Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of 2021 At Techdirt

from the it's-that-time-again dept

Happy new year, everyone! You know what time it is — time for our round-up of the top comments from all of 2021, based on user votes for Insightful and Funny. Plus, unlike past years where we featured a few outliers from the leaderboard of combined votes in both categories, this year there was absolutely no overlap for the second time — so we’ll be including all three of the comments from overall votes as well. Meanwhile, if you want to see this week’s winners, here’s first and second place for insightful, and first and second place for funny.

The Most Insightful Comments Of 2021

For our first place winner, we head back a few months to September, when GoDaddy reignited the debate over infrastructure-level content moderation by banning the snitch website brought into existence by Texas’s anti-abortion law. Naturally some more general points about the issue came up in the comments, including the perennial observation that pro-life movements often seem unconcerned about what happens to children once they’re actually born. That One Guy wins first place with a response to someone making this point, but in a way the real credit goes to the person being quoted:

A quote I ran across in a youtube comment section of all places sums it up nicely I’d say.

?The unborn are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; chy; unlike orphans, they don?t need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don?t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn?

You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus but actually dislike people who breathe.

Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn.

— Dr. Dave Barnhart, Christian Minister

For second place, we step just a bit further back to August, and our post about the Canadian government’s proposal for new (and terrible) legislation to combat “Online Harms”. Blake C. Stacey racked up the votes for second place by focusing on a point that the post didn’t dig into — the huge number of services covered by the expansive proposed language:

Through this framework, “Online Communications Services” (the government lists Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter as examples)

But it sure as hell isn’t limited to those examples. Quoting item 1(A).2:

The Act should define the term Online Communication Service (OCS) as a service that is accessible to persons in Canada, the primary purpose of which is to enable users of the service to communicate with other users of the service, over the internet.

That’s every forum, bulletin board, fediverse instance and comment section. Once again, lawmakers act as though Facebook is the Internet … and propose a regulatory regime under which it will be.

For third place, we jump back one more time to June, where a simple and utilitarian comment won the day. In our post about how bad patents get in the way of fun toys, we had originally been unable to find one particular patent filing — but samuelhopkins had better luck, and kindly provided the link:

found it

US10,850,205 – Marble track piece with triggered light and/or sound

And that’s all for the insightful side! Now, on to…

The Funniest Comments Of 2021

For the first place winner on the funny side, we head back to October, and the absurd fiasco of Missouri accusing journalists who exposed its huge security flub of “hacking”. Much of that accusation hinged on the notion that they “decoded” the HTML, which led Chris Brand to make the comment that won first place:


Is the ability to read so rare in Missouri that it gets called “decoding”?

This year, the second and third place winners both come from the same post in August, all about when Apple announced it would undermine its security in the name of protecting the children. An anonymous commenter (the first of several on this year’s leaderboards!) racked up the votes for second place with a stirring call to action:

Apple, Google, Facebook and their ilk are clearly not the ones at fault here. It is time we face the fact who our true enemies are: The Children. Techdirt, since time immemorial, have hinted at their ungodly powers to sway the will of the most powerful corporations and governments. We need to stop them.

Personally, I have never seen one of these little fuckers so I have no idea how we can defeat them but we have to try.

Because if we don’t, then… The Children have already won.

In third place, it’s a different anonymous commenter on that post, this time with a quick reply to someone else’s comment. I’ll leave you to deduce, or click through and find out, what they were responding to:


And that’s it for the funnies! But we’re not done yet…

The Top Comments Of 2021 For Insightful & Funny Votes Combined

As noted, there was no overlap between the two individual category winners and the winners on the leaderboard for the combination of Insightful and Funny votes. This happened once before in 2019, but this time we’re going to go ahead and feature all three of the combined winners in full. In first place, it’s Bloof on our January post about social media trails making it easy to identify people who stormed the Capitol, with a comment about the incident in general:

Voter fraud that only happened in the parts of the ballots and the states that went against Trump, not the house and senate races where an unassailable democratic majority would be incredibly useful, only the top ticket featuring a massively unpopular republican candidate. Voter fraud so cunning that it only happened in cities filled with minorities among whom Trump is about as beloved as porcupine skin toilet paper. Voter fraud so cunning it somehow managed to happen in places where republicans controlled the elections. Voter fraud so cunning the Trump team have been unable to present any evidence of it whatsoever and had their legal teams back down the moment any judged asked them for actual proof because they don’t fancy parroting the same lies they vomit on TV in a place where there’ll be consequences for lying. Voter fraud so cunning that republican donors are suing the groups they funded that claimed they’re able to prove it happened, for not being, in fact, able to prove anything. Voter fraud so cunning even the most hyper partisan right wing ‘news’ outlets like Fox and Newsmax issued on multiple on air retractions the moment the election machine companies got the lawyers involved because their stories were based on 4chan posts and the say so of the son of the guy who runs notorious pedophile and Qanon hangout, 8kun.

