The Importance Of Defending Section 230 Even When It's Hard

from the preventing-tough-cases-from-making-bad-law dept

The Copia Institute filed another amicus brief this week, this time in Fields v. Twitter. Fields v. Twitter is one of a flurry of cases being brought against Internet platforms alleging that they are liable for the harms caused by the terrorists using their sites. The facts in these cases are invariably awful: often people have been brutally killed and their loved ones are seeking redress for their loss. There is a natural, and perfectly reasonable, temptation to give them some sort of remedy from someone, but as we argued in our brief, that someone cannot be an internet platform.

There are several reasons for this, including some that have nothing to do with Section 230. For instance, even if Section 230 did not exist and platforms could be liable for the harms resulting from their users' use of their services, for them to be liable there would have to be a clear connection between the use of the platform and the harm. Otherwise, based on the general rules of tort law, there could be no liability. In this particular case, for instance, there is a fairly weak connection between ISIS members using Twitter and the specific terrorist act that killed the plaintiffs' family members.

But we left that point to Twitter to ably argue. Our brief focused exclusively on the fact that Section 230 should prevent a court from ever even reaching the tort law analysis. With Section 230, a platform should never find itself having to defend against liability for harm that may have resulted from how people used it. Our concern is that in several recent cases with their own terrible facts, the Ninth Circuit in particular has found itself willing to make exceptions to that rule. As much as we were supporting Twitter in this case, trying to help ensure the Ninth Circuit does not overturn the very good District Court decision that had correctly applied Section 230 to dismiss the case, we also had an eye to the long view of reversing this trend.

The problem is, like the First Amendment itself, speech protections only work as speech protections when they always work. When one can find exemptions here and there, all of a sudden none of these protections are effective and it chills the speech of those who were counting on them because no one can be sure whether or not the speech will ultimately be protected. In the case of Section 230, that chilling arises because if the platforms cannot be sure whether they will be protected from liability in their users' speech, then they will have to assume they are not. Suddenly they will have to make all the censoring choices with respect to their users' content that Section 230 was designed to prevent, just to avoid the specter of potentially crippling liability.

One of the points we emphasized in our brief was how such an outcome flouts what Congress intended when it passed Section 230. As we said then, and will say again as many times as we need to, the point of Section 230 is to encourage the most beneficial online speech and also minimize the worst speech. To see how this dual-purposed intent plays out we need to look at the statute as a whole, beyond the part of it that usually gets the most attention, at Subsection (c)(1), which is about how platforms are immune from liability manifest in their users' speech. There is also another equally important part of the statute, at Subsection (c)(2), that immunizes platforms from liability when they take steps to minimize harmful online content on their systems. This subsection rarely gets attention, but it's important not to overlook, especially as people look at the effect of the first subsection and worry that it might encourage too much "bad" speech. Congress anticipated this problem and built in a remedy as part of a balanced approach to encourage the most good speech and least bad speech. The problem with now holding online services liable for bad uses of their platforms is that it distorts this balance, and in distorting this balance undermines both these goals.

We used the cases of Barnes v. Yahoo and Doe 14 v. Internet Brands to illustrate this point. Both of these are cases where the Ninth Circuit did make exemptions and found Section 230 not to apply to certain negative uses of Internet platforms. For instance, in Barnes Section 230 was actually found to apply to part of the claim directly relating to the speech in question, which was a good result, but the lawsuit also included a promissory estoppel claim, and the Court decided that because it was not directly related to liability arising from content it could go forward. The problem here was that Yahoo had separately promised to take down certain content, and so the Court found it potentially liable for not having lived up to its promise. But as we pointed out, the effect of the Barnes case was that now platforms never promise to take content down. Even though Congress intended for Section 230 to help Internet platforms perform a hygiene function to help keep the Internet free of the worst content, by discouraging platforms from going the extra mile it has instead had the opposite effect from the one Congress intended. That's why courts should not continue to find reasons to limit Section 230's applicability. Even if they think they have good reason to find one, that very justification itself will be better advanced when Section 230's protection can be most robust.

We also pointed out that in terms of the other policy goal behind Section 230, to encourage more online speech, divining exemptions from Section 230's coverage would undermine that goal as well. In this case the plaintiffs want providers to have to deny terrorists the use of their platforms. As a separate amicus brief by the Internet Association explained, platforms actually want to keep terrorists off and go to great lengths to try to do so. But as the saying goes, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." In other words, deciding who to label a terrorist can often be a difficult thing to do, as well as an extremely political decision to make. It's certainly beyond the ken of an "intermediary" to determine -- especially a smaller, less capitalized, or potentially even individual one. (Have you ever had people comment on one of your Facebook posts? Congratulations! You are an intermediary, and Section 230 applies to you too.)

Even if the rule were that a platform had to check prospective users' names against a government list, there are significant constitutional concerns, particularly regarding the right to speak anonymously and the prohibition against prior restraint, that arise from having to make these sorts of registration denial decisions this way. There are also often significant constitutional problems with how these lists are made at all. As the amicus brief by EFF and CDT also argued, we can't create a system where the statutory protection platforms depend on to be able to foster online free speech is conditioned on coercing platforms to undermine it.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 11:00am

    Hmm, it's interesting. Going after the tool instead of the ones behind it. Going after the symptom instead of the disease. It's not happening with the internet only (check this about prescription drugs: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/06/fda-starts-opioid-crack-down-demands-drug-maker-pull-risky-d rug-from-market/).

    I suspect we will see things break before people will stop and say "ok, going after the intermediates or the symptoms doesn't work and makes things worse, let's focus on the causes.".

    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, 9 Jun 2017 @ 11:13am

    Flawed premises: A) Congress may be wrong in broad intent, B) obvious "everyone knows" limits to "free speech", C) maybe "platforms" are deeply flawed idea.

    You're basically defending anarchy where every yahoo will try to shout and shock, and that's not going to end well.

    Specifically on point C: how is it that "platforms" are to be funded? Advertising or direct pay? If advertising, then the already visible trend is that the big "platforms" will on one hand suppress whatever speech they don't care for, and encourage what draws eyeballs to ad. Two obvious cases: Facebook wanting to keep up video of murders, and Google's cutting off advertising revenue to sites like Activist Post and Infowars.

    If persons want to express their viewpoints, they can pay for a site, as Techdirt does. No problem. Be just like print magazines. The editors are then identifiable and responsible. There's no obvious censorship around for either print or internet... except by common law, which is practically unknown among lawyers, of course.

    Now, if every other yahoo wants to express a view, they can submit to editing, as here on Techdirt. See that "Submit" button? I can tell you that at least many of MY comments disappear from that public comment box. I'd have no problem with that EXCEPT that the censoring is hidden and sneaky, not done out in open as common law requires, and the nasty ad hom of other persons is let pass, when common law requires it be suppressed TOO. Techdirt doesn't even have a notice that the site reserves that right, just tries to avoid ALL responsibility.

    You can't have it all ways at once. The present is degenerating into vile anarchy. If you allow giant multi-national platforms to host evil without any responsibility, then evils are going to be monetized and spread, and those platforms will control everyone's speech.

    I say we need some regulation on the unregulated platforms.

    Now, again, we'll see if MY comments are let out from alleged "Moderation" on this site which supposedly wants all views to be heard.

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 11:15am

      Re: Flawed premises: A) Congress may be wrong in broad intent, B) obvious "everyone knows" limits to "free speech", C) maybe "platforms" are deeply flawed idea.

      And I'm pleased that this time, my comment went right in.

      Now we'll see if fanboys have any speech to answer it -- and I say that "free speech" does not actually include sheer ad hom. That's just noise, like barking dogs, that aren't allowed in civilized venues.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 11:39am

        Re: Re: Flawed premises: A) Congress may be wrong in broad intent, B) obvious "everyone knows" limits to "free speech", C) maybe "platforms" are deeply flawed idea.

        Please - no emails

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      • identicon
        Thad, 9 Jun 2017 @ 2:20pm

        Re: Re: Flawed premises: A) Congress may be wrong in broad intent, B) obvious "everyone knows" limits to "free speech", C) maybe "platforms" are deeply flawed idea.

        I say that "free speech" does not actually include sheer ad hom.

        You can say whatever you want, but that doesn't make it true.

        I invite you to consider the implications of a First Amendment interpretation that does not consider ad hominems to be protected speech.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 2:46pm

        Re: Re: Flawed premises: A) Congress may be wrong in broad intent, B) obvious "everyone knows" limits to "free speech", C) maybe "platforms" are deeply flawed idea.

        I say that "free speech" does not actually include sheer ad hom

        You can say it all you want. But that does not make it true.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 12:21am

        Re: Re: Flawed premise

        and I say that "free speech" does not actually include sheer ad hom.

        1) Ad Hominem attacks may be considered "defamatory" (libel).

        but...

        2) defamation is not a trivial bar to hurdle, on the internet. In context, there's a good chance that Ad Hominem attacks will be considered mere hyperbole. Consider John Oliver re Trump. Or The Daily Show vs any number of people.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 5:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Flawed premise

          If you call someone a "piece of shit", is that defamatory?
          It's obviously not true and also obviously not intended to be a literal statement.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 11:34am

      Re: Flawed premises: A) Congress may be wrong in broad intent, B) obvious "everyone knows" limits to "free speech", C) maybe "platforms" are deeply flawed idea.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 11:50am

      Re: Flawed premises: A) Congress may be wrong in broad intent, B) obvious "everyone knows" limits to "free speech", C) maybe "platforms" are deeply flawed idea.

