Failures

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
content moderation, dangerous, demonetization

Companies:
google



Google Says Our Article On The Difficulty Of Good Content Moderation Is... Dangerous

from the proving-the-point dept

Back in August, I wrote a big post about the impossible choices that large internet platforms have to make concerning content moderation. A large part of the point of that post is that there is no perfect content moderation, and especially at scale, there are going to be large swaths of people who disagree with any choice (leaving content up, taking it down, demonetizing it, putting a flag on it, whatever). And expecting these platforms to magically get things right is going to end in serious disappointment for everyone.

In its own hamfisted way, Google has now proven that point (and, no, they're not doing this on purpose). About a month after that post went up, we got a notification from Google, telling us that this article violated Google's AdSense policies (we use AdSense to backfill ads when we don't have a better solution -- it pays us close to nothing) and therefore they were restricting AdSense from appearing on that page. The only details we received were that it was "dangerous or derogatory."

If you can't see that, it says that our link is "dangerous or derogatory" in that it:

  • Threatens or advocates for harm of oneself or others;
  • Harasses, intimidates or bullies an individual or group of individuals;
  • Incites hatred against, promotes discrimination of, or disparages an individual or group on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.
I've reread my article a bunch of times, and I don't see how it goes anywhere near any of those categories. There are some curse words in the post, but they're not directed at anyone. The whole thing was quite bizarre.

As you can see, at the bottom there's a button to "request a review." We did that, and the next day were told that they had lifted the restriction. This surprised us, as the "review" button usually does nothing. Fast forward to this past weekend, and we get another notice... on the same article, again saying that it is "dangerous or derogatory." No further explanation. No recognition that we already went through this.

We asked for a review again... and got the following:

If you can't read that, it says:

1 page was reviewed at your request and found to be non-compliant with our policies at the time of the review. Ad serving continues to be restricted or disabled on this page.

There appears to be no further information. We are told that the only thing we can do is "fix any violations." But they won't tell us what the "violations" are (because there aren't any) or how to "fix" them. And, seriously, fuck that. There's nothing to "fix" and it's our general policy -- and the policy of any good journalism site not to allow advertisers to dictate anything having to do with content. And we're sticking by that.

Now, to be clear: Google has every right to make whatever awful decisions it wants to make about where its ads appear. If it really wants to demonetize our article highlighting the impossible choices that Google and others have to make, well, that's quite ironic, but that's on them. I certainly don't think this was a "choice" that Google made. I think that it is likely constantly scanning all pages that use AdSense for "flag" words, and maybe something like the curses (or the mention of Alex Jones or the holocaust?) flagged the article for review. At that point, I'm guessing it was handed off to some low-paid individual tasked with "reviewing" content policy violations, who has somewhere between 5 and 30 seconds to make a judgment call. That person maybe sees the curses and says "BAD!". When we click "review" it probably goes to another person like that. The first time we asked for a review we got someone who voted one way, and the other time... the other way.

It's a marginal pain for us, though it's more amusing than anything else (though, hey, if you'd like to help cover our losses from having that page demonetized, go for it!). But, again, all it really serves to do is highlight the point that these all come down to judgment calls, and you can't really scale judgment calls to the level that these platforms operate on without making a whole bunch that are highly questionable.

We shouldn't want giant platforms with a bunch of "content moderators" determining what is acceptable content and what is "dangerous and derogatory," because they're going to do a shitty job of it (now watch this post get demonetized too...). It really is time to search for better solutions.


Reader Comments

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 10:53am

    Remember:

    Google took "don't be evil" out of their motto stack quite some time ago.

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

  2. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:00am

    Looking at it the wrong way

    Clearly Google is trying to do you a favor here and prove the point you raised regarding moderation at scale by providing a perfect example of why it doesn't work.

    Exact same article, two completely different decisions on it, one saying it's good(after flagging it), one saying it's bad(after it got flagged again).

    They're just trying to help really.

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

  3. icon
    Gary (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:02am

    Dangerous

    Would that get flagged on the basis of the comments section? Because that one really pulled the tinfoil hats out of the woodwork.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:12am

    It seems like it is Google's content moderation policies that are dangerous.

    I bet next time you go to use words like "holocaust" you will hesitate for a moment.

    No doubt many will just change their words to comply.

    It might help if Google was transparent about what the logic is. Developers may even be able to help them improve it.

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

  5. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:12am

    In the interest of transparency...

    Google should be willing to explain what algorithms flagged review, and what the review guidelines were that compelled a human being to uphold the flag.

    That they don't, in this day and age of profuse mediatory inconsistency, implies that their system is arbitrary.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:14am

    Re: Remember:

    Google are the pigs in Animal Farm.

    Don't be evil
    Don't be too evil
    Don't be as evil as others
    be evil

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

  7. icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:17am

    Similar Thing Happened To Me

    I run a hobby blog and podcast. I run Google Ads on that site. One day, I got an email saying that our site violated copyright law. I had no idea how. It was just the entire site.

    At first I thought it was a video I had embedded that used footage from the justice League trailer, but nope. That wasn't it. I had no opportunity to talk to a real person. I posted on the Google Ad forum to get some advice there, but the people there just commented on the low quality content that took up a majority of blog space.

    After nearly a week of looking at this and trying different things, I found out that Google flagged the links in my Podcast articles that pointed to an MP3 download of the podcast. These were MP3s of the podcast I run that Google claimed were infringing copyright. Only after removing all those links did Google finally reinstate ads on my site.

    Not that losing the ads was that big of a deal. I have only made $40ish in the entire time I have used Google Ads and still can't get paid because the hold all earnings hostage until you make at least $100.

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

  8. icon
    stderric (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:29am

    Re: In the interest of transparency...

    We are told that the only thing we can do is "fix any violations." But they won't tell us what the "violations" are...

