Breitbart Snowflakes Threaten To Sue People Who Have Asked Advertisers To Stop Advertising On Breitbart

from the free-speech-hypocrites dept

Earlier this year, we wrote a story about the boutique law firm Clare Locke that appeared to specialize in intimidating news orgs with legal threats to try to get them to kill stories. One of the firm's partner, Elizabeth Locke, flat out says that she thinks there's too much press freedom:

"... the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of freedom of the press."

As we pointed out in that article, if you're a journalist hiring such a firm -- and a bunch of the #MeToo journalists have done so -- to try to stifle stories from other publications, it would suggest you're an incredible hypocrite. Journalists thrive on the First Amendment. If you're a journalist threatening to stifle others' free speech, you're a hypocrite.

Enter Breitbart. Because, of course it would be Breitbart. According to a Daily Beast article, Breitbart has hired Clare Locke to threaten a group of people who have been advocating for advertisers to drop their ads from Breitbart. I should say up front, that I think all of these attempts to push advertisers to drop ads is actually pretty silly. It's mostly symbolic and rarely has a real economic impact. It's just a silly game of tit for tat.

But, according to the letter written by Clare Locke's other partner, Thomas Clare, asking advertisers to stop advertising could be "unfair, fraudulent and deceptive." From the letter:

I write on behalf of my client, Breitbart News Network, LLC. As you of course know, Breitbart has been the target of a months-long smear campaign by the online activist group “Sleeping Giants.” It has recently been revealed that you are a founder and leader of this group. My client is considering potential legal action against you, and we therefore demand that you preserve and retain certain documents in your possession that may be relevant to potential civil claims.

These include potential claims concerning unfair, fraudulent, and deceptive practices intended to cause Breitbart economic harm. We believe that Sleeping Giants has sought to deceive the public and, in particular, purchasers of online advertising, by making false, deceptive, and disparaging claims about Breitbart and the news content it publishes — including, among other things, accusing Breitbart of distributing “anti-Semitic” propaganda, of promoting “white supremacy,” and of being a “neo-Nazi propaganda” website. Sleeping Giants has directed these and similar deceptive and misleading statements to companies that purportedly purchase advertisements appearing on Breitbart’s website — and has encouraged its members and others to do the same — in an effort to drive advertising revenue away from Breitbart, and to solicit donations and sell Sleeping Giants’ branded merchandise.

The letter goes on to angrily deny that it is any of those things (while also plugging the fact that the White House Chief of Staff reads it). It then goes on to concoct quite a fascinating conspiracy theory, arguing that "Sleeping Giants" is really designed for "commercial interests" because many of its founders apparently work in the ad tech business. How that creates any commercial advantage isn't exactly clear at all. It just implies that this somehow is a fraudulent practice.

Although, as stated above, the group and its organizers have long attempted to conduct these tortious actions behind a veil of anonymity, a recently-published article identified you, Matt Rivitz, as the founder of Sleeping Giants and the acknowledged proprietor of its social media accounts. That same article noted that you have long worked in online marketing and advertising. Notably, after your identity was involuntarily disclosed through investigative reporting, you claimed that you hid your identity and role with Sleeping Giants as an act of humility in order to “keep this about the mission rather than the individuals involved.” But your past, conflicting explanations for hiding your identity tell a different story. For example, in January 2017, an individual identified only as a Sleeping Giants “founder” — who cited biographical details specific to you — told the New York Times that Sleeping Giants was conducting its campaign targeting Breitbart’s advertisers anonymously because “some members of the group work in the digital-media industry.” Similarly, in March 2018, a Sleeping Giants “spokesman” acknowledged to GQ that “the people behind Sleeping Giants” elected to remain anonymous because they “work in marketing-related fields” and their targeting of online advertisers “might be perceived as creating some kind of conflict of interest.” These frank admissions, made at a time when you and your supporters in the ad tech world expected their identities to remain a secret, are extremely revealing and hint at a hidden and improper commercial motivation behind Sleeping Giants’ deceptive practices targeting Breitbart. It appears that the reason you and your backers did not want their identities known was because it would have revealed their shared economic interests and deceptive practices.

These unfair, fraudulent, and deceptive practices may give rise to civil liability both for you and the members of the online advertising and ad tech worlds that you coordinated with. These potential claims include, but certainly are not limited to, claims relating to violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law (Business and Professions Code Sections 17200, et seq.), fraud, violation of the Lanham Act, tortious interference with contract, and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage.

