Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the as-it's-said dept

This week, all four of our winning comments come from our post about a ridiculous column arguing that fact checking is an assault on free speech. In first place on the insightful side, it’s an anonymous response to the question of whether we needed fact checking to help turn people against slavery:

Yes, we did.

There were hundreds of “scientific” theories of racism which have been used to support the “natural” inferiority of various races in support of slavery. Physical anthropology, craniometry, anthropometry… dating at least back to the polygenism of the enlightenment (though to be fair, polygenism was a legitimate query at the time). And as each of these was eventually “fact checked” and found wanting, more were created to replace them.

In 1840, the US census reported that free blacks had a higher rate of mental illness than enslaved blacks, to the joy of the pro-slavery advocates. In 1844, Edward Jarvis published a report demonstrating that the results of the census were in error. You might even say he “fact checked” them…

In second place, it’s Insufficient Cringe noting the full implications of the argument:

It is more than just fact checkers that should keep quiet. He allows that “Every person should conduct his or her own research to determine whether something someone says appears to be true”, but then they cannot not tell anybody else, because that would that would make them a fact checker.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with one more comment from that post, this time from That One Guy with some more thoughts on the anti-fact-checking backlash:

‘How dare you not want to host deadly lies?!’

Ah fact checkers, like a pro-active version of [Citation Needed] which is itself the bane of liars and trolls everywhere. If you don’t like those meanie fact-checkers calling you out for being wrong or outright lying stop lying, prepare to support your claims with credible citations or find somewhere else to speak that won’t call you out when you fail to do either of those.

The crusade against fact checking would seem to be the latest version of the belief that certain groups deserve not just the right to speak(which they already have), or even that and the right to a platform of their choice to speak from(which they have no right to), but protection against any and all consequences for that speech including prohibitions against others responding to them(which has never been part of free speech).

To call that mindset childish, self-centered and grossly self-entitled would be a massive understatement and it only gets worse when you realize their hypocrisy of wanting only some speech protected, theirs or the speech of those they support.

Next, it’s Thad with a response to the question of why the supposedly-fiscally-conservative GOP is willing to throw money away fighting for unconstitutional laws:

It’s not that hard to understand.

They’re liars.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is David with another response to our post about fact checking:

Tut tut

You were not supposed to check what he was saying.

In second place, it’s Stephen T. Stone with a quote:

?I may not like what you say, sir, but I will defend to the death your right to say it?unless you fact-check the source of this quote, in which case fuck you.??—?Voltaire

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with a comment from Rico R. about the satire website that CC’d Barbara Streisand in its response to a ridiculous legal threat letter from a baseball team:

Yet another incorrect movie quote:

Are you issuing baseless legal threats? There’s no issuing baseless legal threats in baseball!

— A League of Their Own

Finally, it’s Ninja with a comment about PETA’s latest lawsuit:

Well, at least they aren’t fighting for the copyrights of a macaque monkey named after a famous anime show (or vice-versa?).

I’ll show myself the door. Sorry.

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


While I am proud to have made first place in "Funny", I’d like to point out that this week’s first place in "Insightful" is a cut way above the usual crop here. It’s not one of the kind where you nod appreciatingly and think "what I thought, but well said" but more of the "damn, how comes so few others including myself can think of that when the topic keeps coming up all the time?" kind.

It would certainly raise the bar for that discussion if enough people were distinctly aware of it.

sumgai (profile) says:

… [do their own research,] then they cannot not tell anybody else, because that would that would make them a fact checker.

Carried to its logical conclusion, this would wipe out any news reporting organization, and all reporters. After all, they "did research", and are now reporting on the facts as they understand them. All that would be left would be the opinion writers…. and Gawd help them if they include any facts.

Sigh. If we ever get around to modifying the genetic makeup of humankind, then the first thing that needs "a tune up" should be to make ignorance painful.

David says:

Re: Re:

No, they are fucking liars. Unless they’re in Texas, then they no longer get to fuck, but they’ll lie even hard to make up for it.

Why would they no longer get to fuck? They explicitly passed a law disallowing abortion after rape and incest. Where would be the point in passing that kind of population maintaining measure if they did not intend to continue utilising it?

David says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So? If a woman dares to tell on a (possibly in-family) rapist, she loses any chance of getting an out-of-state abortion secretly without the whole town suing her for $10000 per asshole (including the rapist himself). There is no such thing as "double jeopardy" for civil suits since every plaintiff has the same "damages" from being forced to live in the same state as that woman.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Higher rates of mental illness

When it comes to major depression and ASD in the United States, our sudden surges in cases come from improved understanding of the conditions and our ability to read the symptoms, i.e. detect that people were crazy.

If mental illness among slaves was based on whether or not they were capable of menial work with sufficient coercion, while mental illness among free Blacks was based on their capability to integrate into society as a citizen, there would definitely be different results.

Along a similar vein, a significantly higher proportion of millennials and zoomers are coming out as LGBT+ because there is more tolerance for them. People trained that being gay is wrong (a sin or even a crime) are going to be reluctant to even admit to themselves they have associated attractions. It’s a common experience in intolerant communities for gays, transgender persons (bisexuals and enbies) to even consider the possibility they’re attracted to the same sex.

ECA (profile) says:

"supposedly-fiscally-conservative GOP"

Trump helped the GOP raise $2 billion. Now former aides and allies are jockeying to tap into his fundraising power.

Trump Out-Raised Other Republicans Online In First Half With Over $56 Million

Ignore Trump’s war chest: Democrats are soaring past Republicans in fundraising

When I was young they told me, "never believe what you read int he news paper"(in the 1960’s)
Then it was, "Never believe what you hear in the news" (1970’s)(loved 60 minutes).

The Old news, there are Awards for NEWS Edward R. Murrow, is one of those awards.
See anything interesting this year? PBS/NPR

Anyone heard of Walter Cronkite?

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