Boston Globe Posts Hilarious Fact-Challenged Interview About Regulating Google, Without Any Acknowledgement Of Errors

from the and-we-wonder-why-news-is-failing dept

Warning: this article will discuss a bunch of nonsense being said in a major American newspaper about Google. I fully expect that the usual people will claim that I am writing this because I always support Google -- which would be an interesting point if true -- but of course it is not. I regularly criticize Google for a variety sketchy practices. However, what this story is really about is why the Boston Globe would publish, without fact checking, a bunch of complete and utter nonsense.

The Boston Globe recently put together an entire issue about "Big Tech" and what to do about it. I'd link to it, but for some reason when I click on it, the Boston Globe is now telling me it no longer exists -- which, maybe, suggests that the Boston Globe should do a little more "tech" work itself. However, a few folks sent in this fun interview with noted Google/Facebook hater Jonathan Taplin. Now, we've had our run-ins with Taplin in the past -- almost always to correct a whole bunch of factual errors that he makes in attacking internet companies. And, it appears that we need to do this again.

Of course, you would think that the Boston Globe might have done this for us, seeing as they're a "newspaper" and all. Rather than just printing the words verbatim of someone who is going to say things that are both false and ridiculous, why not fact check your own damn interview? Instead, it appears that the Globe decided "let's find someone to say mean things about Google" and turned up Taplin... and then no one at the esteemed Globe decided "gee, maybe we should check to see if he actually knows what he's talking about or if he's full of shit." Instead, they just ran the interview, and people who read it without knowing that Taplin is laughably wrong won't find out about it unless they come here. But... let's dig in.

What would smart regulation look like?

You start with fairly rigorous privacy regulations where you have the ability to opt out of data collection from Google. Then you look at something like a modification of the part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is what is known as safe harbor. Google and Facebook and Twitter operate under a very unique set of legal regimes that no other company gets to benefit from, which is that no one can sue them for doing anything wrong.

Ability to opt-out of data collection -- fair enough. To some extent that's already possible if you know what you're doing, but it would be good if Google/Facebook made that easier. Honestly, that's not going to actually have much of an impact really. I still think the real solution to the dominance of Google/Facebook is to enable more competition that can provide better services that can help limit the power of those guys. But Taplin's suggestion really seems to be going in the other direction, seeking to lock in their power, while complaining about them.

The "modification" of the DMCA, for example, would almost certainly lock in Google and Facebook and make it nearly impossible for competitors to step up. Also, the DMCA is not "known as safe harbor." The DMCA -- a law that was almost universally pushed by the record labels -- is a law that updated copyright law in a number of ways, including giving copyright holders the power to censor on the internet, without any due process or judicial review of whether or not infringement had taken place. There is a small part of it, within Section 512, that includes a very limited safe harbor, that says that while actual infringers are still liable for infringement, the internet platforms they use are not liable if they follow a bunch of rules, including removing the content expeditiously and kicking people off their platform for repeat infringement.

The idea that "Google and Facebook and Twitter operate under a very unique set of legal regimes that no other company gets to benefit from" is complete and utter nonsense, and the Boston Globe's Alex Kingsbury should have pushed back on it. The Copyright Office's database of DMCA registered agents includes nearly 9,000 companies (including ours!), because the DMCA's 512 safe harbors apply to any internet platform who registers. Google, Facebook and Twitter don't get special treatment.

Furthermore, as a new report recently showed, taking away such safe harbors would do more to entrench the power of Google, Facebook and Twitter since all three companies can deal with such liability, while lots of smaller companies and upstarts cannot. It boggles the mind that the Boston Globe let Taplin say something so obviously false without challenging him.

And, we haven't even gotten to the second half of that sentence, which is the bizarre and simply false claim that the DMCA's Section 512 means that "no one can sue them for doing anything wrong." Again, this is just factually incorrect, and a good journalist would challenge someone for making such a blatantly false claim. The DMCA's 512 does not, in any way, stop anyone from suing anyone "for doing anything wrong." That's ridiculous. The DMCA's 512 says that a copyright holder will be barred from suing a platform for copyright infringement if a user (not the platform) infringes on copyright and when notified of that alleged infringement, the platform expeditiously removes that content. In addition to that, thanks to various court rulings, the DMCA's safe harbors are limited in other ways, including that the platforms cannot encourage their use for infringement and they must have implemented repeat infringer policies. No where in any of that does it say that platforms can't be sued for doing anything wrong.

