Implementing Transparency About Content Moderation

from the not-as-easy-as-it-looks dept

On February 2nd, Santa Clara University is hosting a gathering of tech platform companies to discuss how they actually handle content moderation questions. Many of the participants have written short essays about the questions that will be discussed at this event -- and over the next few weeks we'll be publishing many of those essays, including this one.

When people express free speech-based concerns about content removal by platforms, one type of suggestion they generally offer is -- increase transparency. Tell us (on a website or in a report or with an informative "tombstone" left at the URL where the content used to be) details about what content was removed. This could happen lots of different ways, voluntarily or not, by law or industry standard or social norms. The content may come down, but at least we'll have a record and some insight into what happened, at whose request, and why.

In light of public discussions about platform transparency, especially in the past year, this post offers a few practical thoughts about transparency by online UGC platforms. First, some of the challenges platforms face in figuring out how to be transparent with users and the public about their content moderation processes. Second, the industry practice of transparency reports and what might be done to make them as useful as possible.

Content Moderation Processes & Decisions

So, why not be radically transparent and say everything? Especially if you're providing a service used by a substantial chunk of the public and have nothing to hide. Just post all takedown requests in their entirety and all correspondence with people seeking asking you to modify or remove content. The best place to start answering this is by mentioning some of the incentives a platform faces here and the reasonable reasons they might say less than everything (leaving aside self-interested reasons like avoiding outside scrutiny and saving embarrassment over shortcomings such as arguably inconsistent application of moderation rules or a deficient process for creating them).

First, transparency is sometimes in tension with the privacy of not just users of a service, but any person who winds up the subject of UGC. Just as the public, users, regulators, and academics are asking platforms to increase transparency, the same groups have made equally clear that platforms should take people's privacy rights seriously. The legal and public relations risks of sharing information in a way that abridges someone's privacy are often uncertain and potentially large. This does not mean they cannot be outweighed by transparency values, but I think in order to weight them properly, this tension has to be acknowledged and thought through. In particular, however anonymized a given data set is, the risks of de-anonymization increase with time as better technologies come to exist. Today's anonymous data set could easily be tomorrow's repository of personally identifiable information, and platforms are acting reasonably when choosing to safeguard these future and contingent rights for people by sometimes erring on the side of opacity around anything that touches user information.

Second, in some cases, publicizing detailed information about a particular moderation decision risks maintaining or intensifying the harm that moderation was intended to stop or lessen. If a piece of content is removed because it violates someone's privacy, then publicizing information about that takedown or redaction risks continuing the harm if the record is no carefully worded to exclude the private information. Or, in cases of harassment, it may provide information to the harasser or the public (or the harasser's followers, who might choose to join in) for that harassment to continue. In some cases, the information can be described at a sufficiently high level of generality to avoid harm (e.g., "a private person's home address was published and removed" or "pictures of a journalist's children were posted and removed). In other cases, it may be hard or impossible (e.g., "an executive at small company X was accused of embezzling by an anonymous user"). Of course, generalizing at too high a level may frustrate those seeking greater transparency as not much better than not releasing the information at all.

Finally, in some cases publicizing the details a moderation team's script or playbook can make the platform's rules easier to break or hack by bad faith actors. I don't think these are sufficient reason to perpetuate existing confidentiality norms. But, if platform companies are being asked or ordered to increase the amount of public information about content moderation and plan to do so, they may as well try to proceed in a way that will account for these issues.

Transparency Reports

Short of the granular information discussed above, many UGC platforms already issue regular transparency reports. Increasing expectations or commitments about what should be included in transparency reports could wind up an important way to move confidentiality norms while also ensuring that the information released is structured and meaningful.

With some variation, I've found that the majority of UGC platform transparency reports cover information across two axes. The two main types of requests are to remove/alter content and information requests. And then, within each of those categories, whether a given request comes from a private person or a government actor. A greater push for transparency might mean adding categories to these reports with more detail about the content of requests and the procedural steps taken along the way rather than just the usually binary output of "action taken" or "no action taken" that one finds in these reports, such as the law or platform rule that is the basis for removal, more detail about what relevant information was taken into account (such as, "this post was especially newsworthy because it said ..." or "this person has been connected with hate speech on [other platform]"). As pressure to filter or proactively filter platform content increases from legislators from places like Europe and Hollywood, we may want to add a category for removals that happened based on a content platform's own proactive efforts,, rather than a complaint.