      Did you actually have a point somewhere in that mess?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 12:33pm

      Just can't make this up

      I say we need some regulation on the unregulated platforms.

      Now, again, we'll see if MY comments are let out from alleged "Moderation" on this site which supposedly wants all views to be heard.

      And again you blow your own foot clean off, calling for 'regulation' for platforms while throwing a tantrum(again) because you're experiencing what that would entail thanks to TD's spam filter.

      You can't have it both ways, calling for measures that would require sites to either bar user submitted content entirely or pre-vetting of all of it and complain when you face having your comments vetted. Well, not unless you want to go the blatant hypocrite route I guess.

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 12:39pm

        Re: Just can't make this up

        As the resident anti-fcc nut here, I can only sit back and read the irony in your exchange. WOW. We really have come full circle here.

        "And again you blow your own foot clean off, calling for 'regulation' for platforms while throwing a tantrum(again) because you're experiencing what that would entail thanks to TD's spam filter."

        This is another "regulation in a nutshell" insight! Regulation brings about, what you intended for that regulation to prevent!

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 12:50pm

          Re: Re: Just can't make this up

          No irony at all(at least not on my end, and for them I'd lean more towards 'hypocrisy' so long as they continue to throw their tantrums while calling for the same treatment except for everyone), while I may disagree with 'regulations' in this case that doesn't mean I think that all regulations are bad, and/or inevitably lead to what they're meant to prevent.

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

        • identicon
          Chip, 9 Jun 2017 @ 2:23pm

          Re: Re: Just can't make this up

          You sypophantic idiots don't understand that all regulation is the same!

          First Amendment restrictions, air traffic control towers, net neutrality, bans on delicious, delcious leaded paint -- you're all too stupid to understand that all those things are exactly the same! STUPID!

          Every nation eats the paint Chips is Deserves!

          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, 9 Jun 2017 @ 1:42pm

        Re: Just can't make this up

        You did not read all. Up there is:

        >>> Now, if every other yahoo [that means ME] wants to express a view, they can submit [this is a key word, not chosen idly] to editing, as here on Techdirt. See that "Submit" button? I can tell you that at least many of MY comments disappear from that public comment box. I'd have no problem with that EXCEPT that the censoring is hidden and sneaky, not done out in open as common law requires, and the nasty ad hom of other persons is let pass, when common law requires it be suppressed TOO. Techdirt doesn't even have a notice that the site reserves that right, just tries to avoid ALL responsibility.

        I repeat: I'D HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THAT EXCEPT THAT THE CENSORING IS HIDDEN AND SNEAKY. So we don't even argue there! ... Unless you actually want only opinions here which please you.

        At present isn't fair, it's prior restraint on mild-written me because of my opinions, nothing else.

        There's never "Moderation" here except of dissent. Fanboys and pirates are NEVER even admonished. Bet you can't find a single example. I've complained often about me being targeted. No official response. But Techdirt has a responsibility to keep the site civil. This area will always be a slippery slope, but you simply want it all YOUR way, and me to never comment here, at best.

        Also, it's not a spam filter: the same text may get through on subsequent tries! So just put an end to that myth.

        Appears to usually be locked-down to allow one at a time. at least from TOR addresses: your home address may be on a whitelist, while mine is definitely blocked. It's practical because so few comments here. As I stated, many of my comments are NEVER let through. (If you don't see this, that's why!) I've tried often enough to conclude that it's sheer censoring. Confirming that is the browser sessions which do get through are soon blocked, one to three comments if I'm quick, so I can't easily if at all go back-and-forth with you. Blame Techdirt.

        Do you agree with that practice, if what I say is true? Will you state that you're happy to see my opinions? Or is what you want no dissent here? You don't need to dodge: I'd be all for that, IF HONEST. But in practice, the censoring of only dissent is just kept out of sight so Techdirt can claim to support "free speech".

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 2:04pm

          Re: Re: Just can't make this up

          Oh look a grown man is crying like a bitch.

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

        • identicon
          Thad, 9 Jun 2017 @ 2:26pm

          Re: Re: Just can't make this up

          Once again, you paranoid imbecile, I would just like to note that you are not the only person whose posts sometimes get held for moderation, you just think you are because the rest of us don't fucking whine about it when it happens to us.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 2:34pm

          Re: Re: Just can't make this up

          There's nothing 'hidden' or 'sneaky' about a spam filter, and if you use a method to post that will result in your comments flagged and held, like Tor, that's your fault.

          If by 'censoring' you mean 'This comment has been flagged by the community.', then again, not 'censorship' as your comment is still there just a single click away, and even if it was it's not the site doing it and there's nothing 'hidden' or 'sneaky' about it, merely the community making use of a feature the site has.

          As an aside, I really doubt that site moderation, automated or otherwise is legally required to be 'out in the open' and last I checked ad homs aren't illegal either(luckily for you), such that removal of such isn't legally required either.

          Appears to usually be locked-down to allow one at a time. at least from TOR addresses: your home address may be on a whitelist, while mine is definitely blocked.

          So many words, when you could have just started with this. As the saying goes, 'Well there's your problem'.

          Posting via TOR will result in your comments caught by the spam filter.

          Now if you're only using Tor because your home IP address got added to the spam filter, that's likely because your comments tend to get reported so often that the system figured it was a spam source and treated it appropriately, and I can easily see why. When you regularly insult those around you('Fanboys and pirates' being a good example) you don't get to cry foul when they decide they'd rather not deal with you. Trashing your own reputation has consequences.

          As for whitelisting, no, I've had several of my comments held for moderation over the years, generally when I included too many links in my comment or screwed up and hit enter rather than tab, leaving only the header and no content.

          Do you agree with that practice, if what I say is true? Will you state that you're happy to see my opinions? Or is what you want no dissent here? You don't need to dodge: I'd be all for that, IF HONEST. But in practice, the censoring of only dissent is just kept out of sight so Techdirt can claim to support "free speech".

          I've no problem with opinions and dissent, so long as it's presented in a civil manner. I've reported comments made by other regulars when I felt they stepped over the line, even if I usually agree with them, because I felt they went too far in that instance and I feel that a civil discussion is a more productive one.

          The TD community also seems generally tolerant of dissent, but again, only as long as it's presented in a civil manner. There have been plenty of discussions by people that disagreed with what was written, whether articles or comments, and so long as they were done politely they were generally responded to in kind.

          Neither of these are an aversion to dissent or a refusal to hear it, it's simply a basic and reasonable response to how someone acts.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 5:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Just can't make this up

            This is so false it is almost not worth commenting on. Take a look at articles with hidden posts - it is commonplace to simply hide one side of a conversation, leaving the profanity and insanity intact, while hiding totally polite and sane speech that disagrees with a "hidden agenda" item.

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

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 10 Jun 2017 @ 7:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Just can't make this up

              I have taken a look at articles with hidden posts, and more often than not I find that they were hidden for a good reason, whether they be filled with paranoid delusions, vapid, multi-comment-string rants that have nothing to do with the topic at hand, insults upon insults, baseless accusations against others and similar content.

              You can play the 'oh woe is me, the rational and polite people are so very oppressed' card, just don't expect anyone who's actually been paying attention to buy it.

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              • identicon
                Thad, 10 Jun 2017 @ 10:38pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just can't make this up

                I have taken a look at articles with hidden posts, and more often than not I find that they were hidden for a good reason, whether they be filled with paranoid delusions, vapid, multi-comment-string rants that have nothing to do with the topic at hand, insults upon insults, baseless accusations against others and similar content.

                And are always, always targeted at repeat offenders.

                We put up with My_Name_Here, Hamilton, and Chip's bullshit for months before we started flagging it. We tried to engage them. We tried to reason with them.

                Flagging is a last resort deployed against persistent pests who will not go away, will not have a rational conversation, will not remain on-topic, and just spout the same insipid catchphrases over and over again, day in and day out.

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

                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 10 Jun 2017 @ 11:26pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just can't make this up

                  I agree with most of that, flagging is generally reserved for comments that are very out of line or those that have made it extremely clear that they're not interested in an honest discussion, but I think you might have made a mistake lumping Chip in with the others, or you got him mixed up with the one he's trolling. As far as I can tell Chip's a deliberate poe of Every Nation guy, going out of his way to be as over the top as possible in order to mock him.

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                  • identicon
                    Talmyr, 13 Jun 2017 @ 1:46am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just can't make this up

                    Right. I saw my first Chip comment there, was thinking it was likely to get red-flagged - then read it again more carefully and gave it an upvote.

                    "Bans on delicious, delcious leaded paint" - that's either a great poe, or someone really has had too much lead paint.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 6:30pm

          Re: Re: Just can't make this up

          Stop using TOR, you pirate.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 8:12pm

          Re: Re: Just can't make this up

          lol

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

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 5:48pm

      Re: Flawed premises: A) Congress may be wrong in broad intent, B) obvious "everyone knows" limits to "free speech", C) maybe "platforms" are deeply flawed idea.

