Google Still Says Our Post On Content Moderation Is Dangerous Or Derogatory

from the sure-ok-whatever dept

Back in October, we wrote about how Google had declared -- with no details -- that an earlier post we had done was "dangerous or derogatory" and that it would no longer allow AdSense ads on that page. The real irony? The original post (which contains nothing dangerous or derogatory) was about the "impossible choices" platforms have to make when moderating speech on their platforms. So, what better example than "moderating" an article about how internet platforms will always be bad at content moderation.

We had requested a "review" of the designation when we first got it, and Google initially rescinded the decision, before reinstating it a few weeks later. We appealed again... and were rejected. That's when I wrote the article. Soon afterwards, some people from Google reached out to discuss what happened. As I've said all along -- and as I said directly to people at Google -- the company has every right to make these calls however they want. I certainly understand how it's impossible to craft reasonable rules that can be applied at scale without making "mistakes" (and I still maintain this is a mistake). My one request was that the company be a bit more forthcoming about why we were dinged, so that, at the very least, if there was a real issue, we could make a determination on our own about whether or not we agreed and if there was anything worth changing. I didn't get a response to that specific request and I can guess why: given how much content needs to be moderated, it would likely add significant overhead that probably isn't worth it for any "edge cases."

Either way, we left things alone. If Google doesn't want to put AdSense on that page, fine. Adsense pays next to nothing anyway. But, what's weird is that over this past weekend, Google decided to complain to us again about the same damn page. I had simply assumed that once we left things as is that page was on some sort of permanent "bad" list. But, for whatever reason, the company decided that it was urgent to alert us that the page they already (stupidly) called "dangerous and derogatory" was now being declared "dangerous and derogatory" once again. Because we got a new notification, I clicked the appeal button once again, and on Monday morning the company rejected our appeal. Again, that's Google prerogative, though it looks kinda silly. Why even bother us to tell us that this page you already decided (incorrectly) is a problem is still a problem? We're not changing anything, so just don't put ads on it and stop bugging us about it.

One other note on all of this: while the folks at Google (understandably) couldn't tell us why the story was dinged in the first place, they did note that it might be because of user comments -- and pointed me to this post about "managing the risk of user comments." What struck me as somewhat astounding about that article is that it is Google more or less taking the exact opposite stance it normally takes on intermediary liability. While Google (correctly) fights for intermediary liability protections in government policy around the globe, here it says that if you have any kind of user generated content on your site -- such as comments -- then you are responsible for that content.

First, understand that as a publisher, you are responsible for ensuring that all comments on your site or app comply with all of our applicable program policies on all of the pages where Google ad code appears. This includes comments that are added to your pages by users, which can sometimes contain hate speech or explicit text.

Knowing this, please read Strategies for managing user-generated content. Make sure you understand how to mitigate risk before you enable comments or other forms of user-generated content. Managing comments on your site pages is your responsibility, so make sure you know what you’re getting into. For example, you’ll need to ensure you review and moderate comments consistently so as to ensure policy compliance so that Google ads can run.

Obviously, there's some level of difference between being legally liable in court and just having ads taken off of your site. But it's pretty incredible to see Google using this kind of language when talking to smaller sites, telling them that they are responsible, and that they have to institute certain specific moderation schemes, while at the same time fighting vehemently against any effort by the government to impose similar restrictions on themselves regarding responsibility and content moderation. It feels... a bit hypocritical.

So, it is indeed possible that it's the comments on our page that keep getting us dinged -- there is one in particular that uses some "derogatory" words/phrases (though, incredibly, that comment is using that language in an effort to demonstrate a point about content moderation, rather than using them in a derogatory manner). And yet, we get dinged for it. We won't remove that comment, because there is no reason to.

But, in a way, this all highlights, again, the very mess we were describing in that original post: content moderation at scale is impossible to do well. You have to write rules that can be consistently applied by a large group of folks who have to review pages very quickly. So it's likely that somewhere in those rules is a prohibition on putting advertising next to certain "derogatory" words. That seems like a clearly drawn line... until there's a comment that isn't using those words in a derogatory manner, but rather to demonstrate questions about content moderation. But there's no exception written into the rules, and there's no allowance for taking the context into account (which would be impossible in its own right, because no reviewer is going to have the time to understand all the context).

Of course, it would be nice if Google just explained that to us, rather than just telling us that the page has derogatory content with no other details. But, what are you going to do... other than post another post about it?

Filed Under: adsense, content moderation, dangerous and derogatory
Companies: google


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  • icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:06pm

    more forthcoming about why we were dinged

    I suspect, especially since the possibility of the Comments being part of it, that it's a fairly simple reason - they're probably using a point system and too many points gets you dinged.

    Likely number of times entries on a table of "bad words and phrases" on each page.

    And that's probably why they won't give you a specific on that article - if they handed them out people would compile a list of what "bad words and phrases" google is using, and either build their own filters or work-around systems.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:40pm

      Re: more forthcoming about why we were dinged

      People would build their own filters? So the pages wouldn't have the content google didn't want?

      Isn't that "mission accomplished?"

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:57pm

        Re: Re: more forthcoming about why we were dinged

        No, because those would just get filtered out for googlebot, not for actual visitors.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:05pm

          Re: Re: Re: more forthcoming about why we were dinged

          showing different content for G-bot as a normal viewer is a site-wide ding.