Nevertheless, transparency reports as they are currently done raise questions about how to meaningfully interpret them and what can be done to improve their usefulness.

A key question I think we need to address moving forward: are the various platform companies' transparency reports apple-to-apples in their categories? Being able to someday answer yes would involve greater consistency in terms by industry (e.g, are they using similar terms to mean similar things, like "hate speech" or "doxxing," irrespective of their potentially differing policies about those types of content).

Relatedly, is there a consistent framework for classifying and coding requests received by each company. Doing more to articulate and standardize coding though maybe unexciting will be crucial infrastructure for providing meaningful classes and denominators for what types of actions people are asking platform companies to take and on what ground. Questions here include, is there relative consistency in how they each code a particular request or type of action taken in response? For example, a demand email with some elements of a DMCA notice, a threat of suit based on trademark infringement, an allegation of violation of rules/TOS based on harassment, and an allegation that the poster has action in breach of a private confidentiality agreement? What if a user makes a modification to their content of their own volition based on a DMCA or other request? What is a DMCA notice is received for one copy of a work posted by a user account, but in investigating, a content moderator finds 10 more works that they believe should be taken down based on their subjective judgment of the existence of possible red flag knowledge?

Another question is how to ensure the universe of reporting entities is complete. Are we missing some types of companies and as a result lacking information on what is out there? The first type that comes to mind is nominally traditional online publishers, like the New York Times or Buzzfeed, who also host substantial amounts of UGC, even if it is not their main line of business. Although these companies focus on their identity as publishers, they are also platforms for their own and others' content. (Section 3 of the Times' Terms of Service) spells out its UGC policy, and Buzzfeed's Community Brand Guidelines explain things such as the fact that a post with "an overt political or commercial agenda" will likely be deleted).

Should the Times publish a report on which comments they remove, how many, and why? Should they provide (voluntarily, by virtue of industry best practices, or by legal obligation) the same level of transparency major platforms already provide? If not, why not? (Another interesting question – based on what we've learned about the benefits of transparency into the processes by which online, content is published or removed, should publisher/platforms perhaps be encouraged to also provide greater transparency into non-UGC content that is removed, altered, or never published by virtue what has traditionally been considered editorial purview, such as a controversial story that is spiked at the last minute due to a legal threat or factual allegations removed from a story for the same reason? And over time, we can expect that more companies may exist that cannot be strictly classified as publisher or platform, but which should nevertheless be expected to be transparent about its content practices.) Without thinking through these question, we may lack a full data set of online expression and lose our ability to aggregate useful information about practices across types of content environments before we've started.

Alex Feerst is the Head of Legal at Medium


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 3:34pm

    Content moderation is speech. Asking for regulation is attempting to limit free speech rights.

    Companies being opaque and arbitrary is actually a good thing since it creates disincentives to use their product and encourages competitors to be more open to gain an advantage in the marketplace.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 4:39pm

      Re:

      Content moderation is speech. Asking for regulation is attempting to limit free speech rights.

      You don't really believe that, do you? You don't have a free speech right to use a private platform, you know?

      Companies being opaque and arbitrary is actually a good thing since it creates disincentives to use their product and encourages competitors to be more open to gain an advantage in the marketplace.

      To some extent, I agree. If a company is bad at moderation (as many are) that opens up great new opportunities for others. But so far, there appears to be basically zero empirical evidence that anyone wants a truly unmoderated platform. Any one that exists and gets any level of popularity will quickly become overwhelmed by spam. And that's not going to gain any advantage in any marketplace.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 4:54pm

        Re: Re:

        You don't have a free speech right to use a private platform, you know?

        Try telling that to the SovCits.

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 5:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          >> You don't have a free speech right to use a private platform, you know?

          > Try telling that to the SovCits.

          Once the King of England tried to rule this nation with force and we kicked him and the German mercenaries out. So, no, little Mikey isn't going to tell me anything.

          Masnick is at this instant providing me user of "his" platform for my free speech, so de facto, he's wrong.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 5:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            ’tis better to keep your mouth closed and let people believe you are a fool than to open your mouth and prove them right.

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 5:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              > "’tis better to keep your mouth closed and let people believe you are a fool than to open your mouth and prove them right."

              Oooh, burned me! -- Got anything even vaguely on topic, kid?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 5:27pm

        Re: Re:

        Moderation stops not just spam, but all sorts of other filth and human depravity. Even 4chan's \b\ has rules.