I'm trying to figure out what exactly the "shared economic interests" are in getting companies to stop advertising on a site? It seems that a much more logical (and obvious) explanation for why the Sleeping Giants folks wanted to remain anonymous was because working for an ad tech company while supporting advertising boycotts actually goes against their economic interests, and might make their own employers kinda pissed off. But, this letter assumes the exact opposite, without any actual explanation.

It then asks Rivitz to preserve all sorts of stuff, including communications with an insanely long list of individuals, organizations and companies -- including a bunch of Breitbart critics.

This seems like a pretty blatant intimidation tactic. And while the letter, hilariously, claims that this threat is really "about Sleeping Giants’ desire to stifle speech that does not adhere to its narrow liberal politics," it's hard to see how you can claim that when the whole point of the letter appears to be to stifle the speech of people asking for advertising boycotts.

And, of course, asking for advertising boycotts is pretty common on both sides of the traditional political divide. In fact, it's not difficult at all to find a whole host of Breitbart articles happily reporting on campaigns to pull ads from news orgs deemed "liberal." Separately, I'll note that it's fascinating to see a subtle shift in tone when Breitbart reports on similar campaigns targeted at Breitbart allies. Those stories suddenly talk about "liberal outrage," "liberal fascism," and "corporate warfare attacks from the left." Oddly, those earlier stories about removing ads from CNN, MSNBC, TBS and NBC don't have any of that kind of language. Indeed, they seem to focus on whatever "outrageous" thing done on those stations that lead to pressure to remove ads. Must be a coincidence, huh?

So, to be clear: ad boycotts are overrated, but if people want to do them, it is their First Amendment protected speech to call for such boycotts, no matter what the reason, no matter what their politics and no matter how silly. Threatening those who exercise their First Amendment speech in such a way with a lawsuit, however, is not supporting free speech. It is bullying censorial intimidation tactics, and Breitbart should be ashamed (if such a thing were possible). The site regularly likes to whine about liberals and universities stifling free speech, but apparently has no problem at all trying to stifle the speech of people who ask its own advertisers to stop advertising on the platform.

Either way, all this red team, blue team bullshit is getting pretty annoying. Silly people who identify as either left or right wing (which is a stupid designation anyway) will do stupid things. And silly people on the other side will generalize and stereotype based on those things, while doing the exact same things themselves. But, seriously, stop freaking out about one "side" doing the exact same thing your side is doing and then coming up with all sorts of silly rationalizations for why it's okay when your side does it, but a horrific violation of the law when the other side does it.


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:15pm

    This screams SLAPP

    accusing Breitbart of distributing “anti-Semitic” propaganda, of promoting “white supremacy,” and of being a “neo-Nazi propaganda” website.

    I am no lawyer, but even I know that none of that is actionable and all opinion.

    Here is a dumb question on their "requirement" to preserve all files: Is that actually actionable? Are they required to keep those files now because a lawyer sent them a nasty letter? Or would that require a court order?

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:17pm

    Of course if advertisers decide they want to stop spending money with Breitbart it MUST be someone else's fault and not the invisible hand giving flipping them the bird and slapping them upside the head.

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

  3. icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:24pm

    Re: This screams SLAPP

    Court order.

    But I see this as no different than if one of the loonier AC's here started asking people to boycott THIS site because it's run by child molesters and communists.

    And I take exception to the use of "snowflake" in the headline. It's become the left's version of "n-word" when speaking of anyone white.

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

  4. icon
    Ed (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:28pm

    They just provided an even better reason to boycott Breitbart!

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

  5. icon
    Zof (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:28pm

    Fun Fact

    Claire Locke's largest client appears for all the world to be The New York Times. Funny that didn't make the story.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    "And I take exception to the use of "snowflake" in the headline. It's become the left's version of "n-word" when speaking of anyone white."

    Really? I have never heard it associated like that before.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    LOL

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Fun Fact

    It's literally covered in the first link in the first sentence in the first paragraph of the article.

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

  9. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:37pm

    accusing Breitbart of distributing “anti-Semitic” propaganda, of promoting “white supremacy,” and of being a “neo-Nazi propaganda” website.

    That's nice an all, but were you planning on ever getting to listing the "false, deceptive, and disparaging" things you claim were said?

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    I have no idea how he got that idea assuming he isn't just concern trolling badly. It is lambasting of conservative hypocrisy after they have long accused the left of oversensitivity when they can't take words far milder than what they dish out already.

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

  11. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:49pm

    It's kind of sad how some people expect a defamation suit based solely on false statements made by the plaintiff to be successful.

