Thailand Demands More Proxy Censorship From Facebook

from the negotiating-with-censors-rarely-goes-well dept

More foreign censorship is coming to American social media companies. Back in January, Facebook hinted it would be at least partially receptive to the government of Thailand's desire to be free from criticism. Fortunately, the Thailand government has been slightly more rational than, say, Austria's by not demanding offending content be removed everywhere. So far, it seems amenable to Facebook just preventing Thailand's citizens from seeing anything deemed insulting to their rulers (dead or alive).

The problem right now (at least in the minds of Thailand government officials) is that Facebook isn't making with the targeted censorship quickly enough.

The social media giant has been given until next Tuesday to remove more than 130 items from pages viewable in Thailand.

Facebook says it does consider requests from governments to block material, and will comply if it breaks local laws.

The "or else" part of the government's threat seems to be nonexistent at this point, although it probably involves cutting off citizens' access to Facebook entirely. The Thai government insists Facebook has been mostly cooperative, but is dragging its feet on the 100+ posts it has declared illegal under the country's "don't badmouth your authoritarian leaders" law.

It's disappointing to see Facebook agree, even partially, to act as a proxy censor for Thailand's government. While it's generally a good idea for social media companies to be somewhat responsive to local rules and regulations, there's very little to be gained by being an errand boy for a regime where insulting kings results in secret trials and 15-year jail sentences.

It must be noted that Facebook isn't the only US tech company working with the Thailand government to ensure its top officials remain unoffended. Google has also participated in proxy censorship. Last year, it reported it had complied with 85% of requests made under Thailand's lese majeste laws, although it did not explain whether this was location-based blocking or complete removal of the literally-offending posts.

Any form of tolerance for this only encourages further abuse. The country's cybersecurity laws are already being abused by the government, which has declared that merely communicating with foreign critics online violates the Computer Crime Act. Censors' requests for inches quickly stretch into miles. If either of these companies tries to reel in some of the censorious slack they've given Thailand's government, it will most likely be greeted with a complete blockade or ban of their services and sites. If that's going to be the inevitable result, why bother humoring these requests at all?


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 3:33pm

    Thin Skinned Rulers

    When people come to power and have such thin skin that they can't take any criticism, they do not get to start dictating what the rest of us can and can't do. If you happen to be a closeted cross dresser who is willing to put people to death who reveal it, maybe you should just step down. Your rights do not supersede ours.

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    • identicon
      Nico, 15 May 2017 @ 5:20pm

      Re: Thin Skinned Rulers

      Well if you want to do business in a foreign country you will have to follow some of their rules even though they may seem antiquated, backwards and wrong. If you don't they'll ban you from doing business there. Their demand was to "remove more than 130 items from pages VIEWABLE IN THAILAND." The only people their request affects is their own. If you're not in Thailand it doesn't affect you or your rights.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 5:43pm

        Re: Re: Thin Skinned Rulers

        Today it might not, but history shows us it is only the first step of inevitable reciprocity and mutual insanity.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 8:13pm

    What often baffles me is why TechDirt believes it has the moral authority to pronounce what is good or bad for other countries or other cultures. Should Thailand be able to decide for itself how to govern itself? Are you Thai? Is the reporter Thai? Do the majority of Thais, or for that matter any Thais agree with your opinion? Given your line of thought, would it be reasonable for Thais to pass judgment on your laws in your country? That would seem fair, right?

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

    • identicon
      Cowardly Lion, 15 May 2017 @ 11:18pm

      Re:

      "Given your line of thought, would it be reasonable for Thais to pass judgment on your laws in your country? That would seem fair, right?"

      Sure, why not. It's more about having an opinion than being a moral authority. I'm European, but I freely dish out my own opinion on US stuff all the time. It's actually quite therapeutic. For example; Donald Trump is a lardy parasitic oxygen thief with an IQ lower than plankton, and all the imagination of a caravan site. I'm not right or wrong, it's just my opinion.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 11:25pm

      Re:

      Whatever makes you think that it is moral for a government to control what people think and say about them.

      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, 15 May 2017 @ 11:39pm

        Re: Re:

        Why not ask the Thai people what they think? Thais themselves (from my personal experience) do not want to hear criticism of their royal family. They have their own culture, their own beliefs, and a beautiful, respectful, peaceful and economically successful country. Who are you to say otherwise? Another superior being? Maybe another fanatical anarchistic US Democrat? I think that Email guy is going to get a LOT of votes based on obliterating this ridiculous site. Mine for sure.

        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, 16 May 2017 @ 12:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wow, here's something I didn't know. There are a LOT of Thais in Massachusetts history, just look at this: https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-10-13/path-thai-royal-family-massachusetts

          I will bet that 100% of them will vote for that Email guy if he obliterates and eradicates this web site. TechDirt has a long history of being anti-Thai, likely because someone pays them to do so. Who exactly? I guess we will find out in the future.

