YouTube Shows Dennis Prager's Claim Of Discrimination Against Conservatives Is Laughable

from the takedown dept

You will recall that Dennis Prager, the conservative commentator who also runs a YouTube channel to inform his viewers of his perspective on a variety of topics, recently sued YouTube. The meat of Prager's claims is that YouTube is censoring some of his videos purely because he is a conservative -- with the clear implication being that YouTube is a liberal bastion of conservative-hating video hosting. Just to be clear, there is no real evidence for that. What there is evidence for is that YouTube is trying very hard to sort through its hilariously enormous trove of video content for objectionable material, and that it often does this quite badly. None of that amounts to, as Prager claims, a liberal conspiracy against some conservative guy.

While Prager is seeking a preliminary injunction against YouTube to keep it from administering its own site as it sees fit, YouTube is asking for the case to be dismissed outright. There are two claims at issue: first, that YouTube classifying some of his videos in its "restricted mode" amounts to YouTube censoring him and, second, that YouTube is doing this "censoring" for purely partisan political reasons. If you find yourself sympathetic to those claims, perhaps it's because you have heard them repeated often elsewhere, over and over again (or because you've seen Prager sending out fundraising notices making exactly these claims), then you really should read the declaration from Alice Wu, part of the Trust and Safety management team at YouTube, filed in the case last week. Wu directly takes on both of Prager's claims and dismantles them completely to the point that it's almost embarrassing for Prager.

We'll start with the claim that YouTube classifying some Prager videos for its restricted mode being a form of censorship. She notes first that the Prager's videos that were flagged for restricted mode were done so purely for its content and amounted to something like a "teen rating."

The appropriateness of the Teen ratings assigned to the PragerU videos listed above is clear from the videos themselves. To give a few specific examples: In a PragerU video entitled “Born to Hate Jews” the narrator discusses how he used to think Jews in Israel were engaged in genocide and violence against Muslims. https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=xCQEmeGfFmY. Another video entitled “Why isn’t Communism as hated as Nazism?” describes mass murders and other atrocities in Communist countries. https://www.youtube.com/ watch?time_continue=1&v=nUGkKKAogDs. Another video, entitled “Are 1 in 5 Women Raped at College?,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0mzqL50I-w, includes an animated depiction of a nearly naked man lunging at a group of women and discusses college rape culture and the level of consent that should be required to engage in sexual activity. A video titled “Are the Police Racist?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQCQFH5wOJo&t=213s, discusses whether law enforcement engages in systemic racial discrimination and includes animations of police officers and black men pointing guns at people. YouTube concluded that these and some other similar PragerU videos, which deal with sexual situations, mature subject matter, and violent imagery, do not meet the Restricted Mode guidelines, which are designed to meet the needs of users that have chosen a more limited YouTube viewing experience free from potentially mature content. Based on that, YouTube assigned those videos a “Teen” or higher rating, which keeps them available to anyone using YouTube’s general service, but not available to users who have chosen to activate Restricted Mode (unless and until those users turn off Restricted Mode).

That last parenthetical is exceptionally important here, because it hints at how absurd Prager's claim of censorship is. Restricted Mode is opt-in by the user. Completely. A person who enables Restricted Mode on YouTube is asking YouTube to classify videos for content in the exact way that it does. Prager's claim of censorship, or a plea for the right to speak, is actually a demand that individual users listen. No such right exists, of course. Keep in mind that all of Prager's videos appear in searches by anyone that does not have Restricted Mode turned on.

Next: less than 12% of Prager's videos have been flagged for Restricted Mode.

In other words, if the Elders of YouTube really are engaged in an anti-conservative conspiracy to censor Dennis Prager, they are doing an exceptionally poor job of it. Even more damning, the declaration includes a list of the percentages of videos put in "Restricted Mode" for some other popular YouTube channels. This includes videos from The Young Turks, Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Vox.com, Democracy Now, Huffington Post and more. I try to stay away from actively classifying content with monikers as meaningless in modern times as "conservative" or "liberal" (if they don't describe themselves as such), but I'm fairly certain most of those folks don't line up with Prager's ideology. And, yet, they were given the same treatment as PragerU. In fact, many of them have a significantly higher percentage of videos in restricted mode. Last Week Tonight has had nearly half of its videos flagged for Restricted Mode compared with Prager's 12%. The Young Turks describes itself as "the leading news and politics show for young, progressive viewers" and it had nearly 71% of its videos put in restricted mode compared to PragerU's 12%.


Alas, I have yet to hear about the vast right wing conspiracy being carried out by YouTube against the left.

So, what's the deal here? Well, though we don't get into partisan politics here generally, we certainly are in the business of truth telling when it comes to things that happen on the internet. So here's a bit of truth: it is apparently fashionable in some circles to whine about censorship and free speech whenever their demand for open ears and access to other people's platforms are not handed over. But just because one particular platform doesn't think your content is appropriate for all audiences, it is not censorship. And, frankly, it appears that many of the people that are providing these platforms, along with those who use them, are supremely tired of this nonsense. There is no censorship. There is no conspiracy. There are just the same rules that apply to everyone. Sometimes they're applied poorly, but not because of partisan bias.

It's time for Prager to either stop whining and continue to enjoy the platform in YouTube that is not censoring him for being conservative, or he can go create his own video streaming platform if he thinks he can do it better.


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  1. icon
    Andrew (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 12:00pm

    A slight double standard

    Aren't these many of the same people who whine about "violent games" and internet stuff harming our youth?

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

  2. icon
    Dan (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 12:03pm

    The headline confused me, until I realized that you apparently don't know how apostrophes work. But yea, though I generally agree with Prager, there's simply no basis for the suit. Even taking those two contentions (i.e., that "restricted" = censorship, and that it was being done for partisan political reasons) as true, there's still no "there" there.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 12:05pm

    "Well, though we don't get into partisan politics here generally,"

    ha ha ha!

