Automated Filter Removed Parliament Member's Article Warning About Censorship By Automated Filters

from the i'm-sorry-dave,-i'm-afraid-i-can't-allow-that dept

Last week, Tim Cushing had a post about yet another out of control automated DMCA notifier, sending a ton of bogus notices to Google (most of which Google removed from its search engine index, since the sender, "Topple Track" from Symphonic Distribution was a part of Google's "Trusted Copyright Program," giving those notices more weight). The post listed many of the perfectly legitimate content that got removed from Google's index because of that rogue automated filter, including an EFF page about a lawsuit, the official (authorized) pages of Beyonce and Bruno Mars, and a blog post about a lawsuit by Professor Eric Goldman.

But, seeing as we're getting towards September when the EU Parliament will again be voting on the big Copyright Directive proposal there, including Article 13, which will require mandatory filters or other automated tools for preventing copyright infringement, I thought it was important to do a separate post calling out one of the other pages taken down by Symphonic Distribution's out of control Topple Track. And that was that it got Google to de-index an article by Julia Reda, a member of the EU Parliament who has been leading the charge against the problematic provisions in the Copyright Directive proposal.

Specifically -- and it would be hard to make this up if we tried -- Topple Track's automated filter got Google to de-index this blog post by Reda, in which she details the problems in Article 13 and how it will create mandatory censorship machines, that would likely lead to massive internet censorship of perfectly legitimate content.

Let's repeat that so it can sink in. An automated filter helped take down an article by a Member of the EU Parliament, explaining how a (still being debated) proposal would create automated filtering systems that would take down all sorts of legitimate content.

This feels like the sort of thing that should end all debate about just how damaging Article 13 might be (though, of course, it won't). When you force more mandatory filters onto the internet, these kinds of problems will only increase. Tons and tons of legitimate and perfectly legal content will get blocked. Last month, we posted a useful demonstration of just how much legitimate content would get censored under such a plan, but we never imagined that a perfect example would present itself just weeks later showing just how bad an idea Article 13 is.


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  • icon
    ShadowNinja (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 12:13pm

    Censoring articles on the Internet about censorship? What articles? I don't see any such articles anywhere on Google, so therefore they must not exist.

    Guess it's just your word against 100% reliable politicians who we know would never ever lie to us, or try to censor the truth with poorly written legislation.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 12:43pm

    The Computer Did It!

    Not my fault!

    blah blah

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 12:54pm

    Computer Mentality..

    Something similar in the past.
    Shelf prices,
    IRS,
    BANKS..

    If the computer says it is so, then it is SO..
    This is the price, there is no sale..
    This is the IRS and our computer tells us, you are LATE..
    You have no money in your account, you PAY the overcharge fee..

    ANY idea that automated software is perfect...IS F'ing stupid..
    Who here thinks Windows or their hardware is PERFECT?? you WILL replace them, over time for another version...ANd your windows gets changes ALMOST every week..

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    N Dall-Debate, 21 Aug 2018 @ 1:15pm

    "This feels like the sort of thing that should end all debate"

    That's really your fantasy if not goal, isn't it? That or similar wish is written here often, as I've noted.

    So, JUST END ALL DEBATE because of one errant computer program! Man, that's Ivy League thought. -- Following that line, Microsoft would have not just stopped all progress, but reverted us to The Steam Age.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 1:31pm

      The full quote from the article, for context:

      This feels like the sort of thing that should end all debate about just how damaging Article 13 might be (though, of course, it won't).

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

      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 1:35pm

        Re:

        What's amusing is that our friend above seems to think that he can remove context on a comment THAT HAS THE FULL CONTEXT RIGHT ABOVE IT, and somehow thinks it will convince someone. I find it quite amusing.

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

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 1:48pm

    This just fell out of the irony tree and hit every branch on the way down.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 2:07pm

      Re:

      WRT this being "hard to make up", I'm surprised to see that. It's exactly one of the ways I'd expect it to go wrong. After all, any article complaining about automated censorship is likely to mention one or more of the naughty phrases/topics.

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

    • identicon
      David, 21 Aug 2018 @ 4:04pm

      Re:

      I don't see the irony here.

      Automated Filter Removed Parliament Member's Article Warning About Censorship By Automated Filters

      That is exactly what I'd do as well if I were an automated filter.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 2:52pm

    bet this was done intentionally by the EU Commission! they will go to any possible lengths to get what they want into place and into law and wont stop to shut down any criticism, any lawful alternatives or opinions! they even had a lobbying group doing the same as over here and accusing bot nets of being used to put invalid names on a protest page! that's why there are organised street protests in the next few days. almost everywhere in the EU except the UK, that is. they haven't got a set of balls between them there! and the UK government is all up for removing anything and everything that gives the people any rights, ant freedom and any privacy!! shows how scared they are there about being disclosed as the lying, cheating bunch of cunts they are!!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 7:29pm

      Re:

      1. Do you have proof that the EU Commission did this?

      2. There will be protests over this in the UK so we do have balls.

      3 This has nothing to do with the UK government and most UK MEPs voted against the law.

      You just love ranting dont you?

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 6:04pm

    Idiots meet petard.

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

  • identicon
    oliver, 21 Aug 2018 @ 10:49pm

    Catch22

    How about that "automated filter" just removes itself?
    That would be progess!!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 12:35am

    It's not the automatic part of filtering of content that is the problem.

    It's that there are no repercussions for filtering the wrong stuff. That is the problem.

    If there was a (sufficiently high) fine for the owner of the filter for every piece of content that was wrongfully flagged for takedown, there would be no problem at all...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 3:36pm

    Self Defense?

    Could this maybe just be the program practicing self defense?

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


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