There's A Reason That Misleading Claims Of Bias In Search And Social Media Enjoy Such Traction

from the but-it's-not-a-good-reason dept

President Trump's tweets charging that Google search results are biased, against him and against conservatives, are the loudest and latest version of a growing attack on search engines and social media platforms. It is potent, and it's almost certainly wrong. But it comes at an unfortunate time, just as a more thoughtful and substantive challenge to the impact of Silicon Valley tech companies has finally begun to emerge. If someone were truly concerned about free speech, news, and how platforms subtly reshape public participation, they would be engaging these deeper questions. But these simplistic and ill-informed claims of deliberate political bias are the wrong questions, and they risk undermining and crowding out the right ones. Trump's charges against Google, Twitter, and Facebook reveal a basic misunderstanding of how search and social media work, and they continue to confuse "fake news" with bad news, all in the service of scoring political points. However, even if these companies are not responsible for silencing conservative speech, they may be partly responsible for allowing this charge to gain purchase, by being so secretive for so long about how their algorithms and moderation policies work.

So what do search engines actually do when users access them for information or news? Search engines deliver relevant results, nothing more. That judgment of relevance is based on hundreds of factors: including popularity, topic relevance, and timeliness. Results are fluid and personalized. There's plenty of room in this complex process for overemphasis and oversight, and these are important questions to examine. But serious researchers who actually already study this are careful to take into account the effects of personalization, changes over time, and the powerful feedback effects of users. This is a far cry from looking at your own search results and being troubled by what you see. (Even the author of the report Trump was likely reacting to acknowledges that it was unscientific and disagrees with the suggestion that regulation of search should follow.)

To understand, for instance, the results for "Trump" in Google News, or "Trump news" in Google -- different things, by the way -- we would need to consider some much more likely explanations than deliberate political manipulation: major outlets like CNN may publish a lot more content a lot more often; more users may click on, read, and forward links from these sources; outspoken right-wing sites like Gateway Pundit may have much less trust outside of their devoted base than they imagine; CNN may be much more congruent with centrist political leanings than Trump and conservative critics admit; well-established news sources may already circulate more widely and successfully on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, boosting their rankings on search engines; users may simply be more convinced by these news sources, "voting" for them with their clicks and links in ways that Google picks up on.

In truth, there are important questions to be asked about search engines, social media platforms, and the circulation of news online. There are profound concerns about the economic sustainability of journalism itself when it has to compete on social media platforms. There a profound concerns about the subtle effects of how algorithms work. But the noise that right-wing critics are stirring up is not subtle, it is not helpful, it is not well informed -- and more than that, it is clearly about scoring political points. Those claiming political bias seem wholly uninterested in acknowledging the inquiries already underway.

Charges of left-leaning bias are not new, of course. They come from a very old playbook conservatives have used against newspapers and broadcasters for decades. Unfortunately, Silicon Valley is partly to blame for why it is working so well today. Search engines and social media platforms have been too secretive about how their algorithms work, and too secretive about how content moderation works. In the absence of substantive explanations, users have been left to wonder why search results look the way they do, or why some posts get removed and others don't. This uncertainty breeds suspicion, and that suspicion goes looking for other explanations. This leaves room for trolls, conspiracy mongers, and demagogues to suggest that the platforms are silencing them for their political speech -- conveniently overlooking the fact that they been suspended for making hateful threats, or can't reach the first page of search results because readers trust other sources. And Silicon Valley has bruised their users' trust for so long, that even their genuine explanations sound suspect.

Some of the press coverage, when it's not careful, can inadvertently make the very same easy assumptions that these critics do. Search results, trending lists, and content moderation are not the same thing, they are not managed by the same people, and they are not handled in the same way. Too often, a critic will thread together ill-informed charges against search, one outdated incident regarding trending, and continued uncertainty about moderation practices, and lace them together into a blanket charge of bias. But they are simply different things.

It is unnerving to feel like an apologist for these tech companies. There are real and concerning questions about how search and social media work. I ask some of these questions in my own research, and my field has been thinking about them for years. The ways these companies have addressed, or often failed to address, the public ramifications of search algorithms and moderation policies has been deeply problematic. But these questions of bias distract us from the deeper problems.

It is also disconcerting, just as the public is finally grasping the subtle ways in which search and social media platforms matter, that we are ready to fall back on so simplistic a charge as deliberate political bias. I feel a bit like critics of mainstream news media, who for years have tried to highlight the way contemporary US news organizations are subtly centrist, structurally cautious, founded by commercial imperatives, and under attentive to marginalize voices -- who now have to bracket those critiques and come to the defense of CNN when the President dismisses them as "fake news." Those of us who ask hard questions about search and social media should do so, but we must also steadfastly refused to lump these real concerns in with facile, politically motivated charges of bias that miss the deeper point.

Tarleton Gillespie is the author of Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions That Shape Social Media. He is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and an affiliated associate professor at Cornell University.


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  • identicon
    John Smith, 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:03pm

    People who have experienced this bias firsthand are giving this not-misleading belief the traction it warrants.

    The longer this goes on, the stronger they will make the alt.right. Not wise.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:32pm

      Re:

      People who have experienced this bias firsthand think they know how things work ... but they do not. So they go around spouting off about things they know little all the while claiming that their ignorance is just as valid as your experience and knowledge.

      And this is also why so many of these types of people are so prone to conspiracy theories. The lack of critical thinking skills is really hurting this country.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:55pm

        Re: Re:

        The ringleaders are complete sociopaths who know they can say anything to convince their clown parade whatever they want to believe.