          I would just block, or put into review, messages that didn't meet the criteria.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 2:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: more forthcoming about why we were dinged

            Not because you'd show a different page to the google-bot, but because people would try to min-max to get just enough content in that barely misses the filter. Gaming the System - it's why these companies are often less than forthcoming about the details of how they rate or moderate content.
            Google used to tell everyone pretty much how they ranked sites. And SEO's gamed that to bump rating.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:16pm

    Ooo! Dangerous or Derogatory comments can shut down that delicious ad revenue kickbacks you get from Google because you are a Google shill?

    Well here we go! time to trip that tag!

    You should run with scissors!

    Operate a motor vehicle after drinking powerful cough syrup!

    Don't vaccinate!

    Don't eat your vegetables!

    Close your eyes and cover your ears before crossing the street!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:40pm

      Re:

      Allow the commonors to have a voice!

      Text with multiple people while you drive!

      Be friends with someone who lives in Iran!

      Attempt to bribe a cardboard cutout!

      Am I on the right track?

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:37pm

      Re:

      Talk with your mouth full
      Bite the hand that feeds you
      Bite off more than you can chew
      What can you do?
      You can dare to be stupid!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Jan 2019 @ 8:18am

      Re:

      *ahem* NIGGER!
      Read a book! Read a book! Read a mother fucking book, nigger!
      Not a sports page not a magazine, But a book nigger, a fuckin' book nigger
      Raise yo' kids, raise yo' kids, raise yo' god damn kids
      Your body needs water, so drink that shit
      Buy some land, buy some land Fuck spinnin' rims
      Brush yo' teeth, brush yo' teeth, brush yo' god damn teeth
      Wear deodorant nigger, wear deodorant nigger
      It's called Speed Stick (bitch) it's not expensive (bitch)
      Read a book! Read a book! Read a mother fucking book!

      There, copyright violation AND the most problematic word this side of the melatonin divide. Soon TechDirt will fall *MUAHAHAHA*.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:16pm

    ... and then they came for me.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:37pm

      Re:

      I don't think... that means what you think it means, especially if you think this story implies what that poem is about...

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Billy Goat (in contrast to the fanboy-trolls), 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:49pm

        Re: Re: "... and then they came for me."

        I don't think... that means what you think it means

        Gee, Masnick, I thought that was admirably succinct and cogent in saying that if that abitrary corporate control is allowed to increase, then eventually they control everyone.

        But clearly you still side with Google against we mere "natural" persons. That's proven by, as I note below, you are "sponsored" by Google and at least once got its general counsel to come to a "Copia" meeting. So certainly at least for purposes of interpreting that quote, your opinion is Theirs.

        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, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: "... and then they came for me."

          Ok Mike, from here on out, I will self filter what free speech comes out of my mouth so the dicks at google will be happy.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: "... and then they came for me."

          As I note below below, your logic below is flawed. So your conclusion is incorrect.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: "... and then you lied”

          Does it hurt to have to constantly warp reality to fit your bullshit preconceptions. Or are you so inured to lying it’s the only way you can get off?

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

        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 2:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's proven by, as I note below, you are "sponsored" by Google...

          Let me get this straight. If you accept a gift or a one time sponsorship from someone, you are considered a "shill" for them until the end of time, even if you constantly call them out for doing stupid shit?

          If we use your (faulty) logic, we would have to assume that YOU are a Techdirt shill, since you freely accept Techdirt's "gift" of allowing you to publish your comments here.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 2:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And by extension, since TechDirt gets AdSense kickbacks from him visiting this site, he's also supporting Google and their DoubleClick ad empire.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:38pm

      Re:

      The men in white coats with nets? Finally!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:38pm

    Layers of hypocrisy

    Not only is Google being hypocritical about content restrictions, their "Manage the risk of user comments" page has a comments section on the same page as the published article, which is the very behavior the article discourages!

    I realize the page doesn't use AdSense itself, but the sidebars do look like ads for AdSense. If someone makes derogatory comments on that page, does Google have to remove the AdSense ad?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:41pm

    The most horrible

    You know the worst thing about all this?
    Google is both right and wrong about the hole they they have.
    On one hand a lot of the stuff is self inflicted.
    On the other when they tried to go free speech god someone would call out and say that it was “derogatory hurtful blah” and people started another dime a dozen boycott. And those same people have a pearl box like everyone else on the internet.

    And that’s the internet today.

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

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    identicon
    Billy Goat (in contrast to the fanboy-trolls), 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:44pm

    What you proved is that Google's review fails. Repeatedly.

    Since you have some inflence at Google (on Copia site you claimed that its General Counsel came to a meeting with you!) there's no solution to that except break up massively indifferent corporation before it gets worse.

    Now, the funny part is you found out: 1) that you're the Publisher of all comments here (which is exactly what you claim when assert are editor and can edit / remove any, where "editing" includes a warning and requiring a click), 2) that even Google considers the speech you allow here to be "dangerous and derogatory" which is my opinion too (of fanboys), and 3) that GOOGLE therefore expects YOU to police the site (as I once did too, again for the nasty fanboys, not my mild-mannered bullet points).

    All wrapped up in its own contradictory statements! GOOGLE does what it wants to mere users (even shills whom it "supports", take the Copia link) regardless of what prvileges it uses for self. That's below hypocrisy to truly dangerous degree of corporate control.

    WHICH corporate control you support! You STILL assert above that Google (or other "platforms") have arbitrary Right to control ALL speech.

    ALL access to teh internets is through some corporation, so logically, you support TOTAL control of "natural" persons speech through corporations, which is simply neo-fascism.