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

  12. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    HM Malink, 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:54pm

    Breitbart exposes GOOGLE, then Techdirt attacks Breitbart...

    Like night follows day. I predict Breitbart is in for more attacks.

    By the way, among the actual "right", Breitbart is viewed as distinctly pro-Jew pro-Israel neo-cons. It's not much in favor. So your take here is startling.

    But, seriously, stop freaking out about one "side" doing the exact same thing your side is doing and then coming up with all sorts of silly rationalizations for why it's okay when your side does it, but a horrific violation of the law when the other side does it.

    AND YET what you're doing right here is attacking Breitbart for defending itself! Your view of and approach to the left/right split is to entirely favor THE LEFT.

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

  13. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:56pm

    Losing the battle but winning the war

    The thing about SLAPP suits is that you don't have to win the lawsuit to win the 'case', all you have to do is make it more trouble than it's worth to fight back. It doesn't matter if you get trounced in court so long as the other person/group is forced to spend enough, or face the possibility of being required to do so, that they fold and back down.

    It's nice to win a SLAPP suit(for the one filing it anyway), but not actually needed in order to accomplish the goal.

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

  14. icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    It's a perjorative aimed at dehumanizing those it is applied to.

    But that's ok, so long as it comes from a left wing source and not from the right?

    Helluva double standard there.

    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, 25 Oct 2018 @ 12:59pm

    Re:

    I am pretty sure you never had any intention of getting your news from sources other than left-leaning one-sided sites.

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

  16. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    That interpretation of the word would certainly be new to me as well. In every instance I've run across the term I don't think I have ever seen 'snowflake' used in relation to race, instead every instance I've seen it used it's been about how someone is too 'frail' to handle a situation/words, with nary a mention or even suggestion that it had anything to do with skin color.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    Conservatives, or more specifically the alt-right, are the ones who started using it to describe "the left" most recently.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowflake_(slang) (relevant section is "politicized insult")

    Describing them as snowflakes is turning their own words back on them. It is an entirely and highly predictable backlash against the people who turned it into a politicized insult. So if you decry the usage of it in this article, please ensure to decry the usage of it by folks like Breitbart as well, so as to avoid saying it's okay to use as long it's not the left that's doing it.

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    comment section apparently doesn't like the underscore in the URL.

    https://bit.ly/2OMgzBP leads to the appropriate wikipedia article.

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    Must be that alternative dictionary they use - idk.

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

  20. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:17pm

    "snowflake"

    It's been used to describe a submissive white woman who only has sex with black men for at least 30 years.

    While YOU may not be familiar with the term, I'm sure the people who began using it in the media were.

    Even if it were not, how often have you seen it applied to non-whites?

    I realize this site is hard left (hard to miss), but to use such a charged, divisive, racist term gratuitously in a headline is way over the top.

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re:

    You are addressing NEWS sources, right?

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

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Fun Fact

    The article that is linked to in said first sentence, to make it simpler:

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180720/10043340276/if-youre-journalist-hiring-lawyers-to -intimidate-publishers-into-killing-stories-about-your-misdeeds-youre-hypocrite.shtml

    So, yeah, it is mentioned, you just gotta pay a little attention and possibly read a little more.

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

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Breitbart exposes GOOGLE, then Techdirt attacks Breitbart...

    First sentence: "Earlier this year, we wrote a story about the boutique law firm Clare Locke that appeared to specialize in intimidating news orgs with legal threats to try to get them to kill stories."

    Article linked to in first sentence:
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180720/10043340276/if-youre-journalist-hiring-lawyers-t o-intimidate-publishers-into-killing-stories-about-your-misdeeds-youre-hypocrite.shtml

    Linked article calls out any journalist, regardless of affiliation, that uses this organization. Please clarify how this favors the left?

    Also:
    "By the way, among the actual "right", Breitbart is viewed as distinctly pro-Jew pro-Israel neo-cons. It's not much in favor."

    Citation needed. Care to share where this is sourced from? It would be interesting to understand how Breitbart could possibly be considered pro-Jew.

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:23pm

    If you're a journalist threatening to stifle others' free speech, you're a hypocrite.

    Enter Breitbart.

    So at what point were we going to hear about a journalist?

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

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:24pm

    Re: "snowflake"

    It's been used to describe a submissive white woman who only has sex with black men for at least 30 years.

    That is "cockhold". If you are going to pretend to be some meme expert to shame folks, at least try to use the right term.

