After Getting FOSTA Turned Into Law, Facebook Tells Its Users To Stop Using Naughty Words

from the the-morality-police dept

Well, well. As we've covered for a while now, FOSTA became law almost entirely because Facebook did an about-face on its position on the law -- which only recently was revealed to have happened because COO Sheryl Sandberg decided it was important to appease Congress on something, even against the arguments of Facebook's own policy team. As we pointed out at the time, this was Facebook basically selling out the internet, and we wondered if Facebook would then help clean up the collateral damage it causes?

The early indications are that, not only will it not help clean up the mess it caused, it's leaning in on this new puritanical internet that it wants to create. We've already noted that Facebook has been sued under FOSTA by someone arguing that it has helped facilitate sex trafficking. And now, just days after Tumblr's weird pivot away from sex, Facebook has put up a bunch of new guidelines in its "community standards" document, under the head of "sexual solicitation" that ban a wide variety of things from naughty words to expressing a sexual preference.

Among the banned:

  • Vague suggestive statements, such as “looking for a good time tonight”
  • Sexualized slang
  • Using sexual hints such as mentioning sexual roles, sex positions, fetish scenarios, sexual preference/sexual partner preference, state of arousal, act of sexual intercourse or activity (sexual penetration or self-pleasuring), commonly sexualized areas of the body such as the breasts, groin, or buttocks, state of hygiene of genitalia or buttocks
  • Content (hand drawn, digital, or real-world art) that may depict explicit sexual activity or suggestively posed person(s).
  • Got that. Expressing sexual partner preference may now be deemed as "sexual solicitation" and thus not allowed on Facebook, as, you know, it might violate FOSTA. A law that Facebook actively fought for under Sheryl Sandberg's direction.

Obviously, this is Facebook's platform and it can make whatever stupid rules it wants, but it's not difficult to see how this is likely to impact all kinds of perfectly acceptable content on its site. It also seems quite hypocritical, given that the early versions of Facebook were... very much about helping college students hook up with one another.

We warned that FOSTA would lead to widespread censorship online, and that seems to be exactly what's happening. And this should be especially troubling for sex positive people, or people who have, historically, used the internet and Facebook to discover like-minded groups, or to better understand themselves and their own preferences. We did warn, very early on, that one of the groups that was most vocal in lobbying for FOSTA was going off script and admitting that -- contrary to the public arguments made by politicians supporting the bill, that it was about stopping child sex trafficking -- that the bill was really designed to end online pornography. It seems to be taking some steps towards that goal.

Of course, as we noted earlier this week, the bill also failed to decrease sex trafficking or even sexual ads online. It's just made it harder for police to actually track down and find traffickers.

Now, some might argue that this is fine. That the "mainstream properties" like Facebook and Tumblr should get rid of all this stuff, and let it live in the dark corners of the internet. But, considering how broad these rules are, and the kind of content we're already seeing banned from Tumblr, what we're ending up with on the "mainstream" internet is losing what has always made the internet special -- that you could explore all kinds of topics, meet all kinds of people and learn about all different ideas. In the two and a half decades that the internet has been "mainstream," there has always been an effort by some to falsely describe it as the "wild west" that needed "taming." This has always been ridiculous. What they wanted was an internet controlled by gatekeepers -- turning a communications medium with anything you want -- into a broadcast medium, where anything can be sold.

Unfortunately, it looks like those forces are finally winning.


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  • icon
    Vidiot (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 12:25pm

    So I guess those Monty Python references to that Roman centurion, Biggus Dickus, are a no-no?

    And what about my mushroom soup recipes? After Stormy Daniels started describing famous mushrooms...