      *"You're basically defending anarchy where every yahoo will try to shout and shock, and that's not going to end well."*

      It takes a mix of a fiercely overactive imagination and gross ignorance to look at how Section 230 has been working for all these years and say it causes or is leading to anarchy. You seem to completely ignore, or just not be aware of, the massive amounts of completely innocuous user-generated content that exists on websites that are only possible because of the liability protections available. For all the highly publicised 'bad' content that generates these lawsuits and stories, the internet is still are far better place than it would be if everyone was too terrified of misguided lawsuits to allow any user-generated content.

      *"I can tell you that at least many of MY comments disappear from that public comment box."*

      Obvious liar is obvious.

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  • icon
    OA (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 11:27am

    Ahhh, Judges.

    On 9/11 the word terrorist took on a high level of importance. It didn't take long for some to notice its meaning was poorly defined or flat out arbitrary. Plenty also began using it like a weapon, to manipulate and control. Especially when a word gains this level of social and emotional power it becomes important to use it more thoughtfully and receive it more carefully.

    "Terrorist", by word or concept, is not nearly precise enough and does not have a popular, sufficiently coherent or vaild meaning that allows it to be used to parse difficult issues like this.

    Judges certainly know the law (far better than me, at least), but I sometimes question their capacity for cohesive reasoning.

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  • identicon
    sharp as a marble, 9 Jun 2017 @ 11:44am

    where does liablility stop.

    If u can blame twitter then u can blame the terrorists isps. Or their electric company (cant use twitter without power or internet) why not blame the phone maker? Why not blame china because thats where the computer is made.......omg china is responsible for all global terrorism. we need to nuke them now. That will fix all the things.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 11:50am

    "Our brief focused exclusively on the fact that Section 230 should prevent a court from ever even reaching the tort law analysis."

    That's a candid statement of the the way lawyers think: EXCLUSIVELY statute, no regard to over-arching common law and first principles. That of course makes it easy for corporatists. What We The People are left with is false alternatives: do you want absolute draconian censorship and harm to these struggling corporations, or your own free speech by these benevolent companies that help you share your creativity.

    I'm in part seeing if this browser session still works: they rarely last more than a couple posts before active blocking.

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    • icon
      Matthew Cline (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 1:48pm

      Common law

      So, how would common law apply to platforms like Twitter and Google blocking or not blocking certain messages and/or users?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 2:06pm

      Re: "Our brief focused exclusively on the fact that Section 230 should prevent a court from ever even reaching the tort law analysis."

      By the way TD doesn't owe you a platform for speech. If there were a five year old around they could have told you that.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 6:28pm

        Re: Re:

        That is correct.

        Techdirt insults and derides sites that disable comments.

        Techdirt fights against censorship and for free speech.

        Techdirt rails against prior restraint.

        Techdirt gets upset when groups are treated differently.

        Why would a site that effectively supports the right of speech to the worst of the worst of the worst turn around and use tools of censorship to quiet discordant voices?

        They owe us nothing. They owe it to themselves to practice what they preach.

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        • icon
          Matthew Cline (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 7:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Techdirt insults and derides sites that disable comments.

          They insult and deride sites which disable comments and then make up stupid justifications for why they did so, like "we disabled comments because we value discussion". I don't recall them deriding sites which disabled comments and admitted they did so because they didn't want to spend the effort to properly moderate the comments section.

          Techdirt fights against censorship and for free speech.

          Techdirt rails against prior restraint.

          That's when the government is doing it, or it's done using the government like with SLAPP suits and bogus DMCA notices.

          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, 10 Jun 2017 @ 6:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Your SLAPP suit is my defamation suit. Your bogus DMCA notice is my way to earn a living at my craft. Techdirt decides the issue a priori, then anyone who has an idea that does not fit their one sided view is bombarded by falsely named posters with profanity and insanity without end.

            This is the MOST CENSORED site I have EVER SEEN!

            And it's all done using FAKE POSTS under FAKE NAMES to promote a HIDDEN AGENDA.

            Cowards all, you Techdirt pirates.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 2:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And if TD were the gubermint you would have a point. And if my aunt had a dick she would be my uncle.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 4:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If you campaign for free speech and agaonst censorship the first rule should be to run your house based on those rules.

            The failure to do so, and to do it in a sneaky and non transparent way makes it significantly worse.

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            • icon
              JMT (profile), 10 Jun 2017 @ 6:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'm guessing you can't even see the irony of responding on Techdirt to people who have responded on Techdirt to your comments on Techdirt about how Techdirt censors you. Man Techdirt sucks at censorship!

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 6:34pm

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

                If a comment is delayed it is effectively censored. It is made less relevant to the discussion.

                Adding it in after the fact and just acting like nothing happened is dishonest. At a minimum there should be a notice added that shows how long the post was held and when it was finally approved making it clear that a comment was subject to moderation.

                If Techdirt did that yiu would see how incredibly one sided the moderation is. Its really soft censorship and discouragement for those who dare post dissenting views.

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                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 6:52pm

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

                  I think when you add in the false identities created to give the impression of a "crowd", and the profanity and disgusting criticisms (including absolutely inappropriate sexual references) it is NOT soft censorship at all. Normal people who have a different opinion simple DO NOT LINGER in this TOILET, the STENCH of Censorship, in the many forms practiced here, make it unbearable. Fortunately, I've had professional training in cleaning up toilets of censorship and defamation like these. Dirty work, but I consider it a public duty. I'm am American, more than willing to contribute to the public good. God Bless America.

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                  • icon
                    Matthew Cline (profile), 10 Jun 2017 @ 7:10pm

                    False identities?

                    Are you claiming that multiple handles are being run by a single person? If so, what leads you to believe that? If not, what do you mean?

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 7:39pm

                      Re: False identities?

                      IMHO, yes, multiple handles are being run by a single person, and/or single handles are being run by multiple people. Is there any prohibition against this on Techdirt, either formally or informally?

                      For sure, the "promoted" posts are unidentifiable, which IMHO is really sneaky.

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                      • icon
                        Matthew Cline (profile), 10 Jun 2017 @ 7:51pm

                        Re: Re: False identities?

                        IMHO, yes, multiple handles are being run by a single person, and/or single handles are being run by multiple people.

                        What gives you that impression?

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                          identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 8:13pm

                          Re: Re: Re: False identities?

                          Multiple items, for example, the reasoning strategies employed by the most male sounding names appear female, gushing with emotional issues not typical of men at all. These include That_One_Guy, Steven_T_Stone and PaulT - to me they all sound a lot like Wendy Cockcroft, at least sometimes.

                          They also seem to overuse a small vocabulary of profanity, usually associated with excrement or sexual issues. Their arguments are so similar and so counter to their stated names and genders that IMHO there are not four unique voices among them. Maybe 1 or maybe 2 voices, but I don't believe there are four distinct voices. It also appears that the same voice appears in close proximity to their posts as an Anonymous Coward.

                          I would just add to my reasons that Wendy Cockcroft has been publicly accused by third parties of doing exactly that - threatening people with defamation by posting on Techdirt in order to resolve business disputes. So, my opinion does kind of "line up" with what third parties say about Wendy. Wendy herself stated she didn't know the complainer at all on ripoffreport, and simultaneously on Twitter said she took money from him.

                          So, Wendy Cockcroft appears deceptive to me in her response to her public dispute on ripoffreport. And her voice, or something inexplicably similar to it, appears under multiple male names, as well as A/C names.

                          This is one example how I formed my opinion.

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                            Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 9:35pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: False identities?

                            So come on, Wendy Cockcroft, there is an easy answer to my quandary (posted above). It looks like you either lied to ripoffreport by saying you didn't know Mr. Diaz, or you lied in your Tweet when you said you paid him. Or, perhaps I misread something, I've been known to make mistakes, maybe you can clear this up.

                            If not, I would just point out to anyone who might believe this site is legitimate that Wendy Cockcroft is the one who censors (hides) posts, she has stated this publicly. If she is also the one defending HER OWN censorship under false names, what does that say about Techdirt? Ugly, no?

                            Easy to clear this up, Wendy. Lots of ways to do it. If I'm wrong, just lay it out for us, and I'll apologize for misunderstanding the situation. No problem.

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                            • icon
                              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 4:25am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: False identities?

                              You have made, at the bare minimum, two claims of fact:

                              1. Wendy Cockcroft is directly responsible for “censorship” in Techdirt comments sections, and
                              2. She is running multiple user accounts within those comments sections.

                              What specific evidence can you provide to prove those claims true?

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 5:27am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: False identities?

                                Well, Wendy can speak for herself, right? I can hunt up previous posts when she spoke about accidentally hiding a post, and explaining why she did so, but why not just ask her?

                                Wendy, do you hide posts yourself? Do you have that ability and authority?

                                And by the way, did Mr. Diaz pay you or not?

                                Simple questions, right?

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                                • icon
                                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 6:18am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: False identities?

                                  I can hunt up previous posts when she spoke about accidentally hiding a post, and explaining why she did so, but why not just ask her?

                                  Because you have made these claims as if you have the evidence that proves them. If you do not have the evidence, do not make the claims.

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                                  • identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 5:30pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: False identities?