If the platform does something wrong, they absolutely can be sued. It's simply a fantasy interpretation of the DMCA to pretend otherwise. Why didn't the Boston Globe point out these errors? I have no idea, but they let the interview and its nonsense continue.

In other words, they have complete liability protection from being sued for any of the content that is on their services. That is totally unique. Obviously newspapers doesn’t get that protection. And of course also [tech giants] have other advantages over all other corporations; all of the labor that users put in is basically free. Most of us work an hour a day for Google or Facebook improving their services, and we don’t get anything for that other than just services.

Again, they do not have "complete liability protection from being sued for any content that is on their services." Anything they post themselves, they are still liable for. Anything that a user posts on its platform, if the platform does not comply with DMCA 512, the platform can still be liable for. All DMCA 512 is saying is that they can be liable for a small sliver of content if they fail to follow the rules set out in the law that was pushed for heavily by the recording industry.

Next up, the claim that "obviously newspapers don't get that protection" is preposterous. Of course they do. A quick search of the Copyright Office database shows registrations by tons of newspaper companies, including the Chicago Tribune, the Daily News, USA Today, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the LA Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Albany Times Union, the NY Times, the Times Herald, the Times Picayune, the Washington Times, the Post Standard, the Palm Beach Post, the Cincinnati Post, the Kentucky Post, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the NY Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Washington Post, Ann Arbor News, the Albany Business News, Reno News & Review, the Dayton Daily News, Springfiled News Sun, the Des Moines Register, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Branson News Leader, the Bergen News, the Pennysaver News, the News-Times, the New Canaan News, Orange County News, San Antonio News-Express, the National Law Journal, the Williamsburg Journal Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, the Lafayette Journal-Courier, the Oregon Statesman Journal, the Daily Journal and on and on and on. Literally I just got tired of writing down names. There are a lot more.

Notably missing? As far as I can tell, the Boston Globe has not registered a DMCA agent. Odd that.

But, back to the point: yes, newspapers get the same damn protection. There is nothing special about Google, Facebook and Twitter. And by now Taplin must know this. So should the Boston Globe.

Ah, but perhaps -- you'll argue -- he means that the paper versions don't get the same protection, while the internet sites do. And, you'd still be wrong. All the DMCA 512 says is that you don't get to put liability on a third party who had no say in the content posted. With your normal print newspaper that's not an issue because a newspaper is not a user-generated content thing. It has an editor who is choosing what's in there. That's not true of online websites. And that's why we need a safe harbor like the DMCA's, otherwise people stupidly blame a platform for actions of their users.

And let's not forget -- because this is important -- anything a website does to directly encourage infringement would take away those safe harbors, a la the Grokster ruling in the Supreme Court, which said you lose those safe harbors if you're inducing infringing. In other words, basically every claim made by Taplin here is wrong. Why does the Boston Globe challenge none of them? What kind of interview is this?

And we're just on the first question. Let's move on.

What would eliminating the “safe harbor” provision in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act mean?

YouTube wouldn’t be able to post 44,000 ISIS videos and sell ads for them.

Wait, what? Once again, there's so much wrong in just this one sentence that it's almost criminal that the Boston Globe's reporter doesn't say something. Let's start with this one first: changing copyright law to get rid of a safe harbor will stop YouTube from posting ISIS videos? What about copyright law has any impact on ISIS videos one way or the other? Absolutely nothing. Even assuming that ISIS is somehow violating someone's copyright in their videos (which, seems unlikely?) what does that have to do with anything?

Second, YouTube is not posting any ISIS videos. YouTube is not posting any videos. Users of YouTube are posting videos. That's the whole point of the safe harbors. That it's users doing the uploading and not the platform. And the point of the DMCA safe harbor is to clarify the common sense point that you don't blame the tool for the user's actions. You don't blame Ford because someone drove a Ford as a getaway car in a bank robbery. You don't blame AT&T when someone calls in a bomb threat.