    If reviewers don't have the time to (at minimum) C&P the flag-inducing content, the content shouldn't be flagged... or Google shouldn't even be bothering with the "human" part of the process in the first place.

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

  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    John Smith, 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:35am

    Demonetivation of a single piece of content isn't censorship or even applied to the whole site. Google has done this to me many times but mostly on controversial topics and I don't appeal their decision. Other content they haven't touched and some of it even yields a nice steady stream of revenue. Google also doesn't let people weaponize their TOS by fake-clicking on your ads to get you demonetized (they got wise to this a few years ago).

    There are ways to monetie content without Google, and It's still better to run an ad cost-free on YouTube than it is to have to pay for advertising time on some tv channel or whatever. Much more sustainable.

    I still think Twitter is the most extreme of the censors, Facebook about the norm, and Google about as liberal as a company can be while still moderating.

    Moderation at scale is doable, though it might not be profitable for the automated-UGC model that "built the internet." We can REBUILD an internet with better moderation and more jobs to meet the more hands-on needs created by proper moderation. "Safety is too expensive" isn't really a valid concern, and most of the anti-moderation arguments I've seen seem to boil down to this.

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

  10. icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:36am

    Re: In the interest of transparency...

    Part of the issue, I imagine, is the algorithms are based, in part, on machine learning algorithms which notably are a black box, identifying things but not being able to provide a human readable explination of the issues.

    That said, the human review should be able to like, highlight the concerning portion before upholding the flag.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:41am

    Re:

    You falsely equate "safety" with "moderation". And who would pay for all these employees to moderate everything in your "new internet"? Being too expensive is far from being invalid; It's what drives all commercial things. Your logic is fundamentally flawed.

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

  12. icon
    Gary (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:41am

    Re: Scale

    Moderation at scale is doable, though it might not be profitable for the automated-UGC model that "built the internet." We can REBUILD an internet with better moderation and more jobs to meet the more hands-on needs created by proper moderation. "Safety is too expensive" isn't really a valid concern, and most of the anti-moderation arguments I've seen seem to boil down to this.

    Of course by "Too Expensive" we mean Google would need to hire half the world's population to monitor the other half.
    And with that many human beings all moderating - The magical consistency of policy that people want is impossible. If Google had tens of thousands of human moderators to check this stuff out, how would they ever be able to get them to make snap decisions that were 100% consistent?

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: In the interest of transparency...

    The human review should also prevent any future automated review of the same content, particularly one that results in a different decision than that made by the human.

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

  14. icon
    PaulT (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:44am

    Re:

    "I bet next time you go to use words like "holocaust" you will hesitate for a moment."

    Assuming Mike is telling the truth about the level of revenue paid by AdSense (and I've never seen any proven reason to doubt it), probably not. It's a shame if some do, but then again it's a shame that such people give up so easily and/or made themselves so dependent on a single ad source.

    "It might help if Google was transparent about what the logic is"

    The logic is presumably a lot of things get flagged that use terms like Alex Jones and holocaust in a context that actually *is* offensive or unacceptable, and their automated tools are not yet smart enough to take into account full context before flagging. That combined with the way the system is set up to try and hold them directly responsible for things other people wrote means that they sometimes err too far on the side of caution.

    There's really no more to it than that, as far as I'm aware.

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

  15. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:45am

    "though, hey, if you'd like to help cover our losses from having that page demonetized, go for it!"

    Nope.

    As long as a website gives the power to its reading public to control my content means I won't financially support the website.

    This isn't a censorship issue. It's a "public opinion" issue.

    *I* determine who's an asshole, not the thin-skinned users who gleefully click the "report" button because they don't like what someone else has to say.

    Fix the website so THEIR content is hidden and leave mine alone.

    Until this is fixed, no financial support.

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re:

    Those automated tools will never be smart enough, until they are at the level of at least limited sapience - which won't happen within our lifetimes, at least.

    By that point, depending on societal development, it might well be considered cruel and unusual to subject a sapient being to the type of work the automated tools are subjected to.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    So, what you're saying is, everybody else is the asshole, but you're a perfect unblemished angel.

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

  18. identicon
    Suomynona Draworc, 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re:

    Sure seems like that's what they said between all the butt-hurt lines.

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 12:00pm

    Wow - Mike is shilling for google again!

    /s

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

  20. identicon
    Hans, 24 Oct 2018 @ 12:02pm

    Always the Google shill

    It's probably just cover for your usual Google shilling, right?

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 12:14pm

    In no particular order...

    The article has too many 'trigger words', I have listed them below in no particular order:

    Piss off and fuck you said the Furor
    Alex Jones strongly advised the Jewish to deny the Holocaust

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

  22. icon
    ECA (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 12:21pm

    Editing, opinion, balance, Open mindedness..

    The 2 hardest things in the world to do..
    Is to LEARN SELF..and to UNDERSTAND OTHERS..

    Its like the job of being a Psychologist or analyst..
    HOW not to insert your Own bias into helping others..

    Trying to get humans to be balanced and fair, ISNT EASY..
    Using Automated services to WATCH for Language and certain key words is a BITCH..

    This is like the RECENT TV industry, saying those 7 certain rules for words..IF used in a certain way, you CAN USE THEM, but NOT as a description of sex and Gross things they are related to..
    Want to go back to the Brady Bunch?? or have abit MORE expression in your comments?

    If you give us an EMAIL, to send to G' we can contest it..

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

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 12:22pm

    > I've reread my article a bunch of times, and I don't see how it goes anywhere near any of those categories. There are some curse words in the post, but they're not directed at anyone. The whole thing was quite bizarre.

    This is how everything coming out of the 2016 election cycle has felt. I've read and reread my own comments a bunch of times, usually persuasive aimed at addition of some key issue important to me to the Democrat platform, then watch the explosion of distortion, lies, and labels repeatedly.