          But I could ask now! Did someone pay you to write this article about Thailand and the Thai government? If yes, who paid you and how much? How about acting like a journalist for a change?

          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, 16 May 2017 @ 12:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The more I think about the political situation with the Email guy, the more his positioning with TechDirt starts to really make sense. He's running for office (the Senate, I think). He needs to get his name out. He needs to give people a reason to vote for him. He needs a brand that he can wield as a weapon against his competition, the leftist-Warren. I think his aim is to make the carcass of TechDirt his "brand". Wow. What a great idea. When it comes to actual American voters, there are many more reasonable law-abiding good citizens than the crazies that visit this site. Killing Techdirt could look really good for him, and endear him to everyone except the far left. Warren will take the crazies anyway. Thais are just one example that will appreciate him and vote for him. Wow. And if he wins against TechDirt, Mike will have donated both the carcass of TechDirt and the money to run the whole campaign. Wow. I wish I were that smart.

            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, 16 May 2017 @ 1:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So, that Email guy, I predict he is going to fare quite well. I mean think about it. He's not another "white boy" that the leftists can isolate as "anti-diversity". He's quite a diverse fellow. Does some stuff with health, and herbs, that kind of thing. Diverse. I think he could easily appeal to the moderate Democrats, and I think he will carry all the Republicans. His personal attorney, in whom he entrusts his reputation, is FLOTUS's personal attorney. A titan in the area of reputation management. Come on, community, how about an honest opinion? Think about the facts and the real situation. Do you think that Email guy would win the Senate against the leftist-Warren?

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2017 @ 6:00am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Have you taken your meds this morning?

                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, 16 May 2017 @ 6:19am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  OK, I know crediting that Email guy with such insight and ambition is not going to be popular on this particular web site. But I pointed out pretty early that Trump looked like a formidable competitor, and people laughed, and look at the world now. Don't underestimate this Email guy. He might be swinging for the fences (a bit), but he's got a pretty credible team around him, and the support for crazy lefties named Elizabeth is drying up.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2017 @ 8:17am

      Re:

      oh yes, Jack talk Thai!

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

  • identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 15 May 2017 @ 8:17pm

    The Man, The Boy, and the Donkey

    I think it's rather a case of _The Man, The Boy, and the Donkey_

    http://www.bartleby.com/17/1/62.html

    “PLEASE ALL, AND YOU WILL PLEASE NONE.”

    An internet company which attempts to do business and be legally present in all countries is in an impossible situation. The obvious solution is to operate only in chosen countries, with strong traditions of freedom and rule of law, and to be VPN-friendly, TOR-friendly, so that foreigners don't have to tell their governments what they are doing.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 8:34pm

    "If that's going to be the inevitable result, why bother humoring these requests at all?"

    Do you hear yourself at all, you superior schmuck? "Humoring" requests from a government? Do you mean actually obeying the "law of the land"? In short, obeying the law? Why obey the law? That's the big question?

    You are, apparently, an anarchist. Why not just come out and say "Don't obey any laws, resist forever, until the country is unmanageable". Oh, wait, that's the Democratic chant in the US, isn't it? Are you an US anarchist Democrat?

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

    • identicon
      Cowardly Lion, 15 May 2017 @ 11:34pm

      Huh?

      You're not accounting for the fact that Facebook is a US-based company. It's not going to be possible never mind desirable for them to obey every law in every land. Just for one glaring example: do you think Facebook should obey Sharia Law, because as sure as shit that's the law in several countries that you also need to account for on this planet.

      Also, I get that you have beef with the Democrats and Anarchists but you seem tone-deaf; just who the hell are you calling superior?

      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, 15 May 2017 @ 11:42pm

        Re: Huh?

        Well, sometimes I can be a little tone deaf, you are right about that. To me, one does not "humor" requests from the government, it implies some superiority if you have to "humor" a request. If I were to "humor" you with a reply, doesn't that make me sound a little superior?

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

  • icon
    Seegras (profile), 16 May 2017 @ 2:05am

    It's not even about the King

    It's actually the Thai government who has found a way to kill off unwanted criticism against themselves via this law.

    The King just seems to be oblivious to the fact that his subjects in the government are bullying his people.

    Kinda like Queen Elizabeth II being oblivious to the fact that her Secret Services are going full fascist against her people.

    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, 16 May 2017 @ 3:57am

      Re: It's not even about the King

      You are hilarious. I would just make one suggestion. Go to any Thai, anywhere in the world, and tell him (or her) that their King is oblivious. Make the comparison with Queen Elizabeth II. Tell him about your opinion about "going full fascist". But don't stand too close. Because if there is one thing that unites Thai people more than anything else, it is their respect for their King. While these normally quiet and polite and smiling individuals are quite reserved, you just go ahead and give your opinions, but stand back. And prepare to run for your life. Even the ladies in Thailand will kick our Farang ass for such comments.