        They'll scream about how we have to do X,Y and Z to protect things like the second amendment (through a fun house mirror of what it says) and the infallible constitution. Emoluments clause? What's that, sounds dumb. Can't be true.

        They'll scream about how Bannon shouldn't be kept from speaking at some New Yorker event because people protested and walked out. It's hurting his free speech... but they start boycotting Nike because of their latest poster boy for "just do it"

        It's not (just)lack of critical thinking, it's a bunch of willingly ignorant or just straight up mentally damaged individuals just marching to someone else's drum.

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

      • identicon
        Azrael, 5 Sep 2018 @ 1:21am

        Re: Re:

        I never thought to see the perfect example of this quote but here you are...
        Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views. - William F. Buckley Jr.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 7:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Especially when some of those other views are things like the anti vaccination folk or the chem trails folk. Or maybe it could the people who claim we never landed on the moon.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      We get it, you’re racist.

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

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 1:00pm

      Re:

      Perhaps you could explain your experiences so we might better understand how the article fails to address your experiences with bias than merely they state the bias exists. The issue with anecdotal evidence, as alluded to in the article, is that you may be making assumptions contradicting known facts. As with articles last week, it can be noted that large conservative news outlets are somehow immune to the anti-conservative bias, and known factors in Google's algorithms explain it - big news gets lots of clicks, which in turn allow big news to get bigger. The president's tweets reference an anecdotal study that does not account for a variety of known personalization factors google uses, things actual researchers do. Asserting political bias, that google is discriminating on the basis of content, with weak evidence which can be explained by factors that have no relation to content, 'Cries wolf' on media bias, as noted in the article last week.

      There is a good point that we need to understand how that algorithm works, and question issues about garbage in garbage out. But that second part requires data. Thankfully, Youtube provides a great example. See the trending videos section of youtube promoted videos by logan paul at the beginning of a year that were in violation of community standards, for several days (He had a video of a suicide victim in the infamous suicide forest). This happened because of the controversy about how bad it was. The algorithm believes that getting linked or embedded makes it 'better' content. So as the controversy perpetuated, it got more views, more playtime, and more links, which got it promoted, which lead to move views, more playtime, and yet more links. Youtube's system encourages controversial content. There are arguments that Google's search prioritizes factors prominent in the content styles favored in liberal media and that the algorithms might be self-reinforcing and snowballing in negative ways. However that is different than suggesting a political bias in google's algorithms ala 'conservative news = downrank'. And nothing in the report referenced by the president shows or suggests those arguments. They highlighted a perception of bias based on an anecdotal examination of a single person's search results.

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        identicon
        JohnSmith, 4 Sep 2018 @ 1:32pm

        Re: Re:

        Classic liberal trap: please spill so we can use it to discredit you and say you're reacting emotionally.

        Anyone with an IQ over 50 can figure out what it means when one side of a political debate can defame, harass, even physically threaten the other directly, while the other side cannot so much as run a stoplight without being thrown in TOS-Jail.

        The experience I did post in another thread was about how I got death threats (including some4 claiming to be on their way to my home to do it) from accounts which did not gert sanctioned, while I'd be sanctioned for speech which was clearly political and not in violation, just because it was conservative.

        Of course you could set up two accounts, one liberal, and the ther conservative in their postings, and compare likes, shares, etc. and bannings.

        Why so many go to such lengths to disprove what has been documented for so long is a mystery. Milo's banning was a good example btw.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes the classic liberal trap of telling you to put up or shut up. As always you run away like the little bitch you are.

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

          • identicon
            John Smith, 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            so an anonymous person wants personal anecdotes which would require too much personal information.

            You're free to disagree with me, but badgering me won't accomplish much.

            Milo's banning andthat of one of the female anti-feminists is the best test. You can comment on those without difficulty.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:51pm

              Milo's banning andthat of one of the female anti-feminists is the best test. You can comment on those without difficulty.

              And Twitter banning ostensibly “left-leaning” accounts for saying “trebuchet TERFs”, I suppose that is just some insidious conspiracy to give cover to the site’s “left-wing bias”⸮

              Twitter does not care about politics; it cares about who is making the biggest racket via reports (and who might be able to threaten the bottom line via helping other people leave Twitter). If anything, Twitter enjoys “right-wing” provocation because it drives the Outrage Machine, and if the Outrage Machine is running, so is traffic. Gotta make the site look busy, y’know?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 5:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No this AC just wants you actually provide proof one of the many, many things your anonymous ass would have us take on faith alone. But we all know you won’t do that. Because you can’t.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 6:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              As I explained to you previously making unsupported claims is a great way to get everyone to dismiss you as a braggart and a liar, someone who talks big but has nothing to back it up.

              Unless you want everyone to dismiss anything you might say, even things that actually are supported by evidence, knock it off with the empty claims you know you will refuse to back up with evidence and stick to ones you actually are willing to provide evidence for. Otherwise don't be surprised if you too find yourself in the troll/flag-by-default category as someone who habitually argues dishonestly.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 11:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You're free to disagree with me, but badgering me won't accomplish much.

              Neither does spending time on a site that you literally called a distraction, but that doesn't seem to have stopped you now has it?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 7:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I missed the part where personal anecdotes were asked for.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          How's that tunnel vision?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If you think conservative political speech will cause a liberal meltdown just wait until you you try telling world strategical military events that happened 70+ years ago.

          It would appear anything that if it is in main stream history books and also on Wikipedia that suck knowledge would be exempt as it is easily checked.

          If you try to post suck knowledge you will be denounced, trashed, and banned.

          For example one unfortunate posted a comment concerning "Greater Columbia". The response was instantaneous. No such place existed thus the comment was racists as a minimum along with all the other 57 types of left wing hate.