    The whole this is quite bizarre.

    Then you begin to notice other groups receiving the brunt of distortion, lies, and labels and realize topics such as the Nazi moral panic are matters of intense demand without available supply to meet it.

    Happy to see Mike becoming grounded again. I've criticized some positions that looked carried off with the frenzied tide over the last year. Hoping to see some clarity coming out of the new found footing.

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 12:22pm

    you're just not trusting the system hard enough

    And just wait until some broken, man-built algorithm dictates that the self driving car continues to accelerate even after running over Grandma and her pet puppy.

    Say it with me:
    man is not perfect
    man-built software is not perfect
    man-built machinery is not perfect
    (repeat)

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

  25. icon
    Gary (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Support

    Thanks for supporting TD with your opinions, page clicks and donating your copyrighted posting to Mike!

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

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Editing, opinion, balance, Open mindedness..

    I see your rant and raise you a borogrove

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

  27. identicon
    Rocky, 24 Oct 2018 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    > *I* determine who's an asshole, not the thin-skinned users who gleefully click the "report" button because they don't like what someone else has to say.

    Those who clicked the "report" button also determined for themselves who's the asshole but it seems you believe you are the better asshole-discriminator.

    Maybe google should hire you as a reviewer so we get less asshole posts showing up on the internet.

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 12:48pm

    Remember:

    Google took "don't be evil" out of their motto stack quite some time ago.

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

  29. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 12:55pm

    leftists attacking each other...

    this is hilarious.

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

  30. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    I C Thruitt, 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: No, what the now censored AC said is what said.

    So, what you're saying is, everybody else is the asshole, but you're a perfect unblemished angel.

    This "Ac" perfectly examples WHY the AC complained. Just paraphrasing and gainsaying ad hom, all the fanboys have.

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:03pm

    Re: you're just not trusting the system hard enough

    Right, but man-built machinery doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to be better, more reliable, or safer than people themselves. So long as machines are continuing to accelerate even after running over grandma and her pet puppy less often than people do, then that's a win, and we should prefer the machine controlled car over having a human behind the wheel.

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

  32. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    I C Thruitt, 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: It's Techdirt intent the "report" button be mis-used.

    The first AC right complains of:

    the thin-skinned users who gleefully click the "report" button because they don't like what someone else has to say.

    Then the thin-skinned users who gleefully click the "report" button because they don't like what someone else has to say jump on and prove it, with ad hom and censoring the comment.

    "Moderation" is to remove comments which are outside of common law. Nothing the first AC said gets anywhere near that. Instead, the "report" button is weaponized here at Techdirt -- with the knowing and acceptance by Masnick -- sheerly to prevent ANY other opinion. Masnick is still treating this as though an old-fashioned print magazine where he has full editorial control, instead of embracing the Internet where users get to publish: the site is ONLY the mechanical means for The Public to use. Masnick invites us in with "free speech", and only afterwards reveals the trick that the site is only for speech he approves off. Techdirt / Masnick thereby GIVE UP shield of liability under CDA 230 for comments. -- And a case WILL come up where that's exactly the issue.

    But in the meantime, fanboy-trolls have the advantage.

    No one reasonable (just arriving IF ANY) should comment here: it's not a fair field for Free Speech. One should also be aware that most of the commentors not only defend the site but have EXACTLY the site's views, so much that has to be astro-turfing, it's so uniformly (leftist corporatist Globalist) views compared to other tech sites that it's startling.

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

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:14pm

    Theres no program, that can moderate content or filter content properly so it probably scans for certain words, eg any article with curse words is bad.
    Its alot easier to block articles for a large
    tech giant like google than risk showing risky content
    in certain countrys.
    When the new rules for the eu, article 13 etc come into force
    it,ll be 1000 times worse as no filter
    can tell parody or fair use or public domain material from material that might be infringing on someone,s copyright .

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

  34. icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:17pm

    What's interesting to me is that (presumably) manually flagging the article as "acceptable" didn't cause the article to be skipped; apparently the automated censor simply checked the same article again the next day, found the same problem, and flagged it as Evil again. So, Google is playing whac-a-mole with ITSELF.

    That's just bad programming. But I've come to expect that from Google.

    Of course, it's possible that's not what happened. Maybe it found another reason to object to your article the second time. But we'll never know, because Google's automated censorship is as transparent as a vat of carbon black.

    So, apparently, is their manual censorship.

    But I've come to expect that from Google as well.

    "We don't care. We don't have to. We're the phone company."

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

  35. icon
    Gary (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's Techdirt!

    _"Moderation" is to remove comments which are outside of common law._

    We are all strong believers of common law here.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law

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

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:20pm

    Re:

    Moderation at scale is doable

    Explain how it can be done, and how it can be kept consistent; otherwise you are making grand claims without any support.

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

  37. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:27pm

    Re: leftists attacking each other...

    Am I to understand, Anonymous Coward that you're interpreting Google's flagging of a TechDirt article as leftists attacking each other?

    That's pretty tinfoil-hat. It's got to be parody. Poe pH factor 0.07

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

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:29pm

    Given those very vague guidelines...

    It could be said that you were promoting discrimination against people who post bad content—which is, of course, a characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination (all the big platforms discriminate against the same). That last section can be read in an entirely circular way.

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

  39. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:31pm

    That sounds familiar...

    If men were angels, no government would be necessary.

    If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.

    In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

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

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: you're just not trusting the system hard enough

    So you'd rather give up control, in the name of progress (less errors), even though you have absolutely no guarantee of said progress? The same limited human knowledge, which makes mistakes, is also responsible for building the algorithm; therefore, you'd replace a flawed human driver with a still flawed, human built algorithm/robot/whatever...

    You can be the first on on that (human) pilot-less NY to LA flight, then. Heck, you can even sit up front.