    For someone who supposedly supports "free speech", you sure are blithe about the obvious trend. Guess you only complain when affects you.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:48pm

      Re: What you proved is that Google's review fails. Repeatedly.

      Oh look, you're still lying.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Billy Goat (in contrast to the fanboy-trolls), 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:52pm

        Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fails. Repeatedl

        Oh look, you're still lying.

        What's a lie anywhere, snowflake?

        And what other site has commenters so lame? Just the most general purpose boilerplate assertion.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fails. Repea

          > And what other site has commenters so lame?

          The one that immediately jumps to mind is YouTube?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fails. Repea

          Well, for starters, you claim statements that don't exist.

          Also, there's that constantly reoccurring lie where you promised to leave and never come back, and then didn't (not that anyone expected you to be honest).

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Billy Goat (in contrast to the fanboy-trolls), 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fails. R

            Well, for starters, you claim statements that don't exist.

            Any specific from my text above? Or just more generic accusation?

            Also, there's that constantly reoccurring lie where you promised to leave and never come back, and then didn't (not that anyone expected you to be honest).

            This shows you're a regular, probably an "account" or other astro-turfer going "AC" so don't have to take responsibility for assertions in future.

            For any new readers: what I wrote was a dare that I didn't expect to be taken because I put so many conditions on it. Was also ON-TOPIC illustration, not just a dare. Masnick bit on it. -- And it's PAID OFF big time since the fanboys have been whining about it for MONTHS now!

            Here's what I wrote, snowflake (and it's also on-topic here!):

            Tell ya what, Msnick. If you'll refute that -- not just quote and contradict but show / argue basis in law -- then I'll never darken your site. -- Before accepting, keep in mind the very point under debate: I hold that "your site" is the part outside the Comments area! You exercise editorial control to initiate topics and write as wish, BUT must NOT control comments from ME or anyone in the part where you cede control to The Public by providing code for an HTML input form, visibly reserve no rights, and especially with your continual trumpeting belief in "free speech".

            Since you brought it up, show how that's a lie when all is read.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The truth will set you free.

              You made a bet, you lost, you welshed on it. Make whatever lame bulkshit excuses you want, but that’s what happened. Even you know deep down inside somewhere that it’s true or you wouldn’t get soooo butt hurt every time it gets thrown in your face. Poor sad blue balled snowflake.

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

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                Billy Goat (in contrast to the fanboy-trolls), 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:56pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The truth will set you free.

                You made a bet, you lost, you welshed on it.

                Not a bet, a challenge. Spelled "welched", don't demean the fine Welsh people. And I didn't, in any case, as anyone who reads the above can see.

                Make whatever lame bulkshit excuses you want, but that’s what happened.

                "bulkshit", another good word! Too bad you can only come up with those when drunk, Timmy.

                Even you know deep down inside somewhere that it’s true or you wouldn’t get soooo butt hurt every time it gets thrown in your face.

                Hmm. Interesting philosophy you have there. One could never honestly disagree or be hurt by false accusations.

                Meanwhile, YOU are going on with a now antique claim! Sheesh!

                Poor sad blue balled snowflake

                Heh, heh. Down to mere words. Guess your intent is to hurt me, which again, ON-TOPIC: doesn't help the site.

                YOU are why even Google has to mark pages as "dangerous and derogatory"! Not me. YOU.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 2:22pm

                  Re: I’m the goddamn Batman.

                  Oh know i spelled some words wrongs.


                  Bro if that’s the best you got...

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 3:01pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The truth will set you free.

                  Oh hell. Guess what, bro? Welched comes from the exact same Saxon root as Welsh, meaning foreigner. Misspelling or not, it is the same. Which is why one should not demean the native Cymry by calling them foreigners in the language of invaders, who are the true Wælisc. Clever jab, derpy.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 3:44pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The truth will set you free.

                  > You made a bet, you lost, you welshed on it.

                  Not a bet, a challenge. Spelled "welched", don't demean the fine Welsh people. And I didn't, in any case, as anyone who reads the above can see.

                  You're wrong. Welshed is a correct form of the word and probably has nothing to do with Wales.

                  You're welcome.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 2:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fail

              You're lying about lying. It's hilarious.

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

            • icon
              techflaws (profile), 12 Jan 2019 @ 1:36am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fail

              It PAID OFF big in terms of you cementing your position as a first-class lying asshat that gets reported each and every time you post.

              Well done! Tired of winning yet?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: Stop lying and we will stop calling you a liar

          What’s funny is you; the most precious princess this side of Disney calling someone else a snowflake.

          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, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fails. Repea

          Here ya go...damn near all lies...

          "Since you have some inflence at Google (on Copia site you claimed that its General Counsel came to a meeting with you!) there's no solution to that except break up massively indifferent corporation before it gets worse.

          Now, the funny part is you found out: 1) that you're the Publisher of all comments here (which is exactly what you claim when assert are editor and can edit / remove any, where "editing" includes a warning and requiring a click), 2) that even Google considers the speech you allow here to be "dangerous and derogatory" which is my opinion too (of fanboys), and 3) that GOOGLE therefore expects YOU to police the site (as I once did too, again for the nasty fanboys, not my mild-mannered bullet points).

          All wrapped up in its own contradictory statements! GOOGLE does what it wants to mere users (even shills whom it "supports", take the Copia link) regardless of what prvileges it uses for self. That's below hypocrisy to truly dangerous degree of corporate control.

          WHICH corporate control you support! You STILL assert above that Google (or other "platforms") have arbitrary Right to control ALL speech.

