Delaware Attorney General Throws Subpoeana At Reddit Over Comment On Photo Of Two People Having Sex Behind A Dumpster

from the your-tax-dollars:-workin'-it dept

Not necessarily a sign of widespread social media surveillance, but you still have to wonder how the state of Delaware's Attorney General's office managed to come across a comment referring to some St. Patrick's Day-related NSFWing, much less pursue one unlucky commenter who made a joke about one of the participants being his "sister."

Here's a link to the photo which kicked off the unlikely chain of events. It depicts two green-clad people, presumably of consenting age, expressing their love in a physical manner. Needless to say, probably, very definitely NSFW.

Redditor un1cornbl00d received notice from Reddit that the Delaware DOJ had served a subpoena demanding the platform turn over his personal information, along with "all posts, responses and their content" related to the original submission. (Found here, with comments now deleted).


The good news is that Reddit's privacy policy (which states that it will inform users that their information has been requested unless prohibited by a court order) trumps the ridiculous phrase the state DOJ deploys in all caps mid-subpoena.
*DO NOT NOTIFY CUSTOMER*

PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE OR NOTIFY THE USER OF THE ISSUANCE OF THIS SUBPOENA.
DISCLOSURE TO THE USER COULD IMPEDE AN INVESTIGATION OR OBSTRUCT JUSTICE.
Well, if you seriously believe an investigation might be "impeded" or "obstructed," you might want to put with more legal weight than a caps lock key behind it. Most court orders don't say "please," and most court orders point out the legal reasons for the demand. This subpoena tries to demand compliance with shouty typing.

Apparently, this is the way things are done at Joe Biden Jr.'s office. Another subpoena sent late last year demanding that Facebook turn over information on the "owner" of a small (~300 likes at the time subpoena was issued) page with an anti-government slant contained similar all-caps demands for keeping everything a secret… which was also ignored.
*SUBSCRIBER IS NOT TO BE NOTIFIED OR MADE AWARE OF THIS INVESTIGATION*
Seeing as the subpoena was posted by the page being investigated, Facebook also has little respect for slightly larger letters with no legal weight behind them.

So, why would a "special investigator" at the state DA's office be interested in a tossed-off comment on a photo of two people having sex out in the open? Well, as far as anyone can theorize, whoever's monitoring social media for the Delaware DOJ (or the entities that feed into it) must have thought unic0rnbl00d was the rarest of creatures on the internet: someone who only tells the truth, and if so, was hoping to bust his "sister" (and possibly Joe Random Stranger as well). Quotes from police "investigating" the sex that two (probably inebriated) people momentarily enjoyed confirm that the force was indeed looking to slap these two with some sort of charge. (Link contains photo -- NSFW)
[T]he police are investigating the pair on suspicion of lewd conduct. A Newark Police spokesman said the couple was "engaging in sexual intercourse in public in plain view of numerous passersby."
Why the hell the state is so interested in punishing people for consensual acts performed in the past is beyond me, other than that pervasive belief that the word "justice" means no one getting away with anything ever. I would think whatever nearly-nonexistent tarnishing of state pride would pale in comparison to the state now being viewed as overreaching busybodies after sending subpoenas to track down an internet commenter and targeting people engaged in First Amendment activities. The latter subpoena is vastly more concerning, as it shows the state attempting to sniff out people with anti-government sentiments. Sure, the page may contain the word "riot," but the full title of the group is "Peaceful Rioters For Wilmington, Delaware."

Again, these may not be signs of active social media monitoring, but this sort of behavior certainly doesn't reflect well on those in the Delaware law enforcement community. I can only assume the state has run out of real crime or other pressing issues and is now just creating busywork for its special investigators.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 10:19am

    Reddit is full of assclowns...

    But the people running it will not take shit lying down thankfully!

     

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    JohnnyRotten (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 10:33am

    Are we talking misdemeanor charges here? If so, isn't this a sign that the DA's office is horribly overstaffed and needs to be cut back?

     

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    Baron von Robber, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 10:36am

    Wow, Delaware must be the safest state in the union. They have so much free time, they are going after past public nookies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 10:37am

    Looking for the "sister"

    Clearly, someone has a hardon for the chick, and is hoping they can get more info on where to find this guy's "sister".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 10:43am

    Good to see that Delaware has solved...

    ...rape, murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, arson, assault, and all the other myriad crimes that actually have victims and can now turn its attention to offenses that don't. I am certain that even now, this couple and other similar hardened criminals (e.g., jaywalkers) are quivering in their boots, knowing that they have been targeted by the sure and swift hand of Delaware justice, intent on eradicating the scourge of outdoor banging. (Which action will no doubt include a pre-dawn no-knock raid conducted by the SWAT team, backed up with a surplus military vehicle and a helicopter. And supporting personnel from the FBI, DHS, and DEA.)