    I realize this site is hard left (hard to miss), but to use such a charged, divisive, racist term gratuitously in a headline is way over the top.

    Hahahahahahahahahaha. I would in no way consider this site "hard left". It is clearly centrist in nearly every possible way.

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

  26. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, does the Left want their "fake news" phrase back?

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

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: "snowflake"

    One added note [wish there was an edit button]: "cockhold" does require a husband or boyfriend in the picture of course. Overwhelmingly in modern circles, especially MRA circles, it is referencing a white woman choosing a black man over their white boyfriend/husband. Much closer to your interpretation than any possible variation of "snowflake"

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    Sounds like you’ve got some white guilt built up there buddy.

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

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No they just want you to stop being a shitheel.

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

  30. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:32pm

    Re: "snowflake"

    [citation needed]

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:33pm

    Re: cowards attack in packs.

    Bawk!

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

  32. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Breitbart exposes GOOGLE, then Techdirt attacks Breitbart...

    defending

    That word does not mean what you think it means.

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

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:44pm

    Re: "snowflake"

    You have no idea what you're talking about.

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

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Breitbart exposes GOOGLE, then Techdirt attacks Breitbart...

    Wow, Techdirt must be very powerful to force Breitbart to launch this stupid threat so Techdirt could then write about it!

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

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 1:47pm

    Keep digging bro!

    You are doing a better job than we ever could to prove how racist, misogynist, and hypocritical the average right wing nut job is.

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

  36. identicon
    Glenn, 25 Oct 2018 @ 2:06pm

    Their hypocrisy borders on criminal if you ask me (well, to be honest, I think they crossed the border awhile back).

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

  37. icon
    NeghVar (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 2:08pm

    What are they saying?

    What are these people who are telling advertisers to stop advertising on Breitbart.com saying? Are they simply asking "Please stop?" or are they telling the advertisers distorted info or outright lies about Brietbart.com? If they are feeding false data about Brietbart.com to these advertisers, then filing these lawsuits would be valid and not a SLAPP.

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

  38. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: "snowflake"

    Left, right, centerist. Kinda depends upon where one is standing...doesn't it? Labels to those that understand are meaningless. State your position without the labels and more will listen.

    Those on the outside, who depend upon labels will still try to label you, but then one has to understand where they are coming from. Which might kill the label.

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

  39. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    I don't, and won't click on links that don't tell me where I am going. The full link would not have done any harm to anyone, or you could have used.

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

  40. identicon
    Anomalous Cowherd, 25 Oct 2018 @ 2:17pm

    Re: "snowflake"

    Funny, it ain't in my Funk & Wagnalls. For that matter, neither is it Wentworth & Flexner, "Dictionary of American Slang." Would you mind providing a citation? I'm always interested in learning useless stuff.

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

  41. icon
    Thad (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 2:33pm

    Re: What are they saying?

    If the best examples the lawyer can come up with are

    accusing Breitbart of distributing “anti-Semitic” propaganda, of promoting “white supremacy,” and of being a “neo-Nazi propaganda” website

    then that means they got nothin'. If they had any actual evidence of fraud, they would have opened with it, not tried to paint protected opinion as fraud.

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

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 2:48pm

    Re: What are they saying?

    Except “false data” would very likely be protected free speech. Keep fishing though. I’m sure you’ll come up with something that’s not laughable on its face.

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

  43. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Losing the battle but winning the war

    Doesn't a SLAPP suit kind of depend upon where the suit is filed? Lacking a National Anti-SLAPP law there is real strategy in where they file the suit.

    They quote California law, which might be a hint, but given California's Anti-SLAPP rules it might not be a good idea for the suers. Then they are going after 'Founders' who might not all be from the same place. Hmm, which one to go after, or multiple suits in multiple jurisdictions, which probably creates the case to make it Federal.

    Does that get them out of an Anti-SLAPP situation? not necessarily. Two things come to mind here. One is that the California Anti-SLAPP rules have been applied elsewhere (not always, but sometimes) and the other is...they mentioned California law.

    It doth appear that this legal team is acting more like a PR firm than a law firm, but that doesn't mean they won't get paid. And that is very, very sad.

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

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    I tried the full link already, bro. Did you not read:

    "comment section apparently doesn't like the underscore in the URL."

    It's https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowflake_(slang) - same as in the post I replied to, but it's gonna just hyperlink the non-slang snowflake article like it did the first time.