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 12:08pm

    Re:

    I listen to Prager, it is sad that someone like him has taken this route. The lawsuit against Youtube is tantamount to crybaby you have to post my stuff or I sue malarky.

    Youtube can do what they want, if he don't like it, he can go somewhere else. He needs to just use the public forum instead, not wasting tax payer dollars on a judge to sort this BS out.

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

  5. icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 12:26pm

    We're talking about Dennis Prager - his whole income stream is about saying things that are laughable and hoping people take it seriously. Why is it surprising then that his legal strategy fits in with that? Alex Jones admitted to playing a character, so is Prager, committing to it like Sacha Baron Cohen committed to Borat when questioned by the Secret Service in DC.

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

  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    John E Cressman, 14 Mar 2018 @ 12:30pm

    More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    Geez... you just LOVE throwing your left-wing liberal bias into your stories.

    Like most liberals, you ignore any facts that don't suit your narrative. It's actually been proved over and over that Facebook and Youtube DO have a bias against conservatives. Do some research.

    That said, there is no case for censorship - even on a partisan basis - against Facebook, Youtube or any other private platform for censorship.

    Private companies CAN censor anyone for any reason. If you don't like it, you take your business elsewhere. The first amendment only restricts GOVERNMENT restrictions on speech - and has been watered down since it's inception.

    So, while I do agree that the "Masters of the Universe" (Facebook/Google/Twitter) have a STRONG liberal bias, I don't believe there is any merit in the case, except to possibly draw attention to the fact that they do have a bias.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 12:34pm

    It's not discrimination by the same argument as redlining isn't racist.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 12:54pm

    Who the spork put the apostrophe in shows?
    That's not how you verb!

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 12:57pm

    Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    Am I missing this being a meme or do I really need to ask for a citation on your claim that it's been proved "over and over that Facebook and Youtube DO have a bias against conservatives?" And to be clear, I'm referring to bias on behalf of the platforms themselves, not actions taken by users (up/down voting, etc) or advertisers (pulling ads from controversial content).

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:06pm

    Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    Quit whining snowflake, and start your own blog if you don’t like this one. You can call it Lazy Right Wing Nut Job Complains About People Doing Things He Dosent Approve Of. Though there is stiff competition in that space so wear a silly hat or something.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:07pm

    Where have I heard this before .....
    O'yea - Bake my cake.

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

  12. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    Well, there were those fraudulently modified interview videos James O'Keefe's Project Veritas manufactured that "revealed" twitter's supposed anti-Conservative agenda.

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

  13. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:20pm

    Yeah, I've heard idiot trolls and their "gay wedding cake" whataboutism all too often.

    It's like they can't understand that sexuality is legally protected in some states, while being a piece of shit isn't.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:21pm

    Such complains reminds me of the similarly ridiculous claims of bias in the run up the last election with regard to the IRS review of tax free status requests.

    The one denied request was for a so called liberal org. But yeah, conservatives are discriminated against way more than anyone else - LOL. Sure they are.

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

  15. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:21pm

    Re:

    Threading error - this was supposed to be in response to the anonytroll that posted at 1:07

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

  16. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:22pm

    Re:

    They just have a way larger victim complex than anyone else.

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

  17. icon
    Gwiz (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:24pm

    Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    It's actually been proved over and over that Facebook and Youtube DO have a bias against conservatives. Do some research.

     

    I did some research. What I found was a bunch conservatives whining like crybabies that YouTube was censoring their views.

    I also found a couple of articles from Vice & NY Times that claim the right dominates on YouTube because it's much easier to ignore counter arguments then on places like Twitter or Facebook.

    PS: Just so you know - I identify with NEITHER party and cast my votes based on issues I care about and my own critical thinking.

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

  18. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    "so wear a silly hat or something"

    Bad suggestion. All the others of his ilk are already wearing silly hats. Some of them are bland white cones with eye holes, the rest are red and white made-bulk-in-China ones with some obscure acronym like "MOFO" or something on them.

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    When Sargon of Akkad gets an innocent cat video demonetized for no reason, it's a bit hard not to think there's some bias towards certain points of view on YouTube at least.

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:31pm

    Yeah, I never thought that the right got censored anymore than the left did. What is true, though, is that the left and right both make hyperbolic claims about being censored and both claim the other wants to kill them.

    I get that the right is slightly more likely to do the killing but, frankly... I've noticed that Major Figures on the right are screaming assholes, but the rank and file people on the right are generally nice. The rank and file on the left are screaming assholes, but their Major Figures are nice. Why can't the assholes just vote for the assholes and the nice people vote for the nice people?

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:37pm

    Re:

    Yep, rights for me but not for thee.

    Feel smug?

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

  22. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re:

    And they, as clearly demonstrated above, can't understand that civil rights laws apply equally to everyone.

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

  23. icon
    Improbus (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    my own critical thinking.

    This shows your bias. Critical thinking is a well known feature of liberals NOT conservatives. /s

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

  24. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 1:58pm

    'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    You don't have a 'right' to use someone else's platform.

    You may have a right to speak, but you do not have a right to be heard if it would require a non-government individual/platform giving you the platform from which to speak. This includes not having a right to have your content bypass the rules in place regarding ratings just because you think people shouldn't get to choose what they see and don't see.

    You don't have a 'right' to be a bigot and act as though it's a protected class alongside things like race, gender, or sexual orientation.

    'I don't want you using my private platform, possibly in violation of the rules I set out for it's use' is worlds different from 'I refuse to sell to you, despite the fact that I am theoretically a business open to the general public, because I don't like your race/gender/sexual orientation.'