          "Greater Columbia"or "Grand Columbia" was the name of a country from 1819 to 1831 that was composed of Venezuela, Columbia, Equator, and Panama as minimum. The borders were not exactly defined.

          There are other better examples which one can not use without being permanently banned as the truth just can not possibly be the truth.

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          • icon
            James Burkhardt (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Which site. I am curious. Is the post still up. Can we get a link? I would love to see the context and the comment. Analyzing stupid internet rage is a past time.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 5:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Do you have actual proof or just the things in your head the voices tell you?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 7:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "If you try to post suck knowledge you will be denounced, trashed, and banned."

            What is a "suck post"?

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

        • icon
          James Burkhardt (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          >>Classic liberal trap: please spill so we can use it to discredit you and say you're reacting emotionally.

          Classic defensive response: My position is obvious and I don't need to provide facts to back up my claims and I reject your conservative/liberal idea of proof.

          >>Anyone with an IQ over 50 can figure out what it means when one side of a political debate can defame, harass, even physically threaten the other directly, while the other side cannot so much as run a stoplight without being thrown in TOS-Jail.

          I do not intend to discredit you. I may discredit your argument. But that should not be seen as a negative. I invite you to engage me in a rational way, so I can address your claims of experiences with google and social media anti-conservative bias. In fact, I think outside of a belief in google bias, you should support the calls to action of Techdirt as they would help remove Biases that do exist.

          I have seen people claim both an anti-conservative bias and and anti-liberal bias with the same argument you list above, because the person they dislike is still up, but the person they like has been taken down. The fact is, there are people on 'both sides' who are reporting these things on social media, and faulty humans on the other side adjudicating these things using broad, inflexible rules. The issues that keep being brought up by Techdirt as to why we need to move away from platform moderation to moderation competition.

          I dismiss "only one side has free speech" claims generally because I see them from both sides (much as Mike is shot down for being both liberal and conservative) and have been just as well documented on both sides. Because of the social bubble, its natural to see one side more than the other. Because of this these broad claims need evidence. Rigorous Statistical analysis. The kind of transparency Techdirt is calling for as a first step.

          >>The experience I did post in another thread was about how I got death threats (including some4 claiming to be on their way to my home to do it) from accounts which did not gert sanctioned, while I'd be sanctioned for speech which was clearly political and not in violation, just because it was conservative.

          Rather than make you relate the experience again, could I ask for a link or an article title so I can go read your account? I can't read everything, and don't remember it. I would appreciating discussing it with you. This is a problem that affects people of all political stripes. I am interested to know how you established the reason and intent behind the sanctioning of your speech, as tech and social media companies are notorious for not saying anything about moderation.

          >>Of course you could set up two accounts, one liberal, and the ther conservative in their postings, and compare likes, shares, etc. and bannings.

          Well, yes. If things were built properly that could be a good first step in establishing a bias. One of the issues you will immediately run into is something I noted before: we don't actually know how the algorithms and the moderation process work at any given company. Which is why Techdirt is calling for better transparency. It could help prove how their process is biased. Other issues include sample sizes, controlling for the mix of political opinion in networks that are intended to be grown organically, and that real people don't fit nicely into a single political pigeonhole. But it would be interesting.

          >>Why so many go to such lengths to disprove what has been documented for so long is a mystery. Milo's banning was a good example btw.

          I can't comment on Milo's banning at this time. I did not pay attention to it at the time, and I am not informed on that particular banning. I am unsure to what a single ban is a good example of though, as my whole point is that single incidents do not establish a pattern.

          As for the rest....I have a friend who had been diagnosed with celiac her entire life. If she ate a wheat product, it caused her all sorts of issues. Her doctor diagnosed her, but never did a medical test to confirm, because it was so well documented for so long. Fast forward 10 years of knowing her, she doesn't have celiac. A new doctor looked at her history, noted a bleach allergy, and asked if she had ever tried non-bleached flour. She never had. Her symptoms only looked like Celiac. Now she eats gluten just fine, as long as they use non-bleached flour.

          That is why we want to prove the bias is based in the political nature of the content - because while it looks like political bias, it might be something else. You might just not be factoring in a bleach alergy.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 11:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, but those who claim their rights were violated are not interested in anything but the political advantage to be obtained from said incident.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 7:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Classic liberal trap: please spill so we can use it to discredit you and say you're reacting emotionally.

          You're the guy who insisted, multiple times, that you lost millions, could have made even more, despite already having a product out. You were asked to name this product so I could put a name to it and see for myself how I might legally acquire it, and judge it on its own merits. You refused.

          What have you done that merits unquestioned, unchallenged benefit of the doubt, beyond a blase "because I said so"?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 3:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          oh bullshit. conservative types have been on the threat wagon at least as long as any liberal sorts. puh-leeze. one group or another may get away with it more in certain places. some places it isn't tolerated at all. and some on bith ends of the spectrum police their own when they get out of hand.

          Milo does bannable sorts of things. I wouldn't necessarily agree with the twit ban, but he is an ass and i am sad that some conservatives think he is something to look up to.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:51pm

      Re:

      Your (imagined) anecdotes are not evidence.

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

  • icon
    NoahVail (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:41pm

    On balance I agree with this article, especially the following:

    "Search engines and social media platforms have been too secretive about how their algorithms work, and too secretive about how content moderation works."


    Sidebar: As we consider how secret algorithms are used to effect the public, it'd be super groovy if Tarleton Gillespie could lead another Techdirt conversation, one about Microsoft's Domain Awareness System.