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

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: you're just not trusting the system hard enough

    If man built machinery doesn't have to be perfect, why all the class action lawsuits?
    Why insurance?

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

  42. icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Remember this is a guy who thinks link portals and webrings which had no proven business model were only destroyed by the rise of internet search which only won because they didn't have to obey the law because they used computers instead of people.

    Not because Link Portals, which continued to exist for quite some time (ex. Digg), were unable to fulfill a sustainable niche that was separate from search, or because such sites failed to find a sustainable business model, but because SEC 230 and the DMCA means google can do whatever and so Link Portals can't exist.

    Given this I expect he just assumes he can have google money (which comes from a seperate business), and did a lot of low ball calculations and thinks that as long as he sticks to his link portal and abandons all those side projects that keep people involved in google he can make it work. He doesn't understand the totality of the business.

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

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's Techdirt intent the "report" button be mis-used.

    "Moderation" is to remove comments which are outside of common law.

    No, moderation here on TD is to hide comments for whatever reasons those with the ability to do so choose to click that little red flag. Common law has absolutely nothing to do with it.

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

  44. icon
    OldMugwump (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:40pm

    It's complaining about the comments section

    ...just a guess, but I do see some rather hot-blooded comments here from time to time.

    If I could send one line of text to everyone in the world, it would be "Let's all calm down a little".

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

  45. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's Techdirt intent the "report" button be mis-used.

    You don't know what common law is.

    You don't know how CDA 230 works.

    You don't know what free speech is.

    Do you know anything?

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

  46. icon
    ECA (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: leftists attacking each other...

    Funny..
    A person on the right considering that the 2 arguments are leftist..
    I would wonder if this person found another person with 3 arms? 4 arms??
    Which side would he be??

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

  47. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:52pm

    Re: It's complaining about the comments section

    F#@K YOU! YOU CALM DOWN YOU DIMWITTED FREAK OF NA... oh.

    Cheers :D

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

  48. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 1:52pm

    Re: you're just not trusting the system hard enough

    tldr;
    Keep making advances, but don't put all of your eggs in 1 basket (be it compterization, connectivity, etc.) Self driving with optional, anytime human override > self driving without human override (not even a steering wheel? really?)

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

  49. identicon
    Rocky, 24 Oct 2018 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's Techdirt intent the "report" button be mis-used.

    Here is a hint: If you come across as a douchebag people will treat you as such.

    You can gnash your teeth and wail all you want about how unfairly your are treated but until the moment you actually can present a coherent argument without accusing everyone else of being pirates, astro-turfers, assholes, masnick fanboys etc that will not change.

    Anyone with an iota of EQ and learning ability will understand this.

    I don't always agree with Masnick's conclusions, but he usually presents his reasoning behind them. You on the other hand always come out swinging saying that anyone not disagreeing with Masnick is a <derogatory term of choice here>.

    In essence, you are a one man conspiracy nut where the conspiracy is that Techdirt is out to silence you. Because only a nut would came back, again and again and get trashed. Either that or you are a sucker for punishments.

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

  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: leftists attacking each other...

    Anything they do not understand is a leftist librul commie pinko fag something something.

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

  51. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: you're just not trusting the system hard enough

    self driving without human override (not even a steering wheel? really?)

    As has been demonstrated by cars with various driver assistance technologies, humans are very bad at monitoring machines, and reacting in time to save themselves. Either give the human control or give the machine control, but do not sort of give the machine control, while expecting the human to correct its mistakes.

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

  52. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 2:14pm

    ""Moderation" is to remove comments which are outside of common law."

    Show me the law that says comments "inside" of common law cannot be removed by moderators.

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

  53. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 2:36pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Oct 24th, 2018 @ 11:45am

    🤣🤣🤣🤣

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

  54. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 2:38pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Oct 24th, 2018 @ 12:00pm

    that's exactly why he had a page demonetized. over-shilling. they want him to dial it back. plus, the occasional ding is good for plausible deniability.

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

  55. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's Techdirt intent the

    Which brand of meth do you use?

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

  56. identicon
    @b, 24 Oct 2018 @ 2:44pm

    AI is more artificial than it is intelligent

    When you click "review" you provide an input to the Machine Learning software.

    That way, the algorithm can adjust the relative weighting on its 'rule' (now that has received such a prod in the presumably correct direction).

    It isn't a sensible question to ask 'how' did the software decide Mike's article violated Google's policy. The answer is always: It's judges on a balance of probability, based on all prior inputs. If you asked to know the 'rules' and their 'relative weighting' then you are surely treeing up the wrong bark (which is to say: getting it backwards). The rules are tweeked based on the feedback loop.

    The better question then is not 'can you explain how it works' (nobody can: it's not a static algorithm, it's ever evolving in unknown directions, too complex for Google's programmers to keep up).

    Their question is: Does it work BETTER than it did? And the answer is presumably yes*


    *For a very specific definition of "better" that only Google's AI programmers would ever know. Perhaps ask them that. How does that algorithm decide it has found an improvement to achieving its goal. And bottom line: how does it define its goal.

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

  57. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 2:54pm

    Re:

    You know what they say.

    If you go into a room of a hundred people, and one of them is an asshole, then that guy's an asshole.

    If you go into a room of a hundred people, and ninety-nine of them are assholes, you're probably the asshole.

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

  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: No, what the now censored AC bawked

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

  59. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 3:47pm

    Hey it’s not my call

    But perhaps you should try, not huffing paint?

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

  60. icon
    Gary (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Common Law

    Show me the law that says comments "inside" of common law cannot be removed by moderators.

    I can't presume to speak for Blue - however I think he means "illegal." So links to kiddie porn or true threats?

    However, his woeful excuse for a philosophy would make deleting all advertising spam impossible. And he has never explained how that will work in his world. (Or, you know, pointed ut to any website that proves his dogma.)

