Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the hear-ye-hear-ye dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is an anonymous comment summing up the ridiculousness of the constant Republican attempts to force social media to host speech:

Businesses can’t be forced to bake cakes for gay people.

You can’t be told to wear a mask.

You can’t be told who you can sell a gun to.

But social media companies should be forced to publish your hate speech?

“Small government,” right?

In second place, it’s another anonymous comment responding to a commenter on that post complaining about Techdirt’s comment “censorship”:

If you keep on claiming that you decide where what you say is acceptable, some people here will exercise their right to get you comment hidden, which is not censoring. Free speech includes the rights of other to refuse to listen to you.

That post also drew the perennial and incorrect claim that “When a commercial platform de facto replaces the public forum, then either free speech must be enforced on that forum or free speech dies” — leading to an anonymous response that is our first editor’s choice for insightful:

And where is this de facto public forum that is also a social media company? Is it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google, Youtube, TikTok, Snapchat, Parlor, Gab, 8chan? Please do tell me, which one of these social media companies have become the de facto public square?

And please tell me, what are the criteria that makes a company the de facto public square such that they lose their 1A rights?

When did all public lands close down their town squares forcing people online?

When did this happen? I don’t remember hearing about any legal decision that stated social media companies are now part of the government in relationship to the 1A.

If the government can’t force a bakery to bake for a gay couple, why should they force companies to host somebody else’s speech?

Where did you even get this statement anyway? Legal opinion? Federal Law? Your asshole?

Why do you hate the first amendment so much? (Never mind, don’t answer that)

Also, I live in Seattle, and there is a very robust “public forum” downtown where all sorts of people espouse their political opinions on a daily basis. So I can say with a high level of certainty, that the public forum has not been replaced by any social media company here.

Next, it’s yet another anonymous comment, this time about the lawsuit trying to hold Facebook liable for failing to stop militants from going to protests to shoot people:

So I can not think of much good to say about Facebook. However if SCOTUS has ruled that cops have no duty of care to save civilians, I can’t see how a third party communication service can be held to have it either

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is Eric with a question about a major omission from The Social Dilemma:

What about addiction to techdirt…

Haven’t seen the movie…but i assume they did not cover techdirt and its impact on mental health! techdirt is clearly designed to be addicting due to the content they produce. I need to start my day by seeing if any new articles were posted overnight, I need to check at lunch, often time at the end of the work day I’ll check again…don’t even get me started on the lack of articles on the weekend – what am I supposed to do on Sunday morning, be with my family?! Its about time a documentary gets created about techdirt and it’s impact on the emotional well being of it’s die hard fans.

In second place, it’s That One Guy responding to the hypocrisy of the FCC commissioner cheering on Zoom for blocking people:

Be careful of the standards you use, lest they be used on you

Being convicted of a crime means you can be booted off of a privately owned platform and there’s no grounds to object? Well, I can’t possibly see that backfiring for members of Trump’s cult…

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start with Bt Garner and a question about our latest t-shirt offering:

So if I buy the $751 shirt, can I write that off as a business expense on my 2020 taxes?

Finally, it’s Rocky expanding on a discussion about the challenges of algorithmic content moderation with a great quip:

“Stupid computer! It doesn’t do what I want, only what I tell it to do!!”

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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ECA (profile) says:

Freedom of speach.?

Its a marvelous thing.
And as Mentioned, Where in Hell is the public Location?
When will the gov GIVE that to us.
I wonder about those sites that TRIED to put up locations to Create Petitions to congress/senate. How well have those sites done? (BADLY)(Very BADLY)
The Search on them is Horrendous, The search will show you 500 of the things you are looking for, all saying different things on the SAME thoughts. But HOW do we add/edit it, as a REAL BILL gets edited. When going thru 10,000 choices, and finding what you want? That says what you want, and ?
AND then try to get Congress to acknowledge it as a CITIZENS MANDATE.

All I would like is the Balance we used to have. There were REASONS they were setup the way they were. And the Gun has been loaded in such a way, that it cant be used by anyone else.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: 'Fixed' like a clock just smashed to pieces

Oh I’m sure there are a number of people who hate bigotry and general assholery, that being what’s being kicked off social media so more civilized people don’t have to wade through the sewage or deal with the losers spreading it, but the original comment is still quite accurate even without expanding it out like that.

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This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

They have a ton of blockers.