                                    Wow, are you her attorney? Why can't she speak for herself to answer such simple questions? Are you concerned at all that she appears to have given other people such a negative impression of Techdirt as a vehicle for extortion?

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                                    • icon
                                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 12 Jun 2017 @ 2:30am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: False identities?

                                      If you want to engage in civil and reasoned discourse, you need to provide it. As it stands, all you do is sling around baseless accusations and insults, then pretend that your “just asking questions” about subjects wholly unrelated to the article acts as a direct substitute for civil and reasoned discourse.

                                      You offer nothing of any value to any discussion on this site. You are a toxic blight upon the comments sections here. I only ever reply to you out of boredom, because—believe it or not—even I have better things to do than reply to someone who is only here to act like a buffoon.

                                      I mean, damn, I could actually be masturbating to porn right now.

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                          • identicon
                            Talmyr, 13 Jun 2017 @ 1:53am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: False identities?

                            I might point out that both Wendy and PaulT are both Brits, and in case you hadn't noticed, we don't talk like you lot. So there will be different language uses, including our levels of f***ing profanity. And thus how we talk may be similar.

                            Secondly, I can easily see a difference in PaulT and Wendy's posts (if only that I tend to agree with 99% of PaulT's but maybe only 90% of Wendy's) and in the circumstances they discuss: Wendy as a UK-based Brit, PaulT as on the Iberian Peninsula.

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                        • icon
                          That One Guy (profile), 10 Jun 2017 @ 11:17pm

                          They don't actually have any evidence, just paranoid delusions and an obsession with (among many other things) Wendy such that they see her everywhere and blame her for everything.

                          The real fun comes when you consider that the same person accusing others for posting under different names without any evidence of such isn't even willing to post under a name of their own, leading to 'multiple' people that all have very similar writing styles spamming the everloving crap out of the comment section. It's one of those 'If they were projecting any harder they'd be visible from space' things.

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                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 11:48pm

                            Re:

                            There is evidence on the ripoffreport site:

                            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

                            "Ms Cockcroft suddenly became very angry and threatened to ruin my business before it started. She said that she was in with a very influential group of people on a technical blog who would write about me and many other people would comment. She said this would mean that my reputation would be ruined and it would remain at the tip of Google. Wendy Cockcroft refused to refund my money, refused to re-do the work and threatened to destroy my business and personal reputation before it even started."

                            On the same report, from Wendy:

                            "I'd also like to know when this alleged "business" was contracted as I've never heard of this man before"

                            On Wendy's twitter account, the same day:

                            "Yeah, I took cash from Diaz, but only because I wanted to be associated with the mking of an epic z-movie that merged horror and sci-fi. He promised me an executive producer credit if I made the website. We fell out when I embedded a YouTube video of the trailer on my own website. He said I was enabling piracy".

                            This is documented evidence of what appears to be deception (both accounts cannot be true simultaneously - she either knew him or she didn't) right on the ripoffreport site itself.

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

                            • icon
                              That One Guy (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 1:27am

                              Re: Re:

                              She 'paid' the author by taking cash from him? Yeah, between that and the rest of her counter claims(if she really defrauded him then he'd have done more than just make accusations against her, like, I dunno, providing evidence supporting his claims, filing legal action against her, that sort of thing) I'm inclined to believe her side of the story over his.

                              However, even if we take it at face value and assume that he was telling the truth, 'Wendy said she would say mean things about him and other people would comment on it' doesn't even rise to the level of weak evidence to support your assertion that she's somehow commenting anonymously here when the alternative, 'A site visited by large numbers of people from around the world will include many people commenting anonymously, among them people that don't agree with you' is vastly more likely.

                              You want your claim to be taken seriously you'll need something quite a bit better than that.

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

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                                identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 5:30am

                                Re: Re: Re:

                                Well, you either read the ripoffreport defense or you wrote it. Seems pretty weak either way. Avoiding the question does not help answer the question, which is really simple.

                                Did Wendy know Mr. Diaz or not? On Twitter she said she did, and took money from him. On ripoffreport, she said she didn't know him at all.

                                Which one is it?

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

                                • icon
                                  That One Guy (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 2:48pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  You didn't actually bother to read my entire comment, did you? Just went straight back to making the same assertion as before, as if simple repetition is somehow proof of your claim.

                                  Even if taken at face value and assumed to be correct, it still doesn't provide evidence for your claims that Wendy is commenting anonymously, rather than multiple people that are not Wendy are commenting anonymously. You have to provide evidence for that claim, not just say 'Look, this person claims she said she'd say mean thing about me and others would agree' and then extrapolate that to mean that she's commenting anonymously.

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                                  • identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 5:28pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                    Well, gee, you are right I can't PROVE it's Wendy commenting anonymously. And I have to admit, your voice does sound distinct from Wendy's. What happened to her, anyway? Unavailable for comment? As an "Insider" with special knowledge (like IP addresses) do you have any concern at all about the public accusations against her, or her "no response" response? (just asking) Since you take such time to defend her, do you still count her as an endorsed representative of Techdirt?

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                                    • identicon
                                      Wendy Cockcroft, 12 Jun 2017 @ 5:33am

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

                                      LOL @ all of the above. First of all, I always post as me.

                                      Secondly, the "I paid Diaz" tweet was me making light of the allegations with some people I'm friendly with. Believing that I paid a man to write defamatory allegations on ROR requires that you also believe I did it to get into Z movies (whatever they are).

                                      So... if the allegations about threats are true, why would I pay him to post them? If they're not true, why would I pay him to post them? Remember, he also contacted my employers and tried to get me fired. I'd be interested to know what the going rate for this kind of thing is — what a daft thing to want!

                                      This Wendy hate thing is down to me asking VA Shiva whether anybody else, apart from his college, adopted his EMAIL program. That's all. Since then, the comments of this site have been flooded with crap about a troll who tried to start a flame war between myself and another person. He failed. He's still failing.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 6:09am

                      Re: False identities?

                      Looking at this thread, the "multiple accounts" claim appears to be a case projection by that delusional troll.

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

                • identicon
                  Thad, 10 Jun 2017 @ 10:42pm

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

                  If a comment is delayed it is effectively censored. It is made less relevant to the discussion.

                  Trust me, your comments can't possibly be made less relevant to the discussion.

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

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                Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 6:39pm

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

                His whole point was that the censorship was sneaky. Just wait a while. Very often, only one side of a conversation is left standing. The non-hidden side with profanity, insanity, inanity and stupidity, but one that supports the HIDDEN AGENDA of Techdirt. Sneaky slimy Techdirt style, not in the open at all, done by an unknown party (usually Wendy Cockcroft) for an unknown and unexplained reason. That was his point. Sneaky and underhanded.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 8:48pm

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

                  Dawww Hamiltons butt hurts from thinking about Shiva too much.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 6:16am

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

                  Usually, the comments hidden are as roughly as factual as creationism, or climate change denialism. It's extremely, undeservedly generous to label such drivel as a side to the argument.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 4:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If you campaign for free speech and agaonst censorship the first rule should be to run your house based on those rules.

              If I were running a blog about free speech issues, I would not allow any speech that promotes Nazism, White supremacy, homophobia, anti-Semitism, or any other form of bigotry in the comments sections. That does not conflict with the principles of Free Speech. No one can use my platform without my permission, and I am allowed to revoke that permission for any reason at any time. Someone else’s speech not being illegal does not revoke my right to control my platform as I see fit.

              I cannot force Stormfront to host speech that runs counter to that site’s core philosophy. Why should Stormfronters get the right to force another site into hosting their speech?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 5:52am

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

                But in that case, Stephen, when you shut out others from expressing themselves, you cannot reasonably claim the status of a journalist, right? "I support journalism" is not a legitimate claim for someone who silences speech, right? It's more like "I support fascism", that would be closer, right?

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 6:24am

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

                  when you shut out others from expressing themselves

                  If I were to do that, I would be doing it only on my platform. Those who feel they are “censored” could go to any other platform that will have them and whine about my actions there. The First Amendment does not give people a right to force their speech onto someone else’s platform.

                  "I support journalism" is not a legitimate claim for someone who silences speech, right?

                  Hiding or deleting a comment from a blog does not “silence” speech. And if you really do feel “silenced” by that, you are not trying hard enough to be heard.

                  It's more like "I support fascism", that would be closer, right?

                  You might be thinking of people who file frivolous lawsuits in an attempt to shut down legitimate speech. That sounds more like fascism than a blog comment getting hidden or deleted.

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 6:51am

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

                    So you want to "double down" on the use of "I support Journalism" with respect to Techdirt, right? You want to encourage people to give money to Techdirt based on supporting Journalism. Right, Steven? This is Journalism, in your opinion. Hey, that's fine, if you want to call this Journalism, I guess you can call Madonna's rant about Trump Patriotism, why not? She wanted to blow up the white house, right? Patriotic, right? And if you wanted to wear a pink hat and call it your pussy, that would be fine too, right?

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

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 6:57am

                      Oi.

                      What I want for Techdirt or what I think of Madonna’s speech about Trump is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Those subjects have no bearing on whether Techdirt administrators have the right to moderate the comments sections of this blog (spoiler: they do).