    The message is clear: take your nature humping over the border to Pennsylvania or Maryland (or even New Jersey): The First State is having none of it.

     

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    Oblate (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 10:56am

    Maybe it's personal?

    Any chance the picture is of the DA's sister/daughter/wife? (Assuming those are three separate people.) Or of the DA himself, or some random politician? Is this actually an attempt to punish the dumpster divers, or to punish the photographer? Be interesting to see how this turns out.

     

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    GMacGuffin (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:01am

    That'll teach a California-based company to incorporate in Delaware (when you still have to register in CA and pay the CA annual "franchise fee" and follow the CA statutes anyway).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:04am

    I can only assume the state has run out of real crime or other pressing issues and is now just creating busywork for its special investigators.
    Or, at least, they've run out of real crime that they aren't being paid to ignore.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:15am

    'A Newark Police spokesman said the couple was "engaging in sexual intercourse in public in plain view of numerous passersby."'

    Apparently they couldn't be assed to do their job until it was posted online? Did numerous passersby call them and they blew it off?
    Or were they trying to save face that they ignored/missed people having sex in public?

    These sound like subpoenas that were supposed to generate useful soundbites...
    ...arrested people doing lewd things in public...
    ...averted a group from rioting...
    Instead they managed to screw up big and have become laughing stocks.
    Trampling on peoples rights, making demands with no legal requirement behind them... seems like a complete failure to understand the law... one should expect more from the freaking AG.

     

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    Angel (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:15am

    I can't believe anyone would believe anything somebody posts on reddit...lol.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:22am

    My only question is how the hell did Delaware's SAG find out about the post. LOLS The SAG was probably searching for porn for his personal use. LOLS

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:24am

    Don't they have a first amendment right to express themselves in this fashion? But regardless, the gall these two have to fornicate in this manner. Bring it indoors like it's been done since the inception of our species!

     

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    zip, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:40am

    overkill

    It seems that over-zealous (and under-intelligent) law enforcement is something that there's just no getting away from.

    Something I just don't understand ... why do institutions such as nursing homes and psychiatric hospitals routinely call the police whenever a mentally-impaired patient firmly tells them "no thanks"? Like a 96-y.o. needing medical attention who refuses to get in an ambulance, police are called, and they respond with lethal force ... because a stubborn 96 y.o. holding a shoehorn and not following commands to drop it (whether from senility or deafness or whatever) presents such a danger to 5 cops in the room that their only recourse is to fire their weapons? Unbelievable.

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/06/23/68943.htm

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:44am

    If you read between Cushing's lines you'll see the article is really about the subpoena for the Facebook page that's anti government. Cushing will LEAD THE REVOLUTION!!!!!1111

     

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    Digger, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:54am

    Deleware AG is porn trolling...

    Good to know that the Deleware AG spends their day trolling porn rather than doing the job they were hired for.

    Just fire the fucker and be done with it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:57am

    "I can only assume the state has run out of real crime or other pressing issues and is now just creating busywork for its special investigators."

    Tim, I believe you're on to something here. But more than running out of real crime I believe they're just too lazy to actually do the work of investigating them which would require them to actually get out of their publicly funded Herman Miller chairs and, you know work. It's much easier to troll the internet and issue subpoenas right from your computer.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:57am

    "I can only assume the state has run out of real crime or other pressing issues and is now just creating busywork for its special investigators."

    Tim, I believe you're on to something here. But more than running out of real crime I believe they're just too lazy to actually do the work of investigating them which would require them to actually get out of their publicly funded Herman Miller chairs and, you know work. It's much easier to troll the internet and issue subpoenas right from your computer.

     

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  18.  
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    Ted Dole, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 12:00pm

    That wasn't his sister it was mine

    Just saying it wasn't his sister it was mine...

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 12:16pm

    NSFWing

    Would someone please define NSFWing, as it is not defined in any type of dictionary.

     

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 12:22pm

    Re: NSFWing

    The process of doing something that could be considered (and any depictions thereof) as "NSFW."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 12:23pm

    - From the FRAUD DIVISION?
    - Served by fax?
    - Ridiculous arguments?

    That must be a joke. May be someone at the Delaware's Attorney General's office was drunk.
    If wasn't the own Joseph R. Biden III who signed that thing then he should prosecute who supplanted him using his signature. If was himself, well, then he looks like a complete moron.

     

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  22.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 12:23pm

    Re: NSFWing

    You need a dictionary to understand that? How about this definition: making something that is Not Safe For Work.

     

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  23.  
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    Steven (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 12:25pm

    Justice

    I don't know where you found your definition of justice but it's wrong.

    Justice: If you're not rich or a personal friend, you've done something wrong and we will find out what it is.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 1:08pm

    Why?