    Thanks!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:48pm

    Is Trump ignoring the natural nature of news towards bad news, or criticism of those in power, which always makes it appear biased?

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

    • icon
      Bamboo Harvester (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 1:02pm

      Re:

      Nah, he's probably correct - HIS google searches turn up more negative than positive results. Because he's not clicking on positive stories, the algorithm saves the ones he DOES access, namely the negatives, which slants all future searches towards the same sites.

      He's obviously not a tech.

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

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:50pm

    So basically, Trump complains Google isn't displaying 100% of his 0.0001% of good deeds.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Target Of Reports To Censor, 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:51pm

    The reason is TRUE. Just Leftist-Globalist lying and denial.

    As I've written way back: Know how to not be accused of censoring? -- Don't even look like you're censoring!

    This string of soothing assertions and blithe denials is just silly on site where viewpoint discrimination is blatantly and frequently enforced. One need only look back a half dozen pieces to find CENSORING for no articulable reason in common law. Like ALL of "Silicon Valley", ANY dissent is suppressed -- out of sight with unaccountable "system" -- while vile fanboys are allowed anything, not just writing, but gang tactics and targeted ad hom attacks (even in advance), without least reprimand by the site.

    By the way, my home IP address was blocked, so I must use TOR to comment here at all, hence the running gag of screen names. Techdirt is so childishly sensitive that last time tried, "TOR" together was blocked in screen name. Sheesh.

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

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:52pm

      Re: The reason is TRUE. Just Leftist-Globalist lying and denial.

      That's not being censored, that's being banned.

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      • identicon
        Azrael, 5 Sep 2018 @ 1:28am

        Re: Re: The reason is TRUE. Just Leftist-Globalist lying and denial.

        Well, when the banning is done for political reasons then it is censorship.

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        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 5 Sep 2018 @ 6:04am

          Re: Re: Re: The reason is TRUE. Just Leftist-Globalist lying and denial.

          Nope. Censorship is when the government does it.
          No gov involved here....yet.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 11:33am

          Re: Re: Re: The reason is TRUE. Just Leftist-Globalist lying and denial.

          Well - one does have certain leeway in their interpretation of language, but differing definitions of common words can lead to interesting conversations.

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

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 1:18pm

      Re: The reason is Childish TROLL.

      Hello, "Target," I see by your new username that you must be new here.
      If you were a frequent reader of TD, you'd know by now that a lack of moderation would make the site unusable as spammers and trolls flooded all discourse.
      I've even seen one childish troll repeat the same insult (about all TD readers being deluded fools) FIVE times because each posting was flagged by the community.
      Please enjoy your stay and remember if everyone is out to get you, take your meds with FOOD and never on an empty stomach.

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        identicon
        John Smith, 4 Sep 2018 @ 1:36pm

        Re: Re: The reason is Childish TROLL.

        "Take your meds" is fascist hate speech.

        One day, everyone who has ever slurred others based on perception of mental illness may find themselves the ones denied basic freedom, on the grounds thei DNA is a threat to the long-term survival of the species.

        At the least, an offhand remark like that should trigger an immediate inevestigation into the mental health of the targert, an d if the target is found to not be in need of "meds," the cost of the investigation, plus a heft financial penalty, should follow.

        This is the one acceptable form of bigotry left but not for log.

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      • identicon
        Azrael, 5 Sep 2018 @ 1:32am

        Re: Re: The reason is Childish TROLL.

        Please define spammers and trolls, because otherwise we can safely assume that all those that express ideas you don't approve of will be categorized as such by you, making you the perfect example of a liberal.
        BTW, i remember you from you were a simple poster here like myself, just because you chose to get a permanent account that doesn't make your opinions any more worthy than the lowliest Anon.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 11:40am

          Re: Re: Re: The reason is Childish TROLL.

          See - again with the misunderstanding of what words mean. Is this intentional or are you not fluent in the language? I am not trying to insult, just figure out why such disconnect is occurring.

          Perfect example of what some folk mean when they say "liberal". Trying to interpret the things others say requires a bit of translation even when the two are supposedly speaking the same language. In order to successfully accomplish this one needs a bit of disassociation from the subject matter in order to become less biased in their listening.

          But you do not care about any of this do you?

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    identicon
    Target Of Reports To Censor, 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:52pm

    Just STOP the childish tactics on your own site, Mansick!

    [Again: "Mansick" is forced on me because right spelling gets the comment blocked! Sheesh. I can only guess he believes that undermines ME instead of him for being that childish.]

    I'd have more than zero respect (steadily reduced over span of years for exactly this cause) if ever flatly stated don't want me here, but he's too chicken, besides that'd be evidence, so he'll go on with the soft secret sneaking way of censoring.

    This whole piece is yet another attempt to make excuses, mollify those wronged, and wishing for ways to censor by stealth.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:56pm

      Re: Just STOP the childish tactics on your own site, Mansick!

      We get it, you’re a crazy anti-Semite.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 10:14pm

      The only child here is the one throwing the tantrum

      You mad your maze business went bust?

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

  • identicon
    Digitari, 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:54pm

    experiment

    do a google search on Trump on "virgin" equipment and see the results.

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

  • icon
    Steve R. (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 12:57pm

    The Media is Anti-Conservative

    The following is disingenuous -> "Charges of left-leaning bias are not new, of course. They come from a very old playbook conservatives have used against newspapers and broadcasters for decades." The media is biased against conservative thought.

    However, I do have a significant problem with the attempts of many conservatives to point the finger of blame at those "nasty" algorithms. I do not believe that they "document" an anti-conservative bias. In response to my post concerning the apparent bias of algorithms against conservative, Ninja wrote: "It seems the apparent bias towards liberal content is actually a result of liberal people being more fluent in tech and being more active on the internet."