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

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                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 7:06am

                        Re: Oi.

                        Ok, but I just want to understand your logic. It is fine for a cite to do absolutely anything to posts, right, that was your point. Not just delete them, but modify them, hide them, highlight them, anything, right? I mean, if it's your site, do anything you choose, right? Nothing anyone can say about it. AND, the result is Journalism, right, and you can raise money on that basis. You can write whatever you want, hide whatever you want, change whatever you want, for any reason whatsoever, and call it Journalism and say you need the 1st Amendment to protect you. Tell me again what the different is between Journalism and Fake News? No difference at all? I guess it's harder to raise money for Fake News, right? So calling absolutely misleading Fake News -> Journalism is just a reasonable step to make money, and just fine, given the circumstances, right?

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

                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 7:19am

                          Re: Re: Oi.

                          It is fine for a cite to do absolutely anything to posts, right, that was your point. Not just delete them, but modify them, hide them, highlight them, anything, right?

                          In re: “modifying”, that depends on the severity of the modification. Removing or censoring a racial slur is fine; changing someone's post to put words in their mouth is not. As for the rest: Yes, a site owner has every right to delete, hide, and highlight comments.

                          Nothing anyone can say about it.

                          People can say whatever they want about it. The site owner does not have to listen, though.

                          AND, the result is Journalism, right, and you can raise money on that basis.

                          The “journalism” side of Techdirt comes from the articles posted to the site. And how you define “journalism” has no relevance to the discussion at hand.

                          You can write whatever you want, hide whatever you want, change whatever you want, for any reason whatsoever, and call it Journalism and say you need the 1st Amendment to protect you.

                          Unless the speech is defamatory—and provably so—yes, what you said is true. Whether others agree that the speech counts as “journalism” is a matter of opinion. And this still has no relevance to whether a site owner can legally moderate their site’s comments section.

                          Tell me again what the different is between Journalism and Fake News?

                          A grant from the Russian government.

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                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 7:39am

                            Re: Re: Re: Oi.

                            How about a "grant" for a litigant on one side of the issue in the article, would that count as sponsoring Fake News? How about a "grant" from an Open Source company that is promoting an anti-patent agenda, Fake News again? I think what you are saying is, "it depends who pays for it", right?

                            Who does pay for this, anyway? Someone pays Techdirt, right? Who is that exactly? Are you saying it's the Russian Government? Does anyone actually know who pays for this?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 11:57am

    Blogging and "social platform" sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube have been increasingly suppressing users with "alternative" opinions whenever they trigger a contrived avalanche of opposition by people on the opposite side of the spectrum.

    The government, police and courts are largely irrelevant when massive censorship is already taking place whenever and wherever the "that speech offends me" brigade strikes.

    And that's just for censoring speech without potential liability, such as bomb-making and terrorism related topics, which are not hard to get kicked off the internet by putting pressure on hosting providers, domain name providers, upstream providers, etc.

    But this also raises another question - do providers who actively monitor content face even greater liability when they fail, compared to those with a completely hands-off approach, such as Usenet providers?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 12:25pm

      Re: But this also raises another question - do providers who actively monitor content face even greater liability when they fail, compared to those with a completely hands-off approach, such as Usenet providers?

      I think that either approach is valid and should have protection under common law, but the statutory approach serves only corporations, which will attempt every possible dodge simultaneously to avoid any hint of responsibility to serve the common good of "natural" persons, while maintaining ability to extract every last cent of income from whatever content in the public's spaces.

      Corporations are legal fictions that have only one goal: to channel money without least responsibility. To say that they're amoral is to grant them too much dignity: the notion of morality simply can't be applied to a fiction.

      Corporatism is the key problem here as everywhere.

      The argument here is being slanted as promoting OUR free speech, when actually the goal is to allow corporations to gain income without responsibility to us.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      But this also raises another question - do providers who actively monitor content face even greater liability when they fail, compared to those with a completely hands-off approach, such as Usenet providers?

      Ideally, no. In practice...

      As pointed out in the article the part of 230 that people tend not to pay attention to immunizes sites/services from liability for removing content, such that they can feel safe doing so and don't have to worry that being 'involved' with the content posted will suddenly make them liable for it.

      This is another reason attacking the sites is so dangerous to the internet and user submitted content, as if sites can be held liable for content by a simple showing that they are removing some of it for violating their rules or whatnot, then the simple solution if they don't want to remove all user-submitted content is to not get involved in any of it, no matter how bad it is, unless they absolutely have to.

      In trying to hold the sites liable for the content posted by users, the ones filing the lawsuits are instead making it even more attractive for the sites to take an entirely hands-off approach and not get involved in said content at all.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 12:33pm

    "The problem is, like the First Amendment itself, speech protections only work as speech protections when they always work. When one can find exemptions here and there, all of a sudden none of these protections are effective and it chills the speech of those who were counting on them because no one can be sure whether or not the speech will ultimately be protected."

    Almost ZERO people see it this way. It is nice to see TD evolve the way Mike with with the Redskins trademark issues because there are just so many parallels here.

    Way too many people do not value liberty, because of that, they are okay with destroying every Amendment, not just the 1st when it suits their political desires.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 12:43pm

    Blame without cause..

    Blame the people who made the Kettle that made the bomb.
    Blame the person who drove the car
    Blame the Car maker..
    Blame the shoes they wore to get there..
    Blame the corps that made the ingredients in the bomb.
    Blame ISIS for picking the target..

    Blame all the other religions they DONT like, because they didnt bomb them FIRST..

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 1:39pm

      Re: Blame without cause..

      A key factor of liability on an uninvolved "platform" provider is enticement to and profiting from a crime or civil transgression, as well as simply knowing about it while failing to actively take steps against it.

      Courts have originated the "laws" of primary, secondary, and vicarious liability -- basically invented out of thin air since no legislation has ever addressed the topic. The corporate food chain that hungry litigators can go after runs very deep.

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 9 Jun 2017 @ 2:50pm

      Re: Blame without cause..

      Wait, what?

      One of those things is not like the others.

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

  • identicon
    My_Name_Here, 9 Jun 2017 @ 1:37pm

    There is so much wrong here, it's hard to know where to start.

    Let's start at the very top of it all. Free speech protections are only extended to legal speech. That is to say, speech that incites others to violent acts or that directs people to commit murder are not legal, and thus not protected speech. Section 230 may be in some respects overly broad, as it protects both free speech and illegal speech, and those who distribute it.

    There is also the whole "blame without cause" issue. To quote ECA,

    "Blame the people who made the Kettle that made the bomb.
    Blame the person who drove the car
    Blame the Car maker..
    Blame the shoes they wore to get there..
    Blame the corps that made the ingredients in the bomb.
    Blame ISIS for picking the target.."

    All of those things are misguided because each of those steps independent, isolated, and uncontrolled situations. The car maker does not control the car after it's built and sold. Blaming the driver or the shooter or whatever is obvious, but does not exclude others from responsibility.

    Quite simply, FaceTwitGram all have something that none of the others have, which is that they are an active and ongoing partner in the distribution of the speech (which may be illegal speech). Unlike a gun maker or a car maker, they have the ability to stop the distribution at any time. They are not an innocent tool maker with no skin in the game, they in fact make their income and their profits from what is posted on their sites and what they distribute on an ongoing basis.

    Essentially, it comes down to this: Twitter isn't a printing press maker, they are a printing press operator. They control the button, they can make it stop.

    Finally, let's address the concept of blame. Nobody wants to move all of the responsibility for terrorist attacks to those platforms. That would be silly, and many of the legal arguments made seem to suggest that what is going on is "don't blame the shooter, blame the gun company". The truth is "blame the shooter, and some blame too for those who could have acted differently and perhaps made a difference". Could the social media platforms have worked to take down illegal speech, which may have changed (in some small way) the outcome here? If you even say "maybe", then you know there is an issue.

    Of course, you also can touch on the moral issue. If someone started a facebook group called "rape all women" and posted up stories about how to rape women, when to do it, the best places to do it, and said it was "for the betterment of all mankind" you know that group would be shut down in minutes (especially if it showed a nipple!). A group to teach people how to rob banks or shoot politicians? Closed and gone. A group of soldiers sharing nudie pics? Close that one fast.

    A page promoting jihad and death to western civilization? No, better leave that one up because fre speech section 230 oh my god!

    Morally, you have reach peak jerk. Congrats.

    Of course, social media will continue to win until someone actually moves forward a case that can strike down the overly broad protections (section 230). While the concept is well intentioned, it has turned from a protection into an excuse for inaction and a lack of societal norms within the online world. Facebook and Twitter get a free pass for material that would land a newspaper or radio station in court and in serious trouble. That's not fair or right.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jun 2017 @ 6:39am

      Re:

      Takes a peak jerk to know a peak jerk...

      How's that Paul Hansmeier defense coming along? I thought you said they would appeal, and they would win!

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

  • identicon
    Thad, 9 Jun 2017 @ 2:50pm

    If the Bill of Rights were only intended to protect rights that we like, we wouldn't need it. The entire point is that we have to protect rights that we don't like.

    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, 9 Jun 2017 @ 6:33pm

    TECHDIRT CENSORING IS HIDDEN AND SNEAKY

    There are multiple simultaneous censoring activities employed by Techdirt regularly. Easy to verify, just read a few articles.

