Culture

by Glyn Moody


Filed Under:
comments, knowledge, tests, trolling

Companies:
nrkbeta



How To Improve Online Comments: Test Whether People Have Read The Article Before Allowing Them To Respond

from the probably-asking-too-much dept

For a while now, Techdirt has been writing about the decision by some sites to stop allowing readers to make comments on articles. We've pointed out that's pretty regrettable, especially when it's couched in insulting terms of "valuing conversations" or building "better relationships." Dropping comments is a lazy response to a real and challenging problem: how to encourage readers to engage in meaningful ways.

As well as a natural tendency for people to write hurtful or insultings things that they probably wouldn't say to each other face-to-face, there's another problem: the rise of Internet troll factories whose entire purpose is to flood sites with propaganda in the form of comments that espouse a particular viewpoint. As we noted recently, Google is looking to use machine learning technology to help identify and then deal with toxic comments:

a publisher could flag comments for its own moderators to review and decide whether to include them in a conversation. Or a publisher could provide tools to help their community understand the impact of what they are writing -- by, for example, letting the commenter see the potential toxicity of their comment as they write it. Publishers could even just allow readers to sort comments by toxicity themselves, making it easier to find great discussions hidden under toxic ones.

As Google itself admits, the issue is "about more than just improving comments. We hope we can help improve conversations online." A rather clever way to do that has been devised by NRKbeta, the technology site of the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company, NRK. Here's the basic idea (via Google Translate):

a small [on-screen] module is presented to you as a reader with three questions from the article that you must answer in order to be able to contribute to the discussion.

Actually reading the article before you comment on it -- pretty revolutionary, no? NRKbeta realizes that it's not a perfect solution:

We know of course that it is possible to "cheat" with these questions by searching the text above [the on-screen module], and that using this approach it cannot be guaranteed that everyone actually read the article, but we still think it's worth the experiment.

It's hard not to agree, because it tries to tackle one of the root causes of comments that add nothing to the conversation -- a failure to read what the article said -- by making it a pre-requisite before you can add your own thoughts. It also has the virtue of being extensible in various ways. For example, there could be more than three questions in the pop-up box, and your comment's place and prominence in the conversation could be determined by how many you get right. This might allow the thoughts of more engaged readers to bubble naturally to the top of the conversation. The fact that the code for the feature has been released as free software makes experimentation even easier. NRKbeta's idea certainly seems a better approach than simply giving up and removing comments altogether.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+


Reader Comments

The First Word

A Message to TechDirt Supporters

If you consider yourself a Friend of TechDirt and a supporter in its fight against Shiva Ayyadurai, you strongly should consider refraining from any further interactions with this anonymous commenter.

First, he's not Shiva Ayyadurai (a) because he said so, (b) because Shiva attended U.S. schools from childhood and likely wouldn't affect the quirky writing style, and (c) if it was, it would have stopped long ago on the advice of his lawyer.

Second, you're not going to explain anything to this commenter. We've already been through explaining that his obsessive commenting demonstrates how powerful TechDirt is in his mind (indeed, Ayyadurai thinks TechDirt is so influential that it allegedly cost him $15M), that the First Amendment does not give him a right to have his comments displayed, how SLAPP suits are contrary to the First Amendment, how flagging comments works on this site, and even referenced the obligatory XKCD comics. Your comment isn't going to break through to him, so just save it.

Third, and probably most important, this anonymous commenter has threatened to use these comments in some legal action. Whether that's just bluster, or whether he follows through, it's additional headache that TechDirt can live without right now. Every dumb argument costs money to respond to. You know he has no ground to stand on (Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act precludes any liability to TechDirt for any comment made by me or anyone else), but that's never stopped a litigant from making a dumb argument. And it certainly doesn't stop TechDirt from having to pay for a lawyer to make that argument on our behalf.

Ignore him and, eventually, he will go away.

—TechDescartes

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  • icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 10 Mar 2017 @ 6:02pm

    And in response to the obvious question...

    ... no, we're not looking to test that here. :)

    I do think it's really interesting though! I'll be curious to watch how it works and if other sites adopt it. But I fear that it also adds a level of friction to comments that may frustrate and annoy many otherwise useful and insightful commenters.

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    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 10 Mar 2017 @ 6:40pm

      Re: And in response to the obvious question...

      I would certainly be miffed by such a test.

      Though you have no First Amendment necessity to allow certain comments, the negative aspects of such a system would devastate commenting in general. I think that the current system of flagging inappropriate comments is a more appropriate system. In fact, I find it the best of all the systems I have experienced.

      Now, if we could find a way to punish those that feed trolls, even those who do so for fun. They fail to realize that the rest of us are subjected to the detritus left on these pages, often when we would be otherwise inclined. If only we could talk the community into flagging troll feeders as well, maybe a new flag category.

      Find a way to stop the troll feeders, I might be with you. I do not think that algorithms are the answer, at least not yet, and when they become 'good enough' they will be questioned. There are too many false claims of censorship already, and I know for sure that you do not censor.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 8:00pm

        Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

        "Now, if we could find a way to punish those that feed trolls, even those who do so for fun."

        Might as well just ask them to provide an echo chamber. I have seen more than enough people here called trolls only because they said something they hive mind did not like.

        You might as well just shut down the comments section because it will only lead to a dead forum. But hey, lets give it a shot anyways! It's not like we have not seen this happen anywhere before huh?

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 Mar 2017 @ 8:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

          I report people for making comments that either add nothing to a given conversation or are clearly trollish in their intent. My disagreeing with someone does not mean I believe their comment automatically worsens a conversation.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 8:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

            "clearly trollish in their intent"

            That clearly proves my point. One mans trash is another mans treasure. You think yourself a mighty judge of intentions when you cannot possibly know.

            the only things I ever report are people spamming the forum with ads for products. I always read flagged comments because I want the whole story and not someone biased opinion of the matter. If I cannot trust media in general, then I sure cannot trust a bunch of crybabies in a forum flagging comments just because they got butt-hurt.

            People that hate trolls are too thinned skin. I follow the viewpoint that anyone offended by something not meant to offend them are fools, and anyone offended by something meant to offend them are even greater fools! If you are so shallow that words can do that to you, then you are not likely to be contributing anything of substantive value to any conversation. In essence you will only become a foil of the trolls and likely descend into that which you despise.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 Mar 2017 @ 8:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

              You think yourself a mighty judge of intentions when you cannot possibly know.

              I can feel reasonably sure that the anonymous commenter who has been posting nonsense about Hamilton and dogs and setting things on fire — a commenter who might even be Shiva Ayyadurai — is doing that with the intent to troll Mike.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 11:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

              People with a dearth of intelligence often mistake a polite tone and reasoned argument for weakness. People of low culture and poor manners often mistake rudeness and ad hominem for strength.

              As surely as standards differ, so does mental acuity and a facile imagination. If you invite me to your home to have dinner, there is a baseline of courtesy that needs must be observed. If we were in Asia, I would loudly slurp my noodles and not silence my eructation. If we were in the middle east, I would never point the sole of my foot toward you or cross my eating utensils. And so on and so on.

              For instance, you say it is foolish to take exception to being provoked. Carried to its ridiculous logical extension, using that argument, then no one has the right of self defense, because what is an attempt at mayhem but a provocation? (And unbelievably unwise to try to do to me.)

              No sir. Being rude and intentionally provoking people is the equivalent of defecating in the living room while a guest at your house. It is unspeakably rude, inconsiderate, a mark of a boor, and childish. I see no reason to treat such people with anything but the contempt and loathing they deserve.

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              • icon
                Wolfie0827 (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 8:37am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                Problem here is as you stated different "societies have differing standards. What may be rude to you in say the east coast of USA may be the highest compliment to someone for some other area of the globe.

                And don't think that applies here? Try again, I know we have commenters from all around the globe here. So whose standards are we to use to determine what is rude/trollish and what is not?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 11:04am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                  In what part of the world would the behaviour of the AC posting dozens of comments laced with insults and even threats of physical violence be considered the highest compliment?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 2:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

              If taking offense at something is grounds for disqualifying someone from participation or discourse you probably don't think much of tumblr.

              But I digress. A good number of persistent trolls openly and proudly refuse to read the articles posted here. out_of_the_blue is a prime example. (Aka Football, a pseudonym based on Tor, or whatever multiple IP addresses he's spoofed to spam from.) And when he does post it's to whine about Google or pirates regardless of relevance.

              This is the intellectual discourse you want placed on a pedestal merely because it counts as dissent? Or the newcomer who profeeses a psychological obsession with Masnick and has lengthy conversations with himself? What benefit will this blind inclusivity give aside from affirming these lunatics?

              To be fair, including a questionnaire before commenting would be a bitch, but not an issue since I actually read the articles. I think it's not unfair for posters to prove their cognitive ability before we give them the benefit of doubt that they will behave rationally. Or is competence testing something you disagree with

              I can only presume by your spirited defense that you have chosen to argue on their behalf because a nerve was hit. Which, in your terms, would make you a fool. But then I'm not the one prudishly dictating terms on whether or not people should be allowed to feel offended.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 11:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

              You think yourself a mighty judge of intentions when you cannot possibly know.

              No, he thinks himself one vote in a crowd that will ultimately determine whether a comment is deemed trollish.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 1:58pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                ... or deemed not in keeping with the group think.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 3:52pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                  You can disagree with the broadly-held ideologies of this site's commenter community without getting your comment flagged. Insulting other commenters, posting a shitload of nonsense, and otherwise being a detriment to the comments sections of Techdirt articles are ways to rush toward a flagging.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 3:08pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

              "One mans trash is another mans treasure. You think yourself a mighty judge of intentions when you cannot possibly know."

              If your dumb comments are such a treasure what are you doing here? Where is your successful blog? Who are you to tell everyone else that their valuation of your really dumb comments is wrong. You have the freedom to say what you want and everyone has the freedom to express their opinion of your dumb comments by downmodding it.

              Much better than the anti-free speech pro-IP shills that either don't allow comments at all on their blogs or they premoderate their blogs only allowing comments they want. I will never hear you mention that at all, instead, you complain that you get down-modded for saying stupid things and wondering why no one cares about what you have to say.

              If you don't like how Techdirt is moderated do better. Start your own blog. Who are you to tell someone else how they should moderate their own blog.

              But no, no one wants to listen to your nonsense if you had your own blog so you must come here and derail this blog instead. Get lost.