Third, YouTube has banned ISIS videos (and any terrorist propaganda videos) going back a decade. Literally back to 2008. That's when YouTube stopped allowing videos from terrorist organizations. How could Taplin not know this? How could the Boston Globe not know this. Over the years, YouTube has even built new algorithms designed to automatically spot "extremist" content and block it (how well that works is another question). Indeed, YouTube is so aggressive in taking down such videos that it's been known to also take down the videos of humanitarian groups documenting war crimes by terrorists.

Finally, YouTube has long refused to put ads on anything deemed controversial content. Also, it won't put ads on videos of channels without lots and lots of followers.

So basically in this one short sentence -- 14 words long -- has four major factual errors in it. Wow. And he's not done yet.

Or they wouldn’t be able to put up any musician’s work, whether they wanted it on the service or not, without having to bear some consequences. That would really change things.

Again, YouTube is not the one putting up works. Users of YouTube are. And if and when those people upload a video -- that is not covered by fair use or other user rights -- and it is infringing, then the copyright holder has every right under the DMCA that Taplin misstates earlier to force the video down. And if YouTube doesn't take it down, then they face all the consequences of being an infringer.

So what would "really change" if we removed the DMCA's safe harbors? Well, YouTube has already negotiated licenses with basically every record label and publisher at this point. So, basically nothing would change on YouTube. But, you know, for every other platform, they'd be screwed. So, Taplin's plan to "break up" Google... is to lock the company in as the only platform. Great.

And this leaves aside the fact (whether we like it or not) that under YouTube's ContentID system which allows copyright holders to "monetize" infringing works has actually opened up a (somewhat strange) new revenue stream for artists, who are now actually profiting greatly from letting people use their works without going through the hassle of negotiating a full license.

I also think it would change the whole fake news conversation completely, because, once Facebook or YouTube or Google had to take responsibility for what’s on their services, they would have to be a lot more careful to monitor what goes on there.

Again... what? What in the "whole fake news conversation" has anything to do with copyright? This is just utter nonsense.

Second, if platforms are suddenly "responsible" for what's on their service, then... Taplin is saying that the very companies he hates, that he thinks are the ruination of culture and society, should be the final arbiters of what speech is okay online. Is that really what he wants? He wants Google and Facebook and YouTube -- three platforms he's spent years attacking -- determining if his own speech is fake news?

Really?

Because, let's face it, as much as I hate the term, this interview is quintessential fake news. Nearly every sentence Taplin says includes some false statement -- often multiple false statements. And the Boston Globe published it. Should the Boston Globe now be liable for Taplin's deranged understanding of the law? Should we be able to sue the Boston Globe because it published utter nonsense uttered by Jonathan Taplin? Because that's what he's arguing for. Oh, but, I forgot, according to Taplin, the Boston Globe -- as a newspaper -- has no such safe harbor, so it's already fair game. Sue away, people...

Wouldn’t that approach subject these services to death by a thousand copyright-infringement lawsuits?

It would depend on how it was put into practice. When someone tries to upload pornography to YouTube, an artificial intelligence agent sees a bare breast and shunts it into a separate queue. Then a human looks at it and says, “Well, is this National Geographic, or is this porn?” If it’s National Geographic it probably gets on the service, and if it’s porn it goes in the trash. So, it’s not like they’re not doing this already. It’s just they’ve chosen to filter porn off of Facebook and Google and YouTube but they haven’t chosen to filter ISIS, hate speech, copyrighted material, fake news, that kind of stuff.

This is just a business decision on their part. They know every piece of content that’s being uploaded because they used the ID to decide who gets the advertising. So they could do all of this very easily. It’s just they don’t want to do it.

First off, finally, the Boston Globe reporter pushes back slightly. Not by correcting any of the many, many false claims that Taplin has made so far, but in highlighting a broader point: that Taplin's solution is completely idiotic and unworkable, because we already see the abuse that the DMCA takedown process gets. But... Taplin goes into spin mode and suggests there's some magic way that this system wouldn't be abused for censorship (even though the existing system is).