    First, people cannot post without interference, and there is no explanation. "Spam filter" is the name for this unknown mechanism that no one except the "insiders" understand. Hidden and sneaky.

    Second, posts are hidden from view without any explanation, guideline or accountability. Not vile and disgusting posts, as a rule, just posts that don't line up with the HIDDEN AGENDA of Techdirt. Hidden and sneaky.

    Third, the most regular posters (like Thad) oscillate between profundity and profanity to defend the hidden Techdirt agenda. For example, "the rest of us don't fucking whine about it". Not very profound, right? This type of tool, which most people find off-putting, is used by almost all the regular posters. Ugly, nasty and regularly employed. Disgusting, really, to forward the censorship of ideas that do not line up with their hidden agenda by employing foul language and disgusting insults. Hidden and sneaky.

    Fourth, the regular posters post under fake names and the same posers also post under Anonymous Coward. This is almost always done to censor a post they don't like with vile and disgusting language and to forward the hidden Techdirt agenda. Hidden and sneaky.

    Fifth, though Techdirt publicly admits that some of the posters are not legitimate, that is, they are compensated shills to promote the Techdirt hidden agenda, they are not distinguished from others. Hidden and sneaky.

    My best guess is that Techdirt finds a market by researching law suits, and them selling their services to help one litigant at the expense of the other. If you look at many of the articles, you can quickly identify who they are working on behalf of. They never say so, but each and every article takes one side against the other without saying that outright, often with weak and careless arguments. Hidden and sneaky.

    The end result is that in a highly censored environment, Techdirt manages to publish really harmful, one sided and FAKE speech that looks real. And they sell this service to others, but never identify those others. Hidden and sneaky.

    Techdirt is not real (free) speech, this is highly censored (fake) speech. If you made that more obvious, you would have fewer detractors.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 6:55pm

      Re: TECHDIRT CENSORING IS HIDDEN AND SNEAKY

      out_of_the_blue uses TOR, which he claims is not a necessary tool for free speech and only facilitates Internet piracy, so he can spam a website.

      That says all you need to know about his credibility.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 7:03pm

        Re: Re: TECHDIRT CENSORING IS HIDDEN AND SNEAKY

        Respectfully, this says nothing about his credibility. At all.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 7:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: TECHDIRT CENSORING IS HIDDEN AND SNEAKY

          If a vegetarian known to criticize omnivores for eating meat suddenly starts eating meat himself, nobody would take his claims seriously. Same case here.

          Anyone who wishes can search Techdirt comments over the past few years, read everything posted under the out_of_the_blue moniker, in addition to "Football", "Torrent" and several other "TOR" name-based puns, and decide for themselves whether out_of_the_blue is worth taking seriously.

          Sounds like this specific "Anonymous" Coward had a nerve hit and is now spamming a thread about a user who "supposedly" no longer posts here... in the exact same style of capitalizing letters that out_of_the_blue used frequently.

          Makes you wonder.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 8:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: TECHDIRT CENSORING IS HIDDEN AND SNEAKY

            Yes it makes yoy wonder if he has a point. You do understand that Techdirt censored him, right?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 8:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: TECHDIRT CENSORING IS HIDDEN AND SNEAKY

              You mean all those comments complaining why Prenda Law articles were being written? That can still be seen?

              No, it really doesn't. Nice posting from your mobile phone, though. Do you make it a point to include a typographical error every time so we know it's you?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 2:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: TECHDIRT CENSORING IS HIDDEN AND SNEAKY

              You spelled I and and me wrong.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 10:00pm

      Re: TECHDIRT CENSORING IS HIDDEN AND SNEAKY

      Pirate says what?

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 9 Jun 2017 @ 10:14pm

      Re: I DON'T KNOW WHAT CENSORING IS OR HOW TO TURN OFF CAPS LOCK

      You know, if you start your own blog, nobody can flag your posts, no matter how long-winded and insipid they are.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 5:54am

      Re: TECHDIRT CENSORING IS HIDDEN AND SNEAKY

      So you understand as much about Techdirt's comment system as Jason Stapleton understands Net Neutrality. Which is to say, absolutely nothing at all so you resort to making up lies.

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

  • identicon
    John Doe, 10 Jun 2017 @ 1:08am

    Section 230 sets people up to be sued

    Section 230 is a cash cow for internet lawyers and they know it. Section 230 makes it very easy to instigate lawsuits by linking to defamatory content, waiting for some "useful idiot" to make the words their own, get sued, and then come in and make a lot of money defending these cases in the name of "free speech." In some cases the lawyers actually follow around those they know to be litigiousk, wait for them to get into an argument, link the other side to defamatory Google results, anid know that the other side will then keep repeating what they read, get sued (which the lawyers know because the person about whom they linked it litigious), and they make money while the person sued says "But...I read it on the internet!"

    Same thing if the "Google-mbomed" person goes looking for hoursing or a job. Employers and landlords are being set up for lawsuits because they go to Google, find defamation (sometimes put there by lawyers), get sued, and the lawyers then pick up more defense fees.

    If someone can't get rid of internet libel, everyone they meet is risking being sued, and the cost is piling up. At the very least, someone lied about online should be able to due for a declaration that the statement is false. People who go looking for trouble by searching someone's name shouldn't complain when they find it. If you stumble on six people conspiring against someone you don't like, you just became #7.

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 10 Jun 2017 @ 9:24am

      Re: Section 230 sets people up to be sued

      Jeez, Mr. Carreon, are you still on about this?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 2:51pm

      Re: Section 230 sets people up to be sued

      That's a nice fantasy and all. But anyone who has actually seen the inside of a courtroom thinks differently. And no your mental compentcy hearing don't count.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 6:33am

    out_of_the_blue and My_Name_Here just hate it when due process is enforced.

    Please report this comment; they regard reported comments as true.

    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, 10 Jun 2017 @ 7:48pm

    Cathy Gellis Can you help me?

    Cathy, you sound like you are very knowledgeable in this area, maybe you are even an attorney. Can you help me answer a simple question? The question is:

    When does Censorship CROSS THE LINE FROM FREE INTO FAKE and what can be done about it?

    For example, say I have a blog like Techdirt, and I let people post, but then I go in and without their knowledge or permission, change their posts to say something else. Then I lock them out of my blog so they can't complain about it, or if they do, change it again. Have I crossed some "line" into "fake"? What is the line, and what can be done about it?

    Or say I just remove posts that I don't like - have I crossed the line?

    Or say that I just hide posts that I don't like so the uninformed will likely never notice them, or be able to search them - have I crossed the line?

    Or say that I add "promoted" posts to other posts and don't identify them - have I crossed the line?

    Or is there no line at all in this area, and the public just has to fend for itself? I mean, that's true in a lot of areas, maybe it's true here, I really don't know.

    Can you help me understand this area of the law? Is there any delineation between FREE SPEECH and FAKE SPEECH at all?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 9:06pm

      How about anyone else - any opinions at all?

      There are usually STRONG opinions on issues like this on Techdirt - why only crickets today?

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

      • identicon
        Thad, 10 Jun 2017 @ 10:40pm

        Re: How about anyone else - any opinions at all?

        Because it's Saturday, you fucking idiot.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 10:51pm

          Re: Re: How about anyone else - any opinions at all?

          No opinion from you, Thad? Nothing thoughtful? Only profanity?

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

          • identicon
            Thad, 10 Jun 2017 @ 11:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: How about anyone else - any opinions at all?

            No opinion from you, Thad?

            That you are a fucking idiot is an opinion. And a sincerely-held one backed by copious supporting evidence.

            Nothing thoughtful?

            Nope, gave that up after the sixth or seventh time I explained the difference between government censorship and moderation of a private forum to you. It doesn't work. Calling you a fucking idiot doesn't work either, but it's a lot more cathartic.

            If you want, though, I'll link you to the xkcd strip again, for old times' sake.

            Only profanity?

            No, I also told you what day it was.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 11:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: How about anyone else - any opinions at all?

              So I think what you are saying is that it is OK to censor, rewrite, repost, hide or do anything at all on a public forum like Techdirt, right? There is no actual obligation by anyone to protect speech or even allow speech on a public forum like Techdirt, right? On Techdirt everything can be completely fake and no one can do anything about it, right? That's what you mean? Zero standard for accuracy, honestly, integrity, truthfulness or disclosure, right? That's your moral and legal position? If your only answer is profane, please don't bother, you've expressed your bitterness already.

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

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 10 Jun 2017 @ 11:41pm

                What the here, I've got some time to waste

                censor

                [Citation and definition needed]

                rewrite

                [Citation Needed]

                Repost

                [Citation Needed]

                hide

                If you can't figure out why the community is flagging your comments by now I'd say it's pretty much a lost cause for you and I'm not going to waste my time explaining it again.

                'Protecting speech' or 'allowing speech' does not mean you get to make full use of someone else's platform and then throw a fit when the community decides your 'speech' isn't worth listening to and flags it as spam and/or trolling.

                Free speech means you get to speak, it doesn't mean you get to force others to give you a platform to do so, nor does it mean you get to make others listen.