    > Why the hell the state is so interested in punishing people
    > for consensual acts performed in the past is beyond me

    Because it much easier than investigating real crimes. And serious criminals have lots of money to make investigation and prosecution more difficult. So just stick to the infractions done by the little people. Plus, it's more fun because they are easier to bully and intimidate.

     

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    Mr. Exploding Diarrhea, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 1:12pm

    A ratfuck on Reddit dropped a dime on un1cornbl00d. That's how his post was noticed.

     

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  26.  
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    Seegras (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: NSFWing

    "Not Safe For Work"? In my definition that's something like not wearing a hard hat on a construction site. Or drinking medium to large amounts of alcohol while operating heavy machinery.

    But that's a European point of view; the US one might include any accidental behaviour someone else at a workplace might consider objectionable.

     

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    Angel (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 1:16pm

    Re: NSFWing

    In other words don't view that post while on your work computer because that shit isn't safe for work.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 1:27pm

    We laugh at this now, but why does this remind me so much of Soviet Russia, where neighbors would squeal on neighbors for seemingly minor and inconsequential acts that would get them disappeared in the middle of the night?

     

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    zip, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: NSFWing

    Speaking of European points of view, I've always found it amusing that despite the (supposedly) common language, the Americans and Brits have different names for virtually every single part of a car. The part known to an American car enthusiast as a passenger-side front spoiler would be known to a Brit (or reader of Haynes repair manuals) as a Near-Side Front Wing -- or NSF-Wing.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 2:00pm

    Re:

    "...assed to do their job..."

    Nice Freudian typo. /irony

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: NSFWing

    You should have told him that it's probably in here somewhere...

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/06/the-fbi-knows-stranger-twitter-acronyms-than- we-do/

     

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  32.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: NSFWing

    On the internet, it means anything that might get your employer upset at you for viewing at work. It covers more than just porn.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 3:14pm

    is this really the best use of anybody's time? so they had sex in the open? so what? seriously, even looking for them is more trouble than it's worth.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 3:58pm

    Re:

    Yeah, Welcome to Soviet USA!

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re: NSFWing

    You need a dictionary to understand that? How about this definition: making something that is Not Safe For Work.
    That helps, but doesn't clarify it entirely. (One problem is that it doesn't apply to the couple shown: they weren't making anything.) Now that the weirdness has been pointed out, I find it kind of fascinating how lots of people can understand this.

    First, you have to parse the phrase. NSFWing is not NSF-Wing, it's not even really "not safe for working", it's "{not safe for work}-ing"; i.e., the -ing is to turn the entire phrase, not just "work", into a present tense verb. (Are there other examples of this? It seems very strange.) Then you must figure out that "for work" means basically "at a workplace", not "as a laborious task" or "as a form of employment" (i.e., having sex for money—not generally safe as a form of employment). You need to know that "safe" in NSFW really has nothing to do with safety (as was pointed out, workplace safety usually refers to hard hats, etc.); understanding the cultural context is vital: it's related to a very American/puritan view that it's "dangerous" to have a picture of a naked person near a workplace (which isn't universally true in the USA, and probably less true outside the USA).

    Somehow Tim made up this word, and it seemed to be mostly understood. I think I need to watch "Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?" again.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Why?

    Perhaps it has to do with puritanism? America has some seriously messed up priorities with sex. See impeachment hearings for Bill Clinton but not for the subsequent presidents doing far worse but not sex related things.

     

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    Groaker (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 5:25pm

    Examining an enlarged picture, it appears that the couple is tweaking rather than engaging in intercourse. Unless the young lady has a hole in the back of her skirt.

     

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  38.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re:

    not even a little Freudian and not a slip.
    normally they do a half assed job, in this case they couldn't be assed at all to do anything until much later.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The police may be doing a half-assed job but the guy in the pic certainly isn't. /rimshot

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: NSFWing

    Really? We have to have a discussion about the meaning of the expression NSFW? Wow. /facepalm

     

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    Mike Brown (profile), Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Good to see that Delaware has solved...

    Ahem... "hardened" criminals? /rimshot

     

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    Mr. Please, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 8:43pm

    Polite Subpeona and more

    At least they said, "please" don't contact the OP. That's got to count for something.

    Also, has anyone else noticed that "subpoena" is a word with a phallic sound? I had to look twice to see if the DOJ individual was named, "Dick." And sure enough, he was (that is we all know that Joe Biden is a dick).

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 9:36pm

    Re:

    So you examined the "enlarged" picture looking for a "hole in the back of her skirt". Ok who really is the pervert here?

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: NSFWing

    "[... NSFW] means anything that might get your employer upset at you for viewing at work. It covers more than just porn."

    Such as... browsing the web while on the clock? Or working at an "adult book store," where I'm allowed to look at anything that's legal to possess?