          ALL access to teh internets is through some corporation, so logically, you support TOTAL control of "natural" persons speech through corporations, which is simply neo-fascism.

          For someone who supposedly supports "free speech", you sure are blithe about the obvious trend. Guess you only complain when affects you."

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

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            identicon
            Billy Goat (in contrast to the fanboy-trolls), 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fails. R

            Here ya go...damn near all lies...

            So instead of arguing specifics you copy ALL of my comment! Interesting new tactic. But not convincing to anyone reasonable.

            But THANKS, because that's now been hidden! (As Techdirt euphemizes censoring.)

            New piece up, I'm out, so continute to copy-paste all you want, with my thanks.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 3:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fail

              Back to breitbart, your bastion of free speech, eh?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:54pm

      Re: What you proved is that Google's review fails. Repeatedly.

      I think you misunderstand freedom of speech.

      Freedom of speech means that those who govern do not have the right to direct what the public can and cannot say.

      This is a case of Google stating that they won't place their customer's ads on a page that says things Google doesn't like.

      If Google was run by the government, this would be a problem, but otherwise it isn't.

      A bigger issue is that the government's decisions are being heavily influenced by the same corporations that are exerting control over what people can and cannot say on the Internet -- but that's a separate issue.

      Every person (and by extension, corporation) has the right to control their own speech without government intervention. Also, every person (and by extension, corporation) has the right to control what speech they consume and what speech they ignore, without government intervention.

      And that's what's going on here.

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

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        identicon
        Billy Goat (in contrast to the fanboy-trolls), 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:05pm

        Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fails. Repeatedl

        Oh, it's ME who doesn't understand "free speech"!

        Also, every person (and by extension, corporation) has the right to control what speech they consume and what speech they ignore, without government intervention.

        Except that's NOT what's going on here.

        You are in practice advocating that a mere fictional (and at same time MASSIVE in its wealth and influence) corporation has a Right to control the speech of third parties by leaning on a second party!

        Modern censorship is/will be indirect. But just because Eric Schmidt and other Googlers aren't goose-stepping with death's-head emblems on their black power-suits, doesn't mean that we "natural" persons will be any less censored than by government.

        Again, ANY law OR practice that RESULTS in censorship is against the law in the US of A. That's what Supreme Court has found in various anti-trust (and should again when cases are forced to its view, corporations and lawyers try to dodge that). -- And in ANY case, We The People have last and final say. We didn't have to suffer the King of England, we don't have to suffer corporate royalty, EITHER.

        Stop thinking inside the corporate box.

        (As if you're an "AC", too. Some regular, obviously.)

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fails. Repea

          You are in practice advocating that a mere fictional (and at same time MASSIVE in its wealth and influence) corporation has a Right to control the speech of third parties by leaning on a second party!

          That's what you're asserting, but it's not what I'm doing. What I'm doing is stating how things currently exist. And as I mentioned, the real issue is in giving these fictional people the ability to influence government. Take that away, and the problem is gone. Of course, I'm not sure I agree with the current freedom of speech laws as they pertain to corporations either, but that's neither here nor there.

          Modern censorship is/will be indirect. But just because Eric Schmidt and other Googlers aren't goose-stepping with death's-head emblems on their black power-suits, doesn't mean that we "natural" persons will be any less censored than by government.

          Except you're conflating censorship with influencing arenas of speech. I agree that the corporate control over popular speech as we have it today is dangerous, but the means to combating it is totally different than with censorship. We need to break up the corporations and limit how much they can control. Then we have to prevent them colluding. That's separate from censorship.

          Again, ANY law OR practice that RESULTS in censorship is against the law in the US of A. That's what Supreme Court has found in various anti-trust (and should again when cases are forced to its view, corporations and lawyers try to dodge that). -- And in ANY case, We The People have last and final say. We didn't have to suffer the King of England, we don't have to suffer corporate royalty, EITHER.

          And as I pointed out, censorship doesn't apply here, so this entire argument is pointless.

          Stop thinking inside the corporate box.

          Stop assuming I am.

          (As if you're an "AC", too. Some regular, obviously.)

          I'm a regular all right... and I've always posted anonymously because this site gives me the right to do so. I have no account. You'll see my comments on here going back a decade, and they're all as AC. Because I have the freedom to do so.

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

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            identicon
            Billy Goat (in contrast to the fanboy-trolls), 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fails. R

            First, in part: Whoops. The gravatars were similar. You are a different "AC".

            Yet all I wrote stills stands. YOU AGREE with my key point:

            I agree that the corporate control over popular speech as we have it today is dangerous,

            And I say that We The People don't have to allow FICTIONS to RULE us. -- On that and only that do you not agree?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fail

              > And I say that We The People don't have to allow FICTIONS to RULE us. -- On that and only that do you not agree?

              I totally agree. And yet because the majority is sated and the US is a democratic republic, You The People allow it. And the fix isn't to bash Masnick or Google or even the concept of the corporation, it's to enact real election reform so that lobbying is no longer as effective. And after that, re-fund congress so they can write their own laws instead of having lobbyists do it for them.

              Those two changes will fix a LOT of the issues both you and Masnick write about.

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

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                identicon
                Billy Goat (in contrast to the fanboy-trolls), 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:49pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review

                First, I also read yours too hastily. I'm entirely used to the fanboys here with quote-and-contradict, so whoops, sorry.

                However, we still disagree, I guess on just tactics:

                And the fix isn't to bash Masnick or Google or even the concept of the corporation, it's to enact real election reform so that lobbying is no longer as effective.