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

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 17 May 2017 @ 5:35am

      Re: It's not even about the King

      Sad to say, she lacks any real authority to take them in hand. It'd be great if she went all Rambo on our behalf, but it won't happen.

      We'll either vote in a different flavour of authoritarian on 8th June or keep the one we've got. We're not really learning the lesson over here. :(

      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, 16 May 2017 @ 4:13am

    Here is a journalistic question - was it either Thaksin Shinawatra or Yingluck Shinawatra or their proxies that paid for this article? I am asking for the record. I don't really expect an answer now, but I am sure this will be a question of public interest in the future, when the case goes to trial. And I am 100% sure the Thai Government, with it's many historical ties to Massachusetts, will be interested to hear. I'm interested too. This would be like a real news story, exposing a fake news story.

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

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 16 May 2017 @ 2:24pm

      Re:

      I don't really expect an answer now, but I am sure this will be a question of public interest in the future, when the case goes to trial.

       

      Just curious here, but if the Ayyadurai lawsuit goes to discovery and trial, what makes you think that the court will allow it to encompass all these other, non-related things that have absolutely nothing to do with the statements Techdirt made concerning Ayyadurai?

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 16 May 2017 @ 3:15pm

        Re: Re:

        Why that's simple, it's becau- LOOK, A DISTRACTION! People on TD say mean things occasionally so all the focus should be on them instead of the statements that the lawsuit is supposedly about and whether or not they are protected speech backed up by extensive citations and facts.

        Because if the focus stays on that then things aren't likely to go very well for the one suing, which might have something to do with the last filing TD covered by Shiva's team that argued that it shouldn't matter what email is or who invented it and the only thing that matters is how very mean Mike/TD were towards Shiva.

        Because whether or not a statement rises to defamation has nothing to do with the context it was made in and what it was based upon of course. /s

        The desperate flailing about trying to shift the focus to anything but what was said and the context it was said in would be funny if it weren't part of such a high-stakes attempt to shut down a site because they said something 'mean'.

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

        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 17 May 2017 @ 5:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          ^This. The desire to "make them behave" is natural, but the ability to implement it varies according to circumstance. Sometimes you've just got to suck it up, vent a little if it makes you feel better, and move on.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 16 May 2017 @ 6:17am

    Thailand ruler is a rotten piece of shit that should die a slow, agonizing death. There. I wonder if TD will receive threats for that? :D

    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, 16 May 2017 @ 7:16am

      Re:

      Well, with 11,486 comments to your credit, you are certainly a very active (even prolific) member of this community. And the fact that this foul mouthed low-character disgusting post is not hidden is also telling of the standards and character of the TechDirt community. I wonder if any of your foul mouthed low-character disgusting posts have ever been hidden. I doubt it. You represent the true character of TechDirt, right, members?

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

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 16 May 2017 @ 8:13am

        Re: Re:

        I'm not sure if I ever got a comment hidden before, I think I did. If this one is hidden too so be it. Sometimes we screw up and send pretty bad comments. I wouldn't get angry if I got hidden but instead I'd use it to avoid similar comments in the future. Some people here don't seem to understand it and keep shouting "censorship" when they get hidden. I've been challenged on some of my positions here before for sure and the criticism was well deserved in most of them. I'm not sure this would be one of those and I intended it to be clearly empty words just for taunting thin skinned dudes that won't be able to do a thing because we do have much better free speech protections AND TD has CDA 230 behind them anyway. But hey, if you want to use the post to attack TD who am I to stop you, no?

        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, 16 May 2017 @ 9:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You did consider that CDA 230 does not actually apply to you, right? You have publicly defamed the King of Thailand with an irrefutably false and disgusting misstatement of fact. You already know that he is the richest monarch in the world, and very motivated to protect his reputation, right? And that Charles Harder, the Titan of reputation management, reads this blog every day, right? If your identity is real, I would imagine they are going to track you down and hold YOU accountable, and then recover their reputation by compelling your sincere apology. That's just a guess on my part, of course.

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

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 16 May 2017 @ 8:16am

        Re: Re:

        O lol, just noticed the trolling you engaged. Feeling hurt much? Getting a lot of money from the Thai govt to troll? In any case, my reply still stands.

        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, 16 May 2017 @ 9:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, your comment stands, waving like a flag of disgusting filth representing TechDirt and the values it extols and promotes. No, I am not feeling hurt much. No, I am not getting a lot of money from the Thai government. And yes, I am pretty darn sure that this written record will help the cause of the Email guy in court, and with voters, with fundraising, and maybe even make him many long-time friends and allies in Thailand. You can serve to unite yet another powerful faction against the obscene and harassing nature of this site.