Sites do indeed have ways to block garbage and one of them is called the TOS, in which they tell people ‘if you want to post that you’re doing it off of our platform, because you’re sure as hell not posting it here. Don’t like it then too damn bad, our platform our rules.’

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Nobody is forcing anyone to read the so-called hate speech.

Moderation is used because otherwise people will be exposed to hate speech, because they have to read it to identify it as hate speech. Therefore if a platform is forced to publish hate speech, people will read it, at least until they give up on the platform.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"They don’t plying you with commercials you hate."

Your grasp on reality is equal to your grasp on the English language, it seems.

"Nobody is forcing anyone to read the so-called hate speech. They have a ton of blockers"

Contradictory statements. Blockers are not automatic on social media sites, you have to specify who you want to block/silence on your feed. So, in order to manually block a hateful idiot, you first have to be exposed to their hate speech in order to know that you want to block that particular user. Algorithms may take over some of the heavy lifting later on when it knows that you tend to block certain types of user, but until then the only way it can block those things is by people telling it to block them, which by necessity involves people being exposed to hate speech.

Although, your comment about commercials above suggest that maybe you’re thinking of ad blockers rather than moderating the content of the social media site itself, in which case you don’t understand the argument at all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Social media websites need to able to block someone who is not following the rules of the group, eg someone who posts spam, bot fake accounts, a Jewish website should be able to block or remove users who promote hate speech against Jews . Or users that just post fake news or insult or defame other users. If government sets
Detailed rules for moderation then every website could be flooded with spam or content that may be insulting women or minority groups.
Without moderation the bad users will drive out the good ones.

Anonymous Coward says:

"Stupid computer! It doesn’t do what I want, only what I tell it to do!!"

One sad issue is that (especially if you count phones and tablets as computers, which you should) computers increasingly refuse to do what their users tell them to do. Instead, they do what the corporations that created them told them to do, including going against their users.

Free operating systems, firmware, and rooted phones forever!

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Pretty obvious you’ve never had to help people out with computers. There’s a reason the derogatory slur used for the average user, by network admins and database operators, is "luser" and why there’s a plethora of old jokes apparently retrieved from real-life examples about the very, VERY low standard of knowledge possessed by those average users.

It’s gotten better, admittedly, but it’s a fact that most people who own a car know how to change the tire or check the air and oil pressure but most people owning computers have no frigging clue on how you clean up old data, obsolete registry entries, how to update firmware drivers and security settings or that this sort of shit actually needs to be done.

So OS manufacturers automate as much of the process as they can and in the doing of this remove a lot of control from the user – which in most cases is a good idea given the number of people who have "cleaned" their computer by trying to format C:

It’s just convenient for many people – and techies – to not have to worry about what a user with root can do to their poor device or what headaches tech support then has to deal with in order to restore it to working order.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"most people who own a car know how to change the tire or check the air and oil pressure "
In recent history, from about 1995 on.
I could debate that also.
I met a person that didnt know there was a Hood on the front of the car.
Popped it open for him and his EYES WENT BOOING..
5 year old Toyota, over loaded with 8 people, Trans oils not on the stick, Oil never changed, not enough water left to check and it wouldnt move.
Person was from another country, import. Got the car and no one Ever told him how to care for it, or take to a Mechanic every 6 months.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not sure where you’re from. When I got my driving license, basic maintenance stuff to do for a car was included in the theory. If you didn’t know how to check the air pressure, the oil, knew how to refill the windshield washer fluid or change a tire, no license for you.

And that’s pretty much international standard for a driver’s license. Assuming the guy you met was in the G20 I’d make the call he might not have had a valid driver’s license to begin with.

"In recent history, from about 1995 on."

Er, that’s still, you know, a quarter century. I’d have to say if a car owner was a clueless as all too many computer owners, a lot of people would need paid help to fill the car up with gas, and leave them standing around unlocked with the keys in the ignition.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"When I got my driving license, basic maintenance stuff to do for a car was included in the theory"

When I passed my driving test in the 90s (UK) there was no theory test. There is one now but I don’t remember there being any maintenance stuff on there when I helped my sister pass a few years later (though obviously that could have changed).

But, I dare say you’re being extremely naive if you think that the average person is going to a) remember all the theory stuff they crammed for the test rather than forget about it the moment they’re allowed to drive (they sure as hell don’t remember the rules of the road) and b) actually bother to do any of the basic maintenance, no matter how well they know how to do it.

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