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:26pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                You know who the writer below reminds me of? Gandhi. He points out the same truth, again and again. Gandhi was fighting the British Government, this guy seems to be fighting the suppression of Freedom of Speech. He makes a good argument. Take a look.

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

              Well said. Public Issue: What is the demonstrated definition of the TechDirt Brand? Position: The TechDirt brand extols the values of suppressing free speech, while trying to appear to invite reasoned debate, when it never actually does. Evidence below (look for the shameful wispy little headstones that mark buried ideas). I invite debate.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2017 @ 9:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

              Sorry for off topic comment.. PLEASE DO NOT BAN PLASTIC BAGS. STOP FLUORIDATING WATER SUPPLIES IF YOU ARE SO CONCERNED with environment and health. Ban angry cops. Ban chemtrails and weather manipulation.

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 8:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

            OK, I'll byte. My doctor says not to, because I now look like Mozart at the end of Amadeus, remember that? Sallow eyes, lunatic hair, that sort of thing. Anyway, here is my point. I believe your comment system is run by an anonymous and shameful beast. I believe that the disclaimer "This comment brought to you by Michael Masnick, inventor of TechDirt, the place good ideas goes to be buried, anonymously and shamefully" is a legitimate criticism. I believe I have a lot of legitimate criticisms, and you have literally buried hundreds of my comments, anonymously and shamefully. I believe ... was Martin Luther King great or what? We all respected him for his beliefs. Why can't I get respect for my beliefs? Like "President Donald Trump, the magnificent"? Without them being buried in an anonymous and shameful way? I DID read your article. Will that help me out here? Or will you bury another little daisy seed before it's time, you shameful anonymous beasts? Ok, honey, back to bed, I'm tired anyway.

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 8:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

              Can you please do something so I can edit my old anonymous coward posts? For example, in that last post, I mean to say "Ok, Stanze, back to bed", like the real Mozert, and now I'm left with "honey", written in stone. Who's going to believe that? He wouldn't say "honey". Its so frustrating! Please, just a little help.

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 8:57pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                You know who I feel like? Remember that commercial, a buncha rip people milling around, drinking martinis, a little music for a sophisticated string quartet, playing, and a man in a $10,000 dollar suit says "my broker says"... and the WHOLE ROOM goes quiet. Everybody's waiting for what I will say next, right? The doctor said no, and Stanze is getting really upset. Can't do it, sorry. No more from me today!

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 9:13pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                  You get my Mozart reference, right? Buried in an anonymous grave, with hardly anyone attending (but Salieri was there, remember that?) I am composing music, my friends, it's just a little complex. Don't bury me, please, just listen a few times. It will come to you. DONT BURY ME IN AN ANONYMOUS GRAVE IN THE TECH DIRT! (and plese don't criticize me for my spelling)

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 9:30pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                    So my question is this, Mr. Michael Masnick, Inventor of TechDirt: Is there ANYTHING I can say, on your forum, in my own voice (which can be a little critical, I admit) that you will not bury? ANYTHING? Will you explain it to me, or will the anonymous and shameful burial of posts, and my voice, continue. There is NOTHING I CAN DO to be heard here for more than 24, right? EXPLAIN IT, MIKE! I want to know how to get you to listen to my voice. Respond or not, up to you, but please respect me enough to listen. SHARIK!

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                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 9:40pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                      And I will tell you why your silence is shameful, Michael Masnick (I would add some of the rest of you that list, too. Not all, this is a scary place, pretty much a grave yard of ideas with only ghouls attending - new ideas are quickly buried, be careful) I'll tell you why - because IDEAS are POWERFUL things! Like Dr. Martin Luther King. He didn't look like me, didn't sound like me, really different, actually, but WOW did he have good ideas. And he expressed them, until someone shot him. That was TERRIBLE! He had great ideas, and said them well. Undeniable. Ideas are like that, they can be REALLY GREAT, like America! It's an IDEA, America. Mike, you are shamefully burying what might be REALLY POWERFUL IDEAS. We shouldn't stand for that, none of us. This is relevant to your article, right? So come down here like a man and debate your idea, Mr. Masnick. Question: Isn't the anonymous and shameful burying of IDEAS ON THIS TECHDIRT FORUM actually really terrible, and opposes some of the most important and fundamental AMERICAN VALUES?

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

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                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 10:09pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                        And I'll tell you something else. There is no such thing as a troll. Doesn't exist, never did. It's like a fairy tale for socialist idiots to use in defense of their nonsense. Patent trolls, comment trolls, you are all shameful cowards with no useful words to heft in your pathetic vocabularies. If you hear the word troll in a post, it's always a socialist coward posting in forums like these, that bury any ideas that don't reflect their socialist point of view. That's the difference between them and us. We listen, and we pay attention, and we examine your words, and we consider them. We do that. Americans. We don't use the word troll, ever. No such thing, cowards.

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                          identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 10:35pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                          Do you even know who you have buried in this shameful, disgusting place? George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Harry S. Truman, Dr. Martin Luther King (he's still up and around) Isaac Asimov, Hal, and many other great Americans. Their words, buried. Think about it. Poke around on their little wispy shameful nameless headstones to hear from Great Americans, all. Their words are BURIED! Dig 'em up, Mike, it's the right thing to do. They're all there. Dig 'em up. Let them speak. Let people listen. They're IDEAS, Mike, that's why you're so scared them. Because your socialist ideas SUCK and you know it.

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                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 10:58pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                            Here are the words (plus a few more) from Abraham Lincoln that you buried in this vile place "Before these [patent laws], any man might instantly use what another had invented; so that the inventor had no special advantage from his own invention. The patent system changed this; secured to the inventor, for a limited time, the exclusive use of his invention; and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things." These are profoundly great words from a profoundly great American. You buried them. What does that make you? These are inspiring words, with profound implications for America, the greatest country on earth. One of the reason we are so great is the import and effect of these very words. We have lead the world in discovery and the invention of useful things for hundreds of years, partly because of these words. Want to debate them, great! But Don't Bury Them! It's Shameful and un-American.

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                            • icon
                              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 Mar 2017 @ 11:14pm

                              You are a tiring individual.

                              Since I suspect you are Shiva Ayyadurai (or someone working on his behalf), I would ask you this one last question, then leave you be: What did Shiva Ayyadurai have to do with inventing, developing, or popularising the electronic messaging system that became email?

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

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                                identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 11:21pm

                                Re: You are a tiring individual.

                                I have a deep and profound answer for you my friend! Who Cares? I don't care at all, the judge is probably not going to care either, Harder doesn't really care, I doubt anybody will ever care about it, anywhere. They will just listen to the bullshit and nod their heads and let it play out, who knows? I care about American Values, and I'm writing about them, OK? Take a listen, it's not so bad, it would be good for you.

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                                identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 11:50pm

                                Re: You are a tiring individual.

                                And, I would just mention, that you are violating the very intention of the article and these comments. Did you read the article? It's titled "How to improve online comments". I am also writing about how to improve online comments. I believe burying comments is not the way to improve online comments. You seem to be talking about something else altogether, that I don't care about, and is completely unrelated to the topic at hand. Some crap about Email, who cares? NO ONE CARES! I don't know how to silence you, but I would if I could. And so should everyone else.

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                                identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:31pm

                                Re: You are a tiring individual.

                                Irony, Irony, Irony. The article is about the quality of comments. This comment has no quality at all, it's some lunatic talking about the Inventor of Email? Who knows, who cares (as stated below). Why is this lunatic speech, completely off topic, preserved?

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                                identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:48pm

                                Re: You are a tiring individual.

                                Further evidence that TechDirt suppresses free speech and open debate, below, above, and all around us.

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                                • icon
                                  That One Guy (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:26pm

                                  'You keep using that term...'

                                  Free speech

                                  (As a side note, I can't help but bask in the hilarity of someone that spams the comment section ranting about those darn socialists and comparing hidden comments to dead dissenters calling someone else's comment 'lunatic speech' and asking why it's allowed. And of course the delightful bit where you claim that you 'value' debates and are just so very oppressed when you have your comments reported and hidden, only to crow about how you'd happily pay money to see TD shut down. Gotta love that glaring hypocrisy.)

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                                  • identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:42pm

                                    Re: 'You keep using that term...'

                                    One issue is that some of the supposed sane comments look pretty wacko when you peel away the unproven assumptions.

                                    Understanding that much of Techdirt is built on outlier opinions of business and social interactions can help you to understand why many people scoff at the stories. Contrarian economic theories are wonderful to explore, but it should also be expected that some people will disagree. Using the flag to shut down those opinions is juat plain wrong.

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                                    • icon
                                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:44pm

                                      Re: Re: 'You keep using that term...'

                                      So trying to shut down discussion of those theories and ideas by insulting them (e.g., "outlier", "wacko", "contrarian") is a moral and ethical good?

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                                      • identicon
                                        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:59pm

                                        Re: Re: Re: 'You keep using that term...'

                                        Please read more closelt. Outliers and contrarian views appear a little wacko to people who don't believe in them. The basic economic theories that Techdirt suppports are generally looked upon as contrarian by economists.

                                        Pointing out that something us a contrarian point of view is not an insult. Its an attempt to frame the expressed opinion for what it is.

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                                    • icon
                                      techflaws (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 9:47pm

                                      Re: Re: 'You keep using that term...'

                                      "can help you to understand why many people scoff at the stories"

                                      [citation needed]

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                                  • icon
                                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:43pm

                                    Re: 'You keep using that term...'

                                    To put a fresh spin on an old phrase used around here:

                                    Shiva Ayyadurai hates it when other people's speech about him is protected by the law.

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                              identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 11:19pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                              So come on, Mike, stir our souls with your clever and meaningful explanation of the other side of the Lincoln argument. Do you have anything at all to say that might lay out, in as few words or less, a credible alternative? Take you time, make some notes, I'm interested. I've heard you say things like "sharing everything is good for everyone". Hmm. Sounds not that bad, until you look a little deeper. Doesn't actually work, right? Think of Russia, that's a country that pretty much shares everything. Actually not working that well, right? Come on, you Open Source/Open Border proponent, say something profound. I really am willing to give you a chance, just try to approach the brevity and wit of Abraham Lincoln in your response. I'm interested, really, as all we are. Take of read of "Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions", April 6, 1958, easy to find.

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 11:47pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                " I'm interested. I've heard you say things like "sharing everything is good for everyone"."

                                Where did he ever say that? Post a single example. Just one. And what does this have to do with the topic of this post?