          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, 16 May 2017 @ 7:37am

    And you guys get that this forum is going to be used to catapult that Email guy from obscurity to the center of politics in Massachusetts, right? With just a little energy from Charles Harder, maybe a nod and wink from POTUS/FLOTUS, this unknown actor is soon going to OWN TechDirt, as well as a seat in the US Senate. Guess what? American Citizens HATE this kind of foul mouthed, low character disgusting attacks on ANYONE, let alone the King of Thailand.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2017 @ 11:10am

      Re:

      Oh Hamilton you are a hoot this morning. I mean pretty soon the orderlies will take away your internet access again. But until than, please entertain us with your Boston-Indian-Thai-Techdirt conspiracy yarns.

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

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 16 May 2017 @ 2:15pm

      Re:

      American Citizens HATE this kind of foul mouthed, low character disgusting attacks on ANYONE, let alone the King of Thailand.

       

      Laughing my ass off here. Do you live in Mayberry or something? Because that's not the representation of American citizens I am familiar with. Just do a search for "angry people" on Youtube and you'll see what I mean.

      Also, I don't believe many people here in the US really give a rat's ass about the king of Thailand or their silly laws, because we have something that's much more important to us and it's called Free Speech.

      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, 16 May 2017 @ 6:34pm

        Re: Re:

        Thank you for that, the laughing, I mean. Very indicative of the tone and demeanor of this site. You are another moderator, right, and often select "most insightful" comments and such. So you are an authority and a credible representative of this site, and you are laughing at the characterization above (which I will not repeat) of the King of Thailand. Believe it or not, there are many, many American Thais, and you have exposed enough of your bias, hatred, character, and by extension, the character of this site, in order for them to form an opinion. Jury members, for example, can plainly understand your point of view. Voters, too. In fact, I'd bet the King of Thailand (through his staff, of course) understands your point of view and sense of humor. Imagine for a second, the jury deliberation in the current case. Do you think this kind of thing will come up? Will it be allowed in court? If not, why on earth not? Will the large collection of foul mouthed low-character disgusting remarks, which you find amusing, have an influence with the judge, the jury, or the voters? Personally, I think so. So, please go on.

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

  • identicon
    Kannika Sopa, 16 May 2017 @ 6:58pm

    I am Thai

    I read what you wrote about my King. This may be your opinion, but you do not need to say in public. I think you are wrong to say it. I would like to ask Tammy Duckworth, United States Senator from Illinois, to help remove this post. She is Thai and have Thai mother, too. We love the King. We do not need to hear any bad things about the King. You will never found another country who loves their King more.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 1:16am

      Anyone who demands respect doesn't deserve it

      I would like to ask Tammy Duckworth, United States Senator from Illinois, to help remove this post.

      On what grounds exactly?

      Keep in mind that the US doesn't have the absurdity that is the 'lèse-majesté' law on the books, and even if they did it likely wouldn't apply to foreign leaders, so you're getting nowhere if that is the argument you want to go with.

      Likewise, even if something in the article rose to the level of defamation you'd need to demonstrate that a) it wasn't true and/or based upon facts as known by TD(good luck with that given the various claims are all backed by citation ), and b) it was done maliciously(as I'm pretty sure that the Thailand government/king would qualify as 'public figures').

      "I don't like it when someone in another country says mean/true things about my country/king" isn't going to get you very far in court, and I'm pretty sure a US politician isn't going to get anywhere near that due to how trivially easy it would be for it to backlash on them.

      We do not need to hear any bad things about the King.

      Clearly you do if you value their image more than you value free speech, as perhaps hearing such things more often will allow you to build up some tolerance and avoid such over the top reactions. However if you're really that averse to hearing 'unkind' things you can simply avoid any articles covering the country.

      You will never found another country who loves their King more.

      Given anyone who actually lives in the country faces stiff penalties for saying anything 'unkind' about said king, that's not really saying anything. Of course they 'love' him, they've got a hefty threat hanging over their head should they say otherwise.

      See, that's the kicker about that sort of law and having it enforced. Even if the person/institution 'protecting' is actually worthy or respect and admiration, the threat for voicing anything other than that makes any 'praise' worthless, because it's impossible to tell whether it's honest or not, whether they've actually earned respect or people are just too afraid to say anything else.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 5:28am

        Re: Anyone who demands respect doesn't deserve it

        "Thailand ruler is a rotten piece of shit that should die a slow, agonizing death. There. I wonder if TD will receive threats for that"

        You are defending that post, right, the one Kannika Sopa is referring to? And you are saying that (a) it's true based on facts known by TechDirt and (b) it was not done maliciously. It is true and not malicious. That's your position. Well, you are a TechDirt insider with over 12,000 posts. I think that volume of posting, and Gwiz's volume of posting (and editorial position), qualifies you both as "agents" of TechDirt, right? OK. You are both speaking on behalf of TechDirt as agents of TechDirt, right? Just to be clear.