    (giggles like 9-year-old)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 12:29pm

    The new morality police

    In an odd sort of way, maybe it would be better if the big social media sites were even more censorious, since apparently more and more people are getting banned from funding sites such as PayPal and Patreon for the posts they make on Facebook and Youtube, non-politically-correct speech that those social media sites are OK with but that paypal and Patreon are not.

    https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/qvqeev/crowdfunding-site-patreon-is-purging-far-right-figure s

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 1:02pm

      Re: The new morality police

      I'd prefer the other approach, to be honest. On a basic level, it much more difficult to compete in the social media space than in the payment transfer space. This is mostly because the number of people a given individual has a *mutual* flow of money with (i.e. both giving and receiving money) is significantly lower than the number of people that same individual tends to attempt to keep in social media circles. Thus, the "critical mass" of users which a social media site needs in order to be competitive is much higher than the number of users a funding site needs. This is compounded by the fact that in some cases (crowd-funding, patreon, and similar), most users don't technically need an account at that site, since money only flows in one direction. This allows the vast majority of users to flit between multiple sites at will, with only a small fraction of users (those who actually receive money) who necessarily have ties to the service itself. It is much easier to shift a small user base which is tightly involved in the details of the service, than a large user base which is less so.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 2:36pm

        Re: Re: The new morality police

        Most prolific Youtube content creators quit their day jobs when their Youtube income exceeded that of their day jobs, and many would have largely quit Youtube when the plug was pulled on "non advertiser friendly" content (a classification that has confounded most everone) a couple of years ago due to WSJ's activism. So money is a vital link. And naturally a major point of attack for people who want to shut down speech they don't like.

        Even the EFF seems to concede that payment processors are the "weak link" in online freedom of speech.

        "Since payment service providers may provide vital financial pathways for activists, dissidents, and other controversial figures, they are attractive points of control for anyone hoping to use Internet intermediaries as censors — especially governments seeking to censor speech."

        https://www.eff.org/free-speech-weak-link/payment

        While payment sites have every right to decide when to ban someone, such decisions should revolve around fraud and related crimes. This they always did, but then extended punitive action to accused copyright infringers, and later political speech they either didnt agree with, or perhaps just wanted to make the constant flood of complaints stop. Unlike other sites, Paypal doesn't publish any kind of "transparency report" or reveal who is telling them to ban someone. Is it a government, a private "pressure group" or a competing business, or just some anonymous complaints? People who find themselves kicked off the service often never really know who complained or exactly what was said about them, and like any "secret evidence", it's difficult to mount a defense against unknown or nonspecific accusations.

        While it's minimally understandable for payment processors to kick social media sites that have an ideologically rigid "free speech" policy ( Patreon just banned Bitchute a few days ago), they should not be second-guessing the decisions of sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc, that already have active (and politically correct) censhorship policies in place. At least with Alex Jones, Paypal waited until he was banned from several other social media platforms before kicking him off their payment service. But with many other controversial people, payment companies are leading the charge that no one else follows. Yes, the same goes for domain hosting, web hosting, and other links in the chain (all of which are under pressure to ban certain customers) but at least these are easier to replace due to the multitude of choices.

        But the main point stands: freedom of speech would be better served if social media sites like Facebook were stricter and/or more reactive about allowable cotent, and payment processors blind to anything posted on Facebook. Let's just have one decision-making censor and not a whole chain of them.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2018 @ 6:21am

          Re: Re: Re: The new morality police

          This sounds a lot like what small business and shops including grocery stores to blacks in the south before the civil rights movement. That is before King back when the South was solid Democratic with the likes of Jim Folson.

          Reference Governors of Alabama
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Governors_of_Alabama

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2018 @ 8:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The new morality police

            All those Democrats are now Republicans. You see, there was this thing in the 60s called the Civil Rights Act. After LBJ signed it, many bigoted Democrats fled to the refuge of the GOP.

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

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 8 Dec 2018 @ 8:01am

          Re: Re: Re: The new morality police

          freedom of speech would be better served if social media sites like Facebook were stricter and/or more reactive about allowable cotent

          How does more censorship serve freedom of speech?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2018 @ 2:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The new morality police

            How does more censorship serve freedom of speech?

            It doesn't. The poster you're referring to is struggling to justify free speech when what they really want is "only speech that doesn't offend them."

            Of course such a ban is impossible, but the poster can't / won't acknowledge that fact. They think society should bend over backwards to serve their "sensitivities".

            Supposedly the US has free speech, but as we've come to find out in recent years, it's not just the government that can penalize you for speaking. Private businesses can ban speech too, and even worse they can do so unilaterally, with worse penalties, and without giving you any recourse. This article is just more proof of that.

