Another Anti-Section 230 Bill? Sure, Why Not?

from the another-day,-another-attack-on-free-speech dept

Because there haven’t already been enough attempts by Congress this year to attack free speech on the internet, here’s another one. Rep. Ted Budd has introduced yet another bill to wipe out Section 230 and undermine free speech online. Of course, he’s really just putting his House stamp on the ridiculous and unconstitutional Senate bill released earlier this year by Senators Hawley, Rubio, Loeffler, Cotton and Braun that we took apart at the time. I’m not going to go over all the reasons the bill is ridiculous and unconstitutional. We covered that when it was released in the Senate.

But Budd’s “statement” about the bill deserves to be picked apart because it’s utter lunacy.

?Recent acts of political censorship by Twitter and Facebook are a disgrace. Big Tech bias has gone too far in suffocating the voices of conservatives across our country. If these companies want to continue to receive legal protection, they should be forced to play by a fair set of rules in good faith. I?m extremely proud to join Sen. Hawley in this fight.?

Everything about this is wrong. Twitter and Facebook are not “censoring.” They are moderating. They are saying there is certain speech they don’t want to host, and this is their right, just like Fox News or the NY Post get to spew one sided news and the government cannot do anything about it. But they can’t demand that other private companies help them promote that nonsense. That’s not censorship. It’s moderation or discretion. And it’s protected by the 1st Amendment. You know, the thing that Rep. Budd swore to protect and uphold.

Imagine if Congress introduced a bill saying that Fox News actually had to be “fair and balanced” and be more positive towards Democrats and Joe Biden. Republicans like Budd would be screaming about how that was an unfair and unconstitutional infringement of Fox News’ 1st Amendment rights. And they’d be right. But the desire to ignore all that and compel speech from social media companies just demonstrates that elected officials like Budd are not coming from a place of principled support of the Constitution or free speech. Rather they are pathetic simpletons who think that they can abuse their power to force companies to promote their bullshit.

That’s not how it works, and we shouldn’t let grifters in Congress get away with pushing such nonsense. Rep. Budd should be ashamed that he’s shitting all over the 1st Amendment while pretending to support free speech. His constituents should think deeply about why they’ve elected someone so willing to sell out the 1st Amendment.

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Comments on “Another Anti-Section 230 Bill? Sure, Why Not?”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Call it the 'Turnabout is Fair Play' bill

Imagine if Congress introduced a bill saying that Fox News actually had to be "fair and balanced" and be more positive towards Democrats and Joe Biden. Republicans like Budd would be screaming about how that was an unfair and unconstitutional infringement of Fox News’ 1st Amendment rights.

Normally I’m against performative bills as a waste of time that could be better spend on real things but honestly at this point I would love it if someone were to actually do that, put out a bill making it so that the likes of Fox, Breitbart or Gab had to treat both parties equally, and if they didn’t they could be sued or otherwise face penalties to force ‘neutrality’.

Sure it would be grossly unconstitutional, and the odds of it being passed would be absolutely nil with the odds of it surviving a challenge in court if it did pass even lower, but it would provide the perfect opportunity to point out the hypocrisy of those trying to attack 230 and allow them to undermine their own arguments at the same time as they argued that congress has no business telling a private company what content they are allowed to show/host.

If they want to try to attack 230 because they don’t like the fact that platforms keep showing assholes the door then it’s only fair that that be turned against them so they get to see what it would be like were they to ‘win’ and set the precedent that they want, and while it probably wouldn’t be enough to get through to the politicians it might be enough to hammer the lesson home to some of the people they’re trying to manipulate.

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F. N. L. O'Quint says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Neutrality isn’t a prerequisite for free speech.

That’s what every Nazi says, also that they’re doing actual good by keeping "disinformation" from warping the minds of the masses.

You slyly and ambiguously put "prerequisite" in there as qualifier, so technically could be correct: you’re actually stating about some prior condition. Yet it’s clearly a "requisite" for all known places that have reasonably "free speech" in the here and now.

So let’s see you explain exactly how non-neutral can result in "free" for anyone outside the preferred group and without any control mechanisms.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"So let’s see you explain exactly how non-neutral can result in "free" for anyone outside the preferred group"

Unless the government is the one controlling the speech, the free market allows you to use any of the competing private platforms, or even your own property, to exercise speech, thus you are free to express yourself. The only time freedom is removed is when people try forcing people to lose control of their private property and host other peoples’ speech against their will.

Once again, you demonstrate that the people pretending to be against fascism and communism are actually begging for it, because they know they will not be on top in a free system.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Yet it’s clearly a "requisite" for all known places that have reasonably "free speech" in the here and now.

No, it isn’t. The United States operates under the principles of free speech, but the First Amendment doesn’t say “you have to be neutral for the protections to apply”. It says the government can’t make laws that abridge the freedom of speech. (Some exceptions apply, of course.) The government can’t force you to be neutral in your speech any more than it can force Twitter, Fox News, or the New York Times to be neutral in the speech they host/broadcast/publish.

let’s see you explain exactly how non-neutral can result in "free" for anyone outside the preferred group and without any control mechanisms

Simple: If you’re free to say it without government intrusion, regardless of the consequences of saying it (and there are always consequences), it’s free speech.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

It’s not only not a prerequisite it’s in direct conflict with free speech, as if you have to host speech you want to and/or say things you wouldn’t say without coercion it’s no longer free speech but compelled speech.

Funnily and hypocritically enough those demanding that platforms must host them under guise of ‘free speech’ are instead showing just how much contempt they have for the concept and how eager they are to trample all over it the second someone else’s free speech inconveniences them.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Funnily and hypocritically enough those demanding that platforms must host them under guise of ‘free speech’ are instead showing just how much contempt they have for the concept and how eager they are to trample all over it the second someone else’s free speech inconveniences them.

So you consider it OK if I buy up every ISP in your area and then use my new found power over your internet connection to silence anything you post anywhere that I disagree with?

Even better, why don’t I also buy up the few remaining cell service providers and interrupt you during phone calls advising you to only speak the way I favor under threat of call disconnection for non-compliance?

How about I hire people to stand at every street corner near you reminding you to keep it down whenever you decide to open your mouth?

After all, it’s not the government that’s prohibiting you from speaking the way you wish, it’s a private company deciding it doesn’t want to carry, or listen to, your speech. Which is the company’s first amendment right.

Of course, I’m sure that because it’s a private entity making these demands it’s perfectly fine in your book, after all only the big bad government would dare make such inroads on your "freedoms."

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

Holy shit, you went full fascist in the first sentence.

So you consider it OK if I buy up every ISP in your area and then use my new found power over your internet connection to silence anything you post anywhere that I disagree with?

No. In that case, you wouldn’t be moderating speech on a private service — you’d literally be censoring speech by preventing it from being posted anywhere.

why don’t I also buy up the few remaining cell service providers and interrupt you during phone calls advising you to only speak the way I favor under threat of call disconnection for non-compliance?

Censorship.

How about I hire people to stand at every street corner near you reminding you to keep it down whenever you decide to open your mouth?

Perfectly legal, but stupid as hell.

it’s not the government that’s prohibiting you from speaking the way you wish, it’s a private company deciding it doesn’t want to carry, or listen to, your speech

If you start a private company for the sole purpose of silencing one person’s speech out of spite for a goddamn Techdirt comment about free speech, you have bigger problems on your hands.

I’m sure that because it’s a private entity making these demands it’s perfectly fine in your book

They’re not really “demands” if you’re using money and power to silence someone you loathe to your very core. They’re acts of an authoritarian jackass who can’t stand being criticized and takes their internal misery and self-loathing out on those who expressed those criticisms because the authoritarian can’t stand being told “you were wrong” and they can’t ever admit to being wrong.

Congratulations — you’re no better than Donald Trump.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

No. In that case, you wouldn’t be moderating speech on a private service — you’d literally be censoring speech by preventing it from being posted anywhere.

That’s not really true. A person could still use the postal service, for example, to request things be posted on the internet. Or could use the telephone service to post via an out-of-area ISP, or could physically post notices around town.

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eMark (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Besides agreeing with your points, the fallicy in the original post is Fox News and MSNBC and CNN etc.. are Not currently protected by section 230! Nicholas Sandman and CNN can tell you that LOL.

The platforms have become the ‘voice’ of the people. Freedom of speech is an individual’s right. And that right is denied if the postal service, Amazon, FedEx, or any method of modern communication was warped for political squelching of those individuals’ right to free speech.