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

        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 17 May 2017 @ 5:39am

          Re: Re: Anyone who demands respect doesn't deserve it

          By that standard, AC, you are an agent, too.

          We're all just commenters unless we are on staff.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 5:40am

          Re: Re: Anyone who demands respect doesn't deserve it

          Incomplete attribution: The original post was from Ninja (11,495 posts) and then defended as humorous by Gwiz (4,266 posts) and now defended as legitimate by That One Guy (12,324 posts). You guys are just paid writers for TechDirt, right, at that volume? More than 25,000 posts between just the three of you, as well as editorial power. You basically ARE TechDirt, right? You write more than Mike Masnick does. Of course, I am assuming you are NOT Mike Masnick, which may not be the case.

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

          • icon
            Gwiz (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 6:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Anyone who demands respect doesn't deserve it

            ...as well as editorial power.

             

            Nope. Nadda. None whatsoever. I can't even edit my own comments here.

            I'm just someone who has commented here for almost 10 years and was once asked to write a guest post for the "Favorites of the Week" when that was something that Techdirt was doing at the time. It involved a total of 4 or 5 emails back and forth and that was it. I didn't even disclose my full name.

             

            You basically ARE TechDirt, right?

             

            Your lack of basic logic would be a bit funny if it wasn't so sad.

            By your (flawed) reasoning, anyone with a Facebook account would be "agents" of Facebook or anyone with a Gmail account would be "agents" of Google. Anyone with a couple of functioning brain cells can see that that is just plain silly.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 6:30am

            “But I don't want to go among Mike Masnicks," AC remarked. "Oh you can't help that," said the registered user: "we're all Mike here. I'm Mike. You're Mike.”

            No matter how many times you charge at that windmill Don it will never turn into a dragon, not even if you really, really want it to be one.

            Baseless(and downright hilarious really) insinuations that we're all just alternate accounts of Mike isn't exactly helping what passes for your 'argument' either.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 6:20am

          Re: Re: Anyone who demands respect doesn't deserve it

          You are defending that post, right, the one Kannika Sopa is referring to?

          And you know it was responding to that post how exactly, given it wasn't a reply to it and in fact was listed several comments below?

          As to the post in question, while I consider it just a wee bit excessive and uncalled for, and don't necessarily agree with it(I don't know enough about the king to hold an opinion either way on the 'rotten piece of shit' line, even if as I noted in my comment 'Not deserving of respect' would certainly fit, and offhand I'm not sure if I personally would say that anyone deserves to 'die a slow, agonizing death' so I certainly don't agree with that part) I'll defend their right to say it, sure, as I don't for one second believe that it's meant as a threat and is anything more than opinion and dark humor, both things I support the right to say, even when I don't agree with the content of them.

          I think that volume of posting, and Gwiz's volume of posting (and editorial position), qualifies you both as "agents" of TechDirt, right? OK. You are both speaking on behalf of TechDirt as agents of TechDirt, right? Just to be clear.

          It's almost adorable how obsessed you seem to be to tie those that comment here to the site itself, as if simply being a regular commentor magically creates some 'link' between myself(or Gwiz, or Wendy...) and the site itself.

          But no. No matter how much you say it, no matter the certainty you say it with, it doesn't matter how many posts I or anyone else has made on the site, unless we've been employed by TD to make them(and while I can't speak for anyone else none of my posts fall into that category), whether one comment or 12,000 it does not make us 'Agents of Techdirt' nor speaking on it's behalf.

          (Mind, now I do kinda want an 'Unofficial Agent of Techdirt' shirt...)

          No idea what you mean when you claim Gwiz has an 'editorial position', unless you somehow think that being asked to do a 'Favorite Posts of the Week' once somehow makes him an employee or representative of TD(it doesn't).

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

          • icon
            Gwiz (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 6:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Anyone who demands respect doesn't deserve it

            (Mind, now I do kinda want an 'Unofficial Agent of Techdirt' shirt...)

             

            Me too.

             

            No idea what you mean when you claim Gwiz has an 'editorial position', unless you somehow think that being asked to do a 'Favorite Posts of the Week' once somehow makes him an employee or representative of TD(it doesn't).

             

            I have no clue why this person claims this either. I'm not even an "Insider".