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 11:53pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                  Really? Is it actually important that I give you an exact quote and reference? He talks about copyright and patent stuff all the time, like patents are bad, copyright is too strongly enforced, things should be shared, all the time, right? Do you actually read his stuff? The topic of this post is about improving the quality of online comments, that's what I'm writing about. My point is that the anonymous and shameful burying of comments is bad thing. Un-American, is the tact I am taking at the moment. I debate stuff for a living, I'm good at it, and may switch gears anytime, though. That's fair in a debate.

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 11:59pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                    And I have what IMHO is a useful suggestion. Really, give it a go, try this: "I think your point about burying comments is (good,bad,right,wrong,kinda good,I dunno) because I think (fill in what you think here). Further, when you said (pick anything) I thought (anything again) and that how I think about it.

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:58am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                    But it's unshameful for those that lobby for IP laws to do so in secret and to bury their discussions with politicians behind closed doors. That's perfectly fine.

                                    You hypocrite.

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                                    techflaws (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 9:48pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                    "I debate stuff for a living, I'm good at it"

                                    [citation needed]

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                                  • identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 13 Mar 2017 @ 2:59pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                    no, you're actually not very good at it at all

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                                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 12:16am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                Think of Russia, that's a country that pretty much shares everything

                                Ohhhhhh now I get it. This AC has been on high on acid and smashing his head into the walls of a CIA black site since 1967. Frankly I don't know why they gave him a computer.

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 12:25am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                  I vote to banish and bury this post as being completely off topic and worthless. Signed: The Crazed Hamiltonian

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 12:31am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                    And I vote we that all vote in the future to ban posts. I will use my pen-name, the Crazed Hamiltonian, but you will know that it's me. And, I will try to explain why, as I did above. I suggest this as a new practice to be displayed by strong and cowardly Americans, like me. Pick any name, write it down, and explain what you find offensive about a post, and then publicly vote that it should go. That would be so much better than this anonymous shameful system employed now. Feel free to comment.

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 12:50am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                  It's getting kinda lonely here in wasteland of buried ideas, Tonto, Don't you think? Just a few new ideas, but I think they might survive. I'm an optimist, I'm an American. Don't do it, Kemosahbee, you will be banned by the great one! No, buddy, I don't think so, I think some people might want to know what you think, the red skinned violent snoring American Indian. NO! Please, Kemosahbee, the great one, the great dog SHARIK, who is also known as Michael Masnick (to your people) will strike us down with his comment reaping TechDirt Comment Burying Machine (r). No, buddy, it's fine, trust me. It's quiet out there, people are thinking. It'll be OK.

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 1:10am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                    One more tiny idea to try to plant, today, like Little Johnny Appleseed, in this tiny oasis of TechDirt with other actual ideas. The idea is to explain all of socialism, capitalism, and Mike Masnick's articles right here, right now. So, in socialism, everyone shares everything. In capitalism, the people who want to work hard can keep their own stuff. The reason socialists want to share everything is because they don't want to work, they want others to work, and then share it with them. The reason capitalists want their own stuff is to allow them to enjoy the fruits of their labor. What Mike Masnick keeps talking about is very attractive to the lazy uneducated fruitcakes of the world, as witnessed above. The Abraham Lincoln argument is attractive to all the confident and hard working people of the world, sure in their success, no matter from whence their hail. Who will this battle of ideas, Masnick and the Socialists, or Hamilton and the Capitalists? Answer - check with the president, he'll tell ya (or ask Mad Dog). At least for now. Don't let you guard down, these socialist fruitcakes are all around us.

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                                      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 1:33am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                      Well, one more idea, since the grim comment reaper of comments has not been around. Compare and contrast: Donald Trump Name Calling, to Socialist Michael Masnick Name Calling: For example, crooked Hillary - what did he mean? He meant she was breaking the law and should go to prison. Lying Ted - what did he mean? He meant that he got caught printing false information in an attempt to get votes. Little Macro - what did he mean? He meant he thought Marco Rubio was a little immature for the job of POTUS. Now, contrast this with Michael Masnick calling someone a patent troll, what does he mean? They're mythical a creature? No, not that. They're ugly. Naw, I'm not sure that's what he's after. They are dark and foreboding? Really? Show me a picture. They have evil in their hearts? How would you know, actually. What does he MEAN? He means nothing, he's a lazy socialist pushing a lazy socialist agenda. There are no trolls, idiot, take a lesson from President Donald Trump, the magnificent. Honor your opponent with names that really say something. Mike just can't do that, because the truth is, he has nothing to say. So, with regards to better comments, please try to use meaningful names, not socialist crap like "troll". I recommend Sharik, it's really deep, I'm not kidding.

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                                        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 1:54am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                        So, my last point about making comments better (the title of this article, remember?): It's really important, because people read these articles, and think they are real. They are not real. This is a socialist playground, not welcome or accepting of any ideas except stupid socialist ideas and stupid terms like troll. I am the only capitalist committed enough to swim in this crap with you all. Only idiots would use the term Troll, it's meaningless, like many other comments here. This should be made clear to the readers, because otherwise, it gives an appearance of the author's legitimacy that this forum just does not deserve. Make this an open forum, if you intend to continue it. Do not bury comments. Do not hide other people's opinion. It will catch up with you, if it has not already. It's just plain wrong to do what you are doing, and pretend socialist propaganda is legitimate debate. You are frauds, perpetrating a public fraud that is hard to spot, at first. Consider yourself spotted. We spotted you by your low quality of online comments. Please, everyone, let's try to improve them. I am trying to set an example, like any good American.

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                                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 2:03am

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                          Resolve: That from this time forward, and until that time that all great American ideas are unearthed from the shameful area of TechDirt that they have been buried in, Michael Masnick shall be known as the Inventor of TechDirt, the place where good ideas go to be buried, anonymously and shamefully.

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 8:11am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                  To be clear there is absolutely nothing capitalistic about IP. IP is a form of socialism where the government provides IP holders a free service in return for nothing. Hopefully the long term benefits outweigh the costs.

                                  Part of what hurt Russia is the fact that their government does cater to big business and limit competition. Which is what IP does. The whole premise behind Adam Smith's book On the Wealth of Nations is that monopolies are generally bad and against free market capitalism and should only be exercised with great care. IP supporters are not in favor of capitalism at all.

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:29pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                  Just savor the irony of this. You see the speech about "high on acid" and "CIA black site"? That speech is protected here, and the really interesting (I assume), but critical speech is suppressed. Wow. What kind of place is this? What the heck are your rules about suppressing speech? Only brain rotted idiots can publish and have their work preserved?

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                              Unanimous Cow Herd, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:30am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                              30 Heifers read all your posts and agree that you should ask yourself if psychiatric care might be beneficial for you. At this point, the words "stalking" and "harassment" are what come to mind.

                              -30 Heifers Agree

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                                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 9:33am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                                There's so much bullshit in this thread I'm not sure whether I should Flag your comment or rate it as Funny.

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        • identicon
          Thad, 12 Mar 2017 @ 9:16am

          Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

          I have seen more than enough people here called trolls only because they said something they hive mind did not like.

          In the game of Troll Bingo, "You're just calling me a troll because I disagree with you" is the free square.

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      • icon
        Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:57am

        Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

        Now, if we could find a way to punish those that feed trolls, even those who do so for fun.

        Straight in with the negative reinforcement? Sounds a bit heavy handed.

        I think that particular problem could be solved easily by choice. I.e. amend the comment engine so you can collapse a comment tree or sub-tree entirely to choose not to read it.

        The number of times I've given up on reading comments entirely because I can't be bothered to scroll past the 15 pages of Monty-Python-Style-Argument with a troll.... ("But this isn't an argument; it's just contradiction", "No it isn't!"). Just as people should have the choice what to post, it'd be nice to be able to skip entirely past what you choose not to read to get to what comes after.

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          Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:04am

          Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

          I vote you a +1, however that is done. I love that! The Monte Python stuff. Very effective.

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          Thad, 12 Mar 2017 @ 9:18am

          Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

          I.e. amend the comment engine so you can collapse a comment tree or sub-tree entirely to choose not to read it.

          That's a very good idea.

          Hell, maybe even collapse any tree that's more than 4 levels deep by default.

          Monty-Python-Style-Argument with a troll.... ("But this isn't an argument; it's just contradiction", "No it isn't!").

          I actually use the line "An argument is a series of connected statements intended to establish a proposition. It isn't just contradiction." pretty routinely here...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 8:21pm

      Re: And in response to the obvious question...

      What would also be interesting is if moderators could add additional questions (in additional to needing to answer the first set of questions about the article) about the comment before allowing someone to reply to a comment. Half the time a troll reads a sentence or two of a comment and starts going off on a complete tangent showing no sign that they even read the article or the comment. It gets frustrating.

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        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:01am

        Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

        I would like to propose a special kind of comment, in order to improve comments in general, and point out one kind of comment that should be given preference. The name of the comment I propose is a debate comment. The form comprises identifying an issue of public interest, taking a position, and inviting debate. Here is an example: The issue of public interest: What should we do with all the illegal aliens in the US? Position: (note) clarifying points: in this position, I consider the word American to mean American Capitalist; Position: As Americans, we have among us, many illegal aliens, and we have to decide how to treat them. I believe we should give them the benefit of the doubt, if any, and accept the best and the brightest. In their defense, I would propose that real lazy socialists are still sitting in their real lazy socialist countries, not in America (and maybe reading this today). So, from the start we have little to fear about them being lazy. They got here, after all. Second, they got HERE, and not some socialist haven like (I dunno, somewhere else). Third, they choices up until now sound American, they got off their ass, they came to America, and they may well share the American dream of capitalism. So, I suggest only one test, and then we accept them all as true Americans, passports and all. Employment. Unless they prove themselves lazy socialists, and insist on taking other people's money while providing nothing of value, take them, officially and permanently, with our optimistic best wishes. If they won't work, ship them out. Now, I invite debate: (try it, it's fun)

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          Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:00am

          Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

          OK, and just to be clear (you have done this before, right?) you are FREE to debate the IDEA of a debate question, or the debate question itself. Just think of these two debates as two happy little puppies, tails wagging, almost shaking, just waiting to hear what you might say. It's exciting, really, but it takes a little time to get used to, I know. Give it a go, it won't hurt!

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            Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

            Ok, just to open the window of opportunity a little wider - we could debate whether debate is appropriate in this forum. We could debate the idea of selecting a debate post as special is worthy. Or we could debate the public issue regarding illegal aliens. I'm a Hamiltonian. We like to debate, and I invite you all. We debate everything! Remember the ring? That's big debate, let me tell you. Try it! We Americans have been doing it for hundreds of years!