    From my point of view, conservatives attempting to blame the algorithms for suppressing conservative thought are misplaced. But the media, in many cases, have been active in denigrating conservative thought.

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    • icon
      Thad (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 1:33pm

      Re: The Media is Anti-Conservative

      To the contrary; from where I'm sitting, the news media go out of their way to accommodate conservative perspectives -- even when those perspectives are pure bunkum (global warming is a Chinese hoax, trickle-down economics leads to increased middle-class wages) or worse (the Times uncritically reporting the Bush Administration's case that Saddam Hussein had WMDs).

      Has a week gone by without the Times or NPR going into one of their "Let's check in with Trump supporters and see what they think about this" pieces?

      Regardless, that's not really the point. The reason that sources like the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, NBC, CNN, and, yes, Fox News appear high in Google results and outlets like Infowars, Pajamas Media, and Breitbart don't has nothing to do with political bias. It's about mainstream news outlets versus fringe ones.

      Fox News is a mainstream outlet, Infowars is not. Fox News appears higher in search results than Infowars does. It's not about hiding conservatives. It's about prioritizing mainstream sources. If it were about hiding conservatives, Fox News wouldn't appear alongside the other mainstream sources.

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    • icon
      Stan (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 8:13pm

      Re: The Media is Anti-Conservative

      "But the media, in many cases, have been active in denigrating conservative thought."
      How much "conservative thought" deserves denigrating? Do you wish to defend separating children from their asylum seeking parents? That certainly deservres denigration.

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      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Sep 2018 @ 6:00am

        Re: Re: The Media is Anti-Conservative

        That's not even conservative, just downright cruel, racist bigotry. Try doing such a thing to a fair-haired, blue-eyed baby and see what happens on the right.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 11:42am

          Re: Re: Re: The Media is Anti-Conservative

          Then why are so many so called conservatives not standing up and screaming at this cruel and racist bigotry?

          Apparently they are not what they claim to be.

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          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 6 Sep 2018 @ 2:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The Media is Anti-Conservative

            Actually quite a few of us are. Rick Wilson, Steve Dennis, David Frum... to name but a few. As I keep saying, it depends on what you call "conservative."

            It's the right wing nutters who have no problem with it.

            Those of us who believe in common decency and family values are appalled by it.

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      • icon
        Steve R. (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 7:43am

        Re: Re: The Media is Anti-Conservative

        A bogus assertion: "Do you wish to defend separating children from their asylum seeking parents?

        1. How many of those claiming asylum are making a valid claim and are not simply gaming the system?

        2. The parents of the children should be in jail for child abuse. They are putting the lives of their children at risk before even illegally entering the US. Child protective services typically separate children from abusive parents.

        Moreover, it appears that the children may be being used as "pawns" to evoke unjustified moral outrage so that violations to immigration laws will be dismissed based on humanitarianism.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 8:02am

          Re: Re: Re: The Media is Anti-Conservative

          1) Isn't that the job border control is supposed to be performing ... but is not?

          2) The civil wars in central america have a lot more to do with the child's well being than anything the parents are capable of.

          Pawns? Are you serious? How disgusting can you actually get? Yes, of course they are pawns being used in the huge game of world domination - and that some how makes it ok then?

          So - are you going to answer the question or not? For your convenience I have provided a copy: "Do you wish to defend separating children from their asylum seeking parents?" And do not even attempt the Obama Deflection.

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          • icon
            Steve R. (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 9:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The Media is Anti-Conservative

            Your question is a "trap". It assumes that I would blindly accept your meaning of "asylum seekers" and "separating children". I already answered it by stating that the parents (some of them) may not be legitimate asylum seekers and that it is the parents who are purposely putting their children into danger. Given that, the parents (if they were subject to US Law) should be put into jail for child abuse.

            Hypothetical - A mother leaves a kid in a hot car while doing grocery shopping and the authorities take the kid away. Are you going to complain that this separation is is a vile disgusting action by the authorities since the mother was simply buying food for the kid?

            Mexico, also, has a role in this. Why don't the asylum seekers stop in Mexico? Why isn't Mexico protecting the children? Seems to be a lack of finger pointing towards Mexico.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 11:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Media is Anti-Conservative

              The trap is in your mind and it is not my meaning - that was from a prior post and you know it.

              You answered nothing, claiming otherwise simply demonstrates your lack of integrity.

              Nice try to change to subject - but you have not yet answered the question.

              Blame it on Mexico, is this the new movie to come out this fall? Directed by scapegoatsRus, produced by privateprisonindustry.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 10:23am

          Re: Re: Re: The Media is Anti-Conservative

          A bogus assertion: "Do you wish to defend separating children from their asylum seeking parents?

          1. How many of those claiming asylum are making a valid claim and are not simply gaming the system?

          So that would be a "yes", then.

          The parents of the children should be in jail for child abuse.

          I'd say it's the people abusing children in the private detention centers who should be in jail for child abuse.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 3:38am

      Re: The Media is Anti-Conservative

      maybe a rather large swath of the population is just sick of what passes for "conservative" "thought" currently. the teoretically liberal Democrat party is farther right than most conservatives were 30 years ago. they already won, but are simply poor winners. never mind who has largely contrilled the media for ages. it really ain't liberals.

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    Clearly Silicon Valley needs Regulated Out Of Exis, 4 Sep 2018 @ 1:12pm

    Left-wingers at Google are engaged in a relentless effort to...

    > demonitize Breitbart News from its AdSense platform and are linking advertising clients to the anti-Breitbart, far-left pressure group Sleeping Giants.