                Hmm. It's a good WISH, but for now, you're still allowing corporations to run wild, which is all they need. No decency or human feelings will ever stop them, are effectively amoral beasts. This is a site where corporatism is pushed (in my view), so it'll do for where to oppose it.

                But let's end on what's for me a RARE accord even in part. I'm losing track with my tiny little mind. Thanks.

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 2:11pm

                  For all your bitching about Google, you have proposed precisely no practical solutions to the Google “problem”. You have done nothing to organize people into pragmatic action that could alter Google’s behaviour/business model.

                  You cannot stop Google on your own. Neither can I. The only way to “defeat” Google is to organize people for mass activities such as…

                  • educating less tech-savvy people about Google’s behaviour and how it affects their online life

                  • petitioning web browser developers to have their browsers to use privacy-conscious search engines such as DuckDuckGo as the default

                  • teaching people how to “block” Google servers via the HOSTS file

                  • moving people away from Chrome and Chromium-based browsers to reduce, or at least mitigate, Chromium’s growing presence as the primary web rendering engine

                  None of those actions, whether alone or combined, will ultimately “defeat” Google in an immediate, feel-good way. And none of those efforts will mean anything if you are the only one who signs a petition, changes a browser, or switches to DDG. Helping people understand what Google does and giving them the tools to pull off organized actions such as what I described above is the only way to make Google take notice of your complaints and concerns.

                  Until you can pull off that kind of mass action, all you are doing when you complain about Google is spitting into the wind.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 2:30pm

                    Re:

                    And, of course, complaining on here, where everyone else is already fully aware of the issues, has made their own decisions, and has, more often than not, already taken some form of action, is pointless -- especially when the complaining devolves into name calling those people who most likely share at least some of your opinions.

                    I look forward to reading about Billy Goat's grass roots actions (not proposals) to enact change.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2019 @ 7:38pm

                      Re: Re:

                      After reading the majority of comments on this post, its easy to see where google gets its ideas that commenters at Techdirt may be less than cordial about some matters in the world.

                      So, what's the problem?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 3:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fail

              And I say that We The People don't have to allow FICTIONS to RULE us.

              Government is a fiction by your rules, but their rule is better than the warlord rule that arises when governments fail.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: So close to a moment of self awareness

          Yes it’s you who doesn’t understand. Despite the good people here tepetedly taking time out of their busy day to try to educate you. Yet you persist in remaining an ignorant motherfucker.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Billy Goat (in contrast to the fanboy-trolls), 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So close to a moment of self awareness

            Despite the good people here tepetedly taking time out of their busy day to try to educate you.

            "tepetedly" must be combination of heatedly and repeatedly.

            Yet you persist in remaining an ignorant motherfucker.

            First, that should be Techdirt's motto. The fanboys can't understand why the whole world doesn't just bow down and obey their pet notions.

            2nd: Then why do you persist with ineffective?

            3rd: another regular, likely Timothy Geigner aka "Dark Helmet" after the howling sperring mistake above and using that phrase.

            Not helping the site any, and on a topic where problem is "dangerous and derogatory" comments mean Google complains. Guess you fanboys are going for another!

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 6:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Do you... not have mirrors under your bridge?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 10:01pm

              Re: Warning snowflake alert.

              Damn bro. That one must have hurt. I can practically hear your tears from here. And the fact that you lash out at the wrong folks just adds a frisson of flavour to your meltdown.

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

        • icon
          btr1701 (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 3:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: What you proved is that Google's review fails. Repea

          > Again, ANY law OR practice that RESULTS in censorship is
          > against the law in the US of A.

          Cite that law. Code, title, section, please.

          Put it here--->

          (Betcha can't.)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 12:51pm

    google. is DANGEROUS AND DEROGATORY.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:05pm

    This makes me wonder...

    Did Google really get out of China or are they testing the social credit system in THIS country?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:12pm

    So it's likely that somewhere in those rules is a prohibition on putting advertising next to certain "derogatory" words.

    And what are the chances of Google making the word list available for sites to check against? I would bet on them refusing because that would allow people to game the system.

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

    • icon
      Bamboo Harvester (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:28pm

      Re:

      Exactly.

      If *I* had even half the list of words/phrases that the bot dings, I'd set up a bot to post those items to every website I could that I disagree with.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:44pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm really surprised nobody's started doing that at techdirt; there's some people who frequent here who wouldn't find that below them. They wouldn't even need the list -- they could just harvest the likely comments from the article Google blocked.

        Only saying this because I'm sure others have already thought it.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:14pm

    "First, understand that as a publisher, you are responsible for ensuring that all comments on your site or app comply with all of our applicable program policies on all of the pages where Google ad code appears. This includes comments that are added to your pages by users, which can sometimes contain hate speech or explicit text. "

    I can understand why Google is confused as they feel they are responsible for all content they index on the web. Why else would they be responding to DMCA notices over content they don't control?

    "Knowing this, please read Strategies for managing user-generated content. Make sure you understand how to mitigate risk before you enable comments or other forms of user-generated content. Managing comments on your site pages is your responsibility, so make sure you know what you’re getting into. For example, you’ll need to ensure you review and moderate comments consistently so as to ensure policy compliance so that Google ads can run. "

    Nice policy, dumbasses. Do you think perhaps giving a hint about what you actually find objectionable MIGHT be useful rather than sites having to post entire dictionary pages until we can find the handful of forbidden words??
    You OBVIOUSLY know which words you forbid, so why keep it a fsckign secret? (Unless you are unwilling to provide it because you've outsourced your reviews to ESL reviewers in other countries who can not interpret anything as a native speaker would & just tick the box on anything that they might feel ookie about even if the ookiness is caused by not understanding context or multiple meanings to things.)