                As for the rest of the baseless accusations and insinuations by the original poster of this particular comment chain, Hitchen's Razor takes care of those. 'That which has been asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence'. If 'they' can provide evidence of what they assert then they might be taken seriously, until then they can be dismissed out of hand.

                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 Jun 2017 @ 12:13am

                  Re: What the here, I've got some time to waste

                  Well, I don't think you dispute that sometimes people can't post, right, or that their posts are delayed, and there is never any clear explanation, right? It has happened and been documented many times.

                  And I don't think you dispute that Wendy Cockcroft has often decided to transform posts from being displayed (the default) to not being displayed (hidden). She has written about it multiple times, no secret there.

                  And you don't actually deny being someone or something different that what you published in your public profile, right? No attempt to establish yourself as that identity, or another identity (maybe a hippopotamus), that's fine, you are under no obligation. Just to be clear, not a word about who you actually are, your actual sex (male or female), anything like that? Noone's business, right?

                  And you do have a lot to say about censorship and hiding posts, right? You seem to be an expert in it, is that accurate? You study posts over time, you know who is less and more credible, and you have defended the specific forms of censorship used here repeatedly, right?

                  So, there are problems posting, people do feel it difficult to either express what they wish to express, or to have their expression retained, and they don't understand (though you seem to) exactly how the censorship is done. That's a fact, right, people talk about that all the time.

                  And you are really quite an expert on it. Maybe you could tell us a little more about the censorship policy at Techdirt. It's really not one sided, right, can you elaborate on that a little more? How is it done, actually?

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

                  • icon
                    That One Guy (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 1:12am

                    Re: Re: What the here, I've got some time to waste

                    1) Spam filter. This has been explained over and over again, and if you or anyone else is still looking for some nefarious plot to explain the 'delayed' comments you need look no further than that.

                    2) Someone saying that they clicked report on a particular post does not mean that they were responsible for hiding it, as it takes multiple people clicking report before a post is hidden. If you read otherwise then either she misspoke or you misread.

                    3) Did you just ask if 'That One Guy' is my actual name? Really?

                    The only time I post under a name different than this one on TD is when the name used is for a joke, and the number of times that has happened since I signed up to the site can be counted on a single hand. As for personal details, no, that's no-one's business but my own, and you really need to stop fixating on the gender of those around you(really, no-one but you cares), especially in this case where you pretty much have to be intentionally obtuse not to know(not that it matters in any case).

                    If that's a problem then feel free lead by example and share your own personal details.

                    4-6) All of these seem to fall under the 'When did you stop beating your wife?' category of questions, in that you're asserting that TD practices censorship and asking me how it 'works'. To avoid wasting too much time humoring you, I'll just hit the highlights of what's wrong with your assertion.

                    -Spam filters are not censorship.

                    -Using Tor will get your comment caught by the spam filter.

                    -Using Tor and then complaining that your comment got caught by the spam filter will get your comment held and you personally mocked for such a stupid action, in the same way that someone deliberately smashing their hand with a hammer and then complaining about how much it hurts would get mocked, and for roughly the same reason.

                    -This next one is entirely a guess on my part, but I think that if comments from a particular IP address are flagged consistently over a long period of time the automatic system considers them suspicious/spam sources, and treats them accordingly. However, the threshold for this(if it is the case) is likely extremely high given how even those with comments that are regularly flagged are able to post for long periods of time(we're talking months if not years) before they claim it's kicked in.

                    -Comments are flagged by the community for various reasons, with the general reasons being if someone is spamming the comments with the same general comment repeatedly, throwing out insults and nothing else, making baseless claims and/or accusations, or at the extreme end if they've made their reputation so toxic that people have lost all patience with them and flag them essentially automatically.

                    You may notice a trend in the list above, in that all of these fall under the 'Self-inflicted' category. If someone acts mature then they're likely to be responded in kind. If they don't then they've got no-one to blame but themselves for the response they get.

                    Whether or not someone is likely to have their comments flagged has little to nothing to do with the stance the person making the argument holds, so long as they are civil(and with the possible exception of the 'toxic reputation' I mentioned above, but again, 'Self-inflicted'), something I can attest to personally as I have both engaged in and observed long discussions involving those that held positions contrary to my own and/or those of TD in general that remained un-hidden so long as they remained civil.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 1:58am

                      Re: Re: Re: What the here, I've got some time to waste

                      Great, thanks, very generous of you. Quick question - how do you know about people's IP addresses, and if they used a TOR node or not? Is that visible here somewhere?

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 3:06am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: What the here, I've got some time to waste

                        How do we know?

                        It helps for them to admit to it, as in this comment for example:

                        https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170605/16283137520/intercept-posts-nsa-docs-russian-elec tion-hacking-doj-announces-arrest-leaker-hours-later.shtml#c254

                        The same commenter also has a history of stating his belief that TOR is a tool used by lawbreakers, such as pirates. Draw your own conclusions.

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 3:16am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What the here, I've got some time to waste

                          Interesting - who is "we"?

                          I would also add that by your logic (something about carnivores eating vegetables) if I used the name "Hot Chick" and I was actually an old fat hairy man, that would say something about me, right? So, I just wondered about the "Guy" part of your name. Just asking. Don't be offended. Unless you're a Mean Girl, of course, Then you can just come apart. :)

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 4:31pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What the here, I've got some time to waste

                          Conclusion is that the easiest way to censor someone is mark their ip blocks as TOR exit nodes and then call them names fir using them.

                          Techdirt censors posts, no doubt about it. They just do it in a way that lets the other users think good.

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

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 6:41pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What the here, I've got some time to waste

                            Well it's just like you said, My_Name_Here. Don't run TOR exit nodes! Only criminals use them. Nice mobile phone, by the way.

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 6:25am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: What the here, I've got some time to waste

                        I don't use TOR to post here very often, but when I did use TOR, every single comment was held for moderation. Outside of TOR, the only comment of mine that got held came on the heels of a string of rapid-fire comments, so my IP was most likely temp-flagged by the system for too many posts in too short a timespan.

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

                      • icon
                        That One Guy (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 2:33pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: What the here, I've got some time to waste

                        'Appears to usually be locked-down to allow one at a time. at least from TOR addresses: your home address may be on a whitelist, while mine is definitely blocked.'

                        Well it helps when they flat out admit to using Tor(and then complain that it get's their comments caught by the spam filter) and complain about their home address being 'blocked', and no, it's not listed anywhere.

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

                    • identicon
                      Wendy Cockcroft, 12 Jun 2017 @ 7:16am

                      Re: Re: Re: What the here, I've got some time to waste

                      It's a drama troll, PaulT.

                      Proof:

                      _My best guess is that Techdirt finds a market by researching law suits, and them selling their services to help one litigant at the expense of the other. If you look at many of the articles, you can quickly identify who they are working on behalf of. They never say so, but each and every article takes one side against the other without saying that outright, often with weak and careless arguments. Hidden and sneaky._

                      He's been getting people to lash out at each other using "audio recordings," after which some of them have approached me to ask for help. I told both parties straight: Since each of you seem to have the same allegations about being involved in lawsuits over reputation defence lawsuits and "evidence" it seems you're being trolled. The only way to win is not to play.

                      Now that they're wise to him it seems they've stopped playing his game. I recommend we just ignore the troll from now on.

                      Everybody else: for the record I'm not an admin, just an occasional commenter.

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

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 9:07pm

    “One of the biggest reasons I left TechDirt was because I was surrounded by phonies. That’s all. They were coming in the goddam window. For instance, they had this headmaster, Mr. Masnick, that was the phoniest bastard I ever met in my life. Ten times worse than old Wendy."

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 12:24am

      Re:

      And yet, here you are...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 6:27am

      Re:

      How does that old proverb go? "If everyone you meet is an asshole, then the problem is actually that you're the asshole." If you imagine Techdirt is full of phonies, then I have bad news for you.

      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 Jun 2017 @ 6:45am

        Re: Re:

        I have met some of the nicest and smartest people on this site, they just don't come very often or stay very long. Can't say I blame them. This is kind of a "safe space" for left-wing posers, government haters, terrorist sympathizers and sexually inappropriate clowns speaking about their excrement (in their bed, on their head, pretty much everywhere).

        And don't forget Shiva, I met him here. What a nice fellow. I hear he's going to be a Senator.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 7:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          This is kind of a "safe space" for left-wing posers, government haters, terrorist sympathizers and sexually inappropriate clowns speaking about their excrement

          I think you have Techdirt confused with 4chan.

          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 Jun 2017 @ 7:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Hey, Steven T. Stone, these are all YOUR comments, right?

            Oh, you dirty bird, work the shaft.
            Damn. When you give someone head, you give them your whole fuckin’ head!
            I haven’t seen this much fellatio since my last visit to PornHub.
            Go home, Shiva, you're a woman-hating idiot.
            Go home, Shiva, you’re an idiot.
            Shiva, go home, you’re an idiot.


            I mean, this is YOUR safe space to voice your sexual delusions, right?

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 7:57am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Nah, that would be Tapestries MUCK.