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

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    Oh yay it's been fixed now.

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

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    So what you're saying then is the resident troll here is actually a major figure of the right and all the other commenters here are major figures of the left?

    (If you're new here, there is one troll who is the definition of a screaming asshole and consistently campaigns for the right and against the left. Many of the other commenters are very polite, if a bit rough around the edges, and generally take either a neutral or left leaning position.)

    To be honest I don't agree with you. I think there are screaming assholes on both sides, both as major figures and in the rank and file, but there are also very polite people in both camps as well. Some of it likely depends on your perspective. Though, lately, the majority of my discussions with people I know on the left have been much more polite than discussions I've had with people I know on the right. Additionally the people I know on the right seem to have trouble with logic and accepting facts.

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

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 2:09pm

    Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    if it would require a non-government individual/platform giving you the platform

    So you'd be in favor of repealing 47 USC § 202(a) ?

    Read that section carefully. Then think really hard about the argument you're making. Consider how the argument you're making now applies to —say— Verizon cutting off cellphone service to your favorite political party.

    You want to go that far?

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re:

    "Additionally the people I know on the right seem to have trouble with logic and accepting facts."

    heh heh... what is funny is they say the same about you.

    As an independent I will confirm that the left hates facts more and have worse logic than the right but not by much. But those on the right really do not have enough room to jump up and down for joy about that. The left wins this because of the PC culture they present and the everyone but us should be tolerant of others hypocrisy.

    In general, playing identity politics is a clear indication that you are nothing more than a meely mouth sheep whining about their indoctrination whilst ignoring your own.

    Most people on either side are just followers attached to the group they think treats them better. It is always the grand standing outspoken yuppies like you that get the attention when they open their ignorant pie holes.

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

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    The phone is not the businesses or individuals that you can phone, and any of those an block your number, hang up as soon as they identify you. YouTube is not the Internet, and so long as your ISP provides you with service you are not being denied use of he Internet, its just that some of the companies that it allows you to reach do not want the business of hosting your content.

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

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    … so long as your ISP provides you with service…

    VoIP is just another service on the 'net.

    But it's good that you're at least attempting to think and draw finer distinctions—rather than just letting someone like Prager troll you into jumping to Verizon's side.

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

  31. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    That seems to be another apples to oranges comparison. A platform for hosting content(text, video, whatever) is not really in the same category as a regulated method of communication that might as well be a utility(and at this point probably should be considered as such).

    Digital vs Physical makes any examples sloppy, but one way would be to say that the water company cutting off your water because they don't like which party you voted for is notably different than someone who opened up an empty lot they owned for people to use deciding that no, they'd rather not have the guy wearing a white, hooded robe spouting racists rot using their property to do it(especially if they had in place rules specifically prohibiting that).

    Some have argued that sites like Youtube and Facebook are so pervasive that essentially thanks to their success they should be considered public forums no different than a public park, and as such shouldn't be allowed to choose who can and can not use their platforms, but as of yet I'm not buying it, not for the big platforms and certainly not for the smaller ones.

    'Popular' does not automatically translate to 'public', and unlike a 'common carrier', where there might not be an alternative that is remotely comparable(if there is one at all), there are alternatives to those platforms.

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    Hey... I've got plenty of videos demonetized for no reason, and at this point I'm probably categorized in the US as a raving liberal, due to the fact that I'm a conservative centrist in international circles.

    This just shows that the system is broken, not that it's biased.

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

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    …is not really in the same category…

    You ever hear about “digital convergence” ?

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

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks for proving yourself one of those "meely mouth sheep whining about their indoctrination whilst ignoring your own".

    Geez man, assume much? One can make an observation about two groups and not be a member of either, though to be honest I was born and raised a member of the right. So I'm kind of familiar with their ideology.

    And no, I no longer consider myself on the right, nor do I consider myself on the left, nor do I consider myself an independent/libertarian/socialist/etc... or anything else. I vote my conscience for the people I agree with and want to support. Sometimes they are on the right, sometimes they are on the left, and sometimes they are neither.

    The only one playing identity politics here (of the two of us) is you. You claim you're independent and do have criticisms of both left and right but you give yourself away with statements like this:

    The left wins this because of the PC culture they present and the everyone but us should be tolerant of others hypocrisy.

    and this:

    It is always the grand standing outspoken yuppies like you that get the attention when they open their ignorant pie holes.

    I've never heard this kind of talk from the people I know who are left or neutral leaning. Especially if they are neutral. I hear it constantly from many of the people I know who are on the right.

    So, you claim to be neither but you seem to harbor an awful lot of hatred for the left, above that of the right.

    Also, you claim the left hates logic and facts worse but then please explain to me why the right had to resort to lying about NN? Or what about encryption? I don't see many left wingers supporting the FBI and their calls for "responsible encryption". Or how about violence and video games? There is not one single credible study or shred of evidence to prove violent video games increases aggression and violence in children. Yet who are the ones pushing for bringing the ban hammer down on them anyway? Oh that's "right".

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

  35. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 3:30pm

    Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    It's actually been proved over and over that Facebook and Youtube DO have a bias against conservatives.

    Two things.

    1. [citation needed]
    2. How do you know, with the certainty of God, that the bias is against conservatives as a whole and not against, say, the kinds of conservatives who espouse bigoted views about people of color/Muslims/Jews/queer people/other supposed Enemies of American Society?

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

  36. identicon
    Bruce C., 14 Mar 2018 @ 3:33pm

    Re:

    Yeah, that gave me a chuckle too. But what IS true is that they don't try to label specific positions as liberal or conservative, or use those terms as if they were insults.