All the bill says, is if a communication platform insists on putting their ‘finger on the scales’ to push for a private company agenda, then section 230 should be lifted and those individuals should have their ‘day in court’ to be heard, if they and their attorney think their 1st Amendment rights were infringed upon.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

All the bill says, is if a communication platform insists on putting their ‘finger on the scales’ to push for a private company agenda, then section 230 should be lifted and those individuals should have their ‘day in court’ to be heard, if they and their attorney think their 1st Amendment rights were infringed upon.

Please define ‘private company agenda’. Also, who decides what is considered ‘to put the finger on the scales’. And is it considered bad to put the finger on the scales to get it in balance?

Anyone who thinks that amending section 230 with rules built on vague and subjective terms somehow will make it better is in my opinion a fucking moron.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Not to mention if companies ‘pushing an agenda’ or having a bias is such a terrible thing that it’s grounds for punishment then it would seem to be well past time to bring the hammer down on Trump’s buddies over at Fox(among others) and force them to be more ‘balanced’, given there have been past articles on TD that noted that they seemed to have a greater impact on people than social media and as such it would be even more vital to reign in any ‘bias’ they might have so they can’t so freely push their agenda/bias.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Besides agreeing with your points, the fallicy in the original post is Fox News and MSNBC and CNN etc.. are Not currently protected by section 230! Nicholas Sandman and CNN can tell you that LOL.

In which case they would be wrong, as just like any other company that might have an online presence they absolutely are protected by 230 so long as they have platforms that with third party content, and if they don’t then to say that they aren’t protected by 230 is just as relevant as me pointing out that I’m not protected by lèse majesté laws due to not being royalty in a country stupid enough to have those laws; true, but it doesn’t actually matter because those laws don’t apply to me in the first place.

The platforms have become the ‘voice’ of the people.

Incorrect, there are plenty of people out there who manage to speak just fine without access to social media platforms.

Freedom of speech is an individual’s right.

And that right has never included the right to a platform to speak from, nor any obligation for anyone(not even the government) to provide one.

And that right is denied if the postal service, Amazon, FedEx, or any method of modern communication was warped for political squelching of those individuals’ right to free speech.

Three strikes, you’re out. A private platform not offering you a platform to speak from does not in any way impact your free speech. On the other hand demanding that they be forced to provide that platform would be an infringement on free speech, namely theirs.

All the bill says, is if a communication platform insists on putting their ‘finger on the scales’ to push for a private company agenda, then section 230 should be lifted and those individuals should have their ‘day in court’ to be heard, if they and their attorney think their 1st Amendment rights were infringed upon.

An argument they would lose funnily enough thanks to the first amendment, because as I am others have said countless times now you have no first amendment rights to someone else’s property, not to mention last I checked the first amendment does not have a ‘does not apply if one side has a bias’ clause.

230 merely makes it clear that moderation is allowed and platforms are only liable for content they create in order to cut down on nuisance lawsuits by allowing early dismissal and in turn incentivize moderation so that platforms don’t turn into cesspits, take 230 away and sites would still be entirely within their rights(first amendment and property) to set rules and give the boot to violators of those rules or even just someone they don’t like, with the only real difference being that they would be a lot quicker with the boot and a lot more people would be on the receiving end of it, assuming they were allowed to post at all.

This bill, and those like it, are not in any way attempting to ‘save’ or ‘defend’ the first amendment, they are if anything attempting to undermine it by punishing platforms for exercising their rights and stripping those rights away because some whiny children don’t like the fact that there are consequences for their actions.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

the fallicy in the original post is Fox News and MSNBC and CNN etc.. are Not currently protected by section 230!

For speech that each outlet published? Sure. But any possible third party speech posted on their website? 230 protects the right of those sites to moderate it. Also 230 isn’t a defense against defamation claims if the outlet is the liable party in those claims.

Freedom of speech is an individual’s right.

That doesn’t entitle you to use Twitter, make Twitter give you an audience, or make other Twitter users read your tweets. The First Amendment stops the government from infringing upon your rights to speech and association; it doesn’t give you the right to infringe upon everyone else’s because you want a captive audience and the largest possible stage for your speech.

if a communication platform insists on putting their ‘finger on the scales’ to push for a private company agenda, then section 230 should be lifted

In which case, prepare for those fingers to press down even harder by overmoderating (to prevent the risk of exposing itself to legal liability for third-party speech) or ignore the scales altogether by refusing to moderate (to prevent knowledge of content and avoid liability). Which one would you prefer?

if they and their attorney think their 1st Amendment rights were infringed upon

Twitter can’t infringe upon anyone’s First Amendment rights. If Twitter were to finally nut the hell up and kick Donald Trump off the service, Trump could go to Facebook and keep posting his bullshit. He could also go to Gab or Parler, or start his own Mastodon instance, or…hell, I dunno, post on 8chan, for all that it matters. He isn’t entitled to a spot on Twitter, and even with all the power of the presidency at his fingertips, he can’t force Twitter to host his speech — or yours, or anyone else’s. If you’d like him (and future presidents who aren’t him) to have that blatantly unconstitutional power, please say so. I’d appreciate the honesty about your support for fascism.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Free speech means you can stand on your own soap box, assuming you can afford one, on your own property, or in a suitable public space, and try to attract an audience. People can walk past and refuse to stay to listen to you without infringing your free speech rights.

Also, you could buy paper and a means of printing, and print and hand out your own pamphlets. People can refuse to take a pamphlet, or promptly through them in the nearest rubbish bin without infringing your free speech rights.

Any support and aid provided by anybody else to get you words spread further is down to their voluntary co-operation. However if the audience will not come to you, and owners of private property keep showing you the door,then you have a problem, and its up to you to change your behaviour and speech if you want to attract and keep an audience.

What you and your likes really want is a law that enables you to exercise the hecklers veto by enabling you to shout down views that you disagree with on any platform, and to push your views on platform where they are off topic. That is not free speech, but rather demanding that you can convert the heathens to your religion.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

"The platforms have become the ‘voice’ of the people."

Only if by "people" you really mean "sheep". Anyone can try to talk louder than you do, cut into your conversation, spread rumors about you, etc. This is as true today as it was yesterday. And the medium through which this is done is completely irrelevant. Go read a few newspaper clippings from pre-civil war times or some excerpts from the last days of the weimar.

"Freedom of speech is an individual’s right. And that right is denied if the postal service, Amazon, FedEx, or any method of modern communication was warped for political squelching of those individuals’ right to free speech. "

…and of these only the postal service needs to be beholden to a given set of messenger standards – because it’s governmental.

Amazon, FedEx…these are service providers. Retailers and messengers-for-hire. The standards they need to fulfill are clearly marked on a contract or on the liability set out for both parties concerning the service.

But Facebook, Twitter, Parler, Gab? These are all social networks. Not service providers. Not retailers.
The closest possible equivalent in physical reality is that they are like the gossipy old dingbats who make sure everyone hears the latest rumor. You’ll find a few in every town. Depending on the dingbat in question various rumors are repeated more often than others, except when it concerns juicy clickbait at which point the gossipmonger can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Two things of note. As hard as facts can be;

1) Telling the gossipmongers what they can and can not communicate or which rumors they can and can not pass on is doomed to fail. You can go full DDR-style dictatorship and still not succeed. At the end of which you’ll not have squashed the rumormongering – rather the opposite – but you will have managed to lose any semblance of free speech when it comes to the "official" publications due to the methods you’ve had to use and the safeguards you’ve abolished. The real journalists will all be silenced but the old windbags will still whisper.

2) If gossip is the "Voice of the people" then your problem is more fundamental by far than if Twitter fact-checks or fails to fact-check Trump advising everyone about the dangers of Demon sperm or the virtues of drinking bleach.

"All the bill says, is if a communication platform insists on putting their ‘finger on the scales’ to push for a private company agenda…"

So if the state decides a given platform is "putting it’s finger on the scale" when it comes to moderation the first amendment goes away? Again let me run a few examples by you;

1) GWB’s lying about the Iraq war and Saddam’s WMD’s.
2) Obama’s Drone Strikes.
3) Watergate.

So far we have two probable war crimes which under this bill would see any online publication suppressed as there’s no way that information wouldn’t be considered "political".

So once again what you get is suppression of real journalism, along with the very many people offering sound and rational thought on hot issues. Meanwhile the actual gossip – the garbled clickbait – still gets out.

