from the so-sayeth dept
This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is That One Guy on our post about the FEC tossing out the GOP’s complaint about Google spam filters, where he called extra attention to the fact that no Republicans used Google’s special spam-filter evading program:
That really needs to be hammered home any time this grossly dishonest argument is raised. They were granted special treatment in the form of a program that would allow their emails to bypass the spam filter they claimed were unfairly targeting them and rather than jump on it they just kept making the same claims about how Google has to be forced to give them extra-special treatment and not allow their emails to be rightly flagged as spam by anyone.
In second place, it’s a simple anonymous comment about Wyoming’s electric car “ban”:
When politicians value conspiracies and fiction above facts, their law making also becomes detached from reality.
For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we’ve got two similar anonymous comments from our post explaining why judicial curtailing of Section 230 will make the internet worse. First, it’s a response to the idea that tech companies just need to replace algorithms with “a purely chronological or metric based feed”:
Having burst one of your illusions, let’s go for a second.
Q) … just what do you imagine an algorithm is?
A) a method or set of rules for doing a thing.
“purely chronological” and “metric based feed” are simply alternate algorithms for doing what the current algorithms do.
The sites who use algorithms more complex than what you have suggested do so because they found the results of your example algorithms to be unsatisfactory – to their business needs, to the customer’s desires.
I leave you with a useful quote:
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
— H. L. Mencken
Next, it’s a response to the related claim that criticizing recommendation systems is distinct from criticizing content moderation:
Hate to break it to you, but recommending things IS moderation. It’s just the “inclusive” rather than the “removal” form of moderation. +1 instead of -1.
Horse drawn buggies
While they’re at it, why not bring back horse drawn buggies? After all, the horse driver economy has pretty much died, so they could use all the support they can get.
In second place, it’s Thad, responding to our post that explains why DoNotPay will never have to pay out its pledge of $1-million to anyone who uses its AI to argue in front of the Supreme Court with an even simpler reason for skepticism:
“DoNotPay will pay”
Somehow I’m not convinced.
Because it’s right there in their name!
Finally, we’ve got a comment from Joe on our round-up of Techdirt’s 2022 statistics, suggesting another category for the annual report:
I made a comment a number of years back that crunched out the amount of swearing by author. If I remember correctly, it proved that Mike has a strong preference to bullshit over any and all other types of shit. I really think that this stat should become part of this yearly report.
That’s all for this week, folks!