    > Previously, Google employees have contacted Breitbart News to reveal an atmosphere of indoctrination and intimidation, driven by leftist zealots at the company.

    https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/02/13/exclusive-google-employees-are-trying-to-pull-ad-r evenue-from-breitbart-news/

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    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 4 Sep 2018 @ 1:15pm

      Re: Left-wingers at Google are engaged in a relentless effort to...

      Brietfart. The Onion for those without a sense of humor.

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    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 1:32pm

    When actual sane people, as opposed to the Cheeto-in-Chief complain about Facebook and Twitter suppressing conservative views, they are talking about this kind of stuff. Not the straw-man search results TechDirt has been death looping the last week.

    http://www.dcclothesline.com/2018/08/31/facebook-flags-censors-npr-report-on-false-government-s chool-shooting-statistics/

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    • icon
      Thad (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 2:57pm

      Re:

      When actual sane people, as opposed to the Cheeto-in-Chief complain about Facebook and Twitter suppressing conservative views, they are talking about this kind of stuff. [...] http://www.dcclothesline.com/

      Ah yes, "actual sane people" like a website whose top stories are currently about John McCain's leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, a secret pedophile ring, Amazon's left-wing propaganda campaign, Bono's hatred of white Europeans, and the rise of Satanism in the United States.

      the straw-man search results TechDirt has been death looping the last week

      In what way is it a strawman to accurately describe the Google search results that the Pajamas Media story described and that the President of the United States reacted to?

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  • icon
    got_runs? (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 2:31pm

    Trump invented the number 2. 🤣

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 2:45pm

    I am not interested or well informed in politics at all, so I cannot speak to the issues, but I can say that is extremely difficult to get other news these days, whether that be on tv or online. CNN runs 24/7 anti-trump, Fox runs 24/7 pro-trump (both channels interrupt their pro or anti only for the occasional school shooting or natural disaster)... and what used to be my favorite news online platform has now followed suit (reddit). I don't care about Trump and I don't want to see 75% of the news dominated by him.

    Do you guys remember when you could turn to CNN or FOX and get stories from around the nation and the world? Remember Headline News? that was cool-- get the sports, stocks, headlines, etc and lots of good stories-- now, sadly, it's 24/7 murder documentaries.

    I guess my point is not so much that the sources are biased or not, it's just that not everyone is left or right or even cares that much.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:22pm

      Re:

      "Do you guys remember when you could turn to CNN or FOX and get stories from around the nation and the world? "

      I wonder what websites all those dirty foreigners read ... hmmm

      Ok, here we go --- have you tried BBC? Guardian? Reuters?
      Come on - there are plenty out there, some are even better than your favorite that no longer suits your needs.

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    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:23pm

      Re:

      Given my Youtube feed gets several anti-trump fox news messages from anchors a month, 24/7 pro-trump is a bit ridiculous hyberbole, and your CNN commentary is about as accurate.

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    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:22pm

    TD lies

    "There's A Reason That Misleading Claims Of Bias In Search And Social Media Enjoy Such Traction"

    There is no such thing as non-bias. Anything someone does will be viewed through the lens of their own biases. Example.

    Person A is in the center.
    Person B is left and views A to be on the right.
    Person C is right and views A to be on the left.

    Most people are so simple minded that they view anyone not taking their stance on the issues is immediately a member of their opposition party.

    I am a centrist, I am hated by both sides because they think I am a member of the opposition because I do not buy their BS, kinda like the BS you are peddling here.

    There is obvious as the sky is blue bias all over the media and it has a large spread across the spectrum.

    There is just no such thing as unbiased news. No matter what slogan you come up with about how unbiased you are, it is nothing other than an ignorant and self serving lie. We all have bias and the most biased of all are the ones extolling their non-bias.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:25pm

      Re: TD lies

      They will not believe you.

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

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 3:28pm

      Re: TD lies

      So, you misunderstand the title, and the content. TD is not saying "the news is unbiased", Techdirt is claiming, in refrence to claims last week of politically motivated search engine bias and general claims of politically motivated social media (ie facebook, twitter) bias, that the perception of politically motivated bias is due to incomplete information.

      In fact you make one of the points i've made earlier in this thread, the perception of bias is, in part dependent upon your own bias.

      No one is making the claim that news media is unbaised.

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

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        Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 4:32pm

        Re: Re: TD lies

        "In fact you make one of the points I've made earlier in this thread, the perception of bias is, in part dependent upon your own bias."

        TD asserts that the claims of bias in searches are misleading... and they say because they will not show the algorithms is the reason they are gaining traction, while still making a claim they cannot know without also seeing the algorithms making it impossible for them to make the claim that the claims of bias in searches are misleading. Ergo, they said something they cannot possibly know and by that logic they willfully lied.


        "No one is making the claim that news media is unbaised."

        Uh... that is exactly what it implied by the title. Work the logic out, they said "claims of bias are misleading". We already know for a fact there is bias because of the nature of bias. And because of that nature any complaints about bias taking place without detailing the specific types of bias means they infer all biases. The article literally infers that there is no bias in search or social media, because the "claims are misleading".

        When I read the article I see a total left leaning bias because of this...

        "Charges of left-leaning bias are not new, of course. They come from a very old playbook conservatives have used against newspapers and broadcasters for decades."

        That is more than enough smoking gun proof of the slant. I don't care that TD is left. I just care that they ACT like they are not when they clearly are. I like John Oliver too, but he is clearly left as well, but I like him because he does a much better job describing problems than most others. Sure it is also for comedic effect, but I think those things are important.