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              Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

              Ok, I propose another topic to debate, an issue about an ad on TechDirt itself. The topic is: Let's force everyone to give us repair manuals, for everything. The position is: This is nonsense from lazy socialists. You want a repair manual, write one. Figure that stuff out on your own. You have no rights to other people's stuff, you lazy socialist. If I build a product, and I know how to fix it, why should I teach you? None of your business, you lazy socialist. Don't like it, don't buy it, that's how we do things here in America. I invite debate:

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                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                Go home Shiva you're drunk.

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                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:51am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                  I think the quality of post is below the standards of this community, as being off topic, and should be removed. Signed: The Lone Range (came with Tonto)

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                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:32pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                  Again, does anyone see what a whacko place this really is? You're drunk? That's a response? Who's Shiva?

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                    Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2017 @ 11:36am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                    If you don't know who shiva is, you haven't read enough of this site to make any kind of informed opinion of the site.

                    You failed the test. Please stop posting until you are better informed.

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                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:05am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                Given the circumstances, I suggest another topic of public interest - the intelligence of the TechDirt Community. Position: There is no one in the TechDirt community capable of real debate. They are only good at burying ideas, and have none of their own to offer. The only people who read posts here and are simultaneously capable of debate simply don't care enough about anything here to bother. Because you're all a bunch of idiots. I invite debate.

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                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:19am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                  Resolved: The TechDirt community is too stupid to send legitimate criticism in anyone's direction, let alone a well educated and well spoken individual like the Inventor of Email. Hence, they must be censored, as likely will happen soon, in court, in the Great Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Amen.

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                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:25am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                    Summary: The value of the TechDirt brand (did you study that, Mike, in business school?) - less than the dirt that you used to bury great American voices. Less than Dirt. TechDirt_Brand_Value

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                      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:35am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                      Is this become more clear to you yet, Michael Masnick. You attacked my brand. Later, you attacked the brand of the Email guy. Then he sued you. Now I'm attacking your brand. You are worth nothing, I am getting rich, he is getting rich, and you get nothing. Because what you invented (TechDirt) is worth less than nothing. Burying ideas is shameful. It has negative value. He is prepared and I am prepared to spend money to destroy it, even if we get nothing. TechDirt Poof!

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 8:13am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                        You claim to be in favor of free speech yet you want to take down Techdirt for exercising their free speech. How interesting.

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                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 10:05am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                          Yes, quite so.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 10:48am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                        Boo fucking hoo Dr Doom.

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                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:33pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

                          Hey, there's a good comment - right on point, and pithy too! Great. Boo fucking hoo Dr. Doom. How do I respond to this? Is this really what this site wants to promote? Really?

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                          • icon
                            That One Guy (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:52pm

                            Like for like

                            Serious comments are more likely to get serious responses.

                            Hostile comments are more likely to get sarcastic or equally heated responses(or just reported).

                            Long, rambling strings of replies to replies(to replies), written by the same person and laced with vitriol and just plain 'What the hell did I just read?' are more likely to get mockery and sarcasm in response, because they don't deserve serious responses.

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    • icon
      mhajicek (profile), 10 Mar 2017 @ 11:39pm

      Re: And in response to the obvious question...

      I think it could be too easily abused to weed out users with certain sets of opinions.

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      • identicon
        Thad, 12 Mar 2017 @ 9:21am

        Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

        Yeah, there is a downside.

        I generally like the system we see on sites like this one and Ars Technica, where enough downvotes will hide a comment, but it does lead to groupthink. I try and make a point on Ars of upvoting comments that are well-argued even if I disagree with them, but most people don't do that.

        I think Slashdot's system of moderation and meta-moderation is probably the least prone to abuse, but it's also the most complicated. It wouldn't be a good fit for most comment sections.

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      My_Name_Here, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:53am

      Re: And in response to the obvious question...

      No need to try it here. You have a near perfect system already, at least if you are trying to keep different points of view from messing things up.

      First off, Techdirt delays posts, and then when you approve a post, you post it with the original time stamp, and no indication that the comment was delayed. That usually means that those comments are so far out of the cycle of discussion that they are rarely engaged by others.

      Second, with the flag system, you allow syncopates and toadies decide what is true and what is false according to Techdirt. If it was used to flag pure spam, that would be something. However, the flags are used almost exclusively to shut down unpopular thoughts and opinions.

      Third, and the most important, you have a few loyal posters who will regurgitate the gospel according to Techdirt on demand. What it means is that any discussion that strays outside of the accepted borders is generally shouted down pretty quickly.

      It's pretty cool. You need only a few basic filters, put everything with a link into moderation, and crowd source censorship flag style. Excellent, perhaps you could sell it to others.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Mar 2017 @ 10:55pm

        Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

        It's not hard to see why you're a fan of the Hamiltonian lunatic.

        Have some engagement.

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    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 1:23pm

      Re: And in response to the obvious question...

      Well, if you do end up testing new comment features, could one of them be an edit button? Please?

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

      • icon
        DocGerbil100 (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 3:29pm

        Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

        Oh my sweet, gargling Jesus, I'll buy a bloody t-shirt, just give us the edit button. Please, Techdirt, please! :D

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  • identicon
    Mr Big Content, 10 Mar 2017 @ 7:46pm

    Yawn ... Typical Trump Attack

    Seems he cant even open his mouth without you lefty liberals finding fault with what he says. And then trying to muzzle his supporters when they speak up. IT WONT WORK!! WE KNOW OUR RIGHTS!!!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 7:59pm

    Huh

    Wheres the fun in that??!!

    Note, I did not read the article.... ;-)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 8:12pm

    Whatever...

    "Google is looking to use machine learning technology to help identify and then deal with toxic comments:"

    This only ends one way... abused. People will never get over their desire to punish or silence people they disagree with. Often times, those screaming the loudest are the ones wanting to silence or punish others the most. We will never learn from history, and as we despise our enemies for smiling in our faces with a dagger behind their backs, we too, wait for our enemies to face away so that we may strike first!

    All of this is called a self fulfilling prophecy. Technology will be used to suppress the people under the guise of protecting them. And low do the people cry yet again for a savior to spare them from themselves! It is a sorry lot indeed that runs to the slaughter thinking they shall escape it!

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    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 9:28am

      Re: Whatever...

      I know quite a few people who will try to see who can get the highest toxicity score on their posts. It's the same reason that bars that put breath analyzers in their bar soon took them out - too many people trying to see who could get the most drunk.

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

      • identicon
        Thad, 12 Mar 2017 @ 9:32am

        Re: Re: Whatever...

        I know quite a few people who will try to see who can get the highest toxicity score on their posts.

        It seems like the solution to this is not to show the toxicity score, just to hide the comment once it reaches a certain level.

        The goal should be to take away attention, not bring it.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 8:16pm

    That's actually a great idea. Instead of (just) a captcha to weed out bots you can have like three multiple choice or fill in the blank questions or short answer questions that can help distinguish a bot from a non-bot. The thing about this is that it really tests that the person understood the article and since bots are usually only good at 'understanding' subjects that relate to the past future articles will make it more difficult for bots to keep up with and 'understand' new issues. It's something humans are good at that bots suck at.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2017 @ 11:44pm

    Patents - for a LIMITED TIME!

    NOT for ALL ETERNITY, and for the benefit of the INVENTOR, not patent trolls.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 2:13am

    There are no "internet troll factories", nor any trolls, you lazy socialist. There are your ideas (socialist) my ideas (capitalist) and total horseshit (trolls). Oh, well, that's one of your ideas. Not an idea at all, actually. It's just a stupid word you use with children when telling them fairy tales, like you are here. "internet troll factories" - you should be ashamed.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:53am

      Re:

      The above was meant to be put here. Sorry.

      Sure, you claim to be in favor of capitalism but you probably also favor laws that give corporations the IP laws and broadband monopolies they ask for. Laws that prohibit me from buying out of state insurance and restrict taxi cab medallions. Some capitalist. You only want capitalism for big corporations to do what they want, you want socialism for them to get what they want and fascism for the rest of us when we are subject to the laws they negotiate and write in secret.

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  • identicon
    Pcdec, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:15am

    Great idea. They really should learn to read before they can write. Half the "fights" in the comments under articles are caused by people who post something totally stupid because they only read the headline. And headlines these days suck. Clickbait is way too popular so people should know to read the article to have any idea what it's about. If you really want to tell people something a few questions before you can is no big deal.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:37am

      Re:

      Sure, you claim to be in favor of capitalism but you probably also favor laws that give corporations the IP laws and broadband monopolies they ask for. Laws that prohibit me from buying out of state insurance and restrict taxi cab medallions. Some capitalist. You only want capitalism for big corporations to do what they want, you want socialism for them to get what they want and fascism for the rest of us when we are subject to the laws they negotiate and write in secret.

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  • identicon
    Daydream, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:18am

    But what if I see the title and WANT to say something based on it?

    What if I see the title and want to make a snarky one-liner about it, or a 'what I was expecting', or even a silly or even a clever idea that I got just from seeing the title?

    I wouldn't want to have to skim the whole article just to answer a few questions when there's already ideas brewing in my head.

    ...Hmm...maybe, what if we just had posters mark their post as 'supportive', 'having a jest', 'voicing disapproval', 'offering ideas', or so forth? And include viewing options to filter in or out those categories? So people can choose to skip over the 'this is awesome' and 'lol you suck' comments to get to the ones with funny quips and insightful ideas?

    Alternatively, you could go the XKCD route and have that one with users being asked to rate other comments.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:29am

    users being asked to rate other comments

    not good. factory already floods places with potential voters. every post would be a scrum, which is what trolls are hoping to have happen. ball everything up so a place has no value and is thus silenced.

    the fact this site is so infested is testament to its value.

    i think you are going to have to have comments moderated across the board. you guys determine what has value for the conversation.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:11am

      Re:

      i think you are going to have to have comments moderated across the board. you guys determine what has value for the conversation.

      TD already has that in a way, it's just the moderation is up to the community.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:12am

    tripped and fell

    into the vortex that opened up the Wapo comment section.

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 12 Mar 2017 @ 9:33am

      Re: tripped and fell

      I remember having a few conversations in the CBS comments section, years ago.

      They had a swear filter that asterisked out Senator Coons's name.