    He also needs a new dictionary since he doesn't understand Common Law:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law

    Law, based upon precedent and decisions by judges.

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

  61. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 4:19pm

    Re:

    Fuck ggl that bitch is holocaust to nth degree. allowing all enemies to spy on everyone with satellites they put into space. fuck them.

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

  62. icon
    Koby (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 5:08pm

    Deliberate

    Mike says that google isn't doing it deliberately. Well, there seems to be no functional distinction between "doing a really bad job" and "deliberate". I think it's time that Mike reconsiders the out-of-control algorithm excuse, or the lowly-intern-reviewer excuse. This is what deliberate corporate censorship looks like.

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

  63. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 5:18pm

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Oct 24th, 2018 @ 12:00pm

    Have you recently suffered massive head trauma?

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

  64. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 5:19pm

    Re: In no particular order...

    Do you smell toast?

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

  65. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Hey kid, your mom is gonna be pissed when she sees what you wrote on her computer.

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

  66. icon
    Gary (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Deliberate

    I think it's wrong to assume malice when indifference is to blame. Mike doesn't care much about the AdWords.
    Google is providing a service - cheap ads across a wide range.
    Google doesn't care if a few (million) ad hits are blocked if it receives less complaints from the customers.
    The *customers* are the folks paying for the ads. They want nothing but their ads placed and don't give a shit about ideology. They don't want their ads on hate group pages, or pron pages. They want nice, safe, disney level webpages.
    Nasty keywords on the page? Plenty more pages to advertise on.
    Google, as a business, has zero incentive to make their algorithm better. Or more transparent.
    In fact, they *don't* want a transparent algorithm because that is easier to cheat.

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

  67. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 6:28pm

    Re:

    MyNameHere? Is that you?

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

  68. icon
    Matthew Cline (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: Common Law

    I think that the use who keeps harping on Common Law is a troll, since someone who was genuinely that passionate about it let slip at least a few hints as to what it is beyond "the foundation of American Law", "that which the TD commentariat is ignorant of", etc

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

  69. icon
    Gary (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Common Law

    I assume he is using "Common Law" as shorthand for the SodCit movement, he has explained that the law doesn't apply to him since he doesn't believe in it. Obeying the *actual* laws lake you a slave or some nonsense.

    I object to his misuse of the English language and his general ass-hat trolling. Every time I hit the little flag, that proves the Mike has power over him and he hates that.

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

  70. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 7:56pm

    "Easier to cheat"

    I think an open algorithm would, in the long term, result in a better algorithm. Sure, there may be early cheats, but then those exploits will be closed.

    Granted, hate speech can still be coded as dog whistles, but that's the case anyway.

    Curiously, the reverse has shown to be also a problem, where gay-hate ads have been reported to be commonly viewed with gay-topic youtube videos.

    So far, Google hasn't shown any effort to address that problem.

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

  71. icon
    Gary (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 8:12pm

    Re: "Easier to cheat"

    So far, Google hasn't shown any effort to address that problem.

    Sure, they haven't solved the problem. Try try, sorta, when they feel like it.

    But why should Google care one way of the other?
    Youtube is there to generate hits, not spread philosophy or enlightenment. Addwords are there to sell ads.

    If the clicks come, then it is still "Working."

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

  72. icon
    stderric (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re:

    Fuck ggl ... satellites they put into space. fuck them.

    Is anyone else picturing G'gl exploring the universe, indexing galaxies, and returning to Earth in 250 years to eradicate biological infestations and merge with the Creator?

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

  73. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 9:27pm

    And only yesterday, I watched something about the new movie, The Cleaners.

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

  74. icon
    techflaws (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 9:51pm

    Re:

    "*I* determine who's an asshole"

    Seems to be working really well for you, genius.

    *clicks report*

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

  75. identicon
    Lorenzo St. Dubois, 24 Oct 2018 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's Techdirt intent the "report" button be mis-used.

    You do realize that your comments aren't deleted or blocked from being viewed, right?

    I mean, several people are conversing with you on the basis of your "hidden" post.

    So how have you been censored? How has your speech been moderated out of the discussion? How has, at least to your tiny mind, your comment been "removed"?

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

  76. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Common Law

    It's Blue, 'troll' would be a vast understatement, and almost certainly be giving them far more benefit of the doubt than they deserve.

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

  77. identicon
    tom sparks, 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "We are the Google. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile." - Google

    I welcome our Borg whoops google overload

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

  78. icon
    PaulT (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:10am

    Re:

    "As long as the public gives the power to movie studios to control my content means I won't financially support the studios."

    Huh. Change a few words and you're justifying how you love to pirate movies. Weird. Almost as if there's a moral equivalence between you refusing to pay for your entertainment here and people refusing to pay for their entertainment elsewhere...

    "This isn't a censorship issue. It's a "public opinion" issue."

    The public's opinion says you're an asshole, and they'd rather not read your freeloading bullshit. Deal with it.

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

  79. icon
    PaulT (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:18am

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

    ""Moderation" is to remove comments which are outside of common law."

    Good news! None of your comments are being removed, which by your definition means their actions are neither moderation nor illegal!

    "it's so uniformly (leftist corporatist Globalist) views compared to other tech sites that it's startling."

    Funny. Most of the other tech sites I visit (Are Technica, The Register, Slashdot to name but a few) would have also downvoted your bullshit to oblivion, many of them having deleted the comments entirely and/or blocked you from posting by now.

    Yet, here you are, free to sully the site with your ramblings. I guess that means that you support the "leftist" way the site is run, letting you post even when you're being told to shut the hell up. Welcome to the left!

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

  80. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:27am

    Re:

    And only yesterday, I watched something about the new movie, The Cleaners.

    I highly recommend the Cleaners. A really excellent documentary...