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

  45. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 25 Oct 2018 @ 3:12pm

    Re: comment section apparently doesn't like the underscore in th

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

  46. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

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

  47. identicon
    bob, 25 Oct 2018 @ 3:17pm

    Re:

    Of course they crossed that border. They haven't built 5he wall yet because no one else has paid for it yet.

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

  48. icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 3:19pm

    Re: This screams SLAPP

    IANAL, but I listen to a podcast about digital forensics and one episode focused on retention demand letters.

    In the US, a letter like the one received in advance of an actual civil lawsuit should be followed, as long as the retention demands are reasonable. Not following the demands could result in adverse court action including a finding of spoliation. The idea is that a formal court filing, service, and a retention order might take quite some time during which valuable documents could be destroyed. So a formal letter notifying you of pending legal action and requiring document retention can be considered a valid request, but failure to adhere to a overly broad retention order will generally not be seen negatively. Again, IANAL, I am merely summarizing information I learned.

    Assuming the information we have fully documents preservation demands, it might be too vague and broad as to be difficult to enforce. The letter leaves out a normally neccisary component describing the types of documents they are looking for (internal or external communications? Email? Call Logs? Texts? Invoices? Spread sheets?). Normally the types of documents they expect to find and need are dictated.

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

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 3:22pm

    Re: "snowflake"

    SNowflake is a term used more by teh right then the left, you don't know what you're talking about.

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

  50. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re:

    But He Promised!!!!

    /s

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

  51. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: comment section apparently doesn't like the underscore in th

    I did not question whether it would work. I questioned the lack identifying information by seeing the full link at the bottom of my browser telling me where I was going.

    I don't click on links where I don't know where they go because I have heard (not experienced for the above reason) too many stories about how someone said 'this is a link for this' and it turned out to be a link for something else. Sometimes disgusting, sometimes dangerous, sometimes what they said. Why take a chance?

    But you go ahead and click on whatever you wish to.

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

  52. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 3:43pm

    Re: "snowflake"

    It's been used to describe a submissive white woman who only has sex with black men for at least 30 years.

    Um. No. It has not. It is used, regularly, by conservative media -- including Breitbart (https://www.breitbart.com/search/?s=snowflake#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=snowflake&gsc.page=1) to denote "leftists" who can't handle free speech and have to suppress it.

    You are wrong. Stop digging.

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

  53. icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 3:45pm

    Re: "snowflake"

    So, several decades ago, apparently White women were indocrinating white children to be slaves to black dick in our schools with racial slurs. huh.

    See, in the 80s and 90s (my school days) there was a big push on self-esteem in classrooms. The "the everyone is special in their own way" thing. Several people used the terms 'Snowflake' or 'Special snowflake' to describe children, in a positive fashion. It used the metaphor of the snowflake, each one is unique (at least, thats what we were teaching at the time). We had a glut of new middle class kids. At the same time in an effort to get more money for bankers, we pushed hard on universal college degrees, making everyone think manual labor isn't going to be their career path.

    Then Fightclub came out, and derided the idea you were a unique snowflake. As time moved on, the term became an insult, used by various groups for various reasons. (Tabletop gamers describe some players characters as snowflakes if their character's only gimmick is that 'hes different' or they have an overly complex backstory designed to make life hard, or a backstory designed so they become the focus of the story.)

    Until recently, I saw it used politically almost exclusively as a right-wing attack on left wing activists, generally those offended by actions percieved as hurtful to others. It became rampant as efforts to change entrenched veiws on gender became major political points with gay marriage, transgendered persons, and workplace equality.

    It has gotten a bit of traction from the left online in recent years. I see it a lot as a highlight of hypocrisy in right-wing figures and outlets, as it is used here. Safe spaces was the first debate i saw it crop up on the left, when right wing figures, getting called out on policy at every turn, started calling for spaces where they didn't need to deal with politics.

    So, while I don't have a source that backs up your definition, I have repeatedly experienced the form used in the title of this article, and am supported by every slang dictionary I have heard of.

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

  54. icon
    sorrykb (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    And I take exception to the use of "snowflake" in the headline. It's become the left's version of "n-word" when speaking of anyone white.

    Don’t be ridiculous. Everyone knows the proper term for stupid white dudes is “Mayonnaise Boy”.

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

  55. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 25 Oct 2018 @ 3:56pm

    Re: seeing the full link at the bottom of my browse

    Shows up fine for me.

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

  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: comment section apparently doesn't like the underscore in th

    I also heard you can copy/paste visible text into the address bar, and the entire, correct link was in the text.