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  • icon
    Max (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:34am

    All this to-and-fro about how to force the ideal comment system into existence - so sad. It seems to me that many don't realize having to put up with trolls, idiots, sockpuppets and all the rest is the intrinsic reverse of the medal that has freedom of speech on its other side. Not that any private entity hosting a forum is obliged to observe that, obviously - but with that concept having been deemed worthy of being declared a human right a bunch of times and all that, one would think we all would want see it upheld (and even enforced) a lot more than we actually seem to.

    The thing is, regardless of what means one conceives of to discard some part of a discussion, all one will get is a discourse tuned to the specific likes and dislikes of the specific person, system or algorithm employed - paying with lost opportunity to have an idea challenged, in a potentially relevant manner regardless of the tone the challenge is delivered in*, for the convenience of not having to hear what one would prefer not to. It's paring speech down to the specific likes and dislikes of the one gate-keeping entity, human or automated, and as such it's a failure by design, with no exceptions, because a single entity's criteria for what is positive and what is negative could never - and absolutely should never - be substituted for the individual judgement of each participant. Not even the "hive mind" is a suitable entity for such a task, unless one's ambitions in life amount to, putting it bluntly, being a sheep.

    To be perfectly clear: yes, that means having to trawl through the arbitrary (but generally large) percentage of lesser discourse not really worth reading and all the requisite unsavory bits yourself - the whole point is that only you are qualified to decide which part is that.

    Except of course what most of us would really prefer are echo chambers full of yes-men considering they make you feel good about yourself, do not require the non-negligible effort of constructing a valid argument - or potentially changing one's own views which is something basically nobody ever is willing to do - and they definitely save you the almost certain frustration of being verbally abused to hell and back. Then again, we do live in a delusional world these days where we think we can magically have all the good bits of most everything without having to put up with any of the unpleasant ones. From the entitled commoner so sure that anything bad happening to them must be _someone's_ fault who needs to be promptly sued, all the way up to our benevolent masters apparently so sure that encryption can be both secure and backdoored - this seems to be happening on every level. So I suppose "yay for our benign censors who will deliver us from anybody we don't like" it has to be - and like it or not, even the system described above is nothing but one further step in that direction...

    *No, I'm no fan of verbal abuse. But there's a time for calling an idiot by its name, and I will absolutely not accept that manner detracts from the validity of the argument put forward, assuming it had any in the first place. Admittedly it's a somewhat contrived parallel, but I do think a certain mr. Torvalds seems to agree at least to some extent.

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  • identicon
    anonymous, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:29am

    Whatever!

    It's not particularly enriching to this discussion (and what exactly would be!) to point out that to many people, the solution is more about the general public getting realistic about where "sensitivity" ends and biased censorship begins.

    Really, For a site like Techdirt to bring up the subject is a very bad sign that they are giving in to voodoo psychology. I wouldn't even post here if I did not have reasonable assurances that I was not being profiled. Profiling is a very real threat. What door one chooses for public bathrooms is only important to the kind of person who struggles with how their plumbing is supposed to work.

    If civil war starts over the poo-poo debate, I won't feel a bit of remorse over those who would meddle in my relationships.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 8:46am

      Re: Whatever!

      the solution is more about the general public getting realistic about where "sensitivity" ends and biased censorship begins

      If Techdirt or any other website prevents you from posting a comment, that is not censorship. You can go to a different website and say the same damned thing if they will let you. No one, including you, can force a platform to host your speech — and a refusal to host your speech does not equal government censorship.

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      • icon
        The Wanderer (profile), 12 Mar 2017 @ 5:44pm

        Re: Re: Whatever!

        While it's true that refusal to host your speech does not equal government censorship, it's also true that censorship does not consist only of government censorship.

        The only type of censorship which is prohibited by the First Amendment is censorship by the government - but the only unqualified definition of "censorship" I've ever found which seems neither too broad nor too narrow boils down to "an attempt to prevent some particular audience from being exposed to some particular information", and it's certainly possible for non-government entities to do that; for example, it's entirely routine for parents to censor the material available to their children, and people often self-censor by refraining from saying something they think will get a negative reaction in their current company.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2017 @ 6:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: Whatever!

          On a site thst pushes si hard gir free speech, refusing some speech because it disagrees with your ideas is hypocritical to the max.

          Practice what you preach. Good intentions start with you.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 10:58am

      Re: Whatever!

      Can you try being coherent next time?

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

  • identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:41am

    Yeah... that'll work! Glyn, people who are determined to "correct" or slag Mike and the crew off will fill in the form, then whinge about it in the comments. It might also chill commenting by making people answer the damn questions every time they want to make a point. There's the option to sign in to avoid answering the questions, but that will limit commenting to determined trolls and signed in users. Will that really elevate discourse on TD? I think that what we have works well enough.

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  • icon
    OldMugwump (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 9:08am

    Simple partial solution - eliminate ACs

    80+% of troll comments are from ACs.

    Just eliminate ACs - if you want to comment, create an account and log in.

    People can still comment "anonymously" by commenting under a different account than their usual one. (Don't prevent people from having multiple accounts.)

    Then set a threshold: If > (say) 30% of your comments get flagged, your account is automatically banned for 30 days.

    Trolls could still create new accounts to get back in, but the extra effort will be a big discouragement.

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    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 13 Mar 2017 @ 7:09am

      Re: Simple partial solution - eliminate ACs

      OldMugwump, that would lock me out. Why would you lock me out? Besides, most of the ACs are decent people with good points to make. While the trolls do indeed make a lot of noise, they are in the minority.

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

      • icon
        OldMugwump (profile), 14 Mar 2017 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re: Simple partial solution - eliminate ACs

        You don't post as "Anonymous Coward", Wendy.

        Yes, lots of ACs make good posts. But a disproportionate number of troll comments come from ACs.

        It seems that for many people anonymity strips away many of the normal human conventions of civility. Even pseudonymity (as in "OldMugwump") seems to be enough to fix that (or most of it).

        Once people have a reputation, even a pseudonymous one, they take care to avoid trashing it.

        I suspect if trolls started posting stuff here as "Wendy Cockcroft" you wouldn't like it.

        (This thread being 3 days old, I suspect few people are reading it by now except you and me, or I wouldn't even bring up the idea.)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 9:38am

    In person vs Online

    If you wouldn't say it in person then you probably shouldn't say in online. If people were as rude in person as they are online they run the risk of getting their nose adjusted with fist.

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

    • identicon
      Digitari, 11 Mar 2017 @ 10:12am

      Re: In person vs Online

      not always true, My Marine buddies and I would never say "I love you" but we would say "Fuck you" knowing it meant the former.

      Context has more to do with communication than the words themselves. Perception is greater than reality!

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  • identicon
    Digitari, 11 Mar 2017 @ 10:08am

    well, I will be Honest

    I do not have an account but I always post under the same name (BTW I did not read the Article, yet) I usually go to the Comments here on TD before I read the article, to see if it is worth reading. I gain more insight from the vitriol spewed in the comments to see how worthy the article is.

    one law of humanity that is universal is people are basically lazy and only think of themselves first. not saying that this is bad but it seems true, any effort put forth is because it helps "self".
    Comments are no different if it makes one "feel" good then it's a good comment.If it makes one feel bad it's, therefore, a bad comment. Some folks feel good complaining, some folks feel good laughing.

    Everyone gets trolled at some point in life, it's part of humanity...... (and everyone has been a troll)

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  • identicon
    Justme, 11 Mar 2017 @ 10:31am

    Carefull...

    I for one use and support allowing anonymous comments!

    As for a test before commenting it's an interesting idea, but i could see a couple of issues.

    1. Are you testing solely on the language as used in the article? Cheating would be trivial and troll's don't die easily.

    2. Are you trying to test comprehension? we all process things thru our own filters and it could create an unintended bias in the expected answers.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 2:06pm

    >Dropping comments is a lazy response to a real and challenging problem: how to encourage readers to engage in meaningful ways.

    Step 1: Don't write an article full of shit. Most these places dropping comments were constantly being called out in the comments for being factually incorrect, or people calling the author out for their cruelty.

    Other than that though, I've got no solution for every other brand of asshole in the comment section other than moderation.

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

  • icon
    Dr. David T. Macknet (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:21pm

    Makes Sense

    If you were to combine this with the flagging of suspected bots / trolls, I think it would work nicely. It's sort of like saying, "this is not a place to just dump your comment and run - this is a place for thoughtful interaction with others on a given article and you must demonstrate some level of facility with the concepts in order to participate." You'd still need the flagging, though, because there are some assholes who will read enough to get into the comments just out of spite, and probably feel even happier for having done so.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:34pm

      Re: Makes Sense

      Spite is still protected speech, my friend. Come on. And there are no trolls. No such thing. Never was, never will be. Spiteful people, yes, happy people, yes, trolls, no such thing.

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 4:53pm

        Re: Re: Makes Sense

        Dropping comments is a lazy response to a real and challenging problem: how to encourage readers to engage in meaningful ways. That is really true (straight from the article above). A debate is a meaningful way to engage. Debates in this forum are quickly crushed by hiding them. I propose that dropping comments is a lazy socialist response (see above for explanation of the word socialist) that crushes free speech, and defeats the whole purpose of this entire board. That is, the TechDirt DOES NOT WANT to engage in meaningful ways. It just wants to peddle it's socialist propaganda, and anyone with a different opinion (like a capitalist opinion) is buried in the TechDirt. Like Stalin did. Bury your foes, never face them, shameful.

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

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

          And I would say again, and remain open for reasoned debate: The shameful burial of his legitimate foes is once again demonstrates who Michael Masnick, the Inventor of TechDirt, the place good ideas go to be buried anonymously and shamefully, really believes. He's a cowardly socialist idea burying jerk.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

          I propose that dropping comments is a lazy socialist response

          Ah, so you did just change your IP address in order to spam again, I was wondering about that. You almost had me thinking for a bit there that a second person had popped up to play 'Why is everyone picking on the poor old spammer?', pity you gave yourself away with your tell.

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

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

            Not sure what you mean, Mr. I don't know you at all. You seem like a decent fellow, though I don't know you at all, if you get my meaning. So, what about you. Care to debate, and engage in a meaningful way? Issue of public interest: Should Michael Masnick, through his website TechDirt, shoot little insulting arrows out into the ether without even bothering to check with the people he is shooting at? Position: No, he should not. Because you just never know when one of those little arrows might hit someone that's rich, prideful, vindictive, talented, and relentless, like, hundreds of years relentless. He should be more respectful of others, because you just never know who you are going to run into, and when you show no respect, it may come back to haunt you, forever. I invite debate, Mr. I don't know you at all. (bow)

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

              Should Michael Masnick, through his website TechDirt, shoot little insulting arrows out into the ether without even bothering to check with the people he is shooting at?