        This post in general made me think what Nexus Mods does. They have a forum specifically for detailing users who got warned/banned and why.
        https://forums.nexusmods.com/index.php?/forum/188-forum-rules-and-warnings/
        What works for Nexus might not work for everyone else, but it's the first and only forum I've seen doing this in such an open and public manner.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 5:31pm

        Re: Re:

        >You don't have a free speech right to use a private platform, you know?

        I don't understand the confusion, that's the argument. Platform owners (i.e. Facebook) participate in content moderation, a form of speech just as a newspaper decides which classified ads to run, or a niche dating website decides which sexual orientation or ethnicity to cater to.

        To the extent that content moderation doesn't drive consumer behavior signals how little, like privacy, the majority of end users value their freedoms.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 5:57pm

          Re: Re: Re: "I don't understand the confusion, that's the argument." -- It results from corporations trying to put over fictions,

          first that they have a "Right" to control persons and speech on "platforms" -- which aren't "platorms" if not neutral, and 2nd, that the ultimate corporatist goal is "serving" The Public, not RULING OVER.

          If you just remove the assertions that corporations EVER planned to "don't be evil", then you won't be confused any more. Corporations are nothing but money machines intent on total control: they're Royalist Authoritarians in new form.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 6:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "I don't understand the confusion, that's the argument." -- It results from corporations trying to put over fictions,

            they have a "Right" to control persons and speech on "platforms" -- which aren't "platorms" if not neutral

            A platform need not be neutral to be a platform. Stormfront has no obligation to post pro-Black Lives Matter speech any more than The Root has an obligation to host articles promoting White supremacy.

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            • icon
              Richard (profile), 2 Feb 2018 @ 4:24am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "I don't understand the confusion, that's the argument." -- It results from corporations trying to put over fictions,

              A platform need not be neutral to be a platform. Stormfront has no obligation to post pro-Black Lives Matter speech any more than The Root has an obligation to host articles promoting White supremacy

              All of which is fine - so long as we are in a situation of many small-medium sized platforms competing with one another.

              The problems arise when a platform grows so large that it can influence the debate at a national scale.

              In the UK this used to be a problem for the left, because the Murdoch press came to dominate the discourse and we had 18 years on unrelenting Tory rule as a result.

              In the US now it seems to be more a problem for certain sections of the right, because both the MSM and the newer tech platforms seem to have a common agenda on some issues.

              When there are 8-10 genuinely independent platforms each with around 10-15% of the market all is well because everyone has somewhere to get heard.

              When you have only 2-3 platforms controlling a very large section of the market then the possibility of abuse arises.

              The traditional answers to this problem were Nationalisation/regulation where there was a natural monopoly and anti-trust suits otherwise.

              However it is difficult to see how either of these can work in this case.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 5:47pm

        Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

        > You don't have a free speech right to use a private platform, you know?

        Corporations operating "platforms" ASK The Public to even form. Our officials give permission based on corporations SERVING The Public. When corporations -- or even government -- does not serve The Public's purposes, then The Public has full right to use whatever force is necessary to bend them to our purposes. -- Read the Constitution. Corporates are not in it: are entirely an invention of fiends in human form called lawyers. -- Read the Declaration Of Independence for authority of We The People to disband even government and form it anew.

        Masnick, you're a Royalist and a Tribalist, besides Corporatist.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 6:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

          When corporations -- or even government -- does not serve The Public's purposes, then The Public has full right to use whatever force is necessary to bend them to our purposes.

          Correct me if I am wrong, but this sounds like you believe people should be able to use violence as a means of forcing corporations to serve the whims of whatever mob gets to the CEOs first.

          Corporates are not in it: are entirely an invention of fiends in human form called lawyers.

          You can argue whether the fiction of corporate personhood is good or bad, or even necessary. Until such time as you can undo the laws surrounding corporate personhood, however, that fiction is part of our reality. You might want to try adapting to it.

          Incidentally, a lot of the laws and legal precedents that govern us today are not in the Constitution. After all, that document never explicitly mentions privacy, abortion, minimum mandatory prison sentences, or the criminalization of marijuana.

          Masnick, you're a Royalist and a Tribalist, besides Corporatist.

          All hail King Incoporated Pro-Skub!

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 6:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

            Well, I prodded you into a little bit of gainsaying almost on topic!

            > Correct me if I am wrong, but this sounds like you believe people should be able to use violence as a means of forcing corporations to serve the whims of whatever mob gets to the CEOs first.