    If a Democrat or Republican official makes a statement, it's clear that that is coming from a person who at least 1leans right or left respectively, if they haven't tipped over completely. But with the spectrum of political positions, there are still times when such officials are actually the voice of moderation, not extremism.

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

  37. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "the right had to resort to lying about NN"
    And climate change
    and healthcare
    and minimum wage
    and deregulating corporations
    and energy subsidies and tariffs
    and abortion
    and homosexuality
    and immigration
    and voter fraud
    and their president
    and the previous president
    and the preantepenultimate first lady
    and their Russian connections
    and <insert issue here>

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

  38. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 3:56pm

    Re:

    Curious if you could point to examples of where we play partisan politics? We tend not to call out the party of anyone unless it's a key part of the story. We have equally complained about Republicans and Democrats depending on whose doing the stupid (and both parties do an awful lot of stupid things) and we've praised both Republicans and Democrats when they do smart things (rare, but it happens).

    I'm guessing that you would absolutely guess wrong if you tried to state the political views of anyone associated with Techdirt.

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

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Probably not as stupid as you should feel for confusing a public accomodation law and a private internet platform.

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

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Both sides are bad you say?

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

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 4:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    There is a legal distinction between a common carrier and YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, so your argument falls flat.

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

  42. identicon
    Joe Pimpernel, 14 Mar 2018 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Legal expertise

    I am so impress by your legal acumen. You must have learned all that from Oprah.

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

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    There is a legal distinction between a common carrier and YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook

    Can you tell me what you think that legal distinction is?

    I'll tell you that historically the law has recognized common carriers in two, somewhat inconsistent ways.

    • First, the oldest definition, a common carrier is someone who undertakes to carry goods of a certain class for the public.

    • Second, for perhaps the past two centuries, someone's a common carrier when the government says they're in the business of common carriage. That is, a common carrier can't escape that status by claiming in court, “No, I'm really a private carrier!” The judges say nix on that.

    Have you looked at the definition of a common carrier in the Communications Act of 1934 recently? Or ever?

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

  44. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 4:53pm

    False. YT is persecuting conservatives and everyone knows it.

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

  45. identicon
    Qwertygiy, 14 Mar 2018 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    I have, and it doesn't fit.


    "The term “common carrier” or “carrier” means any person engaged as a common carrier for hire, in interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio or interstate or foreign radio transmission of energy[...]"

    YouTube doesn't do any of that.

    One: they're not *for hire.* YouTube itself is free. (YouTube Red is a digital TV service, an entirely different ball of wax.)

    Two: they don't transmit communications. They store data, which can be accessed and transmitted by internet companies. Without a company like AT&T or Comcast, you can't access YouTube, just like you can't reach your friend's telephone without using a telephone service.

    Your friend is not a common carrier just because voice data can be transmitted and received by a phone service that is connected to them. In the same way, YouTube is not a common carrier just because their video data can be transmitted and received by an internet service.

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

  46. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 5:32pm

    Re:

    It's the worst prosecution. The biggest prosecution. It's huge. We need to make the internet great again. So we're going to build a firewall and make Mozilla pay for it.

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

  47. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 6:08pm

    Re:

    “Persecuting” I know that word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    Other words that don’t mean what you seem to think the mean; false, everyone, knows, and probably is.

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

  48. identicon
    James, 14 Mar 2018 @ 6:08pm

    As I understand it, restricted mode is also on by default for the large number of users who are not logged in to YouTube (and impossible to turn off without logging in), which is the actual basis for the censorship claim.

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

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    The term “common carrier” or “carrier” means any person engaged as a common carrier…

    Take a little bit closer look at that definition in 47 USC § 153(11) .(*) On it's face, it's an almost circular definition:

    The term “common carrier” … means … common carrier…

    But that's a resolvable conundrum. Within Chapter 5 of Title 47, a “common carrier” means a common carrier outside of the chapter… plus some additional restrictions, of course.

    Outside the formal confines of the Communications Act of 1934 —but still even in the telecommunications context— the term common carrier retains its complete common law meaning.

     


    (*) And, incidentally, don't forget 47 USC § 153(51).

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  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    … it's an almost circular definition…

    The Supreme Court suggests I should strike the “almost” on the circular.

    FCC v Midwest Video (1979) (sometimes referred to as Midwest Video II)

    [Note 10]: … Due to the circularity of the definition, resort must be had to court and agency pronouncements to ascertain the term's meaning.

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  51. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 14 Mar 2018 @ 6:41pm

    Why Is It Always The Liberals Who Rise To The Top Of The Heap?

    How did “Liberal” media come to dominate the media landscape? How did “Liberal” online services come to dominate the online service landscape?

    Isn’t there a competitive free market involved? And aren’t Conservatives in favour of a competitive free market? In which case, those who come to dominate the market--in fact, to create a market where there was none before--do so purely through the superiority of the goods or services they are offering, don’t they?

    If Conservatives don’t like that, well, they have friends at the top levels of (US) Government right now, don’t they? Perhaps they should ask for Government help to set up their own alternatives.

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  52. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 7:46pm

    Re:

    Wow, what a strong case you're presented!

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

  53. icon
    JMT (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 8:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "As an independent I will confirm that the left hates facts more and have worse logic than the right but not by much."

    If I could get through my days with such limited and simplistic thinking I probably wouldn't be so tired at the end of each one.

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

  54. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 8:57pm

    Re:

    I don't know it so your statement is false.

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

  55. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re:

    Yuge*

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

  56. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 9:10pm

    Re:

    Stop spamming links to your favorite crazy blogs, Blue.