They have no evidence, there is no evidence, it did not happen and screaming and committing acts of terrorism will not make your far right fever dreams of fraud and persecution into a reality. They had ample opportunity to present evidence in front of friendly TV hosts like Tucker Carlson, as well as judge after judge after judge, some of which were appointed by Trump himself and they showed nothing and their cases were rejected every single time.

It is clear to everyone with even a lick of common sense that the people parroting these lies are so full of sh*t even the Trump gutted EPA would consider them for a potential superfund site.

In second place, it’s an anonymous commenter on our post in February about Tennessee politicians asking colleges to forbid students from kneeling during the national anthem, with a comment about some people’s concepts of freedom:

“The flag represents freedom…No, not that freedom…No, not that one either…Okay, okay. The flag represents our freedom to tell you what to do when you participate in our most holy religion: college sportsball.”

Finally, in third place, it’s one more anonymous commenter, this time on our July post about a judge ordering the removal of “Fuck Biden” lawn signs. The comment is a simple callback to a rather similar legal decision that demonstrated a much better understanding of free speech:

Fuck cheer

And with that, we’re all done for 2021. A huge thanks to all our commenters, who keep supplying great material for these weekly and yearly posts — keep it coming in 2022!

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Comments on “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of 2021 At Techdirt”

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

My personal favorite insightful post of 2021

My personal favorite insightful post that I made in 2021 is this one. Why? I responded to a Nazi, was able to eviscerate his arguments (specifically the one that the authors of the US constitution didn’t consider Jews as people), and signed off with the Dead Kennedys’ "Nazi Punks Fuck off".

I never felt as good as posting on Techdirt as I did when I posted that comment.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Any day where you can tell a Nazi to fuck off is a good day."

It really isn’t to my credit that even after telling the nazi to fsck off I still have to calm myself with the realization that their deluded world view is the only thing they’ll ever have in a world where their pipe dream miraculously keeps failing to produce anything for them other than misery slightly dulled by the fix of permanent grievance.

I’m petty that way, I know…

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

Completing the quote

Not in any way trying to detract from That One Guy’s awesome post, but for those who were wondering: In Rev Barnhart’s quote where it says

…; chy;

it should say

…; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy;

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

The unborn are a convenient group of people to advocate for.

There was a quote about God in a similar spirit, and how he is convenient to use when you are a political figure. I’ll paraphrase since I don’t remember the original.

You can make promises in his name.
You can make threats in his name.
You can ask for money in his name.
You can tell the poor and the needy that they will be rewarded for their hardships in the next life so they don’t need to rebel in this one. You can tell the rich that they can be forgiven anything for a small amount of earthly valuables.
You can adopt just about any position, as morally high or low as it can be, and find a religious quote to support it. (personal note: this Includes explicit support for slavery.)
And since religious people in general don’t care about the actual content of their supposed holy writings (in particular the part about not invoking the name of God in vain, amusingly enough), they will drink your words as if they came directly from God… because saying you speak for the invisible man in the sky is apparently enough to make you trustworthy no matter how vile your actual actions are.

So you can do anything in the name of God, and you won’t have to do anything to uphold those threats or promises because God is supposed to. And since your rewards will be granted after you die, nobody can challenge you for being let down.

It is the ultimate scam.
Of course, only as long as people believe in their fantasy religions over real-life facts.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Lots of white people love to quote the “judge people by the content of their character” part of “I Have a Dream”, but hate it when anyone quotes the “I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate” part of “Letter from Birmingham Jail”.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Racists think that someone who’s most well known for his anti-racist actions and words would agree with their position?

Racists love to imply that MLK was against acknowledging racism by repeating that famous quote about judging people by their character. They use that conclusion to back up their idea that anyone who acknowledges racism⁠—be it personal or systemic⁠—is trying to “be divisive” or “keep racism alive”. Conservative politicians/pundits also love quoting that bit to make themselves seem anti-racist. But anyone familiar with the work of MLK beyond that one line in that one speech knows better than to believe the bigots and the grifters.

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

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Racists love to imply that MLK was against acknowledging racism by repeating that famous quote about judging people by their character. They use that conclusion to back up their idea that anyone who acknowledges racism⁠—be it personal or systemic⁠—is trying to “be divisive” or “keep racism alive”.

Yes, I’m sure the man famous for arguing against racism and for racial equality would be totally against admitting that racism exists…

Even taking that line entirely on it’s own it would seem their argument shoots itself in the back as ‘racist’ is most certainly part of someone’s character and judging them by it would be entire consistent, such that to even get close they’d have to warp the idea to ‘judge someone by their character… unless that includes racism in which case ignore that when judging them’ which for some strange reason I don’t imagine he’d have said or meant.

Like I said above, both pathetic and hilarious.

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