Free speech is inconvenient for everyone. So inconvenient, in fact, that only any other alternative is worse. And that’s why section 230 is, to the US, that one last tenuous shred keeping the 1st amendment online.

Even if it means the platform owners are free to regulate the uses of their own property and showing people whose opinions they don’t like the door.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

but huge in-kind contributions to political campaigns to censor credible and important news is disgusting.

How do you feel about huge financial contributions to only one political party by a company? That is an equally biased action.

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F. N. L. O'Quint says:

Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE links.

Twitter and Facebook are not "censoring." They are moderating.

This is crux of your position, so let’s look at actual definitions, not your self-serving one, nor your vague melding. — These come from an early 90s CD, which is a handy time-capsule in itself to see how masnicks distort words to their purposes.

moderate = adj. 1. within reasonable limits; avoiding excesses or extremes; temperate or restrained 2. mild; calm; gentle; not violent [moderate weather] 3. of average or medium quality, amount, scope, range, etc. [moderate skills, moderate prices] n. a person holding moderate views or opinions, as in politics or religion vt. -ated, -atùing 1. to cause to become moderate; make less extreme, violent, etc.; restrain 2. to preside over (a meeting, etc.) vi. 1. to become moderate 2. to serve as a moderator

censor = n. 1. one of two magistrates in ancient Rome appointed to take the census and, later, to supervise public morals 2. an official with the power to examine publications, movies, television programs, etc. and to remove or prohibit anything considered obscene, libelous, politically objectionable, etc. 3. an official in time of war who reads publications, mail, etc. to remove information that might be useful to the enemy 4. in earlier psychoanalytic theory, and still popularly, a part of the unconscious that serves as the agent of censorship vt. to subject (a book, writer, etc.) to censorship

Stick to Twitter censoring the Biden revelations. — By those definitions, which is it?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

when an individual’s communication is filtered on the basis of opinion, their 1st Amendment rights are damaged

If I kick someone out of my home for saying “Tiffany was better than Debbie Gibson”, have I “damaged” their First Amendment rights? After all, I did filter that someone’s communication based on my disagreement with their opinion.

Censorship requires the infringement of the right to speak freely. Someone getting booted from Twitter does no such thing. You don’t have a right to an audience. You don’t have a right to use someone else’s private property as your own personal soapbox. And you don’t have a right to force anyone into either becoming your audience or helping you publish/distribute your speech.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re: Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE

You are playing with semantics. Whatever you call it, when an individual’s communication is filtered on the basis of opinion, their 1st Amendment rights are damaged.

If an individual can force their speech upon others, whose rights have then been infringed? The speaker or the one who had to carry that speech against their will?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE

"Whatever you call it, when an individual’s communication is filtered on the basis of opinion, their 1st Amendment rights are damaged."

Really? So going by your argument if you tell me something and I fail to pass it along then I’m guilty of violating 1A?
What measure of popularity would I have to achieve before you think that I’m arbitrarily capable of silencing every voice of opposition?

"If you allow pipes of American communication to clog this country is in deep sht!"*

Well, there is one thing you can do. Make the elected officials sanctionable for being less than truthful. If you can find that a senator, congressman or president has lied then you can sue their ass in court, with their sole defense being to claim they were inept at the duties of their office.

And unlike going after any privately owned platform in true soviet-style fashion, comrade, you could do this just by invoking the principle that an elected official is NOT a private entity but a public servant.

Speaking of semantics, when government tells private entities they are no longer free to govern their own property without it being a principle of public safety it’s usually described as seizing the means of production and is called for only in texts such as The Communist Manifesto.

If you object so much to private platforms being free to choose which patrons to accommodate that your first and most persistent reaction is to go full commie then I hold you may want to think again.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE links.

"These come from an early 90s CD"

So, you love big tech as long as they’re telling you what you want to hear?

But, funny thing about language – it evolves and clinging to a definition from an old dictionary that fits your desires does not work with the current definition in general use. If you disagree, try telling everyone you’re feeling gay next time you’re in a good mood – after all, according to my 1930s dictionary it just means happy and carefree with no other definitions, so you’ll be communicating that meaning to everyone you speak to, right?

"an official"

Indeed. Now, who installed Twitter as a government official?

"Stick to Twitter censoring the Biden revelations. — By those definitions, which is it?"

None of those definitions apply, since no official or magistrate is involved.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE links.

What do these revelations have to do with anything I may be concerned about? Why should I care about whatever bullshit story you people have made up this time.

Are you going to continue arguing about the definitions of words or will you debate the issues?

This is censoring .. No it isn’t … yes it is … no it isn’t …
and all because of a difference in what you consider a word to mean. How about you make use of more than just one word to describe how you are not able to communicate very well.

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F. N. L. O'Quint says:

HA! You state they're hosts! They're NOT publishers, then!

They are saying there is certain speech they don’t want to host, and this is their right, just like Fox News or the NY Post get to spew one sided news and the government cannot do anything about it.

You just witlessly dropped a key assertion, silly. They’re then MERE hosts trying to prevent others from publishing. That too fits CENSORING.

Here’s pithy wit: As Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Pearce put it, "Facebook limiting distribution is a bit like if a company that owned newspaper delivery trucks decided not to drive because it didn’t like a story. Does a truck company edit the newspaper? It does now, apparently."

Also see Glen Greenwald’s excellent take:
https://theintercept.com/2020/10/15/facebook-and-twitter-cross-a-line-far-more-dangerous-than-what-they-censor/

You’re not good at this, Maz. Your bias prevents you, even if had substance.

As final proof, everyone can SEE what happens to dissent here, no matter how mild. IT’S CENSORED. — Masnick trapped himself long ago into a half-measure euphemized as "hiding", but does claim a right to remove comments which he solicits with plain HTML input box. That violates the site’s "form contract" and spirit of Consumer Review Fairness Act, which has no enforcement but does state the current intents of Congress.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

They’re then MERE hosts trying to prevent others from publishing. That too fits CENSORING.

No, it doesn’t. Twitter has no legal, moral, or ethical obligation to host anyone’s speech. And as much as you wish this wasn’t the case, you can’t make Twitter host your speech, and you can’t make Twitter force people to view it.

Facebook limiting distribution is a bit like if a company that owned newspaper delivery trucks decided not to drive because it didn’t like a story. Does a truck company edit the newspaper? It does now, apparently.

It’s nothing like that. At all. Facebook is more like a newsstand than a newspaper truck — the owner of the newsstand can choose whether it carries the newspaper, and the law can’t force it to carry the newspaper.

You’re not good at this, Maz.

Every accusation, a confession.

everyone can SEE what happens to dissent here, no matter how mild. IT’S CENSORED.

Dissent only gets hidden — not censored, since you can start your own goddamned blog and repost your bullshit there — when it’s the work of a troll who operates in such bad faith that even Satan thinks you’ve gone a bit overboard.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Dissent only gets hidden — not censored"

Not necessarily. "Dissent" in the form of honest opposing opinions and actual debate gets a conversation going and can lead to some interesting discussions, which is honestly the point of this kind of site. The only things that get hidden outside of actual spam is the kind of "dissent" where someone thinks that spewing multiple messages outright lying about both the subject at hand and the people they’re supposedly addressing is a good conversation starter.

"since you can start your own goddamned blog and repost your bullshit there"

Then it boils down to his same complaint about Twitter – he won’t do that because he knows he could never attract the same audience as exists on the platforms he’s using to cry about non-existent oppression.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: HA! You state they're hosts! They're NOT publishers, then!

As final proof, everyone can SEE what happens to dissent here, no matter how mild. IT’S CENSORED.

Setting aside that hiding a post but still letting it be seen with a simple click is not censoring that post, there’s a user named eMark who has been posting multiple disagreements here. As of right now, none of their posts here have been hidden or “censored”. Clearly you’re wrong that all dissent gets “censored” no matter how you look at it.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: HA! You state they're hosts! They're NOT publishers, then!

"As final proof, everyone can SEE what happens to dissent here, no matter how mild."

Well, yes. The discerning majority flags your posts because they consist exclusively of falsehoods, inflammatory rhetoric, straw man arguments, moved goal posts, and irrelevance. On no few occasions also rampant bigotry along with disturbing calls for cruel and unusual punishment – such as that time you advocated "prison rape" for all the "aspies" around here.

I’m afraid that if having your posts merely flagged on a forum for suggesting what amounts to borderline Hague Court material then you’ll be absolutely stunned at how your opinions would be met by people were you to have the guts to weather them in public.