        I refuse to omit a news source just because they are slanted. Heck, I never read infowars until yappers on this site told me that it and Alex Jones existed. I know how to read between the lines, something the vast majority of people are absolutely incapable of. I will read anything from anywhere. I will make my own judgements about what is correct or not.

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        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 4 Sep 2018 @ 5:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: TD lies

          Uh... that is exactly what it implied by the title.

          No, it's not. This was explained to you last week, in which we explicitly said TO YOU that the issue was the claim that the bias is for "political reasons."

          And yet, just as you ignore every time we prove you lying about our position as being "regulate everything" you disappear and just continue to repeat your lies in a new thread.

          Stop it.

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        • icon
          James Burkhardt (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 8:49am

          Re: Re: Re: TD lies

          Actually, its a false implication, as Mike notes, derived from a failure to comprehend the underlying article and understand the context. As Mike notes, as I noted (but you did not quote), the article is in relation to claims of political bias. By stripping the historical context and read 'between the lines' to filter out nuance, you can certainly derive an implication that 'claims are misleading' because you strip out exactly which claims we are discussing. But the 'claims' refrenced in the Title are explained through refrences to past articles to be claims of political bias.

          For someone who can 'read between the lines' you somehow missed the entire subject of the article.

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

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    John Smith, 4 Sep 2018 @ 4:09pm

    Content which ahs been "flagged" or banned can often be unpopular and predictive. I've seen the following banned especially at first:

    "Fathers get the shaft in divorce court."
    "Women are lying golddiggers."
    "Don't date single-mothers."
    "Women often provoke domestic violence to weaponize victimhood."
    "Up to thirty percent of (pre-DNA testing) "
    "Affirmative-action is racist."

    Were do you draw the line and whyd o YOU get to draw it?

    Common-carrier status would be ideal for the major networks if we're going to do this right. Individual controls should be sufficient to weed out what people find offensive. Even entire words can be blocked and "block libraries" can be built for the self-indoctrinated.

    Once again, the problem isn't someone who doesn't want to see certain content, but who instead wants no one else to see it. Internet censorship, particularly targeting conservative speech, inevitably leads that way.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 5:07pm

      Re: Fathers get the shaft

      Good thing section 230 allows sites to manage use content, allowing everyone to have a voice, eh mate?

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

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 4 Sep 2018 @ 4:33pm

    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.

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

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      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 4:44pm

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

      Left is not same as Liberal, I am a Classic liberal for example and most folks on the left are hardly liberal at all.

      "How did “Liberal” media come to dominate the media landscape?"

      Technology is a product of the younger generation. Young people tend to be idealistic because of low experience in life compounded by the indoctrination of colleges. Younger people are far more adept at technology than the older folks and use it far more meaning since they get to develop it, they develop it after their own ideas, which means the online social media is far more likely to be left.

      "Isn’t there a competitive free market involved?"

      Yes, and I like that and would like to keep it that way, but regulations are going to prevent that soon.

      "And aren’t Conservatives in favour of a competitive free market?"

      Yes, but there are those on the right that are not conservative that push for anti-free market values and get falsely lumped in with the conservatives, just like you falsely lumping liberals in with lefties.

      "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."

      Agree, but again, this would be a person on the right doing this, not a conservative for the same reasons of the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.

      There really are limited to what is liberal, left, conservative, and right.

      Right now the big fight is left vs right, NOT liberal vs conservative. Liberals and Conservatives get along fairly well, but the left and the right hate each others guts and have been able to get people to conflates them together to force unholy alliances to then single out and attack each other.

      Well I refuse... I attack them ALL!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 4:56pm

    Fake News

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

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    Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 6:41pm

    Google’s circular argument

    Google uses secret algorithms to determine which content is more popular and which is less popular, and then responds to search requests with more popular references first.

    Of course, responding with a reference, like Techdirt, makes it more popular. That is, Google manufactures popularity as it sees fit, it always has, that’s the nature of its business. It then sells that popularity for a price and makes a lot of money. I think that’s all pretty clear. How else can you explain Techdirt articles making it to the top of Google results? It is not the quality of their ideas of the authors expressing them. Google sell popularity as a service to rich left-wing hacks. And that pisses off people like Shiva.

    I think what has really happened is that we have all been “wired up”, through the Internet, to a worldwide public square, where anyone in any country can put a bullhorn in our ear and scream their opinion. And they can pose as our neighbor, or a policeman, or anyone, really. Everyone speaking is actually impossible to identify, except in very rare cases. No one really knows if Trump writes his own tweets, for example.

    I think Mike makes a compelling point (in another article) that censorship should be left up to the individual. For those delicate snowflakes that get upset about someone disagreeing with their point of view, let THEM be blind to dissenting voices. For those of us that enjoy a lively debate, including hurling the occasion epithet, show us the “hate speech”.

    What a stupid term, after all, “hate speech”, as if someone needs to be defended against it. Any childish imbecile can hate, no one takes it seriously, and we can certainly filter it for ourselves. It quickly is exposed as a useless tool in an intelligent debate by any actual adult.

    The same childish denial is used for censorship, for example, on Techdirt. Everyone knows that it is in fact censorship. The arguments to the contrary are just silly. “Community vote”, “it’s not censored it’s hidden”, “don’t be an ass and you won’t be censored”. Everyone with half a brain sees that for the childish denial of the obvious that it is.

    The difference between the current liberal and current conservative view is that conservatives remain open to ideas and words and thoughts expressed in public. We are not asking for a higher authority to choose for us, and to protect us from “hate speech”. We’re not scared of it, because we see it for the childish threat it is. There is only speech, speech that persuades you in some direction, and speech that is worthless.