            For once you're right. What the heck do you think police are, and are for? To use violence WHEN NECESSARY to serve We The People's purposes. I'd prefer mere court action, though. But there's always the threat. In France, Le Peuple hauled out the King and chopped his arrogant head off.

            > "You can argue whether the fiction of corporate personhood is good or bad, or even necessary." -- THAT IS WHAT I'M ARGUING, and you are saying I don't even have a right to! That'd be an easy win for corporatists, eh, especially when They control ALL the major "platforms".

            > Until such time as you can undo the laws surrounding corporate personhood, however, that fiction is part of our reality. You might want to try adapting to it." -- Well, people can "adapt" to any form of tyranny, but it's not The American Way to just accept what The Rich try to force on you. -- And again, you're just arguing that I can't argue, besides implying it's futile, "you will be assimilated" and all that.

            You have a serf mentality, as I've stated. Move to England where you can grovel before Persons. -- Even better, join a cult, and worship some arrogant idiot as a god.

            Not me.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 6:45pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

              For once you're right.

              That you believe the ends of “bending corporations to the will of the people” justifies the means of “violence against corporate executives” is frightening.

              You have a serf mentality, as I've stated.

              No, I have a mindset that tells me the law is the law, regardless of whether it is just or fair—and that I cannot change the law by disobeying it. I mean, when was the last time a SovCit changed laws surrounding driver’s licenses by driving a car without one?

              Even better, join a cult, and worship some arrogant idiot as a god.

              No thanks; I prefer to vote for Democrats and Independents.

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 6:51pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

                > "No, I have a mindset that tells me the law is the law, regardless of whether it is just or fair" -- OKAY, get to the back of the bus, serf! -- NO, you don't even to ride the bus! You can WALK, if that's what the Ruling Class decides.

                Sheesh. What the hell was the Civil Rights Movement about again? Why did those people, besides military risk their lives? -- You are giving ALL up all we've gained in civilization, kid, from Magna Carta on, if don't oppose corporate power.

                Oh, and because I think recall fits you: you can wear a PINK badge, so everyone KNOWS.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 7:05pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

                  Ah, see, you might have misunderstood me. I never said I wouldn’t break the law if I thought the law was unjust, or that I wouldn’t fight to change an unjust law via protests and participation in political campaigns. I said “the law is the law[…]and I cannot change the law by disobeying it”. Even if I wanted to change driver’s license laws, driving without a license will not make that happen.

                  Also: I know what that “pink badge” reference means. Thank you for telling me you believe I am both gay and worthy of execution in a concentration camp. At least now I don’t have to play nice with you any more.

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 7:21pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

                    "Ah, see, you might have misunderstood me." -- No, I see that you reversed when I stated logical corollary.

                    I see also that you've been playing "gotcha" for a couple months, trying to pigeonhole me as Enemy

                    Because here you go for the payoff:

                    Also: I know what that "pink badge" reference means. Thank you for telling me you believe I am both gay and worthy of execution in a concentration camp. At least now I don't have to play nice with you any more.

                    Sheesh. First, you've BEEN "nice" to me? Really. Well, do your worst, kid.

                    2nd, "I know what that "pink badge" reference means." -- So do hundreds of millions of people, kid. You're NOT that intelligent.

                    3rd, you lurch to accuse with what I'm WARNING you about, NOT advocating: "worthy of execution in a concentration camp". That's what I think is -- not just your, but every "natural" person's -- fate if corporatism keeps going AS DID. No lessons were learned by humanity about the evil of fascism. Corporatists already talk about exterminating humans, replaced with robots, and so on...

                    We agree then, that just because lawyers and politicians make a law, it doesn't need to be followed. I say apply that to "corporate personhood", and that it's in YOUR interests to oppose it. (Complex cause, sure, but simple to oppose. Anti-Masnickism is what's needed.) That's all I wanted you to admit.

                    But feel free to be offended, snowflake! I'm NOT your enemy, though. This is what's so frustrating about people nowadays: they don't see the real enemy.

                    In closing, I ask you to go back, take time to actually READ and think on what I've written here. Not trying to harm you, but to help.

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 7:39pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

                      you lurch to accuse with what I'm WARNING you about, NOT advocating: "worthy of execution in a concentration camp". That's what I think is -- not just your, but every "natural" person's -- fate if corporatism keeps going AS DID.

