Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the speak-up dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is Stephen T. Stone with a response to another commenter claiming they “occasionally post the censorship highlights of the week”:

No, you don’t. You whine about “conservative views” being “censored” from Twitter, then you disappear (which I expect you to do now) when asked about the exact and specific “conservative views” to which you’re referring. You also disappear whenever asked One Simple Question (“Do you believe the government should have the legal right to compel any privately owned interactive web service into hosting legally protected speech that the owners/operators of said service don’t want to host?”); to date, I’ve never gotten a straight yes-or-no answer out of you on that point.

You want to do a drive-by complaint about conservatives being “censored” on social media, but when pressed on the details, you up and disappear like a fart in the wind. Once⁠—just once!⁠—we’d all like you to stick around and answer our questions so we can have the conversation you always say you want.

But you’re going to be a coward and run as usual, because you know that most of us regular commenters can out-argue you and your fellow trolls every day of the week. And because you know that honest answers to our questions will do you no favors in terms of credibility⁠—especially since we can always link back to your answers and hold you to account for them.

So run along, child. The grown folks are talking now.

In second place, it’s James Burkhardt with a response to the idea that Netflix’s recent nickel-and-diming is just a matter of the company wanting to get paid for its services:

I was going to come here to post this as a reminder for people who would make the same comment they always make, but I wasn’t fast enough, so you’ll do.

The short response: I was under the impression the monthly charge I pay for Netflix was paying Netflix for its services. What am I paying for?

The long response: I have a 4 screen netflix subscription. I could play netflix 24/7 in my home on 4 simultaneous streams and it would incur no extra cost on my part. But if I go on a business trip and both I and the other members of my household want to watch a few hours of netflix, my membership costs 3 extra dollars a month.

This fee is not about Netflix “…[getting] paid for its services…”. The fee is completely disconnected from the financial burden it supposedly generates. If it is profitable to run 4 US streams simultaneously 24/7 to the same household, its profitable to run 4 US streams simultaneously 24/7 regardless of geographic location within the US.

Moreover, as you look at pricing options you see netflix forces me to pay for 4 simultaneous streams even if I only need 3. Forcing me to pay for more streams and denying me the ability to capitalize on what I paid for (4 simultaneous streams) is not about getting paid, its about intentionally forcing me to pay more for less.

I had no issue with Netflix cracking down on simultaneous streams back in 2012. That was a sensible decision, and pricing which allows me to pay for only 1 stream and pay more for 2 or 4 simultaneous streams is great consumer choice option. An additional $3 for Netflix to be available on my lunch break isn’t.

And given that households are increasingly not single families but shared spaces of adults as living costs increase but wages do not, The likely hood that a household could end up, temporarily, with significant geographic separation due to not taking joint vacations beyond the traditional issues of work travel that would leave the rest of a single family household at home, means this policy would regularly require non-password-sharing households to nevertheless pay the $3 password sharing fee. Because this isn’t about password-sharing households breaking the rules.

And that leads me to the point that Techdirt has been highlighting the shift in Netflix messaging not simply because it is anti-consumer, but because it is a real time case study of a company responding to fiscal issues in a way that in the past has lead to a death spiral and how that is being caused by the market and capitalist demands.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with Anathema Device and a response to someone claiming online privacy concerns are overblown:

So, no worries about someone tracking your period, or your pregnancy, or your transition, or your movements, or your purchases, because the power of the state is on your side, not against you?

Let me guess – you’re a cisgendered white man. If you honestly think in the current period of history, your online movements and purchases and activity won’t ever be used against you, you must be in that powerful minority.

The last person on earth I want having, let alone using my data is Elon Musk, and that goes for any company he owns. I’m not happy about Zuckerberg either, but at least we know what the little bastard is up to, and where he stands. Musk is a loose cannon.

Next, it’s ah Clem clarifying the idea that social media platforms could deal with Texas’s insane new law by offering a special Texas mode:

Well, providing a “Texas View” would seem to run afoul of the statute:

(a) A social media platform may not censor a user, a user’s expression, or a user’s ability to receive the expression of another person based on…
(3) a user’s geographic location in this state or any part of this state.

So, the only way out seems to be to have no business presence in Texas, and even then the company probably gets hauled into court over and over again.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is an anonymous comment about a Malibu Media blaming Chicago for its legal woes:

She blames Chicago? The city? Possibly the musical? The band? Maybe the band.

In second place, it’s Rocky with a response to the claim that Twitter should ban Joe Biden for being incoherent if it’s going to ban Donald Trump:

I’ll just leave this here as a rebuttal:

“Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart —you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you’re a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.”

Part of a campaign speech given by Donald Trump in July 2015

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with an anonymous response to the idea that political affiliation should be incorporated into civil rights laws:

So you’re going to make ‘asshole’ a protected class?