And no, that’s not censorship. That’s just the rest of the audience choosing to tune you out because you decided to be a very loud and persistent asshole about your bigotry.

I fully realize that extra special snowflakes such as your own low self do feel entitled to an audience – but that just isn’t the case and never was. No matter how many Trump-style tantrums you choose to throw over it.

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F. N. L. O'Quint says:

"Thanks for your comment. It will appear in a moment."

And within a few minutes, will be "hidden".

Masnick: state how many clicks out of how many readers it takes to constitute "the community" which "hides" comments. C’mon, be transparent as you’ve demanded others be.

Next, state a REASON that nearly all of my comments are hidden. (Several thousand over course of ten years, even if you don’t do so here just to pretend it’s not near certain.)

Next, state why your fanboys NEVER have their comments hidden.

Where are your guidelines? How can I keep from running afoul of "the community" so that my viewpoint isn’t disadvantaged? — Unalterably, there’s NO appeal or way to UN-hide.

Couple answers (now that I’ve asked hundreds of times) would be great. Thanks.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

state a REASON that nearly all of my comments are hidden

You argue in bad faith and without substance. You yell and whine about being “censored”. You insult everyone with little-to-no provocation and in such absurd extremes. You confront others with the intent of dragging them down into the same gutter as you so you can take out your self-loathing on them.

You are a troll. This community continually hides your comments because it doesn’t think your comments are worth anyone’s time — including your own.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: "Thanks for your comment. It will appear in a moment."

"Next, state a REASON that nearly all of my comments are hidden."

You’re an obnoxious prick, and rarely do anything other than whine about non-existent issues. Therefore, people wish to not see your comments infesting otherwise polite and intelligent conversation.

"Several thousand over course of ten years"

Huh, aren’t you the guy who usually attacks me for having a lot of posts here? Well, while it’s obvious why you won’t use an identifier that allowed everyone else to see how much you post here, at least you admit that much now.

"now that I’ve asked hundreds of times"

You’ve been answered hundreds of times. It’s not our problem you don’t like the truthful answers.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Let’s suppose for a moment that Facebook is not an open platform.

(pause)

THAT’S OK.

THAT’S EVEN GOOD. THAT’S FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THE LAND OF THE FREE.

I have never had any of my contributions moderated out by Facebook. (The fact that I’ve never posted anything there may have something to do with it.) I’ve had my comments moderated elsewhere, and as a moderator elsewhere I removed comments other people had posted. That’s life online.

I have this little trick. I have stuff that I post online, and stuff that I choose not to post online. When I want to post something online, I … figure out which site to post it, based on the kind of thing that site has posted before. None of those sites are open: which is OK, GOOD, FREEDOM etc.

This is simple. This works. And anyone with room-temperature IQ can do it.

Anyone who feels they could create a better way of selecting posts, has the right to create their own website: that’s THEIR freedom of speech, and more power to them. I haven’t taken advantage of this, because so many other people have made their site available for so many different kinds of content, including everything I’ve desperately wanted to post–so far. That includes the equivalent of maybe 1500 pages of music and 200,000 pages of literature or information.

Now, it is very possible that some of the sites I’ve posted to, have fewer daily visitors than Facebook. Which is OK. That’s called "Freedom…." Although I know that my work has increased the number of visitors at several sites, it is not at all possible that I will ever count visitors, or care what someone else’s count is.

And it’s almost certain that there are many sites which have no interest in posting anything of mine, and which I have no interest in reading. That too is OK. Because we’re both free.

Anyone who is complaining about the way this works, MUST be either too stupid to have an opinion worth repeating, or too dishonest to have an opinion that anyone OUGHT to care about.

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F. N. L. O'Quint says:

Re: "AC", you confuse small private forums with The Public Forum

So, you advise tailoring and targeting your speech according to what kind is allowed each site? Hmm.

I myself have been banned from Linux forums for stating that it simply doesn’t work, and it’s no big loss… because who cares about Linux?

Skip that, because the biggies, GOOGLE, Facebooks, Twitter, are vastly more important and control literally billions of people. If those corporations are allowed to treat all their users as mere Authors over which they have total power as Publishers, rather than as MERE HOSTS for person publishing, then they’ll use it for corporate ends, and The Public will suffer, even those who think they’re the "in-group" and will remain "free".

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F. N. L. O'Quint says:

Re: Re: "AC", you confuse small private forums with Th

And the "AC" concludes with abusing his audience:

Anyone who is complaining about the way this works, MUST be either too stupid to have an opinion worth repeating, or too dishonest to have an opinion that anyone OUGHT to care about.

Oh, I missed that, and it’s precious, utterly typical.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: "AC", you confuse small private forums with The Public F

I myself have been banned from Linux forums for stating that it simply doesn’t work, and it’s no big loss… because who cares about Linux?

For starters, every fortune 500 company and almost all stock exchanges cares about Linux. But hey, what do they know in comparison to you and your towering intellect…

But your comment actually illustrates something brilliantly – you are an irrelevant asshole stuck in 80’s that rubs everyone the wrong way. I’m not at all surprised that you have been booted from many forums.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So, you advise tailoring and targeting your speech according to what kind is allowed each site? Hmm.

Yes, that’s how people who aren’t complete assholes interact with different communities: They tailor their speech according to the standards and general tenor of each community. If you visit 4chan on a regular basis, you’d know that half the shit people say there wouldn’t fly in non-4chan communities more often than not. (And that’s just the text.)

I myself have been banned from Linux forums for stating that it simply doesn’t work, and it’s no big loss

Let me get this straight. You violated the rules of a forum. The community told you “we don’t do that here” and showed you the door. And…you’re not concerned about “censorship” of your speech in that instance?

I knew you were a self-sabotaging jackass. But I didn’t think you’d undercut your entire argument against moderation by pointing to a personal example of an interactive web service choosing not to host your speech and going “meh, no big deal”.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Yes, that’s how people who aren’t complete assholes interact with different communities"

Bingo. If you go into a business meeting and address potential clients the same way as you would your drinking buddies, you’re not going to get far in life. You don’t act the same in a library as you would at a rock concert. You don’t watch a movie in the cinema the same way as you do in your own living room. There are different standards and you adjust accordingly.

Somehow, I think he’s familiar with that problem, but he hasn’t quite worked out why he keeps failing at life.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"You violated the rules of a forum"

He didn’t just violate the rules of a forum, he went there to troll them with deliberate lies. Wow, who’d have thought that people having conversations about Linux would not want someone telling them bullshit about it?

Although, that just makes his usual rantings even more pathetic. I mean, why does he spend so much time whining about companies like Google and Twitter that base their entire infrastructure on Linux? It doesn’t work, so clearly those companies have no workable business…

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: "AC", you confuse small private forums with The Public F

"I myself have been banned from Linux forums for stating that it simply doesn’t work"

He says on a perfectly reliable Linux server that’s made available to him via Linux based distribution services…

Yes, communities don’t tend to want people who go there to deliberately troll them about their employment and their hobby with outright lies. Who’d have thought it?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: "AC", you confuse small private forums with The Public F

"So, you advise tailoring and targeting your speech according to what kind is allowed each site? Hmm."

The same way you tailor and target your speech to every audience, I suppose? Or are you telling me you walk into the local wal-mart, meet a neighbor, and start expounding on how "pirates and aspies" all deserve to go get bent over by Big Vinnie from Cell block C because it just so happens that’s what you were thinking of?
Or discuss the way the cashier’s breasts look under that tighht shirt, while standing in line?

If this is the case and you do not see any issues there I have advice for you; Seek help!

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: "AC", you confuse small private forums with The Public F

"because who cares about Linux?"

When 90-95% of the world’s server hardware runs on – guess what? Linux.

Yeah, I can imagine you got tossed out because no one likes a troll who only shows up to blow hot air from his ass to their ears. I’m guessing you get tossed out and banned from pubs on a regular basis, Baghdad Bob, because if you hold the same sort of tone there that you do here I can imagine you regularly get beaten up by bouncers and told to get your ass lost.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

Okay, le’t say that room temperature is 30…

… degrees Celsius! IQ = 30!

… Farenheit! IQ = 86!

… Kelvin! IQ = 303!

Hmmm, I "MUST be either too stupid to have an opinion worth repeating" [or…?].

C’mon Guys, get with the SI (International Units) completely! Even your own industry and manufacturing uses these in various areas!