            In the end, what does all this mean? Those wanting to censor others have found their legal loophole, and they are abusing the living heck out of it.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2018 @ 10:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The new morality police

              ..In the end what does this mean?

              It means we all may have to take our 'Free Speech' to court, tell everyone to "Fuck Off." That's what it means.

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

              • icon
                Thad (profile), 10 Dec 2018 @ 8:32am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The new morality police

                It means we all may have to take our 'Free Speech' to court, tell everyone to "Fuck Off." That's what it means.

                Standard reminder: the First Amendment applies to the government, not to private corporations.

                You don't have a First Amendment right to use Facebook.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2018 @ 8:20am

          Re: Re: Re: The new morality police

          "freedom of speech would be better served if social media sites like Facebook were stricter and/or more reactive about allowable cotent"

          You presume to tell a business how to conduct itself?

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

          • icon
            Thad (profile), 10 Dec 2018 @ 8:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The new morality police

            That's generally how capitalism works, yes. Buyers decide who they're willing to do business with; sellers set policy to maximize the number of customers willing to do business with them.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 1:44pm

      Re: The new morality police

      I found the Nazi!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 12:35pm

    Well, fuck.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Irving, 7 Dec 2018 @ 12:39pm

    As noted yesterday, you seem for sex-trafficking:

    We've already noted that Facebook has been sued under FOSTA by someone arguing that it has helped facilitate sex trafficking.

    Are you saying that can't possibly be true and actionable? To me your frequent repeating of that stance, when the case alleges crime that should be sanctioned and stopped, can only be explained by that you're actually FOR sex-trafficking. WHY ELSE OBJECT? -- You're definitely always for Facebook (and its corporate profits), despite a piece now and then stating little more than "the current flap is too much to ignore". -- NEVER any calls for action of regulation or anti-trust, just re-writing what's already out.

    We warned that FOSTA would lead to widespread censorship online, and that seems to be exactly what's happening

    But you continually assert that corporations have utterly arbitrary "right" to control what's on the "platform"! -- You've stated NO objection to Alex Jones being "deplatformed"! Since even you admit he was within common law details are irrelevant here, and your justifying it would only point up that you are now objecting over merely non-substantive, non-political, common decency control.

    Of course, as we noted earlier this week, the bill also failed to decrease sex trafficking or even sexual ads online.

    You don't just double down, you deca-down, constantly slipping in your prior unproven assertions to prove that you're again right. -- So far, according to one "study" by an academic clearly resolved to prove what you want. By your notion, no law should ever be kept in place after six months in which hasn't totally reversed broad problems.

    It's just made it harder for police to actually track down and find traffickers.

    Inherent contradiction: if are visible, then are not being taken down, so you can't claim that police were doing that job before: they were just letting it go.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Irving /Top/ Katz (apparently can't now quote in n, 7 Dec 2018 @ 12:53pm

      Re: As noted yesterday, you seem for sex-trafficking:

      what has always made the internet special

      Is EXEMPTION FROM ALL PRIOR LAW! The accumulated wisdown found necessary for civilization to prosper.

      Teh internets definitely promotes prostitution, hidden sales for drug abuse, child pornography, the embiggening of "sex positive" kooks and other "outliers" (the word Thad likes), anarchists, hidden manipulators of opinion (like the NYTimes and WashPo): in short, those who are trying to destroy the very Western civilization that generously allows them enough freedom so that very few face discrimination (that does NOT mean no one can say they don't like you, right? as I'm so often reminded here!) -- let alone face physical menace without society being enraged and duly prosecuting.

      But netwits, like programmers, can't stop at reasonable. So they keep chipping away until bring down the whole system.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 4:45pm

        Re: Re: As noted yesterday, you seem for sex-trafficking:

        Here we go again…

        Are you saying that can't possibly be true and actionable?

        No. No, they are not.

        your frequent repeating of that stance, when the case alleges crime that should be sanctioned and stopped, can only be explained by that you're actually FOR sex-trafficking. WHY ELSE OBJECT?