              Well, the "arrows" he shot at Shiva Ayyadurai were pretty on point. So…

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

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:46pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

                Please, finish your point, and sorry about calling you StoneHead. Totally undeserved, and I'm sorry. Finish your point, I think you got cut off.

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

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

              Because you just never know when one of those little arrows might hit someone that's rich, prideful, vindictive, talented, and relentless, like, hundreds of years relentless. He should be more respectful of others, because you just never know who you are going to run into, and when you show no respect, it may come back to haunt you, forever.

              So watch what you say lest you anger some loser with money to burn who will try to ruin you for saying mean things about them. Oh yeah, that's not completely and utterly cowardly at all, and certainly isn't the sort of position that brings about massive chilling of free speech.

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

            • icon
              OldMugwump (profile), 14 Mar 2017 @ 10:40am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

              Why post as AC when your content makes it clear who you are, Mr. Ayyadurai?

              If you have pride, have the pride to make your case in the open under your own name.

              For sure, writing an email system at age 14 is quite an accomplishment - in any year, let alone 1978.

              And I'm quite ready to believe you "invented" it independently, without knowing about things like Unix mail.

              But that doesn't make make you the "inventor" of email. At best it makes you a "re-inventor" of email.

              By your standard, I "invented" the queue and the linked list. And a great many other fundamental concepts in computer science.

              But I didn't. These are more-or-less obvious (like email) and I re-invented them, long after others knew about them.

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

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

            So you insider guys track IP addresses, right, and monitor who is who. That's interesting. I'll bet Charles Harder and the Email guy didn't know that. I certainly didn't. I will have to remember to mention it to them. Doesn't seem very fair. I don't track you. And who cares who is who? This is a public forum where I can express opinions anonymously, right? I thought that's what it was. Maybe it's not! Maybe you guys are watching everybody, ready to bury any ideas not to your taste, and even tracking people over time. Wow. Who knew? That's really just weird, I can't get over it. Tracking IP addresses of anonymous posters. Weirder and weirder as we explore this rabbit hole of socialist propaganda. Tracking us, too. Wow. That's amazing. What other weird shit do you guys do behind that "insider" curtain?

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:53pm

              Nobody needs to track your IP address, Shiva.

              Your particular writer's voice — the rhythm and structure of your sentences, the particular wording you (over)use, the way your usage of English reads as though you learned it as a second language, and other minor typographical tics — combined with your incessant need to keep replying to yourself with further nonsense makes IP tracking unnecessary.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:00pm

                Re: Nobody needs to track your IP address, Shiva.

                Is nonsense a more polite term thsn contrarian?

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

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:01pm

                Re: Nobody needs to track your IP address, Shiva.

                Wow. I like you a lot now. You are smart. Foreigner, right? Like a little socialist spy or something, like a bloodhound on the trail of truth speakers. Thinking about their rhythm, particular wording, little hints of English as a second language. That is so interesting, and I must say, insightful. Why do you care at all? Aren't we just expressing ideas here, and trying to engage in conversation in meaningful ways? What ARE you doing, analyzing authors for some illegitimate purpose, while providing no reasoned debate to the public? What would you want to do that? And you guys do understand how SLAPP works, right? Public Participation, like I am doing right now? Think about it. Everything you say is going to be used by Mike's opposition in court, and soon. SLAPP. BAM. I like them both.

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:05pm

                  Might not want to celebrate filing a SLAPP suit, Shiva.

                  Aren't we just expressing ideas here, and trying to engage in conversation in meaningful ways?

                  Some people are doing that here. You are not one of them.

                  And you guys do understand how SLAPP works, right?

                  Yes. Yes, I do.

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

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:07pm

                  Re: Re: Nobody needs to track your IP address, Shiva.

                  And another point - I simply cannot believe you guys are attacking that nice Email inventor, by using his first name, and attributing it to me. What possible purpose could bringing up his name, again and again, serve, except to slander and disparage him? It's not just Mike's arrows, it's your arrows, being sent to a guy that has said not one word in this forum, but you've called him a drunk already, and other things. So, think about it: You simultaneously repress speech, insult this fellow Shiva for absolutely no reason (check it out, you are simply being malicious) and think you can just go on doing it forever, with no consequence. You get that Mike is IN COURT, right? He's arguing about FREE SPEECH, right? And that Email guys said he is being intentionally malicious, right? He's arguing it, and you are PROVING it! You are still being malicious to that poor Email inventor. ALL OF YOU. MIKE - THIS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY - TAKE DOWN THE SLANDER AIMED AT THAT NICE MAIL FELLOW, or it will REALLY HURT YOUR CASE, trust me, I'm a judge today.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

              You do know that all IPs are tracked by all servers, routers and firewalls? Everything is always logged, just depends on how long the log files are held for. Techdirt tracks you IP by your icon. If you are that paranoid about Techdirt, you should probably stay away from all email and social media.

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                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:31pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

                But come on, the guys behind the curtain track a lot more than that. They don't seem to want to engage in reasoned debate, which is certainly in the public interest. They don't want to actually read the posts, consider them, and respond. That would be called participation. But they do spend a lot of time thinking about the rhythm, pace, accent, whatever, so they can track down truth speakers. Just as an aside, do you know what Sharik did in the book Heart of a Dog, by Bulkagov? He was a little cat hound, using his dog nose to hunt down cats, true story, really. That's what he did. Like that other guy up there, sniffing, comparing, searching for truth speakers. Who cares who is who? Let's participate publicly and debate some meaningful issues. Trust me, if there is not a SINGLE DEBATE that can be identified on this forum, Mike is toast. He's depending on VALUE of PUBLIC PARTICIPATION to HIS WRITING in THIS FORUM. If there IS NO PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, then HE IS TOAST.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:34pm

                  Your wording gives you away, Shiva.

                  But they do spend a lot of time thinking about the rhythm, pace, accent, whatever, so they can track down truth speakers.

                  You know, for someone who claims not to be Shiva Ayyadurai, you sure do harp on about "truth speakers" like he does.

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                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:37pm

                    Re: Your wording gives you away, Shiva.

                    That could also be accounted for by the fact that he is educated. And good looking. Well spoken, too. In some ways, he even reminds me of me. In a good way. So, thank you, for what appears to be a compliment, comparing me to that nice Inventor of Email.

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:39pm

                      Your lack of humility gives you away, Shiva.

                      At this point, you may as well just admit who you are. I mean, even when it comes to people whose work I admire, I do not describe them as if I am writing a love letter to them.

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                        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:46pm

                        Re: Your lack of humility gives you away, Shiva.

                        Well, your obvious bad manners are not mine, are they? I don't know this fellow, never met him, but given his history, would (by default) extend to him a modicum of respect. Here in Massachusetts, that would be considered normal, and usual. That doesn't mean that deep in my heart, I really think about him at all. Nope, not at all, no love involved at all. No love letters. He is better looking than Mike, though, that's for sure. Better education, too. It shows in his writing, just compare it to Mike's. Really, try it, you little comment sniffing dog brained scoundrel. You are just going WAY out of your way to prove my point, originally made by Bulkagov, right? That dogs are not people, because people have manners. No manners, it's a dog, kick it a little. Manners, it's a person, treat with respect. Did you read the book? SNIFFING EMAILS FOR PACE AND SUCH? OMG. You are just a gift from literary heaven.

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                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:55pm

                          Mentioning Massachusetts gives you away, Shiva.

                          Son, just give up. Mike is never going to respond to your rambling incoherency. The best you will ever get here are people either mocking you, ignoring you, or — in my case — wasting their time by telling you how much you are wasting yours.

                          Fawning over Shiva Ayyadurai as if he were the actual god Shiva, mentioning the state where he filed the SLAPP action against Techdirt, and continuing to write in your specific writer's voice (which is unique amongst the Techdirt commentator community) give away your identity, Mr. Ayyadurai. Why should Mr. Masnick ever respond, outside of court proceedings, to someone who is trying to sue him into both silence and homelessness?

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                            Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:07pm

                            Re: Mentioning Massachusetts gives you away, Shiva.

                            OK, this time you really got me. It sent shivers up my spine, to the top of my head, where they lingered for a while before dissipating. GOD SHIVA! Wow! That was great. Shiva is "the transformer" (kinda goes along with my reference to Neo in the Matrix when he consumes Agent Smith). Shiva is often depicted slaying demons. He is the supreme God with Shaivism. That was SO COOL! And to your point, I know Mike is never going to respond, knew it all along. I'm eternally hopeful, of course, because I'm an American. But I'm not the great god Shiva! Wish I was, actually, he sounds cool (if you're out there, God Shiva, please don't smite me with your trishula!)

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                            • icon
                              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:10pm

                              Re: Re: Mentioning Massachusetts gives you away, Shiva.

                              But I'm not the great god Shiva!

                              Are you referring to the deity, or the guy who falsely claimed to have invented email? Because one is an all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipotent being capable of doing anything, and the other is Shiva Ayyadurai.

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                                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:16pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Mentioning Massachusetts gives you away, Shiva.

                                Well, it's like this. My grandfather used to take me into the woods when I was a boy, and kinda freak me out. He talked about fairies and leprechauns and Hamiltonian ghosts (back to the Druids) and that kind of stuff, he really convinced me in his grandfatherly way that there were things around us that were real, but hard to see. Kinda my introduction to mysticism, if you get my point. So, I've lived my life with some respect for even fairies and leprechauns and other little creatures (did you ever read Carlos Castaneda - he does a good job with this, first book, forget the rest) that might or might be real, hard to tell. So, from my mystical point of view, I am not sure who I am referring to, maybe both at the same time. I get that they are different, but did you ever hear the song "what is god is watching us?" or "what if he was one of us?" something like that. Could be true, my friend, he could be one and the same. I invite debate.

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                                • icon
                                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:17pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Mentioning Massachusetts gives you away, Shiva.

                                  Druids?

                                  That's funny, Shiva — you don't look Druish.

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:20pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mentioning Massachusetts gives you away, Shiva.

                                    It's a reference to American Treasure, remember, circa 2004, Nicholas Cage? Druids, Knights Templar, the Hamiltonians and the revolutionary war, the great treasure, you remember, right? Your head seems to be somewhere else, my friend, would you like to talk about it? Are you obsessed with this Shiva fellow?