Oh, I forgot… the Internet is heavily USA-influenced, and also northern-hemisphere-influenced. It’s sad to see snow themes all over Christmas paraphernalia, when sometimes the temperature in my location exceeds 37 degrees C on the day…

It’s sad to see local culture being steadily eroded, and because mass-production means that the Largest Meme Wins, we get lots of USA-centric materials for us to consume (until we die of Consumption) being foisted on us instead.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

For what it’s worth, snow-laden Christmas themes began in Britain, not the USA. Interestingly, nativity scenes still take a large part of Christmas decor and those almost never have snow involved, likely due to the location that event took place.

I live in Washington state and it’s rarely snowy here on Christmas. Sometimes icy, always cold, but the snow doesn’t arrive until late January or early February. Those snow-themed decorations don’t mean anything more here than they do where you are.

Maybe find something else to focus your energy on?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

"the Internet is heavily USA-influenced, and also northern-hemisphere-influenced"

Which is a weird contradiction in your argument, since most of the northern hemisphere outside of the US uses Celsius which the US itself uses Fahrenheit. Very strange to whine about other people foisting certain measurements of you when they haven’t agreed between the 2 main choices themselves yet…

"Christmas paraphernalia when sometimes the temperature in my location exceeds 37 degrees C on the day…

It’s sad to see local culture being steadily eroded"

Unless you live in the middle east, there’s nothing "local" about any Christmas tradition in a country that’s warmer in December than it is on my local beach in summer.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

Regarding the exact number for “room temperature”, given that no one uses Kelvin every day outside of lab experiments, and given that room temperature is below 100 (average IQ) whether measured in degrees Celsius or degrees Fahrenheit, I believe the point gets across either way. If anything, it just means that it’s even more insulting in most of the world.

Hmmm, I "MUST be either too stupid to have an opinion worth repeating" [or…?].

The OP said that (which continues, “or too dishonest to have an opinion that anyone OUGHT to care about,”) with regards to people complaining about social media sites having the right to moderate content on them. Unless you’re saying that making such a complaint about units/“room-temperature IQ” is equivalent to complaints about the right to moderate, I’m not sure why you’d (sarcastically) apply that descriptor to yourself.

C’mon Guys, get with the SI (International Units) completely! Even your own industry and manufacturing uses these in various areas!

I actually agree with that, but standards are slow to change, especially in the US (remember how long it took to ban lead in paint, plumbing, and gasoline and to regulate cigarettes), and I personally like Fahrenheit when discussing the weather simply because of how well it fits everyday temperatures (which rarely exceed 110°F or go below, like, –30°F; 75°F or higher = hot; less than 75°F but at least 65°F = warm; 50 to 65°F = cool; less than 50°F = cold) and the amount of precision you get without using decimal places. I do acknowledge that its logic makes no sense (180°F between freezing and boiling point I can understand, but why is 0°F set where it is?), but it works fine.

Oh, I forgot… the Internet is heavily USA-influenced, and also northern-hemisphere-influenced.

Well, it’s also partly because most English-speakers are in the northwestern quadrant, and the Internet was essentially invented and initially popularized in the US. Also, I think the phrase “room-temperature IQ” was created independently of the internet.

It’s sad to see snow themes all over Christmas paraphernalia, when sometimes the temperature in my location exceeds 37 degrees C on the day…

That has nothing to do with the internet, really. That’s just because of how those Christmas traditions migrated from Europe to Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and South America (whichever you are from), and Europe is firmly in the Northern Hemisphere.

It’s sad to see local culture being steadily eroded

I’m sorry, but what local culture is being eroded, exactly?

To end this, I’d like to ask again: what does this have to do with the article or the comment you’re replying to?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

"I personally like Fahrenheit when discussing the weather simply because of how well it fits everyday temperatures"

That’s a personal and generational thing. Growing up in the UK, whatever units are used is almost exclusively a preference born from when you grew up. My grandparents would sometimes get confused by post-decimalised currency, my parents often prefer to refer to temperatures in Fahrenheit and can get confused by kilos. I personally can’t even conceive of using as illogical and overcomplicated as the old money system, I naturally gravitate toward Celsius when discussing temperatures and I’m quite comfortable using metric for weights and distances (though my moving to a country where that’s the standard probably helped).

Basically, there’s no right or wrong but when you start communicating with someone not using the system you’re personally familiar with it gets confusing, which is why standards are preferred. You say 100 degrees to me, you’re thinking of a hot summer day, I’m thinking of the boiling point of water.

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F. N. L. O'Quint says:

Note who's not defending "free speech" but corporations.

And their alleged "rights". That is Masnick’s unalterable position, and his only take on the topic.

Corporations are of course just legal fictions which We The People permit to exist provided that they SERVE our wants and needs. They are not persons as masnicks and romneys and other legalistic fiends claim. They have no actual rights, just similar privileges granted, which can be removed for bad behavior.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Corporations are of course just legal fictions which We The People permit to exist provided that they SERVE our wants and needs.

How can a corporation control and enforce a copyright when you believe corporations have no legal rights, and how do you feel about corporations using copyright to censor speech?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but corporations.

Corporations are of course just legal fictions which We The People permit to exist provided that they SERVE our wants and needs.

Facebook and Twitter serve the needs of the vast majority of their users, that is why they are popular. As not everybody has the same wants and needs, they will find that do not serve them well, but that is ok as they can move on to a a different service that better meets their needs.

What give you the right to force society to comply with your desires?

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Anonymous Rex says:

Re: Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but corporations.

Facebook and Twitter got big because they acted like open platforms in the beginning. Remember Jack Dorsey’s comment about being “the free speech wing of the free speech party.” Of course once Twitter got big enough and didn’t have any competition he disowned it.

https://www.wired.com/story/jack-dorsey-twitters-role-free-speech-filter-bubbles/

The owners of Facebook and Twitter don’t like Trump and are doing what they can to elect Biden. Biden has hired Twitter’s former Public Policy manager and probably has other contacts in Social Media companies. The censoring of the Post story was nothing but a ham fisted attempt to squelch the story before it went viral.

We know the owners of Techdirt don’t like Trump. It is sad that they are willing to sell out their free speech principles to try and stop him. Because we all know the truth. If Facebook and Twitter were trying to suppress a news article about Donald Trump Jr with a crack pipe they would be the first to condemn it. But since the real story helps Trump and harms Biden, they are willing to let Facebook and Twitter censor stories that Techdirt doesn’t approve of.

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Paul B says:

Re: Re: Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but corporati

Wheu boy are things wrong here.

Back in the day when Republicans and Democrats talked to each other, You ended up with a meeting of the minds, a democratic idea was a bit to far, but a constrictive idea was already causing problems for not going far enough. A group formed in the middle and you got something passed.

Then things changed, Dumpf gave a voice to rapists, pedophiles, and revolutionaries who felt minorities and women where the problem with the US. We block this speech from polite company because its not polite. This is no longer political speech but simply anti outgroup speech.

Finally the 2 sides are playing different games, Democrats will remove people for breaking laws, Republicans have realized if they have all the power who cares how many laws they break. That said but I hate to tell you but even businesses cant run forever in this mode because they always have to play the game of "am I next?" because the rule of law is at the whim of a man child who feels loyalty is above the law.

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Anonymous Rex says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Note who's not defending "free speech" but corpo

Are you seriously suggesting that all of Trumps voters are pedophiles and racists?

There aren’t enough of them to elect a president. But it’s much easier to deny rights to others if you falsely claim they are very bad people. Then when they are all kicked off you can claim they are a minority view because there aren’t any left.

Censorship is censorship, whether is is by the government or a corporation.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Note who's not defending "free speech" but c

Are you seriously suggesting that all of Trumps voters are pedophiles and racists?

It seems you can read, but you don’t seem to understand what he or she wrote. Nowhere did he say that all voters of Trump are pedophiles and racists, what he did say that some of the people cheering Trump on are rapists, pedophiles and racists which is somewhat of a hyperbole.

The thing is, if you choose to support someone you also have to tolerate that you will be joined by people who support the same person, and those peoples reputation will affect your reputation – ie you will be judged by the company you keep. So if Trump happen to attract racists and bigots as supporters, is that the kind of guy you want to support?

There aren’t enough of them to elect a president. But it’s much easier to deny rights to others if you falsely claim they are very bad people. Then when they are all kicked off you can claim they are a minority view because there aren’t any left.

So there are no rapists, pedophiles and racists supporting Trump?

Censorship is censorship, whether is is by the government or a corporation.

