Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the say-something dept

This week, our first place comment on the insightful side is a long one from Stephen T. Stone, responding piece by piece to a comment that was packed full of errors about Section 230, the first amendment, and… everything:

You must expand on why and how wrong.

Well, if you insist?

NO LAW in the US has ANY other valid purpose than to serve the interests of We The People.

And the last time I checked, CDA 230 makes it possible for We The People to run and moderate websites and web-based services of all kinds without facing legal liability for anything posted by a third party to those sites/services.

Corporations having total and arbitrary control over the now-dominant speech outlets just simply CANNOT be a valid interpretation.

Dominant or not, corporations?and the people who ultimately control them?do have total and arbitrary control over those outlets for speech. Twitter, Facebook, and their ilk are not public utilities; being booted from Twitter for breaking their rules is no different than being kicked out of someone?s home for yelling about chemtrails. The right to free expression does not guarantee you forced usage of a privately-owned platform, regardless of who owns the platform.

“natural” persons now have a vital First Amendment Right on “platforms”

A person?s First Amendment rights do not extend to forcing a platform into hosting speech. The platform?s owners have every right to decide what speech it will and will not have associated with that platform. (Sidebar: The usage of SovCit lingo might be a clue that the poster is talking out of their ass.)

In order to be protected by Section 230, companies like Facebook should be ?neutral public forums.? — Simply right.

What Mr. SovCit fails to address here is the idea of ?neutral public forum?. What does the phrase mean in this regard?

Masnick ALWAYS asserts that Corporation are to be de facto censors, and any “natural” persons can just try to find some tiny outlet on which to rant.

Well?yeah. Again: The First Amendment does not guarantee the access to or usage of a given platform. The government cannot block you from using a platform; the platform?s owners and administrators, on the other hand?

DE FACTO and DE JURE I have Right to comment here while within common law

What you have, Mr. SovCit, is a right to speak your mind. Techdirt admins are under no legal obligation to host your speech, regardless of your assertion of ?common law?. If you know of any legal statute that says you can force Techdirt to host your speech, your argument would look a lot better if you could cite it. (SovCit lingo is not a legal statute.)

a business will have to make it truly private with code if don’t want me to use it

Now I see the mistake: You confuse “privately-owned” with “private”. A privately-owned platform can be both open to the public and capable of ?censorship?/moderation that fits with the sociopolitical ideologies of that platform?s owners. A White supremacist forum owned by the Ku Klux Klan, for example, can be open to the public while still retaining its right to delete any posts that insult the concept of White supremacy, the Klan, and White people in general.

?how?s that, did I expand on the wrongness of that post well enough?

In second place, we’ve got an anonymous response to the suggestion that Netflix is on the same grounds as any other filmmaker at Cannes:

The rule change requiring cinematic release. After Netflix entered films last year, the French cinemas complained which led to the cinema release rule being introduced this year. So Netflix has reason to feel aggrieved at the change, which seems targeted at it.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with a response to Anonymous Anonymous Coward to the perennial and incorrect idea that voting is a prerequisite to having an opinion on politics:

Whether one votes or not, whether one performs military service or not, whether one does or doesn’t do something else that some pinhead thinks should be required, just being a citizen allows for all the freedoms the Constitution provides, including being able to speak their minds.

Even you snowflake.

Next, we’ve got a response from Jeff Green to the EU copyright proposal that would stop people from using Creative Commons on their own work:

The proposal strikes at another “fundamental right”. If intellectual property is property, which is of course debatable, the law should not ban its owner from giving it away freely.

I would be more than a little upset if the EU were to tell me that I wasn’t allowed to give my money away to a charity or a friend.

Over on the funny side, we head to our post about Ted Cruz’s many muddled ideas about online platforms, in which we called the Fairness Doctrine “incredibly silly”. That garnered a pair of rebuttals, one reasonable and the other… not. Thad‘s reply to the latter won first place for funny:

What a COMPLETELY ignorant thing to say. If you had been around, you would have KNOWN how effective it was. There would BE no Fox News propaganda if it were still here.

Kind of ironic to call somebody ignorant when you don’t seem to realize that the Fairness Doctrine only applied to broadcast TV, not cable.

This site is about to go off my RSS feed page, now that I know what a simpleton is in charge.

Stop, don’t, come back.

In second place, we’ve got an excellent reply from hij to our post about the deranged and exaggerated way people think about Facebook:

So, you are saying our relationship status with Facebook should be listed as “complicated?”

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with another reply to Netflix leaving Cannes, this time from Anonymous Anonymous Coward:

It sure seems like Cannes is working at its own exercise of the right to be forgotten.

And finally, we have an anonymous comment responding to the headline of our post about Trump signing SESTA/FOSTA into law:

Despite Repeated Evidence That It’s Unnecessary And Damaging, Trump remains president.

Fixed that headline for you, Mike.