        Because Facebook, in this instance, would be a tool and not a true facilitator of trafficking. It would be like blaming the manufacturer of the car that killed Heather Heyer for her death: Yeah, they made the car, but they didn’t put the violent White supremacist behind the wheel or encourage him to ram a crowd of anti-fascist protestors. In that vein, Facebook (to the best of anyone’s knowledge) did not encourage or openly facilitate anyone in re: the commission of human trafficking.

        you continually assert that corporations have utterly arbitrary "right" to control what's on the "platform"!

        So what? We can both assert that proposition and shittalk a company that uses its right of moderation to ban what would otherwise be protected speech only because that speech is sexual in nature. The two positions are not mutually exclusive.

        you are now objecting over merely non-substantive, non-political, common decency control

        Honey, if you think talk about sex is “non-substantive” and “non-political” and any control of such talk is “common decency”, come talk to me when you have to put up with having a platform tell you that your saying “I’m gay” is unacceptable sexual talk.

        You don't just double down, you deca-down, constantly slipping in your prior unproven assertions to prove that you're again right.

        If you can prove that assertion wrong, offer the evidence instead of baseless insults that do nothing to prove the assertion wrong and do everything to make you look like a dope who cannot construct an argument to save their own life.

        By your notion, no law should ever be kept in place after six months in which hasn't totally reversed broad problems.

        FOSTA/SESTA was never designed to “reverse” the “broad problem” of human trafficking, at least not in any way in which people who know what the hell they are talking about would approve. It was designed, first and foremost, as a political ploy—a way for supporters of the bill to point at anyone who opposed the bill and say “they want sex traffickers to win” for the sake of scoring political points. Beyond that, any discernible positive effect it had was a mere side bonus.

        if are visible, then are not being taken down, so you can't claim that police were doing that job before: they were just letting it go.

        Not a contradiction. If the ads were visible and able to be seen by police, police could use those ads to set up stings and catch people in the act, as well as use information in the ads (and any data provided by the service hosting those ads) to track down traffickers without having to risk alerting said traffickers to the cops being on their tail. But now that FOSTA/SESTA has made those ads harder to track by driving them underground/making sure no company will risk legal liability by looking at such ads under any context, the cops have a much harder time of tracking the traffickers and stopping their crimes.

        Teh internets definitely promotes

        The Internet is a non-sentient global communications network. It promotes nothing. People promote those things you decry—as well as many, many other positive things that make the Internet a worthwhile endeavour. You appear have a problem with the tool instead of the people who misuse it.

        netwits, like programmers, can't stop at reasonable. So they keep chipping away until bring down the whole system.

        …says the guy who thinks every aspect of due process, from the presumption of innocence to a fair jury trial, should be denied to the “known guilty”.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 6:37pm

        Re: Re: As noted yesterday, you seem for sex-trafficking:

        What's wrong with anarchists? Personally, America doesn't need all these federalized militarized cops to be patrolling our streets. Local citizens could act swiftly for all the robbers, rapists and murderers without all the hooplah. No year long trials. No appeals taking many years and millions of tax payer monies. Its the paranoid politicians who are usurping America's freedoms and answering to the global corporations who need all these militarized forces cruising our streets.

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

        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 6:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: As noted yesterday, you seem for sex-trafficking:

          Wow. Your advocating mob rule? What about competing mobs?

          They are called gangs, aren't they? Who is to decide which mob rules? Talk about anarchy.

          Methinks anarchists are more about a change to something that makes more sense, even if via violent means, rather than to something that demands more violence. I don't see violence as a selling point to anarchy, though it might be a means to an end, it is not the end that is purported. Usually.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2018 @ 3:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: As noted yesterday, you seem for sex-trafficking

            Most people who call for a violent anarchy to replace government are not real anarchists, but rather tyrants who wish to seize power to impose their own tyranny.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2018 @ 8:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: As noted yesterday, you seem for sex-trafficking

            Not mob rule.. LOCAL RULE

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2018 @ 8:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: As noted yesterday, you seem for sex-trafficking

            State malitias were by forthought designed to protect Citizens against federal forces to prevent tyranny.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2018 @ 8:24am

          Re: Re: Re: As noted yesterday, you seem for sex-trafficking:

          So you're against due process and for vigilante justice? You're just going to assume someone is guilty and apply a punishment? Even if only 1% of people in prison are there unjustly because they were falsely accused, that still means that roughly 23,000 innocent people are in prison. Your solution is to punish someone without a trial? Yeah, I'm sure that will work well.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 12:54pm

      Re: As noted yesterday, you seem for sex-trafficking:

      "WHY ELSE OBJECT?"