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

  57. icon
    Kal Zekdor (profile), 14 Mar 2018 @ 9:10pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm guessing that, sadly, "partisan politics" and "politics" have become indistinguishable in a lot of people's minds. While Techdirt has its share of biases and idiosyncrasies, as any such outlet does, partisanship is certainly not one of them. A commitment to truth, and the willingness to own up to mistakes, are some of the reasons I stick around, even if I don't always agree with the positions taken.

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

  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    VoIP is just another service on the 'net.

    Yes it is. Your point being??

    That law you link to only applies to common carriers, of which Youtube is not, but your phone provider is. Please explain how that applies in this situation, because I don't see it.

    VoIP likely does qualify as a common carrier and would be subject to the law you link to. But not every service on the internet is a common carrier. VoIP is because it essentially mimics the services of a telephone which is a common carrier.

    Youtube is definitely not a common carrier as others have explained. It's more akin to a data repository that you can access at will.

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  59. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 10:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    From your law link and the definition of a common carrier:

    but a person engaged in radio broadcasting shall not, insofar as such person is so engaged, be deemed a common carrier.

    So what you're saying is Youtube more resembles a phone service than a radio broadcast, therefore it must be a common carrier. How does that make any sense?

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

  60. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2018 @ 10:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    Also, what does Verizon have to do with any of this? They don't own Youtube, he's not suing Verizon. Actually Verizon doesn't even like Youtube. No one was even talking about Verizon until you brought them up.

    Seriously, I'm at a loss as to how he's jumping on to Verizon's side here.

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

  61. icon
    PaulT (profile), 15 Mar 2018 @ 1:39am

    Re: Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    Nah, his type don't want to do the work. They just demand others set up platforms for them then bitch that they're not doing it in a way that caters to them personally.

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

  62. icon
    PaulT (profile), 15 Mar 2018 @ 1:52am

    Re: Re:

    "Yep, rights for me but not for thee."

    Which nobody actually says, but I'm sure you know that.

    Sorry dude, giving equal rights to gay people does not mean you're taking them away from straight people. You're just not allowed to treat others as inferior just because you don't like who they love any more. If it angers you that you're not allowed to use your place of business as an outlet for your bigotry and hatred, that's your problem.

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

  63. icon
    PaulT (profile), 15 Mar 2018 @ 1:54am

    Re:

    Citation needed.

    Oh wait, Wikipedia is also one of those sites that the right wing bitched about having a bias against them, so they created a platform that doesn't need reliable citations instead. You guys are truly pathetic.

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  64. icon
    The Wanderer (profile), 15 Mar 2018 @ 6:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    I think the logic is something like:

    * A common carrier is an entity which provides the service of carrying messages to and from members of the public at large. (As distinct from, e.g., "only nobility" or "only businesses" or "only people who are members of such-and-such a trade group" or the like.)

    * YouTube provides the service of carrying messages - of a certain form, i.e., video recordings - between members of the general public, without restricting its clientele to members of a specific class. (By providing the upload interface, the storage platform, and the interfaces by which the public can find and access the stored videos.)

    * Because YouTube does what a common carrier does, YouTube qualifies as a common carrier, and must be subject to the requirements which apply to common carriers.


    Or to put things a bit differently: the Internet has reached a stage where those operating on the Internet can now provide communication services over the Internet, and those communication services should be considered capable of qualifying (and being regulated) as common carriers, just as the communication services in the lower layers which provide access to the Internet (phone company, et cetera) can.

    I'm not entirely sure I'd *agree* with this reasoning, but it does have a certain logic to it.

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  65. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 15 Mar 2018 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Here's the funny part of the pushback on this specific article: I, the author of the post, lean more right than left, and I'm probably one of, or THE, most conservative member of our writing team here.

    And, yet, that doesn't keep me from calling out factual occurrences of idiocy by other members of the right. It's amazing what you can get done when you're not a member of a "team"....

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

  66. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 15 Mar 2018 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    Like how it was fairly quick, cheap, and simple for DailyStormer to just make its own domain. Instead, they deliberately sought places they were unwelcome/illegal to stoke their persecution complex.

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

  67. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 15 Mar 2018 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    Well in Pai logic, telephone isn't common carrier service...

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

  68. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2018 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    what does Verizon have to do with any of this?

    That One Guy's basic claim was stated as—

    You don't have a 'right' to use someone else's [non-governmental] platform.

    Now, it might not have been Verizon, it might have been AT&T —whichever— —one of those corporations— but they've claimed in the not-so-distant past, ‘Google is free-riding on our inter-tubes!’

    In a communications stack, higher layers rely on the platform provided by lower layers.

    If you accept That One Guy's basic claim as a broad, normative principle then you start conceding that arbitrary and unreasonable discrimination in the provison of communications services to the public is normatively ok.

    Understand that I'm more-or-less indifferent on whether Prager prevails in the instant dispute with YouTube. Discounted by my fairly-strong expectation that he's going to lose. But in justifying and rationalizing why he's going to lose, you shouldn't be so eager to jump on a band-wagon to hell. Think about the potential for dystopia.

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

  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2018 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    (As distinct from, e.g., "only nobility" or "only businesses" or "only people who are members of such-and-such a trade group" or the like.)

    Distinguishing the public at large from an large, identifiable segment of the public is a tricky proposition.

    The essential distinction between a common carrier and contract carrier perhaps really rests on how the bargain is struck between the parties. Is it a genuinely negotiated contract, or a take-it-or-leave-it contract of adhesion?

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

  70. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 15 Mar 2018 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    <tax reform>

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

  71. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2018 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    So what you're saying is Youtube more resembles a phone service than a radio broadcast

    No. Not saying that.

    But I would caution against making a too-facile equation between YouTube and a radio broadcaster. (Compare with the recent criticism: “Straining (Analogies) to Make Sense of the First Amendment in Cyberspace”.)