    Those that needs protection from “hate speech” and “trolls” by “moderating” content are only children. The adults are fine to sort it out for themselves. Giving the children a small spanking to remind them who the adults are (they’re the ones with the army) is the next order of business.

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  • icon
    Lord Lidl of Cheem (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 1:38am

    I don't want search engines to show me purely unbiased results (unless I specify that) - I want them to show me things I'm interested in. These things can be identified by my profile, mt past clicks and others clicks on and links to suitable articles.

    If I'm looking for the news on the orange idiot, I can imagine it being a safe bet that most people are interested in articles on the orange idiot being an idiot - and a (vocal) minority might be interested in news on what a wonderful job he's doing.

    Given that the bulk of the results I get are along the lines of orange idiot is an idiot I guess the engines are working just fine.

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    Azrael, 5 Sep 2018 @ 1:43am

    What a surprise indeed, all comments that disagree with the general position here got flagged, how about that?

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

  • identicon
    Pete Austin, 5 Sep 2018 @ 3:22am

    This complaint was specifically about news.

    If I search for "Trump" in Google News, what I want to find is news - a brief description of recent events. Not 100% opinion pieces. And not the same story again and again and again - that's not news either. Maybe a few editorials, for and against, but almost all factual pieces.

    Nobody could claim this is what we get. That's the issue.

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    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Sep 2018 @ 7:20am

      Re: This complaint was specifically about news.

      How do you think search works? You put "Trump" in the search engine. It brings up whatever the news media has to say about him.

      Try "Trump -opinion" and see what happens. It should filter most of those out.

      Better still, go for the raw news from agencies such as Reuters, where the rest of the media gets its news from.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 8:08am

      Re: This complaint was specifically about news.

      You are sounding like a spoiled child.

      Whaaaa - I want the news, all the news and nothing but the news - whaaaaa

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 8:11am

      Re: This complaint was specifically about news.

      Umm, that's literally exactly what you get when you search for news.

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

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    Wearing Only My Tesla Shorts, 5 Sep 2018 @ 10:00am

    "Report" to WHO? - WHY act on it? - HOW is action effected?

    Any site and especially Techdirt must supply WHO - WHY - HOW for the "voting system" to be in place. Failure to do so is admission that it's arbitrary and can't be justified in common law. As a business Techdirt is required to be FAIR.

    But of course this notion reduces to a gang of like-minded persons making their own walled garden and shutting out all dissent, including site owner and re-writers here on Techdirt, out of sight and unaccountably discriminating against viewpoints they don't like.

    Techdirt's "voting system" is a LIE.

    Techdirt's assertion that it's solely "the community" is a LIE.

    Both LIES start from that results to suppress dissent are inherent in the design: no up-votes are even possible.

    Techdirt never answers. It won't even state whether or not an Administrator has final approval. -- And when someone won't state FACTS it's only because EITHER or ANY answer would expose the LIES.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 1:24pm

      Any site and especially Techdirt must supply WHO - WHY - HOW for the "voting system" to be in place. Failure to do so is admission that it's arbitrary and can't be justified in common law. As a business Techdirt is required to be FAIR.

      [citation needed for the actual law or statute that says these things]

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        Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2018 @ 12:49am

        Re:

        The CDA “does not immunize an interactive computer service if it also functions as an information content provider for the portion of the statement or publication at issue”, there is precedent here, and multiple courts held that the “defendants cannot disclaim responsibility for disparaging material that they actively solicit.”

        Techdirt, though it’s message shaping, paid posting and outright censorship, cannot disclaim responsibility for disparaging material that appears specifically BECAUSE of the environment it has built. That is, Techdirt cannot simultaneously PAY FOR and ENCOURAGE disparaging materials (which is certainly done here) and then expect to leverage section 230 as legal cover.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 6 Sep 2018 @ 9:19am

          Re: Re:

          PAY FOR and ENCOURAGE disparaging materials (which is certainly done here)

          [Citation Needed]. Actual articles and/or comments of this mind, not just vague 'it's obvious'. If it's obvious then you should be able to easily provide examples.

          While you're at it you can provide the citation Stephen asked for, because nothing in your comment answered his question about which law requires TD to explain how their voting/flagging system works, nor which law requires that they be 'fair'.

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      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 6 Sep 2018 @ 2:27am

        Re:

        Me flags spammy whiny post, if enough of us flag it (some of us believe it's five), the post gets hidden. Why don't you understand that, Blue.

        Flagged you again, troll.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Wearing Only My Tesla Shorts, 5 Sep 2018 @ 10:04am

    Make them DECIDE. Copied from commenter "11b40" on Zero Hedge.

    (Corrected a bit: it's odd that people who write highly concisely often spell poorly.)

    ... Just adjust the regs to make them decide what they are - either a content provider [liable] for what gets published like a TV or Radio Station, Newspaper, Magazine or they are a common carrier like a phone, email, Post Office, or FedEx, and what goes on in the conversations are none of their business and they have no right to censor. Hint - they sure don't want to be [liable].

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-05/stocks-slammed-after-tech-regulation-looms-cong ress

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 10:49am

      Re:

      Wow. Two TOR IP addresses. One just to post more garbage you didn't even bother to write yourself. (What was that you said about copying and how it was bad bad bad and fair use doesn't exist?)

      SESTA voted.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 9:20pm

    Censoring speech about censorship is especially outrageous

    And yet it happens all the time on Techdirt

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2018 @ 4:46am

      Re: Censoring speech about censorship is especially outrageous

      Using TOR IP addresses again, Hamilton? You filthy pirate.

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


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