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                          • identicon
                            Thad, 12 Mar 2017 @ 9:40am

                            Re: Mentioning Massachusetts gives you away, Shiva.

                            I really am kinda hoping that all these rambling comments show up in court filings, alongside IP addresses that are associated with Ayyadurai.

                            I mean, I'd much rather the case get tossed right now. But failing that...

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

              I could tell you how I figured out that you were the same person posting under different IP addresses, but where would be the fun in that? If you can't figure it out I'm certainly not going to help you, as it's much more entertaining to watch you jumping at shadows and spinning complex plots while waxing on(and on and on) about how so very persecuted you are when the truth is much simpler.

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:25pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

                Awww, let the guy who thinks himself a god have his fun.

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                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:28pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense

                OK, I know you better now. Insider guy, like the others, imagining I am jumping at shadows. I'll share something with you, my very much avoiding my original question friend: I'm not the one in court! I'm just publicly participating in this forum, in which you are an insider tracking people and NOT RESPONDING and NOT PARTICIPATING. You would be better friend to Mike if you actually had some public participation, trust me on this. Jumping at my shadows, very persecuted, are you mentally ill? Why would THAT ever come to your mind? I'm trying to publicly debate you, and you are talking about persecution. You ARE a strange fellow. Mike, you need some better friends. Like, not totally crazy ones that jump at shadows and imagine persecution, where none exists.

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    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:04pm

    AND he has not even responded to my request to be able to edit posts, so I can remove typos, as shown above. My apologies for the obvious (and unobvious) errors, like the misplaced "is". I'd like to fix it, Mike, please! I hate it when I bash you with typos in it, it makes me look careless, disorganized, and just not respectful. Which I am, of course. Debate me! That's meaningful engagement (that's what you're after), right? (and please ignore my typos)

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      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:13pm

      Re:

      So look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be disrespectful, I just did it to invite reasoned debate. No one was responding to what I considered reasonable and defendable position based upon fact and historical evidence, like all the buried posts above. You know how debate works, right? - we pick an issue, I take one side, you take another, and then we wrestle our ideas with each other. Debate. It's a very respectful thing. You don't have to be really educated to do it, either. ANYONE can have a good idea, they're floating around, in the air, and then BAM, you can have a really good idea, from out of the blue sky. That's what happens in debate. So, sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings, I didn't mean. I AM TRYING TO ENGAGE IN A MEANINGFUL WAY! DON'T BURY ME!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 5:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Hahaha, no. If you think that your insolence deserves to be rewarded as you see fit and in accordance with your demands, you have a very warped perspective of how the world works. Certainly not the sort of perspective you think a millionaire inventor would have.

        Have a burial vote.

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          Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 6:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I would reply in a respectful way in order to further this debate, but I can't quite make out what the heck you said. Could you please change your phrasing a little and make your point again? Don't mean to burden you with unnecessary work, but I'm just not quite capable of building a mental structure that takes your words into account in a way that it is possible for me to consider a suitable response. Please repost, thanks.

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    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 14 Mar 2017 @ 10:51am

      Re: he has not even responded to my request to be able to edit posts

      All of us here can't edit our posts, not just you.

      Take the time to get it right the first time, or live with the typos for evermore. Same as the rest of us.

      Stop expecting special treatment. I invented lots of stuff too - just like millions of other young people who discover obvious and useful things (like email) but are still ignorant of the fact that other people invented those same things long ago.

      There's a reason nobody got a patent on email, you know - it's obvious. Useful, yes, but obvious and so not patentable. Even for the FIRST inventor.

      And why should Mike respond to your request if you can't be bothered to even let him know who it is doing the asking?

      (Let alone that you're suing him...)

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    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 7:52pm

    OK, here is the point. We are talking about how to get better comments on this web site, as a high level defense of the position that Michael Masnick has taken in his lawsuit. He is taking the position that he should be heard, because it is in the interests of Free Speech. Specifically, he claims that value of Public Participation outweighs his obvious slanders against a lot of good names. My position is that this web has no Free Speech, or legitimate Public Participation, so his slander lies alone, without defense. My proof is that during the last 24 hours, not a single legitimate debate has taken place, despite a spate of offers. Secondly, the very issue that caused the court filing cannot be debated here, because there is no Free Speech or Public Participation here. To prove my point, I invite debate about who invented Email. I will take any position, pro or col, you name it, just let me participate. Just debate me, fairly and openly. If that is not possible in this forum, then Mike's argument must surely perish.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 8:07pm

      Re:

      My position is that this web has no Free Speech, or legitimate Public Participation

      And if Techdirt were operating as a government entity, you might have a point. But Techdirt is not a government entity. You cannot force Techdirt into hosting your speech, nor can you force Mr. Masnick into responding to your comments here.

      the very issue that caused the court filing cannot be debated here

      We can discuss Shiva Ayyadurai's false claims of having invented email all the live-long day. But all you want to do is talk nonsense about dogs and cemeteries and Nicolas Cage, and that is when you are not worshipping Ayyadurai as one would worship a religious deity, anyway. You refuse to address any of the facts presented by Mr. Masnick in his articles. You refuse to answer direct questions about Ayyadurai's involvment with the development of ARPANET's messaging system (which would become the basis of modern email) or the development of modern email post-ARPANET.

      You have been given multiple chances to address that subject — opportunities which you have refused by way of posting more stream-of-consciousness bullshit. You deserve no respect, Shiva Ayyadurai, and you will get none here. The only reason I have not yet resorted to base insults and excessive vulgarity is because you do not even deserve that.

      You deserve only to be asked one question until you answer it: What factual evidence shows that Shiva Ayyadurai had anything to do with the development and widespread public adoption of the electronic messaging system that we currently call email?

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    • identicon
      Urbandruid, 11 Mar 2017 @ 8:38pm

      Nicholas cage:. Good or bad?

      I say this as respectfully as possible, you are coming off as unhinged in these comments. No one in their right mind, who wants to stay that way, would actually engage in a debate with a person who posts like that. Take it to reddit with the other rambling screeds about nothing.


      If you are that Shiva dude, I can't help but see you as the radio over Internet guy from silicon valley after reading this. But at least he became a billionaire off his obvious idea. Too bad you didn't also come up with Gmail, huh?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 10:28pm

      Re:

      The ghost of Alexander Hamilton just came to me in a dream. He said he doesn't know you, isn't related to you, and wishes you would shut up.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 8:17pm

    As a non-JavaScript user I find the rise of Google Captchas annoying. Now, I believe that a "solution" like this would even break more sites for me and other users who just simply want to browse and express our opinions.

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    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2017 @ 10:53pm

    My closing argument, for today, I believe it is on topic, and I would respectfully ask that you leave just this one comment of mine without burying it. It is the only one. Judge, we PRAY that would first read the commentary above, just as it is, along with the article. Then we PRAY read it again, with all the actual comments that have been hidden. Then we PRAY you consider that this forum does not practice free speech, and should not be allowed to defend themselves on that basis. Amen.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2017 @ 11:18pm

      Re:

      we PRAY you consider that this forum does not practice free speech, and should not be allowed to defend themselves on that basis

      There are two things that you need to know:

      1. You do not have the right to force your speech upon others.
      2. Your comments being hidden do not negate Mr. Masnick's First Amendment rights.

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        Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2017 @ 12:35am

        Re: Re:

        So, your view is that it is OK that Mr. Masnick' false and defamaory speech about me should come up every time someone searches for my name on Google. But, my true and sincere speech about him should be hidden, and he should decide that, based on his his opinion, in isolation, with no legitimate input from anyone. His speech is shown to everyone who Googles me, forever. My speech is never shown to anyone, unless they ask for it. Fair is fair, no? If he can turn off my speech, I should be able to turn off his.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2017 @ 4:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There we go. You've finally outed yourself. You came in here claiming to be all about debate, when really it was always about censorship.

          "If he can turn off my speech, I should be able to turn off his."

          Newsflash: The community flags comments that don't add value to the conversation. You're still free to post whatever you want.

          I even tried reading most of it even though it had already been flagged. Usually hidden posts catch my eye and pique my interest more than non-hidden ones because a good train-wreck is hard to look away from.

          However, the sheer volume of your rambling non-sequiturs ensured that even the most curious of train-wreck aficionados would give up and invest their time in more stimulating activities.

          Also, FWIW a quick search for Mike Masnick brings up a lot of links to articles about your lawsuit against him. So your wish has been granted, just maybe not in the way you intended. You've tainted his Google results just as much as he has tainted yours.

          At least you're getting a first-hand lesson on the Streisand effect now. Even if you manage to win your vexatious litigation the damage that you yourself have done to your reputation is irreparable so you will still be a net loser in the case even if you prevail in the courtroom.

          One of your comments was amusing though. I literally laughed out loud when I read that all of the comments from the community would be used against Mike in your lawsuit. That's a good one, really. It's like you've never read any of the articles on here or anywhere else about section 230 of the CDA. However, if you really do think the comments of his site's users can be used against Mr. Masnick your approach confuses me. Why not just post some blatantly defamatory comments about yourself as an AC and then sue over that?

          Instead you build walls of text large enough to sell to Mr. Trump for his border with Mexico in a failed attempt to solicit defamatory comments from the community and then complain about a lack of debate when nobody bites and just flags your comments instead.

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            Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2017 @ 4:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What about me, Keemosahbee? I am more American than ANY OF YOU! Yes of course, my murderous snoring companation. What would you like to say?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2017 @ 5:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What name? You have adamantly refused to reveal who you are so far, and you've already insisted that you're not Shiva Ayyadurai. Searching for "Alexander Hamilton" doesn't bring up Techdirt, not even close. Why would you care? What skin would you have in this given that nobody knows who you are, and you are absolutely insistent on making sure no one will?

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 12 Mar 2017 @ 8:17am

          Oh, Shiva...

          your view is that it is OK that Mr. Masnick' false and defamaory speech about me should come up every time someone searches for my name on Google

          My view is that you must first prove his speech is false (the facts are not on your side) and defamatory (opinions are protected speech). You must also prove that he acted with malicious intent and reckless disregard for the truth (good luck with that).

          But, my true and sincere speech about him should be hidden

          On Techdirt? Yes. All of your comments about him have been either insults, expressed desires to silence his protected speech, or vague threats of harm. If you want your comments to be seen without hindrance, you are free to go anywhere else on the Internet and say whatever you want. No one can legally stop you from doing that any more than you can legally force Techdirt to un-hide your comments.