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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Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: It Actually Does Help To Vote, Though

For sure. But "if you don’t vote, you can’t complain" is still a childish, meaningless mantra. You could just as easily say "if you don’t call your representative once every few months, and attend regular town halls, you can’t complain". And sure, it would be great if more people did that stuff! But it would also be not-so-great if average people going about their day felt they had no right to comment on their government.

MonkeyFracasJr (profile) says:

Re: Re: "If you don't vote ..."

“If you didn’t vote you have no right to an opinion.”
Is significantly different from
“If you don’t vote you can’t complain.”

While neither are particularly mature statements I am far more inclined to support the latter. And I completely disagree with the former.

In the end it is frightening to consider which is “worse”; those who refrain from voting, or those voters who are uninformed/misinformed.


Re: Re: Re: not voting is a vote for Clinton

and also the way many electorates have been gerrymandered.

That’s an entirely gratuitous addition to a discussion about a vote decided on a state by state level.

It’s also shamelessly partisan. Both parties do it. It’s the nature of power and human corruption.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:2 a vote decided on a state by state level

Which is done through the Electoral College, an institution specifically designed to maintain the ascendancy of the slave-owning states.

Who, I believe, are mostly Republican-leaning these days.

Oh, and if Lincoln were alive today, he’d be a Democrat.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: It Actually Does Help To Vote, Though

I think I am going to have to disagree with that, at least partially.

There is a difference between responsibility and requirement. While voting is a responsibility enumerated along with others when some discussions about being a good citizen come along, it is not a requirement. The problem with your use of ‘all’ is the electoral college. Clinton won the popular vote, but Trump won the election because he fared better in states with more electoral college votes than Clinton did. Therefore, non voters in low electoral college states were not necessarily votes for Trump.

The biggest problem I see with the whole system of electoral college (besides the reasons for its creation no longer being valid) is that it marginalizes the population in states that have a low number of electoral college votes.


Re: Re: It Actually Does Help To Vote, Though

The biggest problem I see with the whole system of electoral college (besides the reasons for its creation no longer being valid) is that it marginalizes the population in states that have a low number of electoral college votes.

Actually it does the opposite of that. It magnifies the voice of states with small populations. It does so by design.

The Congress works the same way.

This last election was a pretty good demonstration of how you can’t take ANY state for granted. The “most qualified candidate ever” did this to her peril.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: It Actually Does Help To Vote, Though

I see it as an exercise in electoral college math. The campaign managers use polls to determine where they might have strength, and where they don’t, then spend time and money in those states they think they can move, and ignore the others. They only need enough electoral college votes to win, and maybe a few for a safety margin. Why spend time and money elsewhere?

Much of the magnification of small population states is muted when they are not even considered important enough to campaign in.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: It Actually Does Help To Vote, Though

This last election was a pretty good demonstration of how you can’t take ANY state for granted.

How was it a demonstration of that at all?

California and New York went Democratic; Texas and Utah went Republican.

The last election was a pretty good demonstration that presidential elections are decided by a handful of swing states, while the majority of states vote consistently and predictably.

Anonymous Coward says:

My views JEERED on the FRONT PAGE AGAIN! THANKS, Techdirt!

The rabid fanboy’s quote-and-contradict bit is why I rarely read comments, let alone go back-and-forth. My text stands up just fine, so long as seen. — Usually Techdirt tries to keep it hidden, though!

Anyhoo, will cite for crucial point on whether "platforms" are now Neutral Public Forums where "natural" persons have First Amendment Rights, NOT money-machines for corporations having unlimited power to stifle us:

In the Sandvig v Sessions decision, from page 7 on, "A. THE INTERNET AS PUBLIC FORUM".

The discussion is businesses verus "natural" persons.

You’ll need to read the whole. I’m sure the fanboy did best that could without bothering to read the Sandvig decision.

(page 8) Only last Term, the Supreme Court emphatically declared the Internet a primary location for First Amendment activity: "While in the past there may have been difficulty in identifying the most important places (in a spatial sense) for the exchange of views, today the answer is clear. It is cyberspace…."

(page 9) The Internet "is a forum more in a metaphysical than in a spatial or geographic sense, but the same principles are applicable."

Key point: "the same principles are applicable." — Again, that’s applying to "natural" persons who in the instant case are accessing web-sites against TOS and corporate wishes, which of course is EXACTLY apposite to using forums and requiring them to be NEUTRAL.

Nothing in The Constitution supports the Corporatist view.

Techdirt re-writers and its fanboys are baffled by dense legal language and just assume it fits their bias: that corporations (which are fictions) have been granted mysterious Authority to control "natural" persons as if we’re pests, instead of serve The Public’s interests.

The bottom-line question: Do YOU want to be SUBJECT to Corporate Control? — If so, just follow Masnick blindly, he’ll lead you into the high-tech prison!

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