      I find your lack of imagination disturbing.

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

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 1:00pm

      Re: As noted yesterday, you seem for sex-trafficking:

      It certainly appears that you have had a major attack of reading comprehension failure. Or is it just your agenda that is blinding you? Or that of your employers.

      Oh, and do you have any actual citations for any of your accusations? Many of the contributors here know exactly where Techdirt stands, and it isn't anywhere close to what you're saying.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 1:09pm

      Re: As noted yesterday, you seem for sex-trafficking:

      But does stomping on the NET stop anything, that isnt already happening..
      Or does the net Foster MORE of the same??
      If we turn everyone into a domesticated COW, does that mean it wont be USED and ABUSED for milk and food??

      Its like a Rich person happy he can Walk the world and never be mugged.. Or be Poor and know that the Rich wont abuse the Privilege..

      I would rather teach my children to take care of themselves, NOW when they are being taken advantage of, Know when to GET away from a situation, KNOW how to get things done and NOT EXPECT others to do it for them.

      Close your eyes and dream that the world is a Rosey world and Rainbow are every day.. Believe we are SUPPOSED to work our Ass's off all our lives, for OTHER persons profit and do NOTHING, and DIE when we are done..

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

    • identicon
      Will B., 7 Dec 2018 @ 1:48pm

      Your Daily Reminder

      ...to not feed the trolls, folks. Flag it and move on to better discussions.

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

  • icon
    ShadowNinja (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 12:44pm

    that the bill was really designed to end online pornography. It seems to be taking some steps towards that goal.

    What are the chances it fails miserably at that one to? Chances are pretty good in the end I'd say.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 4:47pm

      Re:

      Yeah and Techdirt is wrong when they say "it looks like those forces are finally winning." They are not winning and Techdirt of all sites should now that.

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

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 5:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Does that not depend upon ones perspective as to who is winning or not? If the 'winning' depends upon incremental steps towards ones goals, and other perceive those steps achieved as 'winning' then is it not appropriate to discern them as winning?

        Of course, in the end, will the folks who deny sex win? Even if they decry depictions of sex? Even if they wish to ban any thought of sex? Probably not. Sex has been around a long time. In fact it is part and parcel of our existence. If one looks at ancient civilizations closely, and without blinders, they would find that sex has been part of the entertainment schema for millennia.

        Is sex a bad thing? Not if you want progeny. But if you want to entertain yourself, or participate in sex without progeny then, to some, it is abhorrent. What’s the difference? If private, nothing, if public, or semi public then apparently a whole lot. It comes down to some individuals thinking they can determine what others think.

        Then, once accomplished, what other things can they determine whether you think them, or not? Stepping stones. Thought processes. Imagination. Sex. OMG, if there is one, what are the differences? And if there is one, and those thoughts are bad, why haven’t they been stopped already? Could we consider that a failure of God? Not so sure as many of the depictions of God are not actually interactive, and there is no actual expectation of intervention from above.

        Who are you to say what anyone else can see, say, imagine or think? Should the EU have that say? Should the Taliban? Should Protestants? How about Baptists? Or Mormons (or whatever the hell they want to call themselves now)? Or should it be Shinto’s, or Buddhists, or Amer Indians, or atheists, or any of the other thousand or so religions that currently exist and strive to say they are the one and only, but might not actually be because none of them have any actual proof? Or maybe some non religious sect? Why should you, or any government, or any group however defined, be able to tell anyone else how to think?

        I think for myself. I am influenced by others, both positively and negatively. I look for additional understanding. Others don’t, or are unable to for a variety of reasons, some of which are technical, and other are environmental (I cannot see other thinking because I am not allowed to). The better place is to have access, and think for oneself, rather than being indoctrinated and prevented from seeing other points of view.

