plenty of response, and that is almost entirely due to the fact that by the time they are added, they are no longer relevant or the discussion has moved on.

Remember, the time and date stamp is the time I posted it, NOT the time that Mike’s Minions deemed it worthy and added it on the site. That’s another sneaky deception.

“You’re not being shouted down; it’s simply that more than one person finds it bewildering that you dedicate so much time and obsession on a website you openly loathe.”

I don’t loathe the website at all. It’s a good forum for discussion and looking at the other side of things (for me). What I loathe is people who are unwilling to consider the other side or are too stuck on a single tangent to accept that there may be alternate views on most stories that make about as much sense as the party line.

I would say that perhaps you should worry less about me personally and try addressing the opinions (no matter how delayed they may be). Perhaps you would like to ask Mike why my posts are delayed before posting, and yours are not?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Bang on schedule. Piss and moan, piss and moan. People read your history as you so often demand. Ever stop for a moment to consider why the “content” you generate doesn’t pass the dumbfuck test? One guy above me already pointed it out and linked to an example above. You’re the one who chose to post shit over and over, and it’s obvious that people do choose to engage you, fuck knows why, within your prissy little time limits. You piss and moan because you don’t get the results you want, just like average_joe/antidirt/whatever IP address and TOR exit he wants to mock everyone else from.

You copyright fanboys are fond of screaming “pirates got their binky taken away”. You earned your reputation as a troll and a jackass. In the real world, which is this one, people who fuck up have to deal with the consequences of their own mistakes. Which is why out_of_the_blue gets his shitty spammy addresses blocked and he crows about making thirty-two attempts to post his flagged spam, and it sounds like the filter is working as intended. You could always go back to logging out and trolling under other IP addresses about how every mention of Wyden makes you quiver in your panties from rage, because that’s the pinnacle of what you consider insightful.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I like how you, once again, insist on people overlooking your consistent role as a troll and general naysayer, yet persistently bring in your own personal prejudices in what you consider to be discussion.

Maybe the servers are awkward on weekends, which other posters have pointed out before. Maybe it’s because of your own account and the IP addresses you switch around with. I’m not a signed user; it’s not my responsibility to figure out your problems. If you don’t like the terms, do without.

The funniest thing? Here you are, being engaged. Your supposed delay, if it even exists, is an obvious red herring.

Bergman (profile) says:

One legitimate concern about vaccines

Given the way the laws have changed regarding liability for new medicines in recent years, there is a very real concern about dangerous medications. This extends to new vaccines.

We don’t necessarily know whether the cure is worse than the disease. Granted, the diseases are pretty damned bad, but… that won’t help anyone who runs into a bad batch of vaccine.

We are, in effect, beta testing vaccines on our children. The first sign of trouble might be years or decades down the road, far too late to do anything about. The claims of autism have been debunked, but autism is not the worst thing a bad batch of medicine can do to someone.

With the successful eradication campaigns against diseases making awareness of those diseases a distant memory, the hazards of dangerous medications becomes a far more immediate threat to children. Parents are supposed to protect their kids, not use them as laboratory animals.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: One legitimate concern about vaccines

Yes, this the fundamental pro’s vs con’s argument that is necessary to all medications.

Are the problems that these vaccines prevent great enough to cause this kind of ruckus over? What if there is a grain of truth from the anti-vaxers?

I worked in pharmacy, if you look at the package inserts on most medications they will tell you that the exact mechanism for how they work is not immediately known.

Often times drugs do not even directly affect the condition they are treating, they instead affect 1 chemical property in your blood, which then affects another chemical, when then finally affects the condition.

Even with all of our knowledge, we still know quiet shockingly little about the human body!

CK20XX (profile) says:

Re: One legitimate concern about vaccines

The dangerous medicines you’re talking about are pills, which people may be allergic to and always have side effects, sometimes to the point that doctors prescribe multiple medications just to eliminate the side effects of other medications.

Vaccines are a completely different beast. The only one that MIGHT be a concern is the Chickenpox vaccine, because that virus has a tendency to flee the immune system and hide out in your body for decades before re-emerging as Shingles. But last I saw, even that vaccine had gradually acquired a bulletproof success rate.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: One legitimate concern about vaccines

While yeah, there’s a bit of Russian roulette being played with complex pharmaceuticals, vaccines are developed with a consistent process that has proven reliable.

Yes, occasionally we have side effects (usually a day or three of feeling under-the-weather, or, rarely, an allergic reaction) but certainly nothing compared to the disease itself.

If the Anti-Vax people wanted to go against, say, antidepressants, they might have some legitimate points. But vaccination is a proven process that really does save lives.

Cold comfort if your kid’s autism reveals itself around the same time he’s getting his early vaccinations, but that’s a matter that we still don’t know the causes of autism.

Like HIV in the 70s and in the middle ages, Plagues, we might as well blame witchcraft.

Anonymous Coward says:


Yes, the good old pro-vax idiots calling the anti-vax idiots.

People must have liberty, you have to sign waivers to get a vax, so stop claiming they are perfectly safe, and stop claiming that the anti-vaccine crowd is “deliberately altering for the worse – perception”.

They happen to believe they are altering it for the better. So that is just your fucking opinion. Yes, I am sure many would change their tunes if they saw the horrors that these vaccines prevent, but people must have liberty to choose their path in life.

No, you do not have a right to force medication on others just because you fear for your own safety. This is the same logic that approves dropping a baby over a waterfall to appease the local deities in hopes of a good harvest this year. They must be allowed to destroy themselves, otherwise, you don’t have liberty.

In case you missed the fucking point…


This means THEY get to choose, not YOU! It is not worth throwing liberty away for this, because all you will get is a Government that allows a Drug Company to buy your elected officials into forcing your to take a vaccine for coughing, looking too happy in the morning, looking too sad in the morning, looking left, or looking right. Yes, corruption is the only result of removed liberty. A historically proven fact too!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Anti-Anti-Vaxxers

You’re ignoring that people should be FREE to live in a society where they don’t fear epidemics because some people disagreed with vaccines. We don’t let people shit on the sidewalk. We don’t let people serve food without training them in safe and sanitary food handling procedures. We have health inspectors. We have the CDC.

If we actually had to the LIBERTY you proclaim is so important, we’d be more and more susceptible as a population to disease. The freedom to die of a disease because someone else read a scientifically-challenged blog entry and decided not to vaccinate their kids isn’t exactly LIBERTY.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Oh do go on...

Point us to these legitimate concerns regarding vaccinations?

There is the matter of some people in the crazy gap who cannot afford vaccinations (and food and rent at the same time). They’re not poor enough to get state supplied but not rich enough to afford the shots themselves. But they’re not saying they don’t want the vaccines or that they cause problems.

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