    Congress explicitly carved out the specific exception for radio broadcasters in the Communications Act of 1934 recognizing that otherwise radio broadcasters' business activity might well fit under a definition of common carriage.

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

  72. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2018 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    … water company cutting off your water because they don't like which party you voted for is notably different than someone who opened up an empty lot…

    Have you read Marsh v Alabama (1916) ?

    Let go that the U.S. Supreme Court has, in more recent years, declined to extend that case as far as the California courts, and that even the California courts have declined to extend the principle too much further… the essential circumstances of the company town in Marsh show that your “notably different” is not such a simply, clearly and cleanly drawn line.

    Open up an empty lot, build a town on it — can you say this is my private town? All over the country, many towns started out as empty lots.

    Our question then narrows down to this: Can those people who live in or come to Chickasaw be denied freedom of press and religion simply because a single company has legal title to all the town?

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  73. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2018 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    I think the logic is something like… …a certain logic to it.

    Keep well in mind the oft-quoted passage from the book by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.—

    The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience. The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, intuitions of public policy, avowed or unconscious, even the prejudices which judges share with their fellow-men, have had a good deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed. The law embodies the story of a nation's development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics. In order to know what it is, we must know what it has been, and what it tends to become.

    The intuition, then, is that public policy has not lightly adopted its rule against unreasonable and arbitrary discrimination by public communications providers. Nor should that rule be so lightly and carelessly cast aside onto the scrap-heap of forgotten history. The more so, if the chief argument against the rule is an outmoded conception of absolute and despotic dominion over private property.

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  74. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2018 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    I'm off to get LRWNJCAPDTHDAO.com. Should be a hit!

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

  75. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 16 Mar 2018 @ 3:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I like that about you, Tim, although I'd call you "libertarian" (note the small "L") rather than conservative as such, since they tend to be authoritarian. I'd call Mike the same thing; Mr. Geigner seems to be liberal/progressive and Mr. Moody leans liberal/left (I've been following him on social media for years) and we've often interacted.

    I've come to these conclusions based on your (plural) writings and the subjects you seem to be most passionate about.

    What I love about TD is that it's not a "team" blog and its staff have a variety of viewpoints, all of which get an airing. And you're not afraid to call those considered thought leaders out when they're wrong about something, even if you're supposed to agree with them because "team." That's what keeps me coming back. The day I see any of you mindlessly shilling for anyone because of "team" I'll be looking for tech news elsewhere. As it is I think you're all doing a great job. Keep it up.

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

  76. icon
    The Wanderer (profile), 16 Mar 2018 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    I read that passage as indicating "the law is not based only on what is logical, but also - if anything, even more - on what people feel".

    Wouldn't that serve as an argument that the law should bind these platforms in these ways? Clearly, many people feel that it should; the only people arguing that it should not, that I currently remember seeing, seem to be doing so based on A: the logic of what the underlying and existing law says, and B: reasoning out what consequences would follow from its doing so.

    (When I do a bulleted-list comment like that, it's generally an attempt to fit a poorly-made - and possibly emotional - argument into the channels of logic, so that it can be more understandable to those who don't share that particular emotional viewpoint or a particular unstated underlying assumption, and can thereby be potentially addressed instead of having people talk past each other. It isn't, usually, a claim that everything is based on logical thinking.)

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  77. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 16 Mar 2018 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    You may find they always go quiet when we ask them what "conservative" means. We already know that "liberal" is an insult and "leftist" means "those who disagree with me."

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

  78. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 16 Mar 2018 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re:

    Right-wingers are losing the culture wars because they simply MUST Make Us Behave. Protip: drop the authoritarianism. Move away from the authoritarianism. That's it, nice and slow...

    ...aw, dang it! *Shoots* They just can't let go of the control-freakery that tuns us against them. Until they do, expect to see more stories like this.

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

  79. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 16 Mar 2018 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    *turns

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

  80. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 16 Mar 2018 @ 6:59am

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

    That is true of any individual or group prone to dogmatic authoritarianism, hence the "both sides" posts I often see here. The thing I've noticed is that on each of these issues the Right has planted a flag on it and claimed authority over it, then the Liberal/Progressives have reacted.

    Here's the fun part: even the most deeply authoritarian conservative right-winger wants a certain degree of live-and-let-live liberalism, i.e. the personal freedom to do what they want without being regulated by the state.

    By making a boogeyman of the liberals they've shot themselves in the foot since people tend to want the freedoms liberals offer whether they are willing to admit to this or not. This is what predestines right-wingers to lose every battle in the culture wars. The smart thing to do would be to stop attempting to control us but since their political identity is all tied up in paternalistic laissez-faire dogma that's not going to happen.

    Imagine if, instead of trying to force people to do what they think is right and good, they accepted that Human Nature Is A Thing and worked around it. A girl can dream.

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  81. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 16 Mar 2018 @ 7:02am

    Re: Why Is It Always The Liberals Who Rise To The Top Of The Heap?

    As I've said, demonizing liberals was the dumbest thing conservatives could possibly have done, and boy, is it coming back to bite them on the bum! Popcorn?

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

  82. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Mar 2018 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    If you accept That One Guy's basic claim as a broad, normative principle then you start conceding that arbitrary and unreasonable discrimination in the provison of communications services to the public is normatively ok.

    Actually, that's how it works now. Verizon or any other ISP is not beholden to provide you internet access or cell service no matter what. If you violate their terms of use they can cut off your service in a heartbeat and that would be perfectly legal.

    What they can't do is cut you off solely because of your status as a protected class. Newsflash though, your political affiliation is not a protected class, so yes, if they don't want to serve XYZ political party, they don't have to. It's not in their best interests to do so but it's not illegal.