No, censorship means you can’t express your view anywhere. You aren’t entitled to use someones property for your speech and it’s not censorship when the owner of that property tells you to take your business elsewhere.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

it’s much easier to deny rights to others if you falsely claim they are very bad people

And which rights are denied to someone if they get kicked off Twitter for being an asshole? Let’s see…

Well, it isn’t the right to free speech. (Twitter can’t stop someone from saying dumb bullshit outside of Twitter.) It sure as hell isn’t the right to religion. It also isn’t the right of association. (Twitter can’t stop dumbfucks from forming their own little dumbfuck cave and acting like dumbfucks in it. To wit: Gab and Parler.) It isn’t the right to bear arms, or the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, or the right to due process, or…well, literally any other right enshrined in the Constitution or federal law.

You don’t have a right to an audience. You don’t have a right to use someone else’s private property as your own personal soapbox. And you don’t have a right to force anyone into either becoming your audience or helping you publish/distribute your speech. So please, by all means: Explain to me what civil right(s) Twitter infringes upon when it boots someone for a TOS violation.

I’ll wait.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Note who's not defending "free speech" but c

Are you seriously suggesting that all of Trumps voters are pedophiles and racists?

More the latter than the former I imagine, but not all of them, some I’m sure are very good people.

There aren’t enough of them to elect a president.

Depends on how you stack the deck, as last election demonstrated that it’s entirely possible to lose the popular vote by literal millions and still win the election.

But it’s much easier to deny rights to others if you falsely claim they are very bad people.

Two things there:

One, yeah, that’s why Trump’s GOP has been doing that for a long time now, demonizing anyone who isn’t a part of their cult by lying through their teeth about how horrible anyone who doesn’t agree with them is and how if the Other gets any amount of power all these horrible things will happen because look at all the bad stuff that already happens and is definitely due to the Other.

Two, you have no ‘rights’ to use someone else’s platform to speak from, so a platform deciding that they don’t want you on it is not in any way a violation of or denial of your rights, it’s simply them exercising their rights both first amendment and property.

Censorship is censorship, whether is is by the government or a corporation.

Only if you want to stretch the word to the point that it’s useless. Trying to argue that a private company not letting you use their property to speak from is equivalent to a government telling you you can’t speak at all is rather like comparing killing a mosquito and killing a human, because look, in both cases you’re killing something.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

But it’s much easier to deny rights to others if you falsely claim they are very bad people.

You mean like how Trump promised to lock up Hilary? How’d that come along?

Oh, wait. He had four years to do it, and not only has he not delivered on his campaign promise he’s bleating about how he’s going to nail the Bidens too.

Your side is firing blanks, champ.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Note who's not defending "free speech" but c

"Censorship is censorship, whether is is by the government or a corporation."

Uh, no. When the government censors you it means if you start speaking anywhere you go to jail.

When a corporation tells you "My House, My rules" it doesn’t matter how special a snowflake you think you are – either get with the rules of the host or go some place where your rules are instead accepted.

Your argument is that of the guy who pisses all over the floor of the pub and then stands outside screaming about how he’s being unfairly treated after getting tossed out.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Look, all of this is just stupid. Everyone with any sense knows what is right and what is wrong. Well, not everyone knows, actually. Some people don’t know what is right and what is wrong, like anyone who disagrees with BLM. We have to help them. Those of us, like Mike, who understand Truth need to help those stupid idiots who don’t understand Truth, it’s our moral obligation. So, when people post here and what they say is not True, it’s OK to censor it. And when the NY Post writes something that’s not True, it’s OK not forward it. Only True things should be allowed on the Internet.

And Mike should be the Minister of Truth. And BLM deserves your immediate compelled financial contribution.

Amen.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Everyone with any sense knows what is right and what is wrong."

Yes, then you come along and whine that it’s wrong that Twitter can have control of their own private property and that the government should seize it and force them to lose their freedom of association and it gets really stupid…

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Anonymous Coward says:

Who cares what Facebook does?

Facebook doesn’t control anyone. And nobody but Facebook’s advertisers have any reason to care how many people visit Facebook (and how often).

Facebook could die, and I wouldn’t notice. But they spend a lot of money figuring out what most people like to see, and posting that kind of content. If your posts are not being allowed on Facebook, it’s because their market researchers have decided most people don’t want to hear you.

If you don’t like Facebook, set up your own face(book)less corporation, spend as much money as you like figuring out what people want to see–and post that. Or post whatever you like, on whatever site will allow it, and don’t worry about how many people care to see it.

Either way, there’s no reason to complain about Facebook making exactly the same choice you also have–to pander, or to pontificate. And if you make the choice to ignore what people like, then it’s especially stupid to complain that more people like the site that’s chosen to consider what most people like.

Freedom means everybody having choices. You can talk, and you can choose whom to listen to. But other people can talk also, and they can decide not to listen to you. Which, unless you have something better to say than "people don’t like to listen to me", is the right decision.

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dickeyrat says:

But, but…Herr Goebbels taught us that all Glory must be brought to The Party, no matter what it takes! And we know that’s the ultimate goal, behind the promotion and promulgation of the Tales of Patriotism, such as QAnon, and Pizzagate. And what about those secret camps on Mars, stocked full of kidnapped Republican children, and run by Obama and HILLARY!!? And that all Democrats worship Moloch, who thrives on the blood of children…or perhaps I’m doubling back to QAnon with that. In any event, it wasn’t enough to get these idiots to stop listening to "Rev". Robert Jeffress, of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, who shamelessly blathered that on Todd Starnes’ ex-Fox News show. (To Fox’s credit, they canned this moron immediately after he was seen complacently nodding in apparent agreement to Jeffress’ psychotic ramblings.) I agree with some, that Fazebook is a useless pile of shit, but how DARE they stifle the voice of The Patriot(s), thus denying The Party some of its true glory (obviously!). I mean, Barr, so you want "sedition"??

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Anonymous Rex says:

Social Media brought this on themselves

Facebook and Twitter created a proprietary communications client and in the beginning had an open policy about people signing up. Once they had a monopoly they started tightening the screws and censoring people they didn’t like.

Saying that people can just not use Facebook or Twitter ignores the fact that for a lot of people that is not realistic, as it would require everyone they want to communicate with to also install a different client. It would be like AT&T 50 years ago saying “We don’t like who you are or what you believe, so you can’t have a telephone. And it’s not a violation of speech because you can always send a letter in the US Mail.”

Facebook isn’t a small website like Techdirt. They have taken deliberate action to create a communications monopoly and exclude competing products. Just look at Facebook Messenger. The burden of switching to another service is extremely high. Google tried to compete with Google+ and look how that turned out.

Facebook either needs to remove the moderation or open up their communications protocol. This is the 21st century equivalent of AT&T only allowing genuine AT&T equipment to connect to the phone system. No one wants giant Tech Companies to decide what is allowable free speech. The incident a few days ago really showed people just how bad it is getting, and if nothing is done how it will get worse.

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Paul B says:

Re: Social Media brought this on themselves

Seriously, what right do you have to reach the people whom are on Facebook? People with arguments like this very often want to Spam or spread poor quality information in order to make a quick buck. Facebook and others got wise to this and gave lots of ways to block those low quality messages. Follow the money and you find out its just advertising.

Not only are you demanding access, but your demanding everyone have access to everyone. To be able to push your message in front of people because of some silly reason that means people are there. This would totally shut down Facebook in hours.

Your goal is plain, destroy social media, because that is all you get if you remove moderation and all the blocks in place.

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

Re: Social Media brought this on themselves

Saying that people can just not use Facebook or Twitter ignores the fact that for a lot of people that is not realistic, as it would require everyone they want to communicate with to also install a different client.

Booho, cry my a river. Talk about laziness and entitlement, if your friends can’t be arsed to keep in touch with you if you use another social network – they aren’t really friends.

And the simple solution is, adhere to the fucking TOS you accepted and you will have no problems with using that social media platform where all your "friends" are. If you can’t follow that simple suggestion, then you are free to move to a platform that caters to your particular viewpoint and loose those "friends" of yours. That’s the consequence you have to live with.

And saying that Facebook and Twitter are a monopoly tells us that your grasp on the realities of competition among social media is tenuous at best and your incredible stupid argument is debunked with one simple question "Do Facebook and Twitter force me to only use their services?".

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Social Media brought this on themselves

And saying that Facebook and Twitter are a monopoly tells us that your grasp on the realities of competition among social media is tenuous at best and your incredible stupid argument is debunked with one simple question "Do Facebook and Twitter force me to only use their services?".