        Make your own decisions, and then be prepared to stand by them. How are ‘they’ not winning?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2018 @ 8:31am

        Re: Re:

        Well, this and the fact that the GOP is becoming very interested in regulating the Internet because they don't like the search results isn't a very inspiring combination.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 6:43pm

      Re:

      If you don't like online pornograghy DON'T WATCH IT. You fucknuts think this is your playground and yours alone? Go fuck off.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 12:46pm

    This is the end result of Mike's "we should just let these corporations continue expanding their tentacles into every facet of the lives of billions of people, and trust them to self-regulate" idea.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 12:56pm

      Re:

      I was unaware of this idea, is it only in your head or can it be found elsewhere?

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 1:08pm

      Re:

      [Citation Needed] or Hitchen's Razor.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 1:35pm

      Re: I’m confused by you idiots.

      Wait is this s the most insignificant blog in the world or does Mike have to power to affect billions of lives with a singe post.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 2:50pm

        Affecting billions...

        Mike coined the Streisand Effect. It's certainly an effect, though billions is a reach.

        But it's a blog read by staffers of Senators, sometimes reaching the eyes of the senators themselves and other officials who have directly responded. So, not insignificant, let alone the most insignificant blog in the world.

        Feel free to take TechDirt up on its one-year-of-silence offer if you think its too influential.

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

        • icon
          James Burkhardt (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 3:15pm

          Re: Affecting billions...

          Poes law I think. This responce was to a comment, not the original article. He was addressing a trollish comment that suggested Mike's supposed corporate apologist stances lead to this very result. Noting that trolls have settled on the insignificance of this blog, he asked a somewhat strawmanish question of the troll, not Techdirt.

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

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 2:14pm

      Re:

      Im unsure how 'draconian law with ulterior motives that fails in its objective but is wildly destructive to the free flow of ideas' is the end result of 'we should just let these corporations continue expanding their tentacles into every facet of the lives of billions of people, and trust them to self-regulate'.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 12:52pm

    Unironically suicide is the only escape. Everyone seems to agree that big business wins this one forever. There is no more escape.

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

  • identicon
    tracyanne, 7 Dec 2018 @ 1:16pm

    There's an upside, I guess

    Facebook will slowly strangle itself.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 1:28pm

      Re: There's an upside, I guess

      "Facebook will slowly strangle itself."

      Great...that means that eventually Charter will buy the remains of Facebook to sling more ads at the product....I mean customers.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 1:16pm

    When you drive porn underground you can't regulate it.

    Perhaps you might like to rest assured that your naked-lady media only contains consenting women of majority who are treated fairly and produce in safe, clean working conditions?

    When we drive porn underground into the darknet, we drive end-consumers to the darknet, which creates a demand for easier access to and searches of the darknet.

    And all those regulations we hope to keep our porn clean, <poof> gone.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 1:42pm

    I suspect Facebook user numbers will be down some more in the next report. They already bleeding users like crazy and now they give people another great reason to not go there.

    Glad I don't have any of their stock.

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

  • identicon
    Glenn, 7 Dec 2018 @ 1:52pm

    I think the solution is to just ban sex itself. Problem solved. In another hundred years or so there'll be no one left to complain.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 2:12pm

    Will they stop at Facebook and other headliners or do they plan to go after the other 50% of the net that offers porn, live cams, etc. next? I suspect they'll stop at Facebook because that's the only "win" they need for their political resumes. If they do stop there I further suspect that will result in a global shrug because fuck Facebook.

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

  • identicon
    Dingus, 7 Dec 2018 @ 2:22pm

    Facebook does not equal the Internet

    I really wish people would stop equating Facebook with the Internet.

    They aren't the same thing in theory or reality.

    People who want to discuss all these things FB wants to ban can go create their own website/platform/user group/whatever and discuss them.

    Or they could like, actually meet other people and discuss them.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 2:34pm

      Re: Facebook does not equal the Internet

      Or they could like, actually meet other people and discuss them.

      How do they first find those people who may share the same unpopular or taboo views? Prior to the internet, they really didn't. Thus, the internet is their only choice for meeting those people and the only practical choice for discussion of those topics, for better or worse.