    Have a fscking policy, but spell out the actual violations.
    No website has weeks to test & retest a page you all complain about looking for the single word that gets it flagged. (Cause one is willing to bet that those same words in a slightly different order don't trip the ZOMG NO ADS FOR JOO! emails.)

    It is more insane that even after the site removes the fscking ad code from the page... you still come back bitching about the super secret thing that means you won't Adsense the page, that doesn't have adsense on it...

    "dangerous and derogatory"
    You understand these words have 3000 meanings depending on the region, culture, & local laws on the subject... so they are pretty much worthless unless you just want to arbitrarily punish people but hide behind policy.

    230 says something about not being held as the publisher of other peoples words... why is your policy not reflective of this?
    Why is it Mike has gotten a couple contacts from some alphabet agencies over comments made, but not about the most "dangerous and derogatory" post on the site?

    Perhaps having a nebulous system isn't a good way to run a business, that if you make it to hard to get an straight answer people will look elsewhere. I mean its not like you've assisted corporation claim ownership over white noise, bird calls, silence... oh... wait.... you have. And because your system is so opaque, unresponsive, & weighted against users they just give up.

    At least when Twitter went stupid & banned me they showed me the naughty tweet that caused it, & rejected the appeal because it promoted hatred towards others... which it did no such thing. It was because they saw the word faggot & assumed there was no use of that word except by bad people to make other people sad. When I called them out to explain how calling myself the offending word promoted hatred towards others did they stop & consider context and notice... they were out of their fscking minds.

    Go home Adsense, you're drunk.
    Stop giving unhelpful definitions & flag specific things if you want people to bother. The web is much worse when the users can't participate because sites have to fear that someone will type an unknown forbidden word or phrase that will kill the pittance of revenue you provide. You might think you are the only game in town... Have you stopped and considered that's what 'Ask Jeeves' or 20 other forgotten search engines thought when you launched?

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

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:25pm

      Re:

      First, understand that a California media company is being discussed.

      Hate speech is any thing, speech, symbols, et., that conflicts with ANYTHING and that does mean any conflict with ANYTHING.

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

    • icon
      btr1701 (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 3:25pm

      Re:

      > You OBVIOUSLY know which words you forbid, so why keep it
      > a fsckign secret?

      If there's a publicly available list of banned words, people like Blue could use them to spam the comments in sites they don't like so the Google bots will demonetize them.

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

    • identicon
      Christenson, 10 Jan 2019 @ 4:23pm

      Re: Nebulous systems

      @TAC:
      Google (and all the *huge* platforms) are in an impossible position. To make a profit, they have to keep an impossibly large number of users per human being generating content that can *actually* deal with context. Google *cannot* work without a change in the business model.

      Computers to do that do not exist, in part because whether something is hate speech or objectionably explicit depends on the framing.

      For example, suppose we have a post:
      Out of the Blue is a flaming fool -- he said
      <insert hate speech or something explicit or with innuendo or a true threat that could send him to jail here> found at <link>.

      It is reasonably easy to figure out something objectionable has been said, somewhere..but the framing converts it to something that is *not* objectionable. And, as others note here, who said blue wasn't intending to do a DOS against wherever he posted his junk??

      Also, nebulosity is only a problem when there aren't alternatives handy. TD's rules for detecting SPAM are nebulous, but nobody minds -- don't like TD, go to Ars Technica!

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

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 5:58pm

        Re: Re: Nebulous systems

        One question. Where is this Google based 'platform' that Google controls? Google+? Gmail? Their search engine? The blogs they support? Something else?

        Near as I can tell the position Google is taking is to satisfy some international issues, ie., EU issues, even if those issues don't apply in the US. Other than the EU, why would they care? Their advertisers are complaining? Well there are lots more advertisers out there. In the US Section 230 gives them cover, so that isn't it. In fact in the US section 230 tells them they don't need to audit the comments sections of websites, so why would they?

        I think that Google is trying to apply EU directed platitudes across the board, Whether they should or not is a different question.

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

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 7:33pm

        Re: Re: Nebulous systems

        Why are they in this impossible position?
        Oh because they caved rather than stand up for themselves.

        YouTube is bleeding content creators b/c their system is weighted towards thinking corporations are never wrong.
        It is bad enough that some moron is abusing the DMCA to remove reviews of their shitty nazi love story, but hundreds of dollars go missing when fake companies claim and monetize content with bogus claims that they keep putting off over & over then drop then resubmit again.
        Content creators get slapped with not being advertiser friendly, with no idea what about the video was bad & after appeal they get approved for advertising but still no idea what tripped it in the first place.

        I have an account on Ars, I prefer posting here. I run afoul of the moderation bot here from time to time, luckily for me I can annoy Mike or Tim until they fix it. :)

        Instead of trying to appease everyone by promising they will never advertise next to something someone might object to they should just promise speedy removals.

        For Google to whine about a page not being right, where there isn't Adsense on the page, is highly stupid. Because someone might have posted something that offended some reviewer, but we can't tell you what word or phrase it was... Gee its almost like they want magically to withhold payments with the thinnest of excuses. Its hard to challenge being charged with breaking the law when you are not allowed to know what the law says. (See also: Georgia)

        All of the major platforms are having the same problem, they are terrified of someone getting upset & are willing to nuke first & sort it out later just in case. They ignore the system is being gamed & never mention taking actions against bad actors.