Very well said. Also, keep in mind that one can still have an internet presence even if one does not use Twitter or Facebook. For instance, Ron Gilbert and Wil Wheaton both have blogs even if neither of them have ever used Facebook and both have left Twitter. Also, Alex Jones still promotes his dangerous conspiracy lies even though he’s been kicked off of Youtube, Facebook, iTunes, and Twitter. All four of those platforms said "We don’t do that here" but the government so far didn’t say "You can’t do that anywhere" with the exception of him losing a defamation suit brought by parents of victims of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Social Media brought this on themselves

"Facebook and Twitter created a proprietary communications client and in the beginning had an open policy about people signing up. Once they had a monopoly they started tightening the screws and censoring people they didn’t like. "

Please explain how Facebook and/or Titter is a monopoly.

You mention the client both platforms have created for you as if every user had to use said client. You are aware that a browser works just fine – right?

Saying that one does not need to use either platform is very realistic and is in no way imposing undue hardship. Saying otherwise is simply exposing your entitled attitude. Private business owes you nothing, certainly not a platform for your bullhorn.

The burden of switching to a different service is negligible and you sound like a spoiled child. FB does not need to do what you want, they need to do what generated income. I had read that they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders that overrides any consumer petty grievances, I imagine that at one time you agreed with this.

eMark (profile) says:

First we had telegraph, then telephone. Next Television and then email. all these companies are responsible for liability. Say AT&T decided all calls promoting Biden for President would be disconnected if voice recognition detected his name.

What if gmail had a text filter that stopped all pleas for campaign donations for only one candidate? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, are evolutions of modern day communication.

It could be argued ‘the’, primary form of communication today, thanks in part to algorithms designed to make them ‘addicting as cigarettes’, according to a recent Director of Monetization from one of those platforms.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

To quote a comment a little further up: Do Facebook and Twitter force me to only use their services?

If the answer is “yes”, maybe Facebook and Twitter deserve some regulation. But if the answer is “no” — and it is — they don’t deserve to be regulated like public utilities because they’re not public utilities.

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

Re: Re:

First we had telegraph, then telephone. Next Television and then email. all these companies are responsible for liability

Since when is AT&T liable for when someone calls in a bomb threat? Or if someone is running a scam boiler room operation using AT&T lines? Answer: they’re not.

Also you’re comparing a lot of apples and oranges here. Television isn’t comparable to telephone or email. I mean, what does any of this means?

Say AT&T decided all calls promoting Biden for President would be disconnected if voice recognition detected his name.

Telephone services are a regulated monopoly for a long list of reasons that have literally nothing to do with today’s social media companies.

What if gmail had a text filter that stopped all pleas for campaign donations for only one candidate?

Then Gmail would very quickly lose a significant number of its users. The free market at work!

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, are evolutions of modern day communication.

And yet they are very different.

It could be argued ‘the’, primary form of communication today,

You named four companies and said they are the primary form of communication today. I don’t think you know what "primary" means.

thanks in part to algorithms designed to make them ‘addicting as cigarettes’, according to a recent Director of Monetization from one of those platforms.

You left out the part where that "Director of Monetization" is currently trying to sell people a tool to limit your social media screen time. In other words, he has strong incentives to lie about how "addictive" he made social media. Also, it’s been about a decade since he was last at Facebook, and no legitimate person thinks it’s as addictive as cigarettes.

Either way your entire post is jumbled confused nonsense.

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

Re: Re:

"First we had telegraph, then telephone. Next Television and then email. all these companies are responsible for liability"

Since when have they had liability for the actions of people using them? For this to be remotely comparable to what you’re saying, you must be suggesting that Hotmail is directly responsible for spam or that AT&T can be sued for allowing telemarketing, which is nonsense.

Also, if you can’t tell the difference between a broadcast medium like television and a communication medium like the telephone there may be no hope for your ignorance, but I’m an optimist so maybe you will learn…

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

The summary of every Anti-230 bill in Congress right now:

The people who don’t contribute nearly enough to our re-election campaigns, and don’t provide nearly enough jobs and tax income for [insert legislator’s home state here], are breaking no laws, and are, in fact, behaving in such a way that the law actually encourages.

They promote the free exchange of knowledge in an uncluttered marketplace of ideas by large multi-national corporations and private individuals alike, on a playing field more level than at any point in the history of the Earth. They combat those who would pollute that commons with self-serving tripe designed to foster division instead of cooperation, in favor of their own selfish interests.

They do all of this under a legal framework that mimics existing liability, present in our system for decades and backed by an immeasurable amount of common sense. It provides efficient ways to reduce court burden by offering a viable defense to those who have been wrongfully targeted by opportunists that would choose to simply shift blame to an entity with deeper pockets.

It’s abhorrent and must be stopped [so that I can show people how tough I am during an election year].
We must do something [no matter how counterproductive].
Think of the children [and lawyers, but mostly lawyers].

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Denny Scape, keeper of lab animals says:

There are NO individuals in your example, only powerful media...

already famous and having their own outlets. — This is VERY telling of Masnick’s mania. He never thinks of individuals, only of corporations.

They are saying there is certain speech they don’t want to host, and this is their right, just like Fox News or the NY Post get to spew one sided news and the government cannot do anything about it.

What of one individual "natural" person, Masnick? How do we get even one tiny little website when NONE of the corporations have to allow us — not even during good behavior by common law standards? Peasants don’t matter to you, Ivy League elitist?

Google isn’t required to index a site which fails to meet its unknown shifting "standard" when scanned by "AI" — it has defunded even you for "dangerous and derogatory" content! — so would never be discovered. How many voices has Google already simply not listed? How many has it invisibly demoted or promoted? Aren’t you worried about losing potential creations / inventions as you claim we do with current copyright / patent laws?

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Denny Scape, keeper of lab animals says:

How are ISPs different? Can't they exert control TOO?

You kids are so fixated on your preferred corporations controlling individuals who just happen to be your political opponents, "conservatives" for the immediate future, that can’t see how the next logical step affects YOU:

If Masnick’s notions were the law, then any ISP can simply put in blocks to keep extremists like Mike Masnick entirely off "their" network! — Wouldn’t have to be their idea: the evil Ayyadurai could pay ISPs to block Masnick’s site! ISPs get NO money from Masnick so a few bucks (less than a court case!) would be enough to silence Masnick because all profit. Simple justice too.

ISPs can monitor website accesses, say to pirate sites, and automatically cancel service within seconds, simply erase the cable modem’s MAC # from the allowed list. NO warning, NO explanation, NO tolerance, NO appeal. That would certainly be effective against piracy, and by Masnick’s notions, within corporate rights! In practice, the evil ??AAs would pay a bounty to hit the biggest downloaders, then sue with detailed information and split the settlements / fines, especially after the looming CASE act.

You kids don’t understand the complex systems you play with. There’s no limit when abandon "fairness" and the "The Public Good"! Those notions protect little YOU from The Rich and their corporations!

Of course if any ISP acted to censor on its own hardware network the way you say mere hosts can control websites, you’d SCREAM "Net neutrality! I have a RIGHT to access what sites I want, send what messages I want!"

So what’s the legal difference between a host and an ISP with regard to censoring and control? Has to be NONE. If you claim an ISP can’t arbitrarily control, then what’s your basis for a host doing so? (Take out profit as the reason ISPs don’t: the two real world examples above show how ISPs can profit FAR MORE by using Masnick’s theory of what "they don’t want to host"!)

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: How are ISPs different? Can't they exert control TOO?

Well, you start by lying about the opinions held by others here, proudly display ignorance about the very basics of the subject at hand (hint: ISPs and platforms are very different arguments so you shouldn’t conflate them), and really don’t understand the tech that you’re saying an ISP can use.

But, you’re loud, obnoxious and guaranteed to be able to whine about people telling you that you’re a prick so that you can repeat the same cycle again. How typical, and what a shame you have nothing better to do.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: How are ISPs different? Can't they exert control TOO?

Here’s a basic overview: ISPs (or IAPs) are like telephone companies or cable (or satellite TV) companies that just provide the communication lines, not the content or services that go over those lines; services like Twitter or Facebook are privately owned, publicly accessible/viewable bulletin boards/billboards.

You seem to want social media to operate like the former, but that’s not what they do (unless you’re talking about private DMs like in Facebook Messenger, but that’s another topic entirely), nor are they required to. Social media companies and such are “edge providers” that use the internet to provide a service; the internet itself is not the service provided.