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

  81. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:35am

    Poke the Bear

    tl;dr: Nicely played, Mike. Fuck Google.

    "...now watch this post get demonetized too..."

    Fortunate for TD that AdSense is such a marginal player in TD's revenue game. Please keep poking the bear and sharing the cute, little displays of foolish faux fierceness the pokee's cubs exhibit.

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

  82. icon
    Jono793 (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 4:34am

    Re: Re: Remember:

    Some animals be evil, But some be more evil than others!

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

  83. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 4:37am

    Since it seems my comment has generated some wonderful replies, it looks like I'm going to have to teach a few idiots why I have an issue.

    On most forums, many have an option titled "Ignore". This option allows me to determine if a person's posts get to the point I no longer want to view them *without* modifying the view of any other reader on the forum (this is a critical part of the point!).

    Techdirt decides to take this option one step further by giving some of you fucktards the ability to "report" a post, which then compiles a tally that, once met, blocks said content from view of *everyone*.

    No, it doesn't remove the comment, but that's not the point.

    Techdirt gets to sit back and gleefully claim they don't moderate the site because they allow fucktards to do it for them.

    How you idiots managed to miss this point proves many of you should have the option to judge *any* post removed from your arsenal of abuse.

    Now, here's where most of you are going to see a plot twist: despite having the option of "Ignore", I don't use it.

    I have *never* reported any post on this (or other) site, despite some of you saying the most stupid thing possible to insult human intelligence.

    I *have* used options to let some authors know their post was funny or insightful. Consider it a "thank you", where rather than having your post hidden, it has the potential of being "rewarded" in the weekly appreciation article which comes out on Sunday.

    Hmm. Maybe Techdirt should alter the Sunday post and display the "Most abused (reported) Post of the Week."

    Not hidden, of course.

    Now that you've read the point, feel free to regurgitate every possible defense to justify your abusive actions while I sit back and gleefully relish in your ignorant hypocrisy.

    Or... perhaps stop being a fucktard?

    Block your own damn posts. Leave mine alone.

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

  84. icon
    PaulT (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 4:59am

    Re:

    "On most forums, many have an option titled "Ignore"."

    ...and I bet lots of people use it regularly when you write.

    In fact, I wouldn't mind you naming some of them, so that I don't accidentally visit sites that put up with your level of nonsense without taking steps to warn the wider community that there's trolling afoot,

    "Or... perhaps stop being a fucktard?"

    We *do* keep asking you to do this, yet you persist.

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

  85. identicon
    RK57957, 25 Oct 2018 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re:

    Nope he/she is saying their a thin-skinned user who deserves special treatment.

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

  86. identicon
    RK57957, 25 Oct 2018 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    *they're, I should learn to spell.

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

  87. icon
    nasch (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    The report button is IMO pretty widely overused on Techdirt. I think it should only be for posts that are clearly spam or trolling (real trolling - someone just out to stir up vitriol, not to put forward a position). When you hover over the button it says it's for posts that are "abusive/trolling/spam". Maybe "trolling" should be removed from that because a lot of people seem to think trolling means "something I disagree with" or "obviously incorrect".

    It's great for actual spam and abuse - I would rather not read the responses that say "Great blog, keep up the good work" with some link to penis pills or whatever it is. But it should not be used to hide comments that are merely stupid or ill informed. Those can be best dealt with by replies.

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

  88. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 9:47am

    Google Overload

    I...know...everything...IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL! BEU--TI--FULL

    <CHAK-THOOM>

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

  89. icon
    Zof (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 10:17am

    So basically...

    Google is acting just like their own unethical corporate clients.

    Enjoy your new Ministry of Truth, Google Edition

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

  90. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    As I'm fairly sure you're the same person who raised this issue before a while back, I'll merely repeat the response I left back then for you:

    If you want a system where people can 'ignore' certain users, this would also require that all those who wanted to leave comments would create and account and only post under that account.

    As you are currently not doing so, and in fact you're not even commenting under a name at all, the question then becomes 'would you be willing to create an account and only ever post under that account in order to allow your idea to work, or are you just trying yet again to insist that people stop flagging your comments?'

    (If you can't figure out why people might be flagging your comments, just re-read your own comment. If you still can't figure it out I don't think anything I could say could clue you in).

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

  91. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 10:33am

    Actions have consequences

    To an extent I'd agree, however when it comes to certain regulars(who are easy enough to spot even when they don't comment under a name) I expect people got tired of wasting their time writing responses that were ignored as though they hadn't even been written at all.

    Responding to someone that's merely stupid and/or ill informed is one thing, but trying to have a conversation with someone who has demonstrated time and time again that they have no interest in an honest conversation, and are merely commenting to piss people off, beat up strawmen and/or stroke their egos is not likely to be that attractive a proposition to most, and as such those with a reputation for that sort of behavior can find themselves in the position where people have lost all patience and just flag anything they write.

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

  92. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 10:58am

    Re:

    Since it seems my comment has generated some wonderful replies, it looks like I'm going to have to teach a few idiots why I have an issue.

    Just to clarify: I'm pretty sure the reason people report comments like this one is your attitude, which kicks off with you first calling everyone else "idiots" and then acting as if only you are so smart that you have to teach everyone else. That attitude is obnoxious and pedantic and people click report because of that.

    On most forums, many have an option titled "Ignore". This option allows me to determine if a person's posts get to the point I no longer want to view them without modifying the view of any other reader on the forum (this is a critical part of the point!).

    Techdirt decides to take this option one step further by giving some of you fucktards the ability to "report" a post, which then compiles a tally that, once met, blocks said content from view of everyone.

    On most forums, if people click "report" enough, the comment is deleted entirely and often the users are banned. We don't do that. We feel our version is much more conducive to useful conversation. The fact that people report your comments is also a sign to new people who are arriving in the conversation that your comments are not a valuable contribution, and if they don't have the time or inclination, they can more easily pass over them.