    Now, that being said, you could make the argument that the internet and cell service is so necessary that they should be classified as public utilities and be available to all people as a matter of common human decency, but that is not the case today.

    However, that should not, and never should (barring it somehow becoming necessary to everyday life) apply to Youtube. Youtube is not a necessity, it's not even close, and there are many other alternatives to it. If they don't want to be associated with the scum of the earth, that's their choice. And a legal one.

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  83. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Mar 2018 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    Distinguishing the public at large from an large, identifiable segment of the public is a tricky proposition.

    Oh? So you see no difference between the public at large and the women of the public? Gosh that's a tricky thing to identify.

    an large, identifiable segment of the public

    By definition, if it is identifiable then you can distinguish it. Come on man, you're making this too easy for me.

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

  84. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Mar 2018 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    No. Not saying that.

    Yeah, you are, because you're saying they should be regulated like one.

    But I would caution against making a too-facile equation between YouTube and a radio broadcaster.

    Maybe you should take your own advice?

    You're saying that ISP's and Youtube should be regulated exactly the same regardless of the fact that what they do are two fundamentally different things. And you are the one talking about digital convergence and how there is no legal distinction between Youtube and an ISP.

    What you want is for Youtube to be regulated as a public utility (they are forced to provide service to everyone and not censor anyone). Public utilities include things like landline phone service, water, and electricity. Hence the analogy. The law you quote defines what a common carrier is, all those things fit that definition, including internet service.

    What we are all saying is that Youtube doesn't fit that definition and therefore cannot be regulated as a common carrier. To further clarify the matter, I went so far as to point out that if we were to force that law to apply to Youtube, it still would get an exception because what Youtube does would more closely fit the definition of a radio station and therefore would qualify for the exception.

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  85. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 16 Mar 2018 @ 2:57pm

    Re: We already know that "liberal" is an insult

    If certain parties want to use “Liberal” as an insult, let us refer to them as “Illiberal” in turn.

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

  86. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Mar 2018 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

                … normative…

    Actually, that's how it works now.

    Legal Theory Lexicon 016: Positive and Normative Legal Theory

    One of the most fundamental distinctions in legal theory is that between "positive legal theory" and "normative legal theory." . . .

     

    In conversation, responding to ‘ought’ with ‘is’ tends to indicate…

     

    Regardless —descriptively— with respect to your specific assertion about cell service, insofar as cell service comprises mobile voice interconnected with the PSTN, you appear to be neglecting the effect of 47 USC § 332(c)(1)(A).

    A person engaged in the provision of a service that is a commercial mobile service shall, insofar as such person is so engaged, be treated as a common carrier for purposes of this chapter, except . . .

    Note definitions in § 332(d).

    47 USC § 201

    (a) It shall be the duty of every common carrier engaged in interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio to furnish such communication service upon reasonable request therefor . . .

    Viewpoint discrimination against XYZ political party probably would be unjust, unreasonable, and unlawful under § 201(b).

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  87. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2018 @ 8:32am

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

    The blanket insults, on both sides, make it harder to see that both left and right are houses divided.

    So far as I can tell, there's left/right extremists and left/right moderates, and the extremists shout the loudest and encourage the "other side is totally crazy" mentality. It gets bad enough that the moderates won't speak amicably to one another when they probably have the most in common.

    To combat this, I try to talk to people on a one-on-one basis and figure out what your "enemy" is really like. It isn't easy, used to be left-leaning, now I try to have no loyalties to anything but good ideas and people who [mostly] speak good ideas. No blind loyalty, because nobody is worth trusting if they're being an idiot. Take the best, leave the rest. I don't know how else to stay sane in this mess.

    Just think a bit more before you speak. Is the idea bad because it's empirically bad, or because the other side accepts the idea? Blanket statements about "the right" or "the left" are pointless and just make for more conflict. Pointing out shitty ideas and how stupid the people directly promoting them are is at least a more accurate statement and insults the least amount of people.

    Speak to everyone, judge on a group basis less. Doubt it'll happen much, but I still dream too.

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

  88. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2018 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    Google has shown some heavy bias in some of its dealings. I'd like to laugh it off, but it seems almost anybody "controversial" is being demonetized if they aren't the biggest money-makers or part of mainstream media.

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

  89. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2018 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    It's at least biased towards the big players if you're right: the cash cow creators (ie. Pewdiepie), and mainstream media piggyback.

    YouTube will be TV-Lite and then it will die because YouTube is what people used to get away from TV's limitations in the first place. Over-controlled Internet platforms get abandoned, but no CEO ever gets how that works and clamps down on them anyway to make them "safer" for investors (ad companies, in this case).

    At least put a "donate" button on every video's page before making dick moves like demonetization. Take a cut of all the donations like Patreon does and then your money problems are over.

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

  90. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2018 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    … a particular unstated underlying assumption…

    Techdirt readers understand that in this case, Google firmly insists that Part I of Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 (codified as 47 USC § 201 - 231), headed “Common Carrier Regulation”, does indeed apply to YouTube.

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  91. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2018 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    Uh, no we don't understand that and I think you'd be hard pressed to find a regular reader who would agree with you.

    The reason for that is none of that part of the CA has anything to do with Youtube, nor would Google want that to apply to Youtube. Most of that deals with stuff that only applies to telephone and ISP service.

    Stop trying to sound smart by linking to random laws you've never read.

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

  92. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2018 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    Dude. Stop. You aren't winning this and you aren't going to win this. All you're doing is proving you're an idiot for not being able to properly read law. Or that you're a really crooked lawyer by trying to twist it into something it doesn't mean. Actually, I'm going to go with the latter because you keep linking to law articles thinking that no one is going to actually read them and/or know what you are talking about.