Furthermore, people generally can only have, at most, one ISP for the home/WiFi and one for cellular service, and switching is fairly difficult and potentially expensive. If an ISP blocks something from going through, its customers become incapable of accessing what was blocked at all. By contrast, people can have as many social media or social media-like accounts as there are social media(-like) providers (or freely switch between search engines or browsers), and the sites and accounts themselves are completely free to use/create; if an edge provider blocks something, there are still many options available to users to get the data. That’s not even getting into the fact that ISPs are limited to specific areas (having Verizon won’t help me if I move to Japan), and many ISPs don’t directly compete with each other (most locations can only access one or two players), but that’s (mostly) not the case with websites like Twitter or Google (and even for the exceptions, a VPN can get around geoblocks pretty easily).

Basically, ISPs are completely different from social media companies and other edge providers (both fundamentally and as applied), and the principles behind supporting net neutrality is very different from those involved in being anti-§230.

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Denny Scape, keeper of lab animals says:

And I repeat: Techdirt is so small that EVERY comment counts.

No matter where placed. So when BLOCKED from current topic — that happens regularly when Maz doesn’t want opposition, after sees first apparently switches to okaying every comment — if I then drop them into other pieces, they’re still as effective — and just as censored — but from your perspective tend to clutter and distract, besides that I’ll point up why and that can hardly help your "free speech" facade.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

…And? This is not the first time you fucknuggets have brought up Techdirt’s (allegedly) small userbase as a damning argument against… what, exactly? Hasn’t your argument against Twitter and Facebook moderations been that they shouldn’t be allowed to "censor" Republicans because they’re too big? What the fuck do you think pissing and moaning about Techdirt’s small size is going to do?

Hell, you’re not nearly the first one to have brought up Techdirt being small, your fuckbuddy MyNameHere used to think that mentioning the site’s falling Alexa ratings was funny as shit. Again – how does this help your case? How does crowing about being an asshole on a community so small, calling it insignificant is literally one of your linchpin arguments, help convince others that the Trump presidency wasn’t a complete fucking train wreck?

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: And I repeat: Techdirt is so small that EVERY comment counts

You’re not being blocked or censored. Your comments are being hidden (but still viewable) by the community.

Also, this comment of yours is hard to understand because of the atrocious grammar and bad syntax. “[A]fter sees first”? “[B]esides that I’ll point up why”? What do these mean? Also, what do you mean by “effective”, what are “still as effective”, and what exactly “can hardly help [their] ‘free speech’ façade”? You need to offer more clarity.

Bartonldt (user link) says:

how to tell if a vietnamese girl likes you

Men Don’t Get It And Women don’t understand

Do dating foreign girls websites work? o. k,right, you are ready have an open and frank discussion about the battle of the sexes and the dating game. it’s far too complex, Scary and difficult for mere mortals so let’s bridge the gap by asking men and women what doesn’t work when it comes to online dating services.

to explore this topic, I pulled aside two individuals that I knew were hunting for a long term relationship using online dating websites, And asked them about their experiences with the ideas.

What I learned from carrying out an interview of a female and the interview of a male trying to dig into this intriguing subject was that creating an online business for dating is equally painful for men and for women, But for very different reasons. actually enough, If you could have the best of those women and the best of those men, And place them in a big room where they could sit at a table and ask each other questions in person you would probably have 4 or 5 new match ups by the end of the night.

The problem with dating foreign girls is that you can’t see the person’s face when they’re telling you about themselves. you cannot watch as they smile, And that smile spreads up into their eyes and transforms their face into one of the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen a thing that warms your heart and makes you realize you want to spend more time with the person. not a great deal else.

Online Dating Is a Woman’s Worst NightmareI think it’s hard for guys to learn the world of online dating from a woman’s perspective. As far as a guy is concerned, women have it made. (that which is mansplaining?) All should be do is get online every day, Sitting on their princess throne and file through the dozens or more profiles of men who have messaged them via day.

They then flippantly toss out all those well thought out, fastidiously crafted messages from most of those poor schmucks, And then they log onto their Facebook accounts to complain to their girlfriends that you have no "great men" Left in the arena.

in spite of this, the reality is nowhere near that fantasy. To get some understanding of what women go through on these dating websites, I pulled aside one of my close relatives who I knew had spent some time on these sites looking for her future spouse. when of this interview, She had already given up and moved on, Finally discovering her future husband while visiting old friends at her alma mater. Her responses completely dumbfounded me.

jones (RD): What year did you sign up with an dating foreign girls website and how long did you keep your account?

mysterious Woman (AW): I can’t recall the exact year I signed up. i think it was either 2006 or 2007.

RD: What were numerous messages that you received from guys like?

AW: scary. in reality,actually, Now that I imagine, That was how numerous messages I got started. i’m not sure, Maybe some girls might imagine of that as a compliment but personally, I may possibly preferred a simple message like, "heya, want to talk? I saw that some of your interests were like mine, or something along those lines.

in addition, Some of the messages I got were from a few guys that ranged from early 40’s to late 40’s and I was maybe 19 at the moment. That was several reasons I called it quits. It made me SO miserable that guys so much older than me, over the age of most of my siblings (that are 8 years plus older than me), Were sending me sales messages telling me that I was "scorching, I am getting terribly uncomfortable just thinking about it.

RD: Did you get ANY sales messages from guys that seemed nice at all? Worth meeting up with?

AW: no more, But the creepy messages most likely ruined it for any decent guys that could be around. Those sms messages made me run far, Far away from dating foreign girls. when hhavingdsight, I suppose if I had stayed active with it for a little longer MAYBE I would have been faced with a "cool" male.

I have to mention that I did get maybe a message or two from guys that seemed okay, But once I saw their profiles, It didn’t be like we had anything in common so I didn’t bother. That’s one of the issues I see with online dating service personals though. Words on a page can only tell you so much and often, yet the best "First impressions, to do, I think there is so much more to be gained from talking with someone face to face probable to read their body language and listen to intonation in their voice, Which are significantly better indicators than online messages or profiles.

RD: From your suffer, do you think dating sites can be at all useful for girls?

AW: absolutely sure. I know individuals who have had great successes with online dating! it wasn’t my thing. I have a strong favorite toward meeting people in person FIRST, because online first.

RD: If there are guys looking to actually get the interest of a girl on these dating sites, create any advice for them?

AW: Do your foremost not to be a creep. you can. Remember that a simple message can help. You’re greatly predisposed to get past the initial message if you can get a girl to first start talking to you based on interests.

RD: How did you eventually end up meeting the guy you ended up getting married to?

AW: We lived across the hall from each other our first year of or even. We became people first and we only started dating 2 years later. That was mostly because I shifted schools, But because we became great first, We had a connection that drew us back together for a chance at something more. What we uncovered was that we had much, Much more than acquaintanceship in store for us.

Online Dating Is Frustrating for MenBeing a nice guy is probably the worst thing to be when dealing with online dating. You are a nothing but collateral damage, As the large most guys slather, Drool and stomp their way through crowds, Scaring off most of the nice girls that arrive on internet sites, As evidenced by an interview above.

This experience is best exemplified by my good friend who I will call Eric. Eric has been using a couple of uniform dating websites off and on for the past year, With barely enough success. He spends time every day carefully browsing through profiles and looking for women who he feels share his same interests beyond the dating site’s algorithm which promises to perform its own magic in matchmaking. Despite his hard works, Few girls ever answer his bear in mind crafted, Very kind text messages.

RD: How long have you been using [url=https://www.love-sites.com/signs-that-you-can-recognise-when-a-vietnamese-lady-is-into-you/%5Dhow to tell if a vietnamese woman likes you[/url] international dating websites?

Eric: excessively. the way to about six months now.

RD: How’s it going do you may any dates at all?

Eric: actually. I spent hours trying carryout a profile that shows people what I’m really like. No cube. indeed, I get a bunch of profile "beliefs, But no promotions. I’ve scheduled about an hour a day to browse through profiles and I look for to produce. even more importantly is that she likes doing similar things that I do. Secondly of course is that the profile gives me some feeling that there could be chemistry.

RD: Why you think they don’t answer?

Eric: i’m not sure. Maybe it shouldn’t like my pictures, Or maybe I’m not being as nice as I feel I am in my messages. Part of me thinks they are just so overwhelmed with messages from so many guys that they just pick the few that strike them as the "most suitable" And just ignore the rest. Women’s choice is the content I guess.
[—-]

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