Then he explains his fantasy-land explanation of how YouTube moderation actually works. He's wrong. This is not how it works. Most content is never viewed by a human. But let's delve in deeper again. Taplin and some of his friends like to point to the automated filtering of porn. But porn is something that is much easier to teach a computer to spot. A naked breast is something you can teach a computer to spot pretty well. Fake news is not. Hate speech is not. Separately, notice that Taplin never ever mentions ContentID in this entire interview? Even though that does the very thing he seems to insist that YouTube refuses to do? ContentID does exactly what he claims this porn filter is doing. But he pretends it doesn't exist and hasn't existed for years.

And the Boston Globe just lets it slide.

Also, again, Taplin insists that YouTube and Facebook "haven't chosen to filter ISIS" even though both companies have done so for years. How does Taplin not know this? How does the Boston Globe reporter not know this? How does the Boston Globe think that its ignorant reporter should interview this ignorant person? Why did they then decide to publish any of this? Does the Boston Globe employ fact checkers at all? The mind boggles.

Meanwhile, we really shouldn't let it slide that Taplin -- when asked specifically about copyright infringement -- seems to argue that if copyright law was changed, it would somehow magically lead Google to stop ISIS videos, hate speech and fake news among other things. None of those things has anything to do with copyright law. Shouldn't he know this? Shouldn't the Boston Globe?

As for the second paragraph, it's also utter nonsense. YouTube "knows every piece of content that's being uploaded because they used the ID to decide who gets the advertising." What does that even mean. What is "the ID"? And, even in the cases where YouTube does decide to place ads on videos (again, which is greatly restricted, and is not for all content), the fact that Google's algorithms can try to insert relevant ads does not mean that Google "knows" what's in the content. It just means that an algorithm does some matching. And, sure, Taplin might point out that if they can do that, why can't they also do it for copyright and ISIS and the answer is that THEY DO. That's the whole fucking point.

Again, why is the Boston Globe publishing utter nonsense?

Is Google trying to forestall this kind of regulation?

Ultimately YouTube is already moving towards being a service that pays content providers. They announced last month that they’re going to put up a YouTube music channel. And that will look much more like Spotify than it looks like YouTube. In other words, they will license content from providers, they will charge $10 a month for the service, and you will then get curated lists of music. From the point of view of the artists and the record company, it’ll be a lot better than the system that exists now — where essentially YouTube says to you, your content is going to be on YouTube whether you want it to or not, so check this box if you want us to give you a little bit of the advertising.

YouTube has been paying content providers for years. I mean, it's been years since the company announced that in one year alone, it had paid musicians, labels and publishers over a billion dollars. And Taplin claims they're "moving" to such a model? Is he stuck in 2005? And, they already license content from providers. The $10/month thing again, is not new (it's been available for years), but that's a separate service, which is not the same as regular YouTube. And it has nothing to do with any of this. If the DMCA changed, then... that wouldn't have any impact at all on any of this.

Still, let's recap the logic here: So YouTube offering a music service, which it set up to compete with Spotify and Apple Music, and which has nothing to do with the regular YouTube platform, will somehow "forestall" taking away the DMCA's safe harbors? How exactly does that work? I mean, wouldn't the logic work the other way?

The whole interview is completely laughable. Taplin repeatedly makes claims that don't pass the laugh test for anyone with even the slightest knowledge of the space. And nowhere does the Boston Globe address the multiple outright factual errors. Sure, I can maybe (maybe?) understand not pushing back on Taplin in the moment of the interview. But why let this go to print without having someone (anyone?!?) with even the slightest understanding of the law or how YouTube actually works, check to see if Taplin's claims were based in reality? Is that really so hard?

Apparently it is for the Boston Globe and its "deputy editor" Alex Kingsbury.


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  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 19 Jun 2018 @ 10:51am

    Triggered:"Google and Facebook and Twitter operate under a very unique set of legal regimes that no other company gets to benefit from, which is that no one can sue them for doing anything wrong."

    WTF? Looks like a 5mg Valium will prepare the reader to continue.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2018 @ 12:24pm

      Re:

      While it is not a "unique set of legal regimes" they all have a problematic metadata-enhancing business-model with a lot of opacity. In a perfect world we would know approximately what the input data are and what the output data are, but today algorithms are trade secrets and algos with some self-learning is protected like it was an other-worldly entity.

      Since that is not going to change anytime soon, privacy-regulation is a good way to at least make it more costly for the company to screw the users.