                      Then why use the specific example of the pink badge, the one given to homosexuals and “sexual deviants” sent to the concentration camps by the Nazis? Why not just say “you’ll be sent to the camps” or some other much more generalized reference? That you would leap to the specific example of the badge used to mark gay people says a lot about the way you think of me, gay people, and possibly even victims of the Holocaust in general.

                      just because lawyers and politicians make a law, it doesn't need to be followed

                      To paraphrase a famous quote: If the law is unjust, I say break the law. With that said, breaking an unjust law is still breaking the law; unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences of doing that, I would suggest following the law until you are.

                      I say apply that to "corporate personhood", and that it's in YOUR interests to oppose it.

                      I do oppose corporate personhood. But until such time as the law can be changed to eliminate that legal fiction, I am not about to go around breaking laws that would land me in a lawsuit that would likely destroy me.

                      I'm NOT your enemy, though. This is what's so frustrating about people nowadays: they don't see the real enemy.

                      You literally said I should be given a pink badge like the ones given to gay people who were killed by the Nazis. Piss off.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 7:56pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

                        I see you're taking opportunity to be offended, though you DO agree with me about "corporate personhood". Hmm. I'm unable to be so wily. What I state is so far as I go, and without any major implications or contradictions. I don't do "dog whistle" text, sonny.

                        You literally said I should be given a pink badge like the ones given to gay people who were killed by the Nazis. Piss off.

                        Lying when the text in context above is silly. HERE IS WHAT I WROTE: "Oh, and because I think recall fits you: you can wear a PINK badge, so everyone KNOWS."

                        There is NO "LITERALLY" AS YOU STATE. YOU ARE LYING.

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                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 8:24pm

                          Why must you lie?

                          I don't do "dog whistle" text, sonny.

                          You used that “pink badge” reference to imply that I am gay. If you want to use a dogwhistle, make it harder to hear.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2018 @ 6:07am

                            Re: How to spot Undercover Agents of the FBI.

                            These paid informants of the most scurrilous domestic secret police agency have the goal of getting Real Americans to Out themselves.

                            Here are some of the tactics used by Undercover Agents of the FBI:

                            - insistently and repeatedly asking leading questions about beliefs in the Constitution

                            - look for slang or secret messaging, "dog whistle" code

                            - the Driver's License trick: this is a test for specific knowledge, but one should instead ask who knows so much about "SovCits" when imply it's crazy

                            - pretend to be good Americans from the South, often with misleading characteristics, assuming names like "Bufford T. Pusser"

                            - will state that citizens must obey every law without question, though of course when pressed, will admit to making moral choices about which laws they'll obey just like Real Americans

                            - abhor the entire notion of "Civil Rights", especially that citizens must be spied on, though of course when directly challenged will reverse: "oh, no, you misunderstand me"

                            - in line with above, slyly support corporatism and the unchecked power of corporations, unless again, directly challenged in which case instantly reverse

                            - psychologically, they view themselves as "nice", so their most potent come-back is to state they'll no longer be "nice"

                            - in person, Undercover Agents of the FBI can be identified by wearing or having Communist symbols, most particularly a "commie flag tacked up in the garage"; they'll be quick to deny even having a garage, saying "can call home and ask my wife"


                            Now, reasonable persons: the last point is clearly for humor (and to show the source), but just ask yourselves how much of the rest is true? Attacking persons, not their ideas, is a key characteristic.

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                            • icon
                              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Feb 2018 @ 6:48am

                              Re: Re: How to spot Undercover Agents of the FBI.

                              Attacking persons, not their ideas, is a key characteristic.

                              Funny, then, that you happen to be doing exactly that to me, and that you have repeatedly attacked other commenters and Techdirt writers for being “corporatists” or “globalists” or whatever catchphrase you and the other SovCits came up with last month.

                              And yes, I mock SovCits because they are a bunch of dopes. If someone thinks yelling “common law” and “natural person” over and over at cops and judges will somehow save them from the consequences of breaking a law, they are very much mistaken—something to which the long list of “sovereign citizens owned” videos on YouTube can attest. (This is one of my favorites.)

                              Oh, and one more thing: I may be from the South, but I don’t use my middle initial for some shit-ass attempt at “respectability”. (Not like I could ever pull that off anyway, but still.) My initials would be “SS” without that middle initial; I can hope even you, a dumbass, could understand why that is not exactly a set of initials I want to use in everyday life.