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

  57. icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 4:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: comment section apparently doesn't like the underscore in th

    Of course, your indignant sarcasm filled comment, when the comment right about it had the full link you could have (and it seems did) copypaste, seems a bit problematic. You in fact could see the problem he had. Helping him figure out the problem rather than attacking him for giving a fully linkified version is unreasonably hostile, given he did give you the base link.

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

  58. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 4:06pm

    Re: "snowflake"

    So in your world, a comment on pastry, "I like chocolate tarts," is both racist and sexist.

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

  59. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re:

    Funny thing .. there already are walls, lots of them.

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

  60. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: comment section apparently doesn't like the underscore in th

    Maybe my bad, but the bit.ly shows up in my browser as a bit.ly link, not what it is.

    I did not ken the rest of "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowflake_(slang) (relevant section is "politicized insult")" until I went to look at Wikipedia and then search for the full 'snowflake slang politicized insult' in Wikipedia. Then I got the link he was looking for, and as you can see, had no problem posting that link using markdown.

    Other than my opposition to byt.ly links, no hostility intended.

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

  61. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: comment section apparently doesn't like the underscore in th

    Oh, I should have added that my link using markdown shows where it is going at the bottom of my browser.

    Safety first.

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

  62. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: comment section apparently doesn't like the underscore in th

    I should also add that your sarcasm meter is broken, because I was entirely serious. bit.ly links are dangerous because you never know where they will take you. Even from people I trust. That might make be an untrusting person, I can live with that, at least so far as Internet relations are concerned.

    I have a tendency (in person), and a policy, to give trust until I have a reason to not to. It has worked well for me through life, and 40 years of managerial responsibility that included up to 4000 employees. I sometimes was wrong to trust, but those situations were always correctable.

    But on the Internet, things are different. I will not recklessly compromise my system by clicking on unidentified links. bit.ly links are by definition, unidentified. One cannot see where they are going.

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

  63. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 5:28pm

    Re: Re: "snowflake"

    Eh, don't you mean "cuckold"? And it means something entirely different. It's a slang term for a man whose wife has slept with another man. The "right" loves using a bastardized version of that word, "cuck", which is actually just nonsense, in attempts to insult the "left".

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

  64. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    I thought it was cake boy

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

  65. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 5:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    Damn, generations. I thought it was 'honkey'.

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

  66. icon
    zyffyr (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 7:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    I've always been partial to 'Cracker'.

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

  67. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re: "snowflake"

    "Then Fightclub came out, and derided the idea you were a unique snowflake."

    The people who use "snowflake" as an insult because "Fight Club" did it first often forget that Tyler Durden was never supposed to be a role model.

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

  68. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Oct 2018 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: "snowflake"

    FTR: The female version of "cuckold", at least as far as my incidental browsing of porn site front pages tells me, is "cuckqueen" or "cuckquean". Not my fetish, but I'm not here to kinkbash.

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

  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Oct 2018 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Just be glad Techdirt lets you "debate", Shiva, as opposed to the court who threw out your demand for one!

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

  70. identicon
    ryuugami, 25 Oct 2018 @ 11:47pm

    Re: Re: Breitbart exposes GOOGLE, then Techdirt attacks Breitbart...

    Citation needed. Care to share where this is sourced from? It would be interesting to understand how Breitbart could possibly be considered pro-Jew.

    Relativity. You're not looking from far enough to the right on the left-right axis. When you're Breitbart, Obama and Hillary are not center-right but extreme left. In the same way, when you're whatever this dude is, Breitbart looks like commie liberal Jew-loving hippie-fest of socialist propaganda, and neo-Nazis are liberal pussies.

    Linked article calls out any journalist, regardless of affiliation, that uses this organization. Please clarify how this favors the left?

    Obviously, it's an admission that more righties than lefties want to sue critics :D

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

  71. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 5:27am

    The Last Straw

    To paraphrase an earlier AC, I see a lot of invisible walls. There's one being built at this site as we speak. But since it's mostly invisible, few are alarmed that it's happening.

    If you really have no "side" to take in this "race", Mike, you wouldn't have used the word "snowflake" in the headline. That word didn't have to be used unless you wanted to to stir up shit, virtue signal, and polarize the topic unnecessarily. Doesn't matter if Breitbart or the whole online world does it too, it's still wrong.

    *sigh* I mean, you must know the reason the site is getting more troll commenters is that generally the other commenters (or you, from the tone of your more polarizing articles) aren't genuinely engaging with any who have an opposing view.

    It's too black and white to say "since I believe in this side, it means the other side is my enemy and has nothing valuable to add".