      The rest is Taplin rambling without checking out how the system works today and not understanding the effects of what he is proposing.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 19 Jun 2018 @ 10:54am

    When the name Taplin popped up I automatically grabbed the popcorn and braced for comedic, deranged bits. I wasn't disappointed!

    At the very least this kind of thing gives us a good idea of where not to look for reliable information. Boston Globe has positioned itself closer to famous tabloids. Maybe it was on purpose?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2018 @ 11:19am

    and then no one at the esteemed Globe decided "gee, maybe we should check to see if he actually knows what he's talking about or if he's full of shit."

    How fantastic, as I'm reading this the day after they suspended one of their writers for 3 months unpaid after fabricating a first-hand account of being at the finish line for the Marathon bombing.

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      "rogs", 19 Jun 2018 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      The Boston bombing.....the Tsaerevs were on a list for a decade, and their family nearly driven to starvation by CVE programs, and community policing.

      And, extra points if you noticed that the INTERCEPT, AND Infowars(?!?) Both reported colllusion between the FBI and CIA every time they boarded an airplane to and from Russia.

      https://www.infowars.com/tamerlan-tsarnaevs-links-to-cia-operations-in-caucasus/

      Nothing to see here,folks...there is NO MEDIA CONSPIRACY of coincidental factitious disorder...

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2018 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re:

        For those of us who wouldn't believe Alex Jones if, outdoors on a cloudy day with thunder rumbling overhead, he claimed to have felt a raindrop, would you mind linking the Intercept article?

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

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          identicon
          "rogs", 19 Jun 2018 @ 9:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I will meet you half way because I am not here to do your homework for you.

          But when both the right and the left agree, it might be a good time to take off your own red felt tinfoil hat.

          Here are the archived links to ALL of TIs reporting on Tsaernev_

          ... USAID money was used to fund scholarships in Georgia for exiled Chechen “students” who were being trained as CIA agenst to interface with Chechen guerrilla forces and the Caucasus Emirate terrorists of Doku Umarov.....

          Ooops! Wrong cutpaste

          https://theintercept.com/search/?s=Boston+Marathon+bombing

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          The Masnik Mafia?, 23 Jun 2018 @ 10:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Re: Re: Re:
          I will meet you half way because I am not here to do your homework for you.

          But when both the right and the left agree, it might be a good time to take off your own red felt tinfoil hat.

          Here are the archived links to ALL of TIs reporting on Tsaernev_

          ... USAID money was used to fund scholarships in Georgia for exiled Chechen “students” who were being trained as CIA agenst to interface with Chechen guerrilla forces and the Caucasus Emirate terrorists of Doku Umarov.....

          Ooops! Wrong cutpaste

          https://theintercept.com/search/?s=Boston+Marathon+bombing

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2018 @ 1:06pm

        You dropping infowars links makes you crazier than blue balls. Congrats, now go take your meds.

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          "rog_s", 19 Jun 2018 @ 9:46pm

          Re:

          You just love saying "balls" anonymously, dont you?

          Aaaaah. Pure speech feels good, doesnt it?

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Rogs, 23 Jun 2018 @ 10:04pm

      Re: BostonCatholics.....and ADLification

      Re:
      The Boston bombing.....the Tsaerevs were on a list for a decade, and their family nearly driven to starvation by CVE programs, and community policing.

      And, extra points if you noticed that the INTERCEPT, AND Infowars(?!?) Both reported colllusion between the FBI and CIA every time they boarded an airplane to and from Russia.

      https://www.infowars.com/tamerlan-tsarnaevs-links-to-cia-operations-in-caucasus/

      Nothing to see here,folks...there is NO MEDIA CONSPIRACY of coincidental factitious disorder...

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    !ROGS!, 19 Jun 2018 @ 11:19am

    just...Masnick for president....

    Content trigger warning: this article will discuss a bunch of nonsense being said in a major American newspaper about Google. I fully expect that the usual people will claim that I am writing this because I always support Google -- which would be an interesting point if true -- but of course it is not. I regularly criticize Google for a variety sketchy practices. However, what this story is really about is why the Boston Globe would publish, without fact checking, a bunch of complete and utter nonsense.