    That, we believe, is a perfectly reasonable and useful approach -- much better than most forums which just silently delete such comments.

    No, it doesn't remove the comment, but that's not the point.

    It kinda is the point, though.

    Techdirt gets to sit back and gleefully claim they don't moderate the site because they allow fucktards to do it for them.

    Again, the use of the word "fucktards" here, suggests an attitude that the community appears to feel is condescending and obnoxious, and I'd likely agree. Secondly, we don't "gleefully" claim anything. We accurately denote how our moderation system works in a way that we feel creates a pretty good overall commenting environment that includes useful incentives and signals. We try to incentivize good behavior and disincentivize bad behavior. We know we have trolls, but I feel we actually give them a lot more room to speak their mind that nearly any other site.

    How you idiots managed to miss this point proves many of you should have the option to judge any post removed from your arsenal of abuse.

    Again, consider the tone of the above statement and what you are saying here. You are again acting as if only you are brilliant, and anyone who doesn't understand your brilliance is an idiot. Lots of people, rightly, find that makes you an asshole. And thus, they report.

    It is possible to disagree with people without being disagreeable, and to make points and present facts and arguments with logic.

    You don't do that. You insult. You lie. You attack. You misrepresent.

    People are sick of that, and they show that to you -- in some cases -- by using the report button, and in other cases by actually trying to engage with you. And when they do you resort to calling them all idiots. That only contributes to the cycle, because the people who tried to engage with you discover quickly that you refuse to engage in any manner other than ad hominem attacks, insults and lies.

    You have dug your own grave.

    I have never reported any post on this (or other) site, despite some of you saying the most stupid thing possible to insult human intelligence.

    Good for you. Many people don't use it. Many people do. I'm not sure what point you think you're making here (though, again you immediately resort to ad hom attacks and insults).

    I have used options to let some authors know their post was funny or insightful. Consider it a "thank you", where rather than having your post hidden, it has the potential of being "rewarded" in the weekly appreciation article which comes out on Sunday.

    Right. This is what I mean when I talk about positive incentives.

    Hmm. Maybe Techdirt should alter the Sunday post and display the "Most abused (reported) Post of the Week."

    This has been requested multiple times, but we have rejected this for the fairly obvious reason that we don't wish to incentivise bad behavior in any manner, and highlighting such a comment at the end of the week likely would do exactly that.

    Now that you've read the point, feel free to regurgitate every possible defense to justify your abusive actions while I sit back and gleefully relish in your ignorant hypocrisy.

    Once again, I would point to your positioning here, where you again assume the position that only you are so brilliant, and everyone else is ignorant. It is that attitude and utter nonsense that gets you reported.

    Or... perhaps stop being a fucktard?

    Same as above.

    Block your own damn posts. Leave mine alone.

    Build your own damn site and create your own rules. Don't tell me how to run mine.

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

  93. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re:

    "Just to clarify: I'm pretty sure the reason people report comments like this one is your attitude, which kicks off with you first calling everyone else "idiots" and then acting as if only you are so smart that you have to teach everyone else. That attitude is obnoxious and pedantic and people click report because of that."
    I do not disagree. My tone is intentional.

    "On most forums, if people click "report" enough, the comment is deleted entirely and often the users are banned. We don't do that. We feel our version is much more conducive to useful conversation. The fact that people report your comments is also a sign to new people who are arriving in the conversation that your comments are not a valuable contribution, and if they don't have the time or inclination, they can more easily pass over them."
    Can't agree to this. On most forums, posts are removed by moderators.

    Okay, I'll accept your reasoning, now re-read this article. Google just did the same to your article, but you're calling them out for it.

    *sigh*

    "That, we believe, is a perfectly reasonable and useful approach -- much better than most forums which just silently delete such comments."
    I'll get to this in a moment.

    "It kinda is the point, though."
    I know you think it's the point, but it's not.

    "Again, the use of the word "fucktards" here, suggests an attitude that the community appears to feel is condescending and obnoxious, and I'd likely agree. Secondly, we don't "gleefully" claim anything. We accurately denote how our moderation system works in a way that we feel creates a pretty good overall commenting environment that includes useful incentives and signals. We try to incentivize good behavior and disincentivize bad behavior. We know we have trolls, but I feel we actually give them a lot more room to speak their mind that nearly any other site."
    I stopped reading at "We accurately denote how our moderation system works". That's gleefully claiming.

    "Again, consider the tone of the above statement and what you are saying here. You are again acting as if only you are brilliant, and anyone who doesn't understand your brilliance is an idiot. Lots of people, rightly, find that makes you an asshole. And thus, they report."
    As a reminder, the retort reply was intentionally vulgar as I wanted to see how many people would report my *second* post, but leave the first alone.

    I will admit I'm rather surprised neither were hidden.

    Unless IP addresses are compared to prevent hides of self-applied posts?

    "It is possible to disagree with people without being disagreeable, and to make points and present facts and arguments with logic."
    Keep this in mind, please. ;)

    "You don't do that. You insult. You lie. You attack. You misrepresent."
    I'll take 2 of the 4. I do not lie. I do not misrepresent. Well, okay, I did misrepresent my attitude, but as I said, that was intentional.

    "People are sick of that, and they show that to you -- in some cases -- by using the report button, and in other cases by actually trying to engage with you. And when they do you resort to calling them all idiots. That only contributes to the cycle, because the people who tried to engage with you discover quickly that you refuse to engage in any manner other than ad hominem attacks, insults and lies."
    This is where I find the problem of "agreeing to disagree".

    The issue I have isn't giving someone the ability to report threads. I feel my point is lost in that:
    TECHDIRT'S OPTION IS GIVING PEOPLE TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF EVERYONE ELSE.