    I believe "NSFW" is a subjective/context-sensitive (and therefore useless, if not insulting) designation.

    What's "unsafe" about the pic in this story, anyway? I can see neither cunt nor cock (never mind their alleged joining together) — it's "safe" for broadcast television per FCC regulations (SFBTVPFR); why not "work?" If the pic is in fact "NSFW," I wonder how many Reddit/Techdirt/AG office/Newark PD employees were fired or otherwise endangered by this pic.

    -cf

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: NSFWing

    Really? We have to have a discussion about the meaning of the expression NSFW? Wow. /facepalm

    We don't have to, but I think we should. It's a dumb, useless designation that's subjective, and context/workplace-sensitive. (Please see my other comment above.)

    I'm glad that you palmed/smacked your face when you finished your above comment &mmdash; I think you deserved it for questioning the merit of debating the merit of "NSFW." Speaking of which... Depiction of workplace violence/self-harm — your comment is "NSFW." Stupid. Now you see?

    -cf

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 11:46pm

    Re: overkill

    https://www.courthousenews.com/2014/06/23/68943.htm

    Please install EFF's HTTPS Everywhere, if you can't be arsed to insert "s" yourself. :)

     

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    Socrates, Jun 24th, 2014 @ 12:13am

    Re: Good to see that Delaware has solved...

    There is about 400.000 untested rape kits in the U.S.
    That is more than 1/500 women, even if one were to count the infants and elderly. Some kits have become decades old without being tested.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/24/untested-rape-kits-backlog-us-legislators

    http:// www.forensicmag.com/news/2014/03/400000-rape-kit-backlog

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2014 @ 1:40am

    They are goin after them because it was rape.
    They are obviously drunk and are raping eachother.

     

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    aldestrawk (profile), Jun 24th, 2014 @ 10:04am

    Re: Deleware AG is porn trolling...

    The Delaware AG is the son of Vice President Joe Biden Jr. Maybe the Biden family thinks that title means the president of vice. Trolling porn, it's all in the family.

     

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  50.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 24th, 2014 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: NSFWing

    It's not insulting. It's meant to provide fair warning to people that the content is likely to violate the rules of most workplaces.

    Those rules tend to pretty clear and fairly consistent.


    "Such as... browsing the web while on the clock? Or working at an "adult book store," where I'm allowed to look at anything that's legal to possess?"

    Obviously, if you aren't allowed to browse the web while on the clock, then the warning is inapplicable to you. Likewise, if your employer has no restrictions at all, the warning doesn't apply to you.

    "What's "unsafe" about the pic in this story, anyway"

    That if I were to view it in the office and another person were to see it, they could conceivably report me for being in violation of the sexual harassment rules, and I could conceivably be fired for doing it.

    I'm not sure why you object so much to the NSFW designation. It's informative and useful, not disparaging. I appreciate such warnings so that I don't accidentally violate my employer's internet use policies.

     

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  51.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 24th, 2014 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: NSFWing

    "Somehow Tim made up this word, and it seemed to be mostly understood."

    It's not so hard to understand this. "NSFW" has been in common use on the internet for a lot of years. Almost everyone understands what it means (and a quick google search will inform those for whom it's unfamiliar). Adding "-ing" to it is wordplay on Tim's part, the meaning of it being clear because it implements another common kind of wordplay: verbifying.

     

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    beltorak (profile), Jun 24th, 2014 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: NSFWing

    > verbifying

    Or, more succinctly, "verbing". As in

    Verbing wierds language.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2014 @ 1:46pm

    Maybe the Delaware DOJ is hoping the blonde lady will do him behind the dumpsters at his office because his main secretary said she has a headache and the substitute secretary booked himself a week on holiday?

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2014 @ 1:48pm

    Re:

    You don't have to search for it if you have reddit/r/porn and a host of other adult sites bookmarked...hey he's just saving the taxpayers some money by getting to the good stuff quicker....

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2014 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Deleware AG is porn trolling...

    Biden's busy fucking the entire country and all his son wants is some blonde ass.....lack of ambition if you ask me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2014 @ 6:54pm

    "Why the hell the state is so interested in punishing people for consensual acts performed in the past is beyond me"

    Its a crying shame that the DA is totally wasting tax dollars on this BUT the dumbass writer who make the above comment has shit for brains. Fact: having consensual sex in public is AGAINTS THE LAW in EVEY STATE. And the police don't get to pick and choose if a crime is unworthy of prosecution and neither is the stupid ass writer of this article. Too bad you don't like the law get over it.

     

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  57.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 25th, 2014 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: NSFWing

    When it comes to verbification, I think "verbifying" is funnier than "verbing". But to each his own. :)

     

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    identicon
    Avantare, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re: Good to see that Delaware has solved...

    /rimshot /rimshot

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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