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

  • identicon
    Carlie Coats, 19 Jun 2018 @ 11:32am

    Way to get privacy

    The way to deal with the data-collection issue is to broaden the use of "performance" under copyright law. Performance art belongs to the performing artist, absent explicit written contracts to the contrary (copyright-law "work for hire" is much more narrow than patent-law "work for hire").

    My life is my performance, and any recording thereof belongs (or should belong) to the performer, me.

    Anyone recording (portions (including web-history) of) my life and distributing it is committing copyright violation, and should be subject to the full extent of the Copyright Act (including ex parte seizures of computers hosting the violating material, to search for the evidence of that violation).

    The first such seizure of all the computers of an ad-company for copyright violation, and subsequent civil suit will certainly serve pour encourager les autres.

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

  • icon
    Andrew (profile), 19 Jun 2018 @ 11:37am

    The link to the article is:

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2018/06/14/how-you-regulate-tech-company/AzsdPubwCxaZyiuy6u0m3L/st ory.html

    It really is as bad as it looks, chock full of glaring idiocies and complete nonsense with no grounding in reality or the law or anything.

    The title is "How do you Regulate a Tech Company". It's a shame, because there are so many reasonable ideas on how to intelligently regulate tech companies to curb some problems. None of those reasonable ideas find a home in this article though, so don't even bother looking.

    But then, this same newspaper had an editorial a few days ago calling for Google to be broken up, because "Google accounts for about 90 percent of all Internet searches; by any honest assessment, it holds a monopoly at the very gateway to information in the modern world." Sigh.....

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2018 @ 11:45am

    Simple Solution

    Google should stop linking to Boston Globe until there is a full retraction and apology.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2018 @ 1:08pm

      I remember the first time I got high too.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2018 @ 10:47am

        Re:

        I'm happy to hear about your continuing adventures but have no idea what that has to do with my comment. If Google delisted Boston Globe, Google wouldn't even notice the difference. Boston Globe, however, would see a large drop in its visitors each month and eventually would be forced to sell, go out of business or admit that they are wrong.

        Feel free to continue your inane comments though.

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    identicon
    "rogs", 19 Jun 2018 @ 11:52am

    Boston...and...COINCIDENCE STRIKES AGAIN!


    LOOK who targets people in Boston, under an Israelified, militarized policing scheme!

    Gods, and the FBIs(and the SPLCs) lil helpers.....

    Extremists,
    Tracking extremists, from Wikipedia(not to be confused withWikileaks, a non-controlled media resource)

    The ADL keeps track of the activities of various extremist groups and movements.[19] According to ADL Director Abe Foxman, "Our mission is to monitor and expose those who are anti-Jewish, racist, anti-democratic, and violence-prone, and we monitor them primarily by reading publications and attending public meetings …. Because extremist organizations are highly secretive, sometimes ADL can learn of their activities only by using undercover sources … [who] function in a manner directly analogous to investigative journalists. Some have performed great service to the American people—for example, by uncovering the existence of right-wing extremist paramilitary training camps—with no recognition and at considerable personal risk."[20] A person apprehended in connection to the 2002 white supremacist terror plot had drawn a cartoon of himself blowing up the Boston offices of the ADL.[21]

    The ADL regularly releases reports on anti-Semitism and extremist activities on both the far left and the far right. For instance, as part of its Law Enforcement Agency Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.), the ADL has published information about the Militia Movement[22] in America and a guide for law enforcement officials titled Officer Safety and Extremists.[23] An archive of "The Militia Watchdog" research on U.S. right-wing extremism (including groups not specifically cited as anti-Semitic) from 1995 to 2000 is also available on the ADL website.[22]

    In the 1990s, some details of the ADL's monitoring activities became public and controversial, including the fact that the ADL had gathered information about some non-extremist groups. In 2013, J.M. Berger, a former nonresident fellow of the Brookings Institution, wrote that media organizations should be more cautious when citing the Southern Poverty Law Center and ADL, arguing that they are "not objective purveyors of data".[24]

    In July 2017, the ADL announced that they would be developing profiles on 36 alt-right and alt-lite leaders.[25][26]

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  • icon
    ECA (profile), 19 Jun 2018 @ 12:26pm

    Lets see..