    This is unacceptable to me, and the second Techdirt initiated the feature on the site, I stopped supporting it.

    What Techdirt has allowed is mob mentality. If the mob doesn't like a post, ANY POST, the mob will report it and it gets hidden.

    This opens up, as Techdirt often reports, the "can of worms" the system will be abused over and over.

    And it's true. One poster on this site, in particular, has their posts hidden almost instantly.

    If you think this is acceptable, we'll never agree.

    "You have dug your own grave."
    Nope. I have my real account. ;) I stayed anonymous for a reason.


    "Good for you. Many people don't use it. Many people do. I'm not sure what point you think you're making here (though, again you immediately resort to ad hom attacks and insults)."
    My point is I stand by my position that with such tools, I do not judge for anyone else the content they should have access to (hidden/removed, doesn't matter).

    "Right. This is what I mean when I talk about positive incentives."
    I know of your incentives. I have made many of the "top 10" lists in the past, including one where I took #1 for the month I wrote the comment and the entire year.

    Surprised?

    Now stop and ask yourself what do you think would happen to that account if I were to announce it to the rest of everyone.

    Yep. Mob mentality would shut it down regardless how it presented itself in the past.


    "This has been requested multiple times, but we have rejected this for the fairly obvious reason that we don't wish to incentivise bad behavior in any manner, and highlighting such a comment at the end of the week likely would do exactly that."
    Seriously? I was being facetious!


    "Build your own damn site and create your own rules. Don't tell me how to run mine."
    I'm not telling you how to run your site. I'm telling people who are posting their hypocrisy to stop challenging a feature Google is using, which hurts Techdirt financially, while intentionally abusing a very similar system.

    I made my vote matter when this idiotic system was implemented. As long as it exists, I don't support the site financially.

    This isn't a threat or a demand.

    As a veteran, I find it disgusting people/companies think they can abuse the rights of others by putting the power of silence in the hands of a few.

    As I said: no one on this site should have the power to hide comments from anyone but themselves.

    Since this is clearly a difficult premise to understand, I'll just continue to click "Unhide", since it's clearly too difficult to expand posts, but not auto-expand hidden comments.

    I won't berate the subject any further now and in the future.

    I promise.

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

  94. icon
    ECA (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: leftists attacking each other...

    I love it when people dont know what they are saying(using words they REALLY dont know/understand) or changing the meaning to mean something they cant express any other way.

    And the Religious Right, not understanding that Religious based Nations have a REAL hard time..(Similar to the Muslims ideals.)
    And the idea that Christ WASNT political, and wasnt a Radical is beyond Comprehension. he lived the life he was given. And others MADE HIM a political statement.
    How many understand that the Basis for MOST religions is communism and Socialism??
    And watching the Right, run around screaming those words makes me Laugh..

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

  95. icon
    nasch (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Actions have consequences

    That's all true, but I think if it's not worth engaging with, just ignore it. Given that people aren't just going to change their behaviors, a button to collapse a comment/thread would be nice to make the whole thing go away on your own screen. That would provide less incentive to click report. In addition, a reported comment (IMO) should hide the whole thread if in threaded mode, with some indication of how many replies there are.

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

  96. icon
    Atkray (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Looking at it the wrong way

    It isn't that they are trying to help, its part of the perks Mike gets for being a Google shill.


    Duh.

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

  97. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 6:32am

    'Who replaced my TD comment section with YT's?'

    As I'm pretty sure that you've been around long enough to see the joy that is 'Hamilton', they should serve as an example of why that wouldn't work so well. For a while they they were writing gorram novels in the comment section, such that 'just ignore it' would have left all that to fill the comment section, making it more difficult for people to find the actual honest discussions, forced to scroll down, and down, and down, and down, rather than just having it all collapsed into single line form.

    'Just ignore it' would also let the more... creative types fill the comment section with their various flavors of prose, leaving the place much more toxic as people had to wade through the cavalcades of insults, arrogance, arrogance and insults, and gross dishonesty that seems to flow from certain individuals who frequent the place, rather than having all that delightful content hidden behind a single click of the mouse should someone feel masochistic enough.

    If people want to deal with the sort of content that gets flagged, then they can easily do so with a simple click of the mouse. If they don't, then they don't have to. The report button might get a little overused at times but at the same time you don't have to stick around here very long to see that without it the comment section would be much, much worse to wade through.

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

  98. icon
    PaulT (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re:

    The problem is that, unlike many other places, Techdirt allows completely anonymous posting. This means that mechanisms allowed on other sites - such as blocking certain usernames - are not possible. Some people overuse the anonymity to troll, these get reported, and sometimes this means that relatively fine comments are also reported because they look at first glance like they came from the anonymous troll.

    There's a number of ways around this, but the most effective ones - force logins, scroll past the trolls without reacting - have either been rejected by Techdirt in very well argued terms or are impossible due to human nature.

    "Those can be best dealt with by replies."

    Except, as we're often reminded, this merely feeds the trolls. Then people start whining about people responding to obvious trolls. And so on..

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

  99. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 12:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow. Never thought I'd see the day.

    out_of_the_blue has a fan boy.

    What's next? Are you donating to Shiva Ayyadurai?

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

  100. identicon
    observer, 28 Oct 2018 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    _I stopped reading at "We accurately denote how our moderation system works". That's gleefully claiming._

    Really? If so, it has to be the most reserved glee I've ever seen.

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

  101. icon
    fairuse (profile), 3 Nov 2018 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re:

    Well said. Being a MOD on a forum, such as help, is a study of human nature; cast iron rules. Social Platforms tried what I call "High School Cafeteria" which is everyone yammering.

    Comments are a study in how some folks never learned to fail and loud fussing is the same as conversation.

    Just my too tired of faulty reasoning everywhere.

    OPINION ALERT

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


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