          His speech is shown to everyone who Googles me, forever.

          Yes, it is, Shiva. And there is a reason for that: You claimed to be "the inventor of email" and sued people for saying otherwise. Your false claims and SLAPP actions were worthy of being criticised. That Mr. Masnick said a few mean things about you when he criticised you does not mean his words become unprotected speech.

          I can find no evidence that you had a direct hand in developing ARPANET's messaging system, the three major email protocols, or any further alterations and additions to email past the 1980s. And for someone who says he is the "inventor of email", your program sure as shit does not seem to have had any influence upon email's actual development or widespread adoption. Facts will not go away just because you say they are untrue, Shiva.

          My speech is never shown to anyone, unless they ask for it.

          The same goes for Mr. Masnick's speech. Nobody sees what he says until they "ask" to see it (e.g., they open Techdirt, they search for his name in Google). Search results are based on what people are looking for, and people want to read about your baseless lawsuit against Techdirt. That sucks for you — but that is a shitty situation of your own making.

          If he can turn off my speech, I should be able to turn off his.

          Well, at least you finally admit that you want to silence your critics.

          No one is turning off your speech, Shiva. You are free to make your claims anywhere on the Internet and have them seen by anyone who wants to read them. And if you want your claims to have a "fair chance" of being considered here, you can present those claims and the evidence behind them right here. Just know that presenting claims with no basis in fact will end in criticism of your claims. Posting nothing but stream-of-consciousness bullshit, insults aimed at Techdirt's writers and commenter community, and "BUT MY FREE SPEECH" whining about your comments being flagged (which is not a violation of your right to express yourself) will result in further flagging.

          If you actually want a civil conversation with people here (something I do not believe you want), make the effort to be civil. Present arguments backed by logic and facts. Let your claims be judged by their substance, regardless of the outcome. If you cannot do those things, you can go throw a self-serving pity party on Facebook for all I give a shit.

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    My_Name_Here, 12 Mar 2017 @ 1:06am

    What you have here is a perfect example of how the flag comments thing doesn't work.

    The guy playing the part of "not Shiva" is trolling you, indeed, but is doing it quite gently. When you peel back all the talking in circles and crap, he does actually ask some reasonable questions and tried to engage people here in a discussion of what is truly free speech.

    The answer from the Techdirt community isn't discussion, it's flagging. It's discussion by trying to make the other person either shut up or locking them in a room where they only talk to themselves and anyone else who cares to open the hatch to listen. Otherwise, he's a prisoner of your judgement, and others don't get to make that judgement for themselves. It proves in a very direct way that while TD talks a good game on truly free speech, it's not always tolerated here.

    While I doubt highly that this guy has anything to do with the lawsuit, except perhaps having read it at some point, he has raised interesting questions.

    I don't think he is right, but I do think he has the right to ask the questions and the discussion should follow if you so desire. If you don't desire, just ignore him and move along. Perhaps other people would be interested to engage him, why should you (and your flagging) make that choice for them?

    (oh, and this comment posted early Sunday morning, likely moderated until Monday some time, because free speech matters!)

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    Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2017 @ 4:52am

    I love you, I do. With all sincerity. Signed: Both of the Crazed Hamiltonian AND the Lone Ranger.

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  • identicon
    Not a troll, 12 Mar 2017 @ 6:15am

    If only this article would have applied the system it is on about!!! Also the other one about comments.. maybe an extra system is that you can't comment twice without your first comment receiving positive flags from readers..Etc etc
    Somehow I think that trolling comments increase the volume and the promotion of an article.. there are way, but do sites want to stop this interaction?

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  • identicon
    Digitari, 12 Mar 2017 @ 6:25am

    Richard Sapir

    Best to not piss off Remo and Chuin.

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  • icon
    TechDescartes (profile), 12 Mar 2017 @ 12:18pm

    A Message to TechDirt Supporters

    If you consider yourself a Friend of TechDirt and a supporter in its fight against Shiva Ayyadurai, you strongly should consider refraining from any further interactions with this anonymous commenter.

    First, he's not Shiva Ayyadurai (a) because he said so, (b) because Shiva attended U.S. schools from childhood and likely wouldn't affect the quirky writing style, and (c) if it was, it would have stopped long ago on the advice of his lawyer.

    Second, you're not going to explain anything to this commenter. We've already been through explaining that his obsessive commenting demonstrates how powerful TechDirt is in his mind (indeed, Ayyadurai thinks TechDirt is so influential that it allegedly cost him $15M), that the First Amendment does not give him a right to have his comments displayed, how SLAPP suits are contrary to the First Amendment, how flagging comments works on this site, and even referenced the obligatory XKCD comics. Your comment isn't going to break through to him, so just save it.

    Third, and probably most important, this anonymous commenter has threatened to use these comments in some legal action. Whether that's just bluster, or whether he follows through, it's additional headache that TechDirt can live without right now. Every dumb argument costs money to respond to. You know he has no ground to stand on (Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act precludes any liability to TechDirt for any comment made by me or anyone else), but that's never stopped a litigant from making a dumb argument. And it certainly doesn't stop TechDirt from having to pay for a lawyer to make that argument on our behalf.

    Ignore him and, eventually, he will go away.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 13 Mar 2017 @ 6:39am

      Re: A Message to TechDirt Supporters

      Aw, come on, some replies produced incredibly funny results and got me laughing hard :(

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      • icon
        TechDescartes (profile), 13 Mar 2017 @ 10:21am

        Re: Re: A Message to TechDirt Supporters

        Ninja, I agree some of it has been fun. But most of it has been repetitive and redundant, saying the same thing over and over. For the record, I did write "any further interactions." Even Mike responded to him. Once.

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 14 Mar 2017 @ 5:56pm

      Re: A Message to TechDirt Supporters

      I try not to respond to him. The trouble is that sometimes it's hard to tell all the anonymous trolls apart. How many do we even have? Sometimes it seems like a lot; other times I could swear it's really just two or three guys.

      Ignore him and, eventually, he will go away.

      Hope so.

      The thing about "don't feed the trolls", though, is that while most trolls get bored and go away when they don't get any attention, some trolls take it as a cue to escalate until it's impossible to ignore them any longer.

      Hopefully people will ignore him and we'll get a chance to see which one he is. Guess it's been a couple days since we last saw him, so that's a good start.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2017 @ 9:14pm

    Now you are being truthful, and now you advertising the truth about your brand, Friends of TechDirt. The worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents. That would be you, Friends of Techdirt. Only Socialists would respond to offers of debate first with useless chatter, then with the suppression of free speech, and then with shunning by silence. Complete and overall refusal to engage. Consider the title of this article. Welcome to your first true advertisement for who you are and what you stand for. The First Amendment was written for American to practice American values, that is the actual purpose. It is simply not suitable for you, you don't deserve it.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2017 @ 10:18pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 12th, 2017 @ 9:14pm

      The truth is that Techdirt may be a popular site but is also not generally a good buy for advertisers. Over the years most of the big companies have cut and run. According to Mike's own admissions ad revenue is off 90%.

      In the end very few companies except those who profit from a more socialized spead of content and information are interested. Even those who do seem reluctant to do anything anymore. Most of the other Floor64 projects such as step2, the cowd source business plan thing, and even the copia institute thing are all but shuttered, all signs of a shortage of funds and staff.

      So you don't have to worry most of the money birds have long since flown this coop.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2017 @ 11:02pm

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 12th, 2017 @ 9:14pm

        Historical comment: Issue of public interest: Are Steven T. Stone and Michael Masnick one and the same person. Position: Yes. First, if one examines the tens of thousands of records produced by each on this very site, their choice of topic, view of the topic, and language to express that view, both display too much synchronicity to have any explanation other than unity of identity. Second, Steve. T. Stone repeatedly accused me of being someone else, indicating that he has the state of mind of an impersonator. Third, Michael Masnick has done this before, publishing or referencing writings written under phony names. Forth, Steven T. Stone was the only one to persist in the debate. Everyone else lost interest, only he persisted. And he persisted with exactly the same uneducated argument as Michael Masnick, indicating once again unity in their identities. I invite debate.

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2017 @ 11:47pm

          Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 12th, 2017 @ 9:14pm

          Damn you are good at this.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Mar 2017 @ 7:33am

    TL;DR

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Mar 2017 @ 8:50am

    I remember the times when the worst trolls we had to see were Tara Carreon, darryl and Jacques Nazaire.

    Now with Shiva Ayyadurai thrown into the mix it's like the above three trolls had a massive orgy, gave birth to triplets, and now the triplets are having an orgy in the articles. It's a train wreck.

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

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 13 Mar 2017 @ 10:24am

    I don't know if this is a good idea

    I'm not sure I'd want to take a multiple-choice test every time I wanted to comment on an article. I think it could get old very fast.

    I forget where I read it, but one commenting system (maybe Disqus) came up with a system where people would flag abusive and troll comments. If the comment got enough flags, it wouldn't show up in the discussion.
    Okay, sure, most commenting systems work that way, but the revolutionary part was that the comment still visible to only the troll. Then if he got enough downvotes, his entire account would be flagged a s troll... but he would still be allowed to post comments.

    And since the troll would think his comments were still being posted, he wouldn't complain that he was being "censored"- instead, it would look like people were simply ignoring him. After a while of getting no responses, he'd give up and move on to another website where he'd get attention.

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

    • identicon
      My_Name_Here, 13 Mar 2017 @ 1:42pm

      Re: I don't know if this is a good idea

      Techdirt sort of plays with that. At one point, if you were logged into your account, your comments would always show, even if they had been censored by flagging. It only takes a moment (and a second device) to figure out what is going on. It's one of the many reasons that the "censored" people around here generally don't log in.

      Your idea sounds great, but it's too obvious. It also shows bad volition on the part of the site, which is something that Mike and his crew are really careful to avoid. Their censorship tools are much more subtle, they call them "public votes" and "spam filters" when they really are just tools of censorship.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2017 @ 7:28pm

        Re: Re: I don't know if this is a good idea

        Most of the reader base reads your spam. Generally, they're not impressed. That you've publicly declared war against Masnick and promised to troll him at every possible opportunity might also count against you.

        Funny how you delight in Shiva hitting back at Techdirt's criticism, but you are angry that nobody wants to hear about your grudge against Masnick. Wonder why that is?

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

  • identicon
    Not.You, 13 Mar 2017 @ 12:28pm

    I need this for people who respond to my emails. It gets tiresome getting replies from people who obviously didn't even read what I sent them.

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


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