    Newspaper hire idiot to say stupid things..
    BECAUSE..if they do it, they can be sued.. At least give an apology..

    Ever see a person who says something OFF-CENTER..He is trying to say something, but has the wrong words and meanings?? They say something BACKWARDS Meaning??

    TECH: competition..
    How many Chat programs have we had?? From typing to Audio to video and all 3 at 1 time...and HOPE you have enough bandwidth to listen to 10 people at the same time..and NOT 1 min AFTER it was said.. 20?? 30??

    WHY do we use the ones WE DO USE?? Hmmm??
    This is the same as WHY do we drive THIS CAR, over a BETTER/OTHER car?? Is your car the best?? or just CHEAPER?? IF there were a GREAT car, that was Cheap or freee, WOULD YOU GET ONE??
    And just cause it tracks you with GPS 24/7 Means WHAT?? IT WAS FREE and is a good car..(get rid of your cellphone if you dont want to be tracked)

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

  • icon
    radix (profile), 19 Jun 2018 @ 1:21pm

    Small addition to one of your first points

    Regarding Safe Harbor and its supposedly unique protections for Google/Facebook:

    In fact, this merely codified protections for (as you note) many internet companies -- that have long been extended to analog businesses.

    The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act says firearm manufacturers can't be held liable for misuse of their products.

    Auto manufacturers can only be held liable for an injury if their product was defective, not just because somebody used it and then crashed.

    Section 512 is the same thing. The end user is always the most liable, and the "platform" or "product" or "service" or whatever was used to commit a crime is almost always shielded from litigation.

    IOW, Safe Harbor has always been the rule, even before it was the law. Modifying the DMCA to remove such protections makes about as much sense as being able to sue your local grocery store after you've been mugged. Just because they sold food that fueled the robber.

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

  • icon
    Dan (profile), 19 Jun 2018 @ 3:53pm

    Globe's liability

    And the Boston Globe published it. Should the Boston Globe now be liable for Taplin's deranged understanding of the law?

    Of course not--but only because being a complete blithering idiot isn't tortious. But if, say, he'd defamed someone in his idiocy, the Globe would be potentially liable as well. It wouldn't be an easy win for the plaintiff--he'd have to show that the Globe was at least negligent in publishing the defamatory statement--but the potential would be there. As it would be for Google/Facebook/Youtube/whoever if they affirmatively published tortious content.

    As an aside, I'm pretty sure he's actually talking about CDA sec 230 for most of his rant, not DMCA sec 512. It's easy to understand the confusion, though--both are pieces of idiotic, hysteria-fueled, Clinton-era legislation that tried (and failed) to police the Internet.

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 19 Jun 2018 @ 4:29pm

      Re: Globe's liability

      As an aside, I'm pretty sure he's actually talking about CDA sec 230 for most of his rant, not DMCA sec 512. It's easy to understand the confusion, though--both are pieces of idiotic, hysteria-fueled, Clinton-era legislation that tried (and failed) to police the Internet.

      Mainly I think it's because they're both safe-harbor provisions.

      But yeah, that other stuff too.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Jun 2018 @ 6:28pm

    Newspaper fails to adapt to the changing landscape, throws their lot in with the cartels who demand that tech companies be responsible for all of their woes. Facts do not matter because they need money to keep doing things as they always have & don't need to adapt and change.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 19 Jun 2018 @ 6:59pm

    And the award for 'Wrong at EVERY level' goes to...

    ... Jonathan Taplin! Congratulations for letting your obsession over Google/'Big Tech' taint your mind to such a degree that you yet again were wrong in basically every sentence!

    Let's all give a hearty round of face-palms for good old Jonathan continuing in fine tradition of not letting reality taint his overwhelming hatred of The Big G.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Stripped of Anonymity, 19 Jun 2018 @ 11:53pm

    totally unrelated.......

    Lookie here: Wikileaks Vault 7 leaker arrested, charged, a CIA hangs a guy out to dry clean the narrative....

    http://www.newsweek.com/who-joshua-adam-schulte-former-cia-employee-charged-over-vault- 7-leak-982899

    Total deniability will take a hit on this case, keep your eyes and ears open.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2018 @ 2:51am

      Re: totally unrelated.......

      totally unrelated

      If you can't possibly imagine any kind of hook to make it somehow related — no matter how loosely or tangentially — then why did you post that here?