        Twitter banned me for calling myself a faggot, in a post I made over a year prior, as a group of interconnected accounts mass reported me. Twitter was happy to lock me out to keep those poor people who had to go through YEARS of my tweets to find one that Twitter would smack me for. I had to appeal twice because the first person couldn't see anything beyond the word faggot, when I appealed again I once again asked them to explain how calling myself faggot was promoting hatred towards others and intimidating them.

        All of the platforms could make changes but they fear that loud groups will complain how naughty people are being allowed to run wild on the platform, because we normalized the idea that no one should ever be offended.

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

        • identicon
          Christenson, 10 Jan 2019 @ 9:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: Nebulous systems

          @TAC:
          I actually *like* the moderation bot here...it keeps my phone from embarrassing me when it randomly thumbs the "submit" button because I am fumble-fingered on the touch screen.

          I didn't actually think you didn't like Techdirt, but the point is that its small size is a huge advantage in moderation, since there are good substitutes should Techdirt behave badly, according to my perfectly arbitrary, unique, and perverse criteria.

          Gaming a system means more moderation effort, by humans, to keep the platform in good shape, and the big platforms aren't able to put out that effort themselves and remain profitable under the current business models -- free to the public, charge a pittance to advertise. And now with lots of loud groups yelling, too.

          Can they pivot?? History says doubtful. Time for some upstarts that appreciate the perils of scale.

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

          • icon
            That Anonymous Coward (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 12:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Nebulous systems

            While someone like blue could try to game the system knowing the super secret word pool, it is easy enough to add the forbidden words phrases to moderation bot checks.

            I 'whine' when I hit moderation & make jokes, but it doesn't make me that sad in the end because my posts end up approved rather quickly. I think the last word that got me moderated was Sharknado, but then I'm not quite right in the head. Expletive filled rants appear as soon as I post, but i say sharkando and get moderated...

            TD has recruited the community into moderation, we can press a button on things we think are bad, enough hit it and it gets hidden but not removed. People can check and see for themselves why it got hidden, which is way better than black holing them without any explanation.

            I got timed out for calling myself faggot, my favorite sex worker Maggie got timed out for making a joke about burning the white house like in 1812, I have talked about nuking DC and infecting congress with the marburg virus (ebola with an attitude) and not a blip. There doesn't seem to be any real pattern beyond someone got offended and reported it, yet Twitter claims to have 'standards' that play out wildly differently showing they aren't a standard.

            I did a search on Twitter for faggot and got a long list of people who weren't suspended & forced to delete the tweet to keep posting, so their reasoning was bullshit.
            If I tweet things you find offensive there is this whole block/mute thing you can use... but instead they gameified reporting people and then trying to wedge the tweets into the 'rules' to justify it.

            Trying to dumb down the world to be pasty, bland, beige without any possibility of offending anyone is insane. I get advertisers not wanting their ads to appear on Stormfront, but to single out a page & give no hints or guidance that makes sense about what is in violation is stupid.

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

            • identicon
              Christenson, 11 Jan 2019 @ 6:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nebulous systems

              My point was simply that scale makes good moderation, especially on the super cheap, close to impossible in the presence of malefactors. Your experience is a case in point.

              Much of the issue with the large platforms amounts to "nobody is home", a consequence of the super cheap.

              My implication that you or I didn't like TD was all for the sake of arguing for something more like a market -- The techniques used here seem to work pretty well.

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

        • icon
          johnjac (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 9:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Nebulous systems

          There goes the adsense for this page.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2019 @ 12:30am

      Re:

      Don't leave out how ggl claimed to be the FIRST SEARCH ENGINE.. Yeah! And recall for us all how ggl employs folks to drive around and remotely from a vehicle take data off unknown unsuspecting AMERICAN CITIZENS' Computers!!?!?!?!

      Oh and get a dollar fine from a
      judge!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:19pm

    This is the tech world's idea of a false flag op and it's pretty funny.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:22pm

    'Why aren't you doing what we want...?'

    Either way, we left things alone. If Google doesn't want to put AdSense on that page, fine. Adsense pays next to nothing anyway. But, what's weird is that over this past weekend, Google decided to complain to us again about the same damn page

    I can't help but see this as an almost petulant move on their part, acting affronted and whining about how even though they've told you that the page is a problem for completely unspecified reasons you've doggedly refused to get rid of it entirely(because if they refuse to tell you exactly what the problem is, that's basically your only option for compliance), as though the pittance they give you for AdSense should be enough to sway you.

    The hypocrisy makes it all the funnier, but really, they're acting like entitled children about the matter, as though you're supposed to just do what they want 'because we said so' with no reason given beyond that, and if they really think that's going to work for TD... well, they might need to read up on how the site and it's owners have responded to threats much more serious than 'we won't put ads on a single page if you don't gut user comments'.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 2:13pm

      Re: 'Why aren't you doing what we want...?'

      Yeah; it seems that way, until you realize that in taking that view you're anthropomorphizing Google AI.

      In reality, it's just some timer variable that's been flipped and the auto-scan checked the page again to see if it was now fine to place ads on, found it wasn't, and triggered the automated mailout notification.

      In many cases, this is preferred, as it means that if someone DOES clean up a page, the scanner will notice and start serving ads again without anyone having to intervene. Less work for everyone.

      But in this case, it just makes Google look petulant, instead of making their workflow logic look limited.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 3:03pm

        Re: Re: 'Why aren't you doing what we want...?'