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                      • icon
                        The Wanderer (profile), 2 Feb 2018 @ 10:50am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

                        You literally said I should be given a pink badge like the ones given to gay people who were killed by the Nazis. Piss off.

                        I read him(?) as arguing - in part - that he didn't say (or imply) that you should, just that you would. The reasons why he(?) thinks that will/would happen escape me, but the necessary prerequisite events for that sort of thing to happen do seem like the sort of thing that might be plausible in his(?) apparent mindset.

                        (Also, I'm fairly sure I've seen one of the people who engages and opposes him(?) here in these comments assert to being gay, just within the past few months - and I kind of thought that I remembered that being you. I could certainly be wrong in that memory, however.)

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 9:35pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

                  Hey asshole. From every Holocaust survivor. And all the ones who didn’t make it out alive. FUCK YOU!

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2018 @ 6:25am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

                    > "Hey asshole. From every Holocaust survivor. And all the ones who didn’t make it out alive. FUCK YOU!"

                    Sheesh. Warn against the very corporatism that industrialized murder and point out that it's here again, and THIS is the response.

                    You know, I've always wondered how Jews can stand anything German, like driving Mercedes-Benz automobiles, promoting corporations, or making the Palestinians second-class persons herded into an open-air ghetto / prison, now literally walled off. Their current, ongoing, visible actions are exactly like Nazis.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2018 @ 7:12pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

                      For someone who's not a globalist you seem very, very vested in non-American issues.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 6:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

              > " Even better, join a cult, and worship some arrogant idiot as a god. "

              Oh, wait -- maybe you have! You seem unable to question Masnick. You are a lost little little puppy who found a rabid skunk and accept it as your "alpha".

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

              • identicon
                Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Feb 2018 @ 5:50am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

                I've had barneys with Mike from time to time and I think you're a jerk. Give it a rest.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 8:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Private platforms" don't have a right to exist without Permission from The Public.

          You’re a Retard*

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

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 2 Feb 2018 @ 2:52am

        Re: Re:

        Content moderation is speech. Asking for regulation is attempting to limit free speech rights.

        You don't really believe that, do you? You don't have a free speech right to use a private platform, you know?

        Mike - I think you lost the plot there.

        Your statement and his are basically in agreement - although I'll admit that he has a rather odd way of putting it.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 5:42pm

    Ongoing and increasing censorship from globalist corporate "platforms" using the non-Constitutional lawyer's fiction of a "First Amendment Right" to suppress yours:

    This link is not new, but is apropos enough and I'm tired of this topic, as clearly are all but one rabid fanboy. Tomorrow is the 2nd when the weenies gather and natter their one viewpoint, no opposition or dissent, exactly as the commies they are.

    "Bridget Johnson, who specializes in covering issues related to terrorism, was reportedly suspended from Twitter not for posting an offensive tweet or for arguing with anyone, but just because - as Twitter has offered Johnson no explanation for this sudden act of censorship."

    http://investmentwatchblog.com/twitter-just-silenced-pj-medias-terrorism-editor-in -latest-censorship-scheme-to-eliminate-non-liberal-points-of-view/

    Masnick often slips in this alleged Right of corporations to censor "natural" persons arbitrarily and unaccountably. Masnick is a complete corporatist.

    Oh, and transparency? You cannot even get answer to whether there IS a Moderator here!**

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 5:59pm

      Re: Ongoing and increasing censorship from globalist corporate "platforms" using the non-Constitutional lawyer's fiction of a "First Amendment Right" to suppress yours:

      Masnick often slips in this alleged Right of corporations to censor "natural" persons arbitrarily and unaccountably.

      To quote Mr. Masnick himself: “You don't have a free speech right to use a private platform, you know?”

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 6:11pm

        Re: Re: Ongoing and increasing censorship from globalist corporate "platforms" using the non-Constitutional lawyer's fiction of a "First Amendment Right" to suppress yours:

        > To quote Mr. Masnick himself: “You don't have a free speech right to use a private platform, you know?”

        A) I'd already quoted that at least twice.

        B) You have now proved that you can use copy-paste. Nothing else out of you, not a single thought of your own on topic.

        C) Within 5 minutes, you replied at me on this nearly dead topic. Evidently you monitor the site fanatically. I think you've just made top fanboy, congrats.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 6:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: Ongoing and increasing censorship from globalist corporate "platforms" using the non-Constitutional lawyer's fiction of a "First Amendment Right" to suppress yours:

          I don’t need to waste my brainpower with original thought when copypasting a cogent argument, one for which you have no rebuttal, will do the trick.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 8:42pm

      Strike... Screw it, I lost count

      Oh, and transparency? You cannot even get answer to whether there IS a Moderator here!