    ... I used to feel like Techdirt was speaking for anybody concerned about the laws of any country being used to screw up the way the internet works.

    But I'm not your audience anymore. You're chasing people away with these polarizing insults in the articles. Digital rights is an issue that more people of all stripes would be interested in if you weren't focused on promoting them to the "right" people.

    Enjoy the echo chamber, I'm done with trying to get civil conversation out of people who won't think outside of their own ideas. But you're probably thinking of congratulating yourselves already: "don't let the door hit you on the way out!" and other such sentiments. That will only prove my point: that none of you are truly interested in engaging with opposing points of view and only want to hear what you like to hear.

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

  72. icon
    ShadowNinja (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 5:40am

    I should say up front, that I think all of these attempts to push advertisers to drop ads is actually pretty silly. It's mostly symbolic and rarely has a real economic impact. It's just a silly game of tit for tat.

    Not quite. Remember the controversy when Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut and a bunch of advertisers dumped him?

    Well it turns out Rush Limbaugh and the boycott of him didn't just hurt Rush, it hurt a crapload of other political talk radio (right and left talk show hosts). Advertisers decided it was just too risky to run ads on political talk radio shows, where the personality might say something outrageous and highly controversial any time that could shit on your company's reputation for associating with them.

    They've all seen a drop in ad revenue as a result. Even though political talk radio audiences tend to be closer to the slice of demographic that advertisers want (right age range, and wealthier then the average American).

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

  73. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 26 Oct 2018 @ 6:03am

    Re: "snowflake"

    @ Bambo Harvester... WHUT??!

    I've only ever seen "snowflake" used to describe people with overly delicate sensibilities, i.e. "Special snowflakes." Such people are accustomed to receiving prizes for merely participating so they're not perturbed by competition. They must not be criticised, even in the mildest terms. Their opinions, however misinformed, are always valid. And we have to be careful of which words we use as any or all of them might be offensive, including "any," "all," "might," "be," and "offensive."

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

  74. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    https://urlex.org/ or http://checkshorturl.com/ Either of these shows you where the link goes without clicking on it.

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

  75. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: "snowflake"

    Mr Panda is full of shit

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

  76. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:30am

    Re: What are they saying?

    Are they simply asking "Please stop?" or are they
    1) telling the advertisers distorted info
    2) or outright lies about Brietbart.com?

    Could it be that you have omitted several other possibilities?

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

  77. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:31am

    Re: The Last Straw

    Keep grinding that ax

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

  78. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:32am

    Re:

    I'm sure those stories are called fake news by some

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

  79. identicon
    nae such, 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: Breitbart exposes GOOGLE, then Techdirt attacks Breitbart...

    it appears to be all from breitbart mouth pieces. search for pro-israel in the wikipededia article. the references link to an explanation the provenience of i cannot say, but it makes a warped kind of sense.

    being not so homogeneous at breitbart there are lots of different views. some of whom are pro-israel cause then you can ship the jews there. some think israel is awesome cause they are so ultra nationalist. i did not delve further into the morass.

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

  80. identicon
    guy, 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    As I understand it, it's always illegal to destroy records for the purpose of keeping them from being subpoenaed even if no one is subpoenaing you yet. However, it is not illegal to destroy records in order to free up storage space or the like even if someone later sends a subpoena demanding them.

    Including that kind of directive in a letter informs the recipient that someone wants to subpoena the records, so if they're destroyed afterwards it's easier to argue it was to conceal evidence. It takes a court order to obligate the recipient to specifically preserve them, however.

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

  81. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:57am

    Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    "And I take exception to the use of "snowflake" in the headline. It's become the left's version of "n-word" when speaking of anyone white."

    I'm curious - which of the many Alt-Right websites did you get that from?

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

  82. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 8:08am

    Re: The Last Straw

    This is a hilarious ramble about not wanting to engage with opposing points of view which at no time engages in opposing points of view.

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

  83. icon
    PaulT (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    "And I take exception to the use of "snowflake" in the headline. It's become the left's version of "n-word" when speaking of anyone white."

    I think you're the first person I've ever seen refer to it in terms of race. Most other people are using it in the way it's written in Fight Club - "You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake", etc.

    If you think it's a racial term, you might want to check the sources you're reading for their biases.

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

  84. icon
    PaulT (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This screams SLAPP

    "It's a perjorative aimed at dehumanizing those it is applied to."

    It's also got nothing to do with race, or the "left", despite your original claim.