              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 Jun 2017 @ 8:37am

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

                Hey, That_One_Guy, can you explain again how you only moderate comments that are not "civil"? Stephen's comments ARE civil, right? Here is another of Stephen's comments:

                "Says the guy who keeps flinging insults like “Mean Girl” and making up nonsensical arguments to keep trolling the comments section of a technology blog that he obviously hates but keeps wasting his valuable time trolling because he has little else better to do with his vapid life other than staying up in the wee hours of the morning to troll a bunch of people and jerk himself off at how many replies he gets. That about the gist of your entire operation here, or are you going to call “bullshit” on that?"

                This is the civil discourse you preserve and do not hide, right? Can you explain a little more about this?

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

                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 2:29pm

                  Those who live in glass houses...

                  This is kind of a "safe space" for left-wing posers, government haters, terrorist sympathizers and sexually inappropriate clowns speaking about their excrement.

                  Yeah, this is why no-one's buying your 'outrage' when you chide others for not being 'polite', and it also brings into play what I mentioned above about how you get what you give.

                  People are more likely to give a pass to crude posts like the one's you're highlighting from Stephen because of what they're in response to. If someone starts out with say, a claim that a site is filled with terrorist sympathizers, or a rant/insult about 'mean girls' then they don't get to act shocked, shocked I say when people return in kind.

                  Insults out of the blue are more likely to get flagged. Insults in response to insults are just turnabout, and I imagine most people see that as fair. So long as you casually hand out insults(whether to individuals or the site and it's visitors in general) you don't get to complain when people do it back to you, and that sort of behavior I have less of a problem with(though I do often report it as unproductive), as it's simply returning the favor.

                  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 Jun 2017 @ 4:53pm

                    Re: Those who live in glass houses...

                    I see, great, thanks for answering. Quick question - when you talk about people's IP addresses, that's a Techdirt "Insider" thing, right? And it's the "Insiders" who decide who gets censored and who doesn't, right, based on "Insider" knowledge that others can't see? Insiders, with their Insider badge, speak as authorized agents of Techdirt, right?

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

                    • icon
                      That One Guy (profile), 11 Jun 2017 @ 5:27pm

                      Re: Re: Those who live in glass houses...

                      Yeah, if you're going to go back to that delusion I'm not going to waste my time explaining why it's wrong again, so that you can ignore me explaining why you're wrong again.

                      I've already spent way more time than I should have to explaining that your fixation on 'Insider' status is based upon nothing and you're spinning nefarious plots out of thin air, if you think I'm going to do that twice you are sorely mistaken.

                      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 Jun 2017 @ 6:25pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Those who live in glass houses...

                        Well, OK, but you were the one talking about IP addresses, right? Is that secret knowledge, the IP of a poster? And about censoring (I mean hiding posts), is that a manual or automatic process? I ask because it seems to happen in groups, it appears to be a manual process employed by a human moderator, is that right? And would it be asking too much to ask who the moderators are? Is that secret knowledge, or public knowledge? As far as I understand it, moderation is related to insults, rights? Not the topic, that has nothing to do with moderation. Moderation occurs when posts are deemed inappropriately insulting, right? Appropriate insulting is OK, but inappropriate insulting gets hidden, right, and the moderators decide that, right? Are you a moderator? (I'm not being insulting, right?)

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

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                          identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 7:23pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Those who live in glass houses...

                          “One of the biggest reasons I left TechDirt was because I was surrounded by phonies. That’s all. They were coming in the goddam window. For instance, they had this headmaster, Mr. Masnick, that was the phoniest bastard I ever met in my life. Ten times worse than old Wendy."

                          This is one of the "inappropriately insulting" posts, right? Is it the use of the word "phony" or "bastard" that crosses the line? It seems like someone's real opinion about Techdirt - is that allowed here (apparently not)? Other people use much stronger words and are not censored, why is that? Any guidance about words (or subjects) to avoid?

                          Finally, is Michael Masnick himself at all involved with the censorship (hiding) of posts?

                          Thanks in advance for your expert opinion. :)

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 8:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And yet you have My_Name_Here trailing after you like a lovesick puppy...

              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 Jun 2017 @ 9:00pm

    The Techdirt Counter Intelligence Team

    I have seen repeated discussions on Techdirt about user's IP addresses, and whether they use TOR nodes, as well as analysis of their past posts, and attempts to disqualify their opinions because they are anonymous, inconsistent, someone else, something else and on and on. For lack of a better name, I name this Techdirt Counter Intelligence.

    I thought maybe it was the Insiders, but That One Guy said not, so maybe it's employees, or others, I'm not sure who it is. Maybe whoever wrote the code for Techdirt, maybe Michael Masnick himself, hard to be sure. But I can see their work.

    What I name is the coordinated team that detects "Intelligence" arriving at Techdirt, that is, someone who provides an actual informed but inconsistent opinion. Upon detection, Counter Intelligence is deployed. This includes personal attacks, descriptions of explicit sexual acts, various profanities (usually anally associated) and completely silly lady logic, and if all else fails, censoring (hiding) the posts, even a LOT of posts if need be.

    And I don't speak at all just for myself, I have seen this applied to others repeatedly. Even a casual observer quickly understands the Counter Intelligence deployed at Techdirt.

    And I understand that running a web site to voice a particular agenda and employing counter intelligence is all legal. It's just ugly and hard to be patient with. Like a stone in your shoe.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 9:21pm

      Re: The Techdirt Counter Intelligence Team

      So this is what you consider to be "intelligence"?

      "Lather your wisdom upon me, Hamilton. Surely you must have invented a warehouse full of things that Masnick would sooner pirate. The thought of the innovation you did... mmm, I feel so aroused, you sexy copyrighted beast you! I know you personally support Shiva Ayyadurai's inevitable union with Melania Trump, but I cannot restrain myself. I need both your phallic implements inside my pigeonhole!" - My_Name_Here

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170606/14254437532/unfortunate-patent-office-directo r-michelle-lee-has-resigned.shtml#c453

      And you want the aforementioned quote, along with everything similar to it broadcasted and celebrated, and no judgment or critique to be had against it.

      Really. That's what you consider intelligence worth preserving.

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

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2017 @ 10:41pm

    Did I say that? I don't think so. And by the way, it's not nice to pick on people with clear mental problems. Makes you look mean and insensitive.

    My point was that there is a consistent attack on "outsider" ideas on this web site, that I have taken a lot of time to clearly document. It includes exactly what I outlined, including inappropriate sexual comments, as Stephen T. Stone displayed above, as well as many inappropriate Shiva attributions, some also from the same poster. The explanation by That One Guy of who gets censored makes no sense at all, it delineates appropriate insults from inappropriate insults on basis whatsoever.

    So, no, I didn't say any moderation was inappropriate. I think everyone would agree that Mr. My Name Here should be censored, for his own good and the good of others. My point is that the other attacks, apparently coordinated, depict a very ugly and hidden agenda to drive home a particular view, and that Techdirt readers suffer because of it.

    I'm an American. I prefer open discussion of ideas, when possible. This site, with it's active Counter Intelligence measures, seems sneaky and worthy of critique. That was my point.

    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 Jun 2017 @ 11:12pm

      Self-Inflicted Toxic Reputation (WTF?)

      So, everyone can post freely, unless they have a "self-inflicted toxic reputation". Meaning, you don't like them, right? And by the way, whoever "you" is (the moderators) is a secret from everyone else, right?. And by "self-inflicted" you mean showing up on this site and voicing an opinion that is not the same as yours. This is the definition of Secret Censorship and Counter Intelligence in Action.

      That One Guy:

      "Whether or not someone is likely to have their comments flagged has little to nothing to do with the stance the person making the argument holds, so long as they are civil(and with the possible exception of the 'toxic reputation' I mentioned above, but again, 'Self-inflicted'), something I can attest to personally as I have both engaged in and observed long discussions involving those that held positions contrary to my own and/or those of TD in general that remained un-hidden so long as they remained civil."

      And by Civil you mean Stephen T. Stone, right? For example, this is all what you consider civil:

      "Oh, you dirty bird, work the shaft.
      Damn. When you give someone head, you give them your whole fuckin’ head!
      I haven’t seen this much fellatio since my last visit to PornHub.
      Go home, Shiva, you're a woman-hating idiot.
      Go home, Shiva, you’re an idiot.
      Shiva, go home, you’re an idiot.

      he has little else better to do with his vapid life other than staying up in the wee hours of the morning to troll a bunch of people and jerk himself off at how many replies he gets"

      Civil, this is not. Active Counter Intelligence, on many levels, this is. I mean, the argument itself is counter to anyone's intelligence, that's hard to deny, right?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2017 @ 2:29am

        Re: Self-Inflicted Toxic Reputation (WTF?)

        Then what it means is not enough people have voted to have it reported. Partially because most readers here are rational enough to not let casual insults rustle their jimmies.

        There is, however, far less tolerance for idiocy. I don't know how it is in Manhattan but the rest of the planet tends to be less forgiving when it comes to willful ignorance as demonstrated by your lovesick fans. But apparently you consider their spam to be worthy of celebration. Telling, telling indeed.

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

  • identicon
    m, 25 Aug 2017 @ 8:40pm

    section 230

    Are you kidding me? I can understand defending it AFTER you adjust it. Do you realize what is happening to good people out there because of this outdated law???? Do you understand how much the legal system is behind the technology???? Get real and get it fixed!!!!

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


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