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 8:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Anyone who demands respect doesn't deserve it

            But you are an "insider", right? The "insiders" have some kind of "dashboard" where they coordinate their posts, right, and communicate in secret, right? So, actually, you are part of a team that is directed by TechDirt, and through secret communications, they exercise control over your actions, right? If that's the case, then they become legally accountable for your actions through the doctrine of "let the master answer" (if I remember correctly). I think the important part is the control and the common objective, not so much the money. For example, if Mike Masnick said "don't respond", and you didn't, that would be indicative of him being your "master", and he could be held accountable for your words, or absence of words. That's what I mean by "agent". But, you seem like a thoughtful guy. What do you think? Are you an "agent" by that definition?

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

            • icon
              Gwiz (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 8:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Anyone who demands respect doesn't deserve it

              But you are an "insider", right?

               

              Nope. There is no Insider badge below my icon, is there?

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 8:45am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Anyone who demands respect doesn't deserve it

                Sorry, Gwiz, I was trying to reply to That One Guy. I guess I misunderstood your role, I thought you did a lot of "most insightful" stuff, but if you did only one, I stand corrected.

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

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 2:04pm

              ... Nope, it's still a windmill

              And the entertainment just keeps coming.

              This is just too good, watching you spin these elaborate conspiracy theories out of thin air. It's even better given you could have easily done the slightest bit of research to find out what being an 'Insider' actually means, but instead you constructed this complex and utterly wrong scenario regarding how it provides some secret place to coordinate communications and plot. The closest you came to being right is if someone has a watercooler subscription, which allows them the ability to post in the publicly visible chat bar on the right of the page. If that's your idea of 'secret' you've got a rather... 'novel' definition of the word.

              It's like you're so desperate to find something that you're willing to go with whatever comes to mind first.

              Post count doesn't indicate a person is an 'Agent of Techdirt'.

              An Insider badge doesn't indicate that a person is an 'Agent of Techdirt'.

              Would you like to go for three out of three wrong assumptions, or are you ready to accept that you've been chasing shadows in a desperate attempt to find anything to link those posting here with the site?

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 5:26pm

                Re: ... Nope, it's still a windmill

                Well, you sure sound defensive, don't you? "Elaborate conspiracy theories" indeed. Consider the definition of "insider" from the Cambridge Dictionary: someone who is an accepted member of a group and who therefore has special or secret knowledge or influence. I think you are denying this now, right? Either you are NOT an accepted member of the group (not believable) or you have no special or secret knowledge or influence (also not believable). So, what is your definition of "insider"? (just asking, please don't get defensive)

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

                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 6:37pm

                  Re: Re: ... Nope, it's still a windmill

                  Oh I'm not defensive, I'm entertained at your repeated attempt to create a link that doesn't exist. Watching you repeatedly throwing out any idea you can think of(posts number? No. Insider status... Oh, I know, how about a dictionary definition, words are always used as they are in the dictionary!) is apparently entertainment without end as you simply cannot admit that you're wrong in your assertion on the matter.

                  As for what 'Insider' means in the context of 'TD Insider', you could click on the link in my previous comment and find out yourself, but if you just can't bring yourself to click that mouse the simplest explanation is that it's something that a registered user can get if they donate to Techdirt in some way. Your latest vain attempts to create a link that doesn't exist is based upon what amounts to a 'Thank you for supporting us' badge.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 7:51pm

                    Re: Re: Re: ... Nope, it's still a windmill

                    How about words that are used by everyone everyday and everyone knows the meaning of? Someone who is credited with donating is called a "donor", right? Not an "insider". Why use that name (insider) for some new meaning (donor) and expect people to understand? Defensive much?

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 8:14pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Nope, it's still a windmill

                      If I understand you correctly, an "insider" has a documented financial relationship with TechDirt, which pretty much establishes a common cause, right? Otherwise why would you part with your hard earned money? And your use of the word "badge" is interesting, especially in this context. TechDirt engages with posters (like you) officially (through registration), and provides you a "badge" to show that you are, in essence, acting on behalf of your certified and financial common interest with TechDirt. In short, TechDirt has accepted you and publicly certified you with a badge to add credence to your posts and profile. Sure sounds like an agency relationship to me.

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

                      • icon
                        That One Guy (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 9:07pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Nope, it's still a windmill

                        Are you trying to get Funniest of the week with this obsession of yours? If you want to air out your obsessions so publicly have at it, just don't be surprised when no-one else is interested in humoring you.

                        You were wrong the first time, you're still wrong, and no amount of laughable stretching and tortured logic will magically make you not wrong.

                        If I understand you correctly, an "insider" has a documented financial relationship with TechDirt, which pretty much establishes a common cause, right?

                        If I buy something at Walmart does that create a 'documented financial relationship with Walmart, which pretty much establishes common cause'?

                        Registering with a site does not make you an agent of the site, unless you want to argue that someone who registered with a government service meant they were an agent of that agency, or registering with say Amazon makes you an agent of the company.

                        Otherwise why would you part with your hard earned money?

                        It's due to this funny concept called 'I enjoy site/service/product X, and I want to support the one(s) running/offering/selling it'. Crazy idea I know.