      If FB is acceding to these demands it's because they want to, not because they have to. As I'm sure I've said before, fuck Facebook. People will go elsewhere. FOSTA and Facebook's support of FOSTA will just provide the critical mass for such an endeavor to be successful.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 4:16pm

        Re: Re: Facebook does not equal the Internet

        "How do they first find those people who may share the same unpopular or taboo views? Prior to the internet, they really didn't."

        Not true. Before the internet, computers, TV, cinema, radio, people spent a lot more time outside their homes. It was mainly through word of mouth that men learned about, and were invited to join secret organizations from the KKK to Skull & Bones. And leafletting has been around for nearly as long as the printing press.

        Let's not forget that "extremist" views were once common throughout mainstream media. Henry Ford owned the Dearborn Independent, through which he regularly criticized Jews. At the same time, popular radio broadcaster Charles Coughlin, a catholic priest, also laid into Jews, who as a group often owned the banks which failed and took with them many people's life savings in the Depression years. (less known, Coughlin also spewed hatred toward the KKK)

        Even before the Internet, there was the unregulated "wild west" of shortwave radio, and some extremist/conspiracy-theory/far-right oriented newsletters were advertised on more mainstream publications like Soldier of Fortune magazine.

        But probably by far the biggest source of non-government-approved extremist opinion has been through churches. Many small independent churches, both Black and White, have a tradition of controversial speakers, both as guest speakers, as well as the resident pastor. Many people who've never been to any of these small churches (and there are very many of them) would be shocked to learn the stuff that goes on there. Texe Marrs is basically an older grey haired version of Alex Jones with a clerical collar, and probably far more influential, despite being almost unknown to the general public, outside of the many churches he speaks at.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 2:51pm

      You don't say

      Agreed, the people in your head making that silly conflation do sound rather silly.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 10:12pm

      Re: Facebook does not equal the Internet

      You are assuming that those people can go out and meet others without the internet.

      There are problems that already discourage those people from that idea at best while actively preventing them at worst.

      People can suffer from (among other things)

      1. Being immunosuppressed

      2. Being unable to travel to others due to other physical or financial problems.

      3. Crippling Social Anxiety

      4. Problems of physical location (Some people live far from cities or towns.)

      Many people don't have the knowledge or ability to implement a new website/platform. Nor would they abruptly switch to another one if the people they talked to didn't wish to join alongside them.

      While I agree Facebook is not equal to the internet, your proposed alternative are not only unhelpful and potentially difficult but also downright insulting.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2018 @ 9:13am

      Re: Facebook does not equal the Internet

      A novel concept indeed.

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

  • icon
    Bergman (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 2:31pm

    How do you object to content without knowledge of it?

    To trigger a FOSTA violation, a site must do two things.

    It must facilitate FOSTA's definition of sex trafficking -- which is achieved simply by someone being physically capable of posting a prohibited comment or ad.

    It must have knowledge that the comment/ad exists.

    If it has both, then CDA 230 does not apply to the site. So, given than 230 allows sites to moderate second and third party content without being liable for it as the publisher, then 230 not applying means all that liability 230 was enacted to prevent comes rushing back.

    So how do you moderate a forum to remove prohibited content without demonstrating knowledge that the content is there?

    Oops.

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

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Dec 2018 @ 5:11pm

      Re: How do you object to content without knowledge of it?

      Maybe a more relevant question would be, how does one go about creating the 'town square' environment where anything that does not incite riot is allowed to be said? Is there a way to listen to what you want to listen to without screening things you don't want to hear but are legitimate to be heard and might, at some point, change minds? Is there a legitimate way to discern hate speech and leave it aside? Is there a legitimate way for one to mount the soapbox in the town square and for others to walk away when they don't like what they hear?

      Leaving it to algorithms means that the decisions are made by the algorithm makers, which is different than me deciding I don't want to hear from, well 'that asshole', however I decide what 'that asshole' is.

      The problem is that some governments are pushing to control speech with financial/legal burdens, and that some corporations are acquiescing to those controls for, well let's face it, financial reasons, even if those burdens are for some part of their market, maybe a big part, maybe a small part, but sufficient a part to effect the whole system.

      There is nothing that says that corporations must have values. That is for their customers to decide. The question must be resolved by users understanding the difference between their being user, or customers. The ad buyers are the customers, and the users are the product. Not news to many here, but new to many users.