        Oh I fully expect the initial scans to be automated, but the reviews, especially when they come with vague, useless 'well you know it could be related to user comments...' responses either are from an actual person(they damn well better be at least, though I honestly wouldn't be surprised if that was automated too), or those are automated as well. Neither option leaves them looking good.

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

  • identicon
    Glenn, 10 Jan 2019 @ 1:57pm

    Is this Google's new motto:

    "Don't be Google."

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

  • identicon
    Scote, 10 Jan 2019 @ 2:07pm

    This is why BoingBoing has comments on a seperate page

    BoingBoing and some other sites now banish comments to a page with its own URL so the main page doesn't get dinged by Google for the comments.

    I prefer comments on the same page. Techdirt articles and comments are integral to one another, so I'd be sad to see the same happen here. I wish Google would get its s*** together instead.

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

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 7:41pm

      Re: This is why BoingBoing has comments on a seperate page

      I have a right to see who is flagging my comments.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 10:02pm

        Re: Re: This is why BoingBoing has comments on a seperate page

        This isn’t a court of law your ignorant motherfucker.

        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, 11 Jan 2019 @ 12:43am

          Re: Re: Re: This is why BoingBoing has comments on a seperate pa

          Motherfucker..Yes.

          Ignorant? Not a fucking chance, dickmunch.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2019 @ 12:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: This is why BoingBoing has comments on a seperat

            "Ignorant? Not a fucking chance, dickmunch."

            Damn arrogant of you to think you know everything.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2019 @ 12:32am

          Re: Re: Re: This is why BoingBoing has comments on a seperate pa

          How about this asshole..

          fuckoff

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 10 Jan 2019 @ 3:55pm

    I had a YouTube account for years. I never posted a single video, I only used it to post comments.

    This past weekend, YouTube first suspended and then completely disabled my account because they claimed that I had committed "repeated or severe" violations of their community guidelines relating to spam, scams or deceptive commercial content.

    I sent in an appeal, which I didn't fill out as well as I should have because I didn't know that it was my one and ONLY chance to defend myself. Not that I had any idea what I was defending myself against since they didn't bother to tell me what I was supposed to have posted that violated the rules.

    Naturally that appeal was denied and they nuked my account.

    YouTube/Google is full of shit! I never posted any spam, scams or commercial content of any kind. Before they completely killed my account, I was able to access my status page and it showed that I had ZERO strikes for community guidelines violations.

    http://i64.tinypic.com/1zb81sp.png

    How does my account get terminated for violating the community guidelines when I have no strikes for violating community guidelines? What's the purpose of having a strikes system if they just nuke your account without warning???

    I was compiling a list of all my posts for the last 2-3 months, but I started with January and then went back to September and October. I never got to November and December.

    I've posting comments here for at least a few years now, have I ever posted spam? A scam? Deceptive commercial content?

    The part that pisses me off the most is that there is absolutely no way to talk to an actual human being to discuss the issue. Google has effectively walled itself off from the general public and abdicated all responsibility for what happens to their users. I'm not sure what happened, but I know I never posted anything that was a "severe" violation of the rules, especially not their spam rules.

    You know those humorous videos depicting people going up to the YouTube help desk? Rather than a receptionist behind the desk, they should have a brick wall with a sign telling people to go f**k themselves.

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

  • identicon
    ironicbutwhocares, 10 Jan 2019 @ 6:35pm

    so...

    what they are really pushing for is what they will only allow advertising on approved pages. take that to mean basically no comments. I've seen a trend where folks are pushing their comment ability off to their facebook feeds.. let someone else deal with it.
    its not free speech anymore, and to hell with the first amendment.. expecting anything different from google.. ha . good luck with that..

    on the subject of ads ....adblocker - i never see ads, and if i get flagged to disable it or not read the content, i don't read the content.
    Easy peasy.

    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, 10 Jan 2019 @ 7:49pm

    I can't see the flagged comments anymore? Is this techdirt changing accessibility and implementing censorship under pressure to yield to advertising? Over twenty years I enjoyed reading how the world was going down the drain and now it seems anonymously my anonymous comments are being censored. Goodbye to one of the last pillars of AMERICAN FREE SPEECH, Techdirt. Going the way of /. .

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

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 8:49pm

      Re: Missing

      Hidden comments still readable despite the hyperbole. So many ignorant rants from one guy making shit up about common law and shouting "Aha!! You fools!!"

      You want super villains? I think this is how we get super villains.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 10:04pm

      Re:

      Or your are just a stupid fuck...

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 12:05am

      Re:

      I can't see the flagged comments anymore? Is this techdirt changing

      We have not changed a thing. Flagged comments are still viewable if you click, same as always.

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

      • identicon
        Rekrul, 11 Jan 2019 @ 6:06am

        Re: Re:

        We have not changed a thing. Flagged comments are still viewable if you click, same as always.

        Something changed.

        I admit that I'm not using the latest browser because I have an old system, but up until a couple weeks ago (approximately) I cold view hidden comments by clicking the link. Now I can't. Even though it says "click here" to view the comment, it's not an actual link that I can click on. When I put the pointer over it, I don't get the little hand that indicates a link and if I click there anyway, nothing happens.

        Also, around the same time I noticed that I can no longer expand/collapse articles on the front page. When I put the pointer over the faded portion at the bottom of the article snippet, I get the hand pointer, but clicking doesn't do anything. I have to open the article in a new tab to read the entire thing.