    One of the most fundamental distinctions in legal theory is that between "positive legal theory" and "normative legal theory." . . .

    Whether the theory is positive or normative is irrelevant in this case because THAT IS HOW IT IS CURRENTLY WORKING. I don't care about what kind of theory it is, I care about the fact that this is how the law works, today, in its present form based on current case law.

    Regardless —descriptively— with respect to your specific assertion about cell service, insofar as cell service comprises mobile voice interconnected with the PSTN, you appear to be neglecting the effect of 47 USC § 332(c)(1)(A).

    You're right, I am neglecting it, because it doesn't apply. Youtube is not a common carrier, no matter how many laws you link to. It's not what they do, therefore that law does not apply to them.

    Viewpoint discrimination against XYZ political party probably would be unjust, unreasonable, and unlawful under § 201(b).

    If Youtube were a common carrier you would be correct. However they aren't so you're wrong.

    In no way, shape or form does Youtube meet the definition of a common carrier. Your arguments fail because you're missing the basic point that Youtube is NOT a common carrier.

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

  93. icon
    The Wanderer (profile), 18 Mar 2018 @ 5:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    If Google has indeed claimed that (any part of) that law should apply to YouTube, I'd be interested in seeing those statements, particularly the specifics involved; do you have a link to a source for their having done so?

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

  94. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2018 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    … do you have a link to a source …?

    It's the second Techdirt article that Geigner links to in the article above:

    Note on p.1, “statement of issues to be presented”, item 1.

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

  95. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2018 @ 10:54am

    on p.1, “statement of issues to be presented”, item 1.

    “STATEMENT OF ISSUES TO BE DECIDED”

    What I get for just typing straight from memory instead of quick cut-n-paste. Further, note p.1 of doc is p.8 in PDF.

    It's still item 1.

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

  96. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2018 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    …particularly the specifics involved…

    There's also a recent and interesting article on statutory interpretation by Abbe R. Gluck and Richard A. Posner, “Statutory Interpretation On The Bench: A Survey of Forty-two Judges On The Federal Courts of Appeals” (Harvard Law Review).

    The appendix of that article provides a sampling from the interviews that the authors conducted. Combining the first question on p.1355 (p.58 in PDF) with an answer on p.1360 (p.63 in PDF)—

    Q1. When you get a case involving statutory interpretation, where do you begin in determining how the case should be decided?

    I want first to see the whole statute not just the section given to me in the briefing. . . 

    That answer is from someone described as an “Older-Generation Judge/Legal Process Institutionalist”.

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

  97. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2018 @ 8:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    Dude, you can't mix and match questions and answers and say it supports your argument. That's the definition of taking things out of context.

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

  98. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2018 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Eww, a black person. We don't sell to the likes of YOU.'

    I will admit that I missed that Section 230 was a part of Part I of that law. However that doesn't change the fact that the rest of the law doesn't necessarily apply to Youtube. Or are you going to argue that Section 224 is even possible to apply to Youtube?

    In fact quite a few sections of that law are impossible to apply to any website at all. Just because Section 230 is listed under the common carrier section does not mean it can only apply to common carriers, or that any company that claims Section 230 protection automatically makes it a common carrier.

    Also, nice try attempting to put words in Google's mouth. Google never stated that ALL of Part 1 of that law applies to them. They ONLY stated that Section 230 applies to them in this case.

    I'm calling you out on this. I think you know your argument is bunk, I think you know Youtube has this in the bag and is in the right. I think you are deliberately twisting laws and words, hoping no one will actually bother to read what you link to, in order to change public opinion against tech companies in the hope that eventually the laws will be changed to hurt them and protect legacy industries and/or allow them to be sued by people with a grudge against them. That's low, really low.

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

  99. icon
    PaulT (profile), 19 Mar 2018 @ 2:54am

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

    "The blanket insults, on both sides, make it harder to see that both left and right are houses divided."

    The first problem is the idea that they are both "houses" that need to agree in lockstep with everything in the first place, plus the idea that there's only 2 possible "houses". If you do believe this, you are wrong and a major part of the problem, even if you think you're trying to improve things. The fact is, nobody agrees 100% on issues even with people they are generally aligned with. Insisting that they do will not get you anywhere relating to their actual positions or opinions.

    The best thing to do is address the ideas, not label people as being in a "team". The worst thing to witness is being fundamentally agreeing on an issue, but refusing to work together because there's some other irrelevant issue they disagree on. That's how you get people literally voting to make their lives worse, just because the "other side" then won't get their way on something. Then when things go wrong, they blame the "other team" for actions they themselves committed...

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

  100. icon
    PaulT (profile), 19 Mar 2018 @ 3:04am

    Re: Re:

    Here's a shocking revelation for you - things that are "controversial" tend to not play well with platforms that depend on advertisers in order to operate. Those with the biggest share of their operating money get to make the biggest demands on the way they're run - and those shares do not come from the hands of the users or content providers.

    If you find this disagreeable, stop bitching about persecution and start using something that's not dependent on ad dollars for its business model. That might mean setting up your own service, it might mean paying a subscription, it might mean settling for something that's not the biggest market player. This was true during the pre-internet era, it's true now.

    The only problem comes when people start doing things that lose Google money and/or make them look bad, then start whining when they exercise the control they have over their own service. If you're using the service for free, or even depending on their service to provide your income, you're not the one with the largest say over what they do. Deal with it.

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

  101. icon
    shubham (profile), 6 Jul 2018 @ 12:51am

    More Liberal Techdirt Bias

    "so wear a silly hat or something"

    Bad suggestion. All the others of his ilk are already wearing silly hats. Some of them are bland white cones with eye holes, the rest are red and white made-bulk-in-China ones with some obscure acronym like "MOFO" or something on them.

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


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