      Then there is the question, where is the town square in the Internet age? The consideration of where you are is both important and unimportant as not all of us are part of your struggle, though letting the rest of us know that you are in a struggle might be benificial to both you and us.

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

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 7 Dec 2018 @ 3:14pm

    So, No More How’s Your Father, Then

    Or talking about Hamptons.

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

  • identicon
    Vic, 7 Dec 2018 @ 4:32pm

    What can I say FB? (or should I expand to more explicit Facebook?).......

    Woof!

    (Oops, I am getting banned!)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 4:44pm

    "Unfortunately, it looks like those forces are finally winning."

    No they are not.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2018 @ 9:15am

      Re:

      Yes, they are. They already have control of the FCC and they want to regulate Google because the search results hurt their feelings.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2018 @ 5:49pm

    Remember to hate me on facebook.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Emma (profile), 8 Dec 2018 @ 2:47am

    thanks

    Die größte Feier des Jahres ist Neujahr gekommen. In der Feier werden verschiedene Traditionen befolgt. Eine meiner besten und liebevollen Traditionen ist das Verschenken von Geschenken und das Versenden von Grüßkarten an alle Angehörigen, Freunde und Verwandte. <a href="https://silvester2019bilder.de/">Silvester 2019 Whatsapp bilder</a>In dieser modernen Ära der technik wird alles einfacher. Das Versenden von Wünschen zu diesem Anlass ist ebenfalls einfacher geworden, da Sie es ohne verzögerungen online versenden können.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Emma (profile), 8 Dec 2018 @ 2:48am

    Silvester 2019 Whatsapp bilder

    Die größte Feier des Jahres ist Neujahr gekommen. In der Feier werden verschiedene Traditionen befolgt. Eine meiner besten und liebevollen Traditionen ist das Verschenken von Geschenken und das Versenden von Grüßkarten an alle Angehörigen, Freunde und Verwandte.In dieser modernen Ära der technik wird alles einfacher. Das Versenden von Wünschen zu diesem Anlass ist ebenfalls einfacher geworden, da Sie es ohne verzögerungen online versenden können.

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

  • icon
    Mark Jeffery (profile), 8 Dec 2018 @ 6:47am

    Cunts.

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

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 10 Dec 2018 @ 10:24am

    Artwork isn't sex trafficking

    Can someone from Facebook please explain how "Content (hand drawn, digital, or real-world art) that may depict ... suggestively posed person(s)" has any affect whatsoever on sex trafficking? You mean my adult drawings, which I drew from scratch using my own imagination and no real people, somehow contributes the issues that FOSTA is supposed to stop?
    Then why didn't they name the law "to stop sex trafficking and all adult artwork"?

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 10 Dec 2018 @ 10:50am

      Re: Artwork isn't sex trafficking

      Then why didn't they name the law "to stop sex trafficking and all adult artwork"?

      Because that would have made it harder to pass. I mean, they didn't call it the USA PATRIOT Act because that was an accurate description.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, 10 Dec 2018 @ 10:45am

    That first one is particularly nice, given that practically any statement can the read as vaguely suggestive, if you know what I mean.

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

  • identicon
    A Little-Moore, 11 Dec 2018 @ 9:59am

    Techdirt always for porn, despite facts:

    Due to porn, children are sexually assaulting other children at alarming rates

    The Children's Mercy hospital says that they are seeing "a disturbing trend in child sexual assault cases," and that pornography has a lot to do with it. Heide Olson, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, noted that the number of offenders between 11 and 15 years of age is unprecedented: "I think [what] was kind of shocking to us all as we were collecting this data, is that almost half of our perpetrators are minors."

    https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/children-abusing-children-childrens-mercy-sees-d angerous-trend-involving-children-and-porn

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Dec 2018 @ 10:16am

      "pornography has a lot to do with it."

      This is not even adequately established by deduction or intuition, let alone determined in a peer-reviewed study.

      Children's Mercy is a Catholic hospital, and is closely controlled by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops by the same control-the-sex agenda that drives the Vatican (to the point they ignore the wars on hunger and poverty, these days).

      This is an mechanism of an institution that wants to get its marriage licensing monopoly back.

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


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