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Police State Troll Buster, 20 Jun 2018 @ 4:03am

    The hook is that the narrative in Boston is endemically flawed itself, as the article points out, and the flagged comment above about how Boston itself is a cesspool, and the Tsaernev case was part of that.

    Controlled media, fake news on both sides of the aisle, as Masnick pointed out
    ~
    Because, let's face it, as much as I hate the term, this interview is quintessential fake news~

    This narrative control contributes to thrown elections and mass homicides.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Mike "I'm not a Google shill" Masnick., 20 Jun 2018 @ 6:48am

    "I regularly criticize Google" -- See? I give five links covering 8 years!

    I don't know why I'm accused at all. I mean, go to my Copia site, and LOOK at the graphic of my sponsors. Total proof that I'm no corporate shill.

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

  • icon
    SteveMB (profile), 20 Jun 2018 @ 6:59am

    The only explanation I can think of for Taplin (other than actual brain damage) is that he's hired to provide "Ooo! Look! SQUIRREL!!" distractions from actual tech monopolies (ISPs like Verizon, Comcast, etc).

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2018 @ 7:41am

    Liability

    All DMCA 512 is saying is that they can be liable for a small sliver of content if they fail to follow the rules set out

    No, it doesn't say that. It says they're not liable if they follow the rules, without saying anything about the opposite case. That's up to case law. It's not hard to imagine a judge saying they're not liable because they were acting on behalf of a third party who is the real infringer. In practice, that happens in some countries without explicit liability limits.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Thaddeus Boyd, AZ, 21 Jun 2018 @ 8:59am

    MAGIC, and Harry Potter vibrating brooms

    The article is messed up, but really, who cares about facts? Fact challenged is what I am!

    Because nothing is more important than my NAMBLA subscription, and free CIA/NSA dog porn.

    These things fly under the radar of FISA and fact.

    I mean NOTHING is more important in my life than that.

    I would go full ballistic .in an Arizona Fusion Center to bprotect my rights to these things.

    Fact.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Baruch Goldstein1993, 23 Jun 2018 @ 10:13pm

    "rogs", 19 Jun 2018 @ 11:52am

    Boston...and...COINCIDENCE STRIKES AGAIN!


    LOOK who targets people in Boston, under an Israelified, militarized policing scheme!

    Gods, and the FBIs(and the SPLCs) lil helpers.....

    Extremists,
    Tracking extremists, from Wikipedia(not to be confused withWikileaks, a non-controlled media resource)

    The ADL keeps track of the activities of various extremist groups and movements.[19] According to ADL Director Abe Foxman, "Our mission is to monitor and expose those who are anti-Jewish, racist, anti-democratic, and violence-prone, and we monitor them primarily by reading publications and attending public meetings …. Because extremist organizations are highly secretive, sometimes ADL can learn of their activities only by using undercover sources … [who] function in a manner directly analogous to investigative journalists. Some have performed great service to the American people—for example, by uncovering the existence of right-wing extremist paramilitary training camps—with no recognition and at considerable personal risk."[20] A person apprehended in connection to the 2002 white supremacist terror plot had drawn a cartoon of himself blowing up the Boston offices of the ADL.[21]

    The ADL regularly releases reports on anti-Semitism and extremist activities on both the far left and the far right. For instance, as part of its Law Enforcement Agency Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.), the ADL has published information about the Militia Movement[22] in America and a guide for law enforcement officials titled Officer Safety and Extremists.[23] An archive of "The Militia Watchdog" research on U.S. right-wing extremism (including groups not specifically cited as anti-Semitic) from 1995 to 2000 is also available on the ADL website.[22]

    In the 1990s, some details of the ADL's monitoring activities became public and controversial, including the fact that the ADL had gathered information about some non-extremist groups. In 2013, J.M. Berger, a former nonresident fellow of the Brookings Institution, wrote that media organizations should be more cautious when citing the Southern Poverty Law Center and ADL, arguing that they are "not objective purveyors of data".[24]

    In July 2017, the ADL announced that they would be developing profiles on 36 alt-right and alt-lite leaders.[25][26]

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


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