      Why would he waste his time responding to you(I'm only bothering because I've got a few minutes to burn, and that's all it took to show you're either lying or wrong)? Not only did he answer that, literally yesterday, but you'd never believe anything he said that didn't conform to the warped version of him you've got in your head anyway.

      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, 1 Feb 2018 @ 6:22pm

    I don’t need to waste my brainpower with original thought when copypasting a cogent argument, one for which you have no rebuttal, will do the trick.

    Yeah, you just re-phrased my comment. This is, however, a rebuttal:

    Still no thought on topic from you, as you admit.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 7:27pm

      Re:

      Gobble, gobble that authoritarian, corporate cock, blue! Grand apologist for Budweiser, the RIAA and Verizon! Slurp, slurp, chug! Mmmmm! Someone's getting paid overtime for MyNameHere's share.

      How's the funding for Paul Hansmeier going, blue?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 7:39pm

        Re: Re:

        **Gobble, gobble that authoritarian, corporate cock, blue! Grand apologist for Budweiser, the RIAA and Verizon! Slurp, slurp, chug! Mmmmm! Someone's getting paid overtime for MyNameHere's share.

        How's the funding for Paul Hansmeier going, blue?**

        Oooh, in one post, you typify Techdirt best I've seen! Irrational, irrelevant, false accusations, off-topic, and of course VILE!

        More of this, please! -- I feel it's worth making a wall of boldface with, but limit myself to the once.

        [To anyone reading who's rational -- and I doubt are any -- THIS AC IS TECHDIRT IN TRUE LIGHT.]

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 7:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Irrational, irrelevant, false accusations, off-topic, and of course VILE!

          You forgot “globalist”.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 7:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'll say. Blue would rather criticize Google than China, when China is knowingly exporting surveillance technology to non-US territories.

            If anyone's a globalist, it's blue boy.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 7:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          This coming from the jackass who regularly cheers on comments like "die in a fire, Masnick" and "I wish someone would shove you into a wood chipper, Masnick". What a joke.

          Have a DMCA vote. It's RIAA-flavored.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 7:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh, wait. Missed "Grand apologist for Budweiser" because SO off the wall funny and irrational.

          All I wrote was: "isn't Budweiser going to be able to use it, then", yet my rational comment must have stung Timothy Geigner.
          Here's where it's from, check it out, judge for yourself whether Geigner is drunk or insane:

          https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180124/06415239070/portland-surrenders-to-old-town-brewin g-over-stag-sign-trademark.shtml#c9

          ---
          Ah, now we're getting more examples of the mindless ad hom. This usually happens when I imply that I'm leaving a topic: the kids rush in when it's safe.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 7:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          There once was an out of the blue
          Who hated the process of due
          Each film that he'd paid
          Was DMCAed
          And shoved up his ass with a screw

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

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Feb 2018 @ 8:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            There once was a SovCit who traveled Their emotions were easily rattled One ad hom, it seemed Was “too much”, he deemed And his politeness was quickly unraveled

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2018 @ 8:04pm

    WELL, the kids (IF are multiple and not using TOR) have begun sheer ad hom and lying.

    Kind of odd three rushed in within minutes since Stone and I have been running for a couple hours. Maybe a TV show ended.

    Anyho, proving what I say: that Techdirt is a cesspit by their making it so.

    I often wonder if they or even Masnick grasp what this does to the site -- but then I have to again conclude that they can do nothing else. As I've long said, they're little barking rats.

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

  • identicon
    John E Cressman, 2 Feb 2018 @ 7:51am

    Both sides

    I see both sides in this. Being a libertarian, I believe in free speech.

    But, I also believe in the right of a company to run the company as they see fit.

    The conflict occurs when the speech I post to the platform is moderated in an opaque way to suit a specific agenda, etc.

    The recent news of facebook moderating conservative posts and links comes to mind.

    Personally, I don't care for most social platforms, but I know people who are so hopelessly addicted to them that as long as they can post pictures of their latest meal or the shoes they saw someone wearing, they would never pull themselves away.

    The bottom line is... you use someone else's platform, you play by their rules. Just make sure you know what those rules are. And if you find them having "secret rules", best look somewhere else.

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


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