Finally, it’s That One Guy with a comment about Elon Musk’s plan to fix Twitter by only moderating tweets that are “wrong and bad”:

Well holy crap, how come no-one thought of that before? All you need to do is get rid of the bad tweets and leave the good ones up. With this sort of brilliance on display no wonder so many people are enamored by Musk and think he’s brilliant, who could have ever thought of something that revolutionary but him?

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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Anonymous Coward says:

Online privacy is more important than ever when we have states passing laws to make certain medical procedures illegal, and politicians threatening to maybe make the purchase of certain contraceptives illegal in the future, once you give up the right to privacy, what is next free speech? It’s maybe easy for middle class white men to think privacy is not that important since they don’t usually have to deal with racism or discrimination.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I know someone from the area, and they throw racial slurs around all the time.

Mostly Eastern European/regional ones, I’m afraid, and not loaded slurs that not only remind minorities of the history of slavery, but also as an identifier of people who want to return to the Civil War days.

We all know America is still a white-dominant country, and non-whites are, despite all the things decent folk have done, still not all that welcome.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 beat a dog much?

You can train any animal, as long as you TREAT it properly.
Iv told my friends this little tidbit. I treat everyone the same until they show they have a few brain calls to use. Like a pet. They do good, you pat them on the head, they do bad and you make them feel bad.
Beating a dog will only get a few things from the dog. A MEAN DOG that hates you. A Coward of a dog. Or they run away and try to find someone better.
If you keep beating those YOU THINK are less then you, what do you think will happen? He wont stand up for you, he wont HELP you, He Might Invite the Thieves into your property Just cause they gave him a STEAK. The Thieves might even have a NEW pet that Loves them.
Its easier to feed and train your pet, then it is to worry that he will BITE you.

Anonymous Coward says:

To answer the "One Simple Question"

“Do you believe the government should have the legal right to compel any privately owned interactive web service into hosting legally protected speech that the owners/operators of said service don’t want to host?”

If said website’s main purpose is communication, then yes.

That is, places similar to Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for all of you who want to go “what about this site which has a main purpose other than communication and debate between people?”

Just shut up with that. If the purpose of your site is to talk about anything and everything, then no restrictions should be allowed unless mandated by a court of law. If you don’t want certain things talked about, then make your website be more specific.

Hell, as much of a shithole Reddit can be, they have it right. “This is a subreddit for this specific topic of interest, do not deviate from this, but there are other places on this website to talk about that thing.”

4Chan puts it best when it comes to free speech.

“Left wing ideas can only thrive when heavy censorship is put into place. The less restrictions on free speech a platform has, the more right wing it becomes.”

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

He must believe subjugation is liberation. After all, if you don’t have to worry about making choices for yourself, you’re free to stop worrying about those choices and toil away to make the money you need to keep on living the kind of life where you toil away to make the money you need to keep on living the kind of life where you…

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:


The less restrictions on free speech a platform has, the more right wing it becomes.

I mean, you’re not wrong⁠—if only because people who don’t buy into right-wing bullshit (and don’t want to get harassed by right-wing assholes) end up leaving such platforms for ones that have much better moderation.

Much like freedom of religion, freedom of association only works when people can be free from association. When the law forces association⁠—as you claim the law should do with Twitter, Facebook, and so on⁠—you violate both the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment. 4chan and Twitter should both have the right to decide whether they’ll host the Buffalo mass shooter’s manifesto without the law forcing either one to host that racist tripe.

I’m sorry that some sites refuse to host (and suspend/ban people for posting) bigoted speech that you’re apparently sympathetic towards. (You wouldn’t be citing 4chan as a source for information/philosophy if you didn’t have such sympathies, so spare me the “but I’m not one of them” argument.) But that isn’t an excuse to make the law force a given website to host that kind of speech.

The First Amendment protects your rights to speak freely and associate with whomever you want. It doesn’t give you the right to make others listen. It doesn’t give you the right to make others give you access to an audience. And it doesn’t give you the right to make a personal soapbox out of private property you don’t own. Nobody owes you a platform or an audience at their expense. Your inability to deal with those realities is your problem. You don’t (and shouldn’t) get to make the law solve that problem for you in a way that infringes on other people’s rights.

Toom1275 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The”left” wants:
Everyone to be able to participate in rational, factual discusion about any topic, and blocks only solely harmful content in order to facilitate this.

The Right wants:
Speech to be the exclusive domain of the trash, giving themselves the “freedom” to force speech and silence from others; to attack anyone and everyone whom their media and mental deficiencies has programmed them to hate, for example: the “woke” “left”, LGBTQ+ people, and non-whites.

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