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

  85. icon
    PaulT (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 8:19am

    Re: "snowflake"

    "I realize this site is hard left (hard to miss)"

    If you think that, you need to get out more. You're apparently so far in the right wing echo chamber, you're lost track of which childish insults are aimed at which group.

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

  86. icon
    PaulT (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: "snowflake"

    He's a gem, isn't he. Trained only to think in terms of childish name calling, he's forgotten which ones are mean to be used against which people.

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

  87. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 8:25am

    Re: The Last Straw

    Come on, really? Breitbart isn't journalism, it's tabloid fantasy with such an overly heavy right wing bias and a penchant for lying and twisting the truth that anyone who defends them can be automatically discounted from any intelligent debate. I tried for a long time to debate the issues with the local commenters, calmly and rationally, and was banned for my efforts. It's pointless. Those people are feverishly in love with their echo chamber.

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

  88. identicon
    ryuugami, 26 Oct 2018 @ 9:48am

    Re:

    Also: Bill O'Reilly

    After the five settlements were reported, the O'Reilly Factor lost more than half its advertisers within a week; almost 60 companies withdrew their television advertising from the show amid a growing backlash against O'Reilly. On April 11, O'Reilly announced he would take a two-week vacation and would return to the program on April 24; he normally took a vacation around Easter. On April 19, Fox News announced that O'Reilly would not be returning to the network.

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

  89. icon
    Thad (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 9:52am

    Re: The Last Straw

    sigh I mean, you must know the reason the site is getting more troll commenters is that generally the other commenters (or you, from the tone of your more polarizing articles) aren't genuinely engaging with any who have an opposing view.

    Party of Personal Responsibility!

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

  90. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: "snowflake"

    Well that's kind of how it goes with alt-right trolls -

    They make a logical fallacy

    Their fallacy gets called out

    They lose their fallacious argument

    Not comprehending their incompetence, they think they lost solely because someone shouted "fallacy" at them

    Next time they're trolling, they parrot the names of various fallacies they heard, without having learnt what they mean, at the counter-trolls

    Then comes the consternation as they are rightly mocked once again instead of everyone else bowing down at the "magic words" like they stupidly expected.

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

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

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Trump claims he coined the term:

    ...in his conversation with Dobbs: “I think one of the best names is — you know, I've really started this whole 'fake news' thing. Now they've turned it around and then, now, they're calling, you know, stories put out by different — by Facebook 'fake.'”

    Unless you think he's a lying piece of shit, you guys can keep it, along with your "alternative facts."

    Douche.

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

  92. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 1:11pm

    Re: The Last Chip of paint

    I love how you know you’re the one with the problem and yet can’t bring yourself to admit it. Because honestly you got triggered by the word snowflake in the title and had to write a fucking manifesto about how you are the real victim here.

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

  93. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: comment section apparently doesn't like the underscore in th

    I don't click on links where I don't know where they go because I have heard (not experienced for the above reason) too many stories about how someone said 'this is a link for this' and it turned out to be a link for something else. Sometimes disgusting, sometimes dangerous, sometimes what they said.

    And sometimes it's Rick Astley.

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

  94. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 2:11pm

    What kind of fuckup advertises on a far-right nazi-worshipping jew-hating dirtrag like brietbart?

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

  95. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 2:14pm

    Breitbart claiming it's not a hate site?

    Same site that says all jews should be exterminated that that the final solution didnt go far enough?

    Same piece of crap that has articles praising the third reichs "business efficiency"?

    same site that openly supports the KKK burning crosses as "religious freedom"?

    same site that says Auschwitz should be knocked down because they claim its a fake and the holocaust didn't happen?

    sheesh

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

  96. icon
    The Wanderer (profile), 29 Oct 2018 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Notably, however, the term was used before that point (but still after the election, IIRC) by Hillary Clinton, in reference to some of the material circulating about the political race, and I think as a partial explanation for why she wound up losing.

    I've long suspected that Trump saw that, picked it up, (mis)used it in that famous press conference (targeting Jim Acosta, I think it was?), and things snowballed from there.

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

  97. identicon
    Andy, 30 Oct 2018 @ 3:29am

    Come At ME!

    Ok i herby demand that advertisers boycott breitbart and do not advertise there otherwise i will encourage everyone i now not to purchase there goods for supporting breitbart...Come at me dude's i am willing to have my name added to your list.

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

  98. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2018 @ 7:46am

    This stupid reduction of actual political positions is hilarious and you are constantly pushing a libertarian viewpoint, so I see why you always doing this Mike.

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


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