                        And your use of the word "badge" is interesting, especially in this context.

                        No, not really, just you jumping at shadows again.

                        TechDirt engages with posters (like you) officially (through registration), and provides you a "badge" to show that you are, in essence, acting on behalf of your certified and financial common interest with TechDirt.

                        I pay for Amazon Prime, and my Prime status is indicated as such on my account. Does that mean when I write product reviews I'm doing so on behalf of my 'certified and financial common interest with Amazon'? Given how defensive they get about keeping the review system as unbiased as possible in order to preserve it's value they might be a little upset to learn that apparently anyone with a Prime account is actually leaving reviews as representatives of the company.

                        Allowing people to register for an account is now 'engaging' with people registering? Having a visual indicator that someone has supported a site financially is an indicator that someone is 'acting on behalf of [their] certified and financial common interest' with that site? You're not setting the bar low, you're burying the thing in your laughable attempts to salvage your argument.

                        At this point you're not beating a dead horse in a desperate attempt to get it to move, you're beating the red smear of what might have been a horse at some point in the distant past.

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

                      • icon
                        That One Guy (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 9:19pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Nope, it's still a windmill

                        Small correction: It would seem that Amazon does not in fact list Prime status on reviews, though they do have an 'Amazon Vine' program for reviewers along with several other 'badges', so the argument is roughly the same.

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

                    • icon
                      That One Guy (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 8:23pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Nope, it's still a windmill

                      Just can't stop tilting at those windmills can you? Admitting that you were and continue to be dead wrong in your attempt to create a link where none exists is just a wee bit too much is it?

                      Why use that name (insider) for some new meaning (donor) and expect people to understand?

                      Yeah, I suppose expecting someone to take several minutes to do the slightest bit of research to see what the usage of the term means in context of the site before throwing out wild speculation of secret communications and coordination about what to say and how to say it to random AC's was unreasonable of me, terribly sorry about that.

                      Of course now that I have informed you about what it means, and pointed you to another source explaining it you've really got no excuse for your stubborn refusal to admit that you were wrong.

                      Defensive much?

                      Calling me the King of Mars would have as much impact as your repeated attempts to spin my responses as 'defensive', but if that's what it takes for you to dodge having to admit to being wrong then I guess knock yourself out.

                      Entertained, occasionally exasperated, sarcastic, there's several descriptive terms you could use for my replies, but don't flatter yourself by pretending you've somehow got me on the 'defensive'.

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 9:07pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Nope, it's still a windmill

                        Ok, good, because I would never mean to offend you. So, here is a simple open ended question for your consideration. Don't you think it looks to the casual observer that TechDirt Insiders are both speaking on behalf of TechDirt, and privy to secret information not available to "outsiders" of TechDirt? I mean, I understand your point that those :inside" TechDirt may ascribe different meaning to a variety of words, and I have not studied your usage, and perhaps I am uninformed about the sources you cite. But just consider what effect the Insider Badge has on the general public. The optics, I mean, not the deep truth. How it looks. That's all. It looks like a little secret TechDirt Gestapo type organization, with insider secrets, maybe long boots, secret oaths, who knows? I mean, from the outside, you understand what I mean, right? :)

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

                        • icon
                          That One Guy (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 9:29pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Nope, it's still a windmill

                          Given(to the best of my memory) you are the only one I have ever seen make the assumption of 'Insider = Speaking on behalf of TD', no, not really. The closest your idea comes to being correct is that anyone who's paid enough to have access to the Crystal Ball(which at $15/year is the second to lowest tier of support) is able to read and leave comments on articles up to two hours before others can. Not influence them mind, or have access to something 'regular' users won't have access to shortly, merely leave comments and read them.

                          Everyone else I've run across has treated Insider statue as just an indication of regular registered users that have also donated to the site, so no, not so much. A 'secret club' with an entry free as low as $1 is hardly very 'secret', no?

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

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 9:44pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Nope, it's still a windmill

                            So, apologies if I'm way off base, you guys are just so secretive that it raises all my suspicious hairs. And to be honest, it's not the posters that seem secretive, they pretty much say a lot and very openly. It's TechDirt and Mike Masnick. For example, were they paid to offer a particular bias for an article? It seems to me that they should disclose that. If the Insiders are as innocuous as you say, maybe I'm just wrong. Sorry about that. It appears sometimes that posts with specific and like opinions are coordinated, and a Gang, often comprised of TechDirt Insiders, uses foul language and disgusting comments to silence critics.

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

                            • icon
                              That One Guy (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 3:17pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Nope, it's still a windmill

                              You keep claiming people are secretive and yet I've yet to see an example of it.

                              As for 'were they paid to write this?' unless you have either solid evidence that someone was paid to write a particular piece there's no reason to assume that. People could just as easily claim that you were paid to leave comments opposing whatever's written here. As I doubt you'd care for the insinuations of such it and would consider them an unfair attempt to dismiss your arguments then it behooves you to extend the same courtesy to others unless you've got a very good reason to suspect otherwise.

                              It appears sometimes that posts with specific and like opinions are coordinated, and a Gang, often comprised of TechDirt Insiders, uses foul language and disgusting comments to silence critics.

                              Like-minded people tend to gather together and hold similar opinions on some subjects. As for using 'foul language and disgusting comments', yeah, not really seeing it beyond the occasional AC who pops up thinking that 'insults = argument'.

                              Now this is not to say that comments can't get heated, that happens often enough, but for the most part it's usually in a 'like for like' fashion, where it's in response to a less than civil comment, or someone who has demonstrated that they're not interested in a conversation and therefore the ones replying to them are just doing it for their own entertainment.

                              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, 16 May 2017 @ 10:17pm

    Astonishing

    The thing that continues to astonish me is that you practice EXACTLY the type of Internet Defamation that Wendy Cockcroft is accused of (multiple times) so openly. This whole article, and the comments are a "hit piece" directed at Thailand and Thai laws, and I believe you were paid to do it. The extent to which you are willing to go to defame your target is really astonishing. Your common theme is always a biased article, followed up with foul mouthed low-character disgusting attacks by a small but extremely persistent (thousands or tens of thousands of posts) gang. The same formula is used over and over, article after article. Well, no one knows what is in the mind of the Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV at this time, but I sure hope he has a chance to review this post and others like it while he ponders your fate.

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

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 17 May 2017 @ 5:45am

      Re: Astonishing

      And that, dear friend, is how defamation is carried out: to accuse someone of horrible things without verifiable evidence.

      I'm still waiting for the police to arrest for the criminal offenses I've allegedly committed and I'm still waiting to find out who else adopted EMAIL apart from Dr. Ayyadurai's college. Asking him that question is not defamation; he has only to answer it one way or the other at which point I'll stop asking it.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 7:36am

        Re: Re: Astonishing

        OK, you astonish me too. Remember this: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/wendy-cockcroft-web-design-wendy-cockcroft-interservecom/interne t/wendy-cockcroft-web-design-wendy-cockcroft-interservecom-wendy-cockcroft-manchester-u-1280160

        This is evidence that in large part, you created. In it, you simultaneously deny knowing Mr. Diaz while tweeting that you took money from him, on the same day. You've been asked about this at least twice, and chose not to answer. That's fine. But it is also evidence of at least your evasiveness. Mr. Diaz, who accuses you of threatening Internet Defamation (he accuses you, not me) seems more believable than your contradictory account. Changing the subject to the Email guy doesn't help. How about being less evasive and explaining your OWN evidence you posted on ripoffreport?

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

        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 8:20am

          Re: Re: Re: Astonishing

          Hmmm... I want to play too.

          Anonymous Coward, I would like YOU to provide evidence that you have stopped beating your wife.....

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 8:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Astonishing

            That is equivalent to "explain the contradiction in YOUR OWN VERSION OF EVENTS in ripoffreport"?

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

            • icon
              Gwiz (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 8:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Astonishing

              That is equivalent to "explain the contradiction in YOUR OWN VERSION OF EVENTS in ripoffreport"?

               

              Fair enough. Perhaps that isn't exactly equivalent.

              But it is close... you know, some random anonymous internet asshole demanding you prove some random thing as if they are actually entitled to an explanation.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 8:55am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Astonishing

                I agree with that, too. That probably happens too much. But this complaint does not appear random, it is quite specific to Wendy's stated product offerings (web site design) and the criticism is something unique to Wendy (bad cartoons). So, it does not seem random. Then, Wendy's contradiction about whether she even KNOWS this guy leaves it an open question that she has avoided.

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

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 17 May 2017 @ 8:36am

      Re: Astonishing

      This whole article, and the comments are a "hit piece" directed at Thailand and Thai laws, and I believe you were paid to do it.

       

      Wait a minute. In a comment, on Techdirt, where you bitch about internet defamation, you use the internet to defame (IMHO) Techdirt?

      What a fucking hypocrite.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2017 @ 9:08am

        Re: Re: Astonishing

        Respectfully, I just don't think hypocrite is the right word. Yes, in my humble opinion, TechDirt is a little more than a database of defamation. How can I say that without being critical of TechDirt? Criticism, or a differing opinion, does not automatically make me a hypocrite, does it? I am stating my opinion about TechDirt, that's all. There is a LOT of hate filled nasty foul mouthed low-character disgusting attacks that take place on TechDirt, that's hard to deny. To me they seem coordinated and serving a common objective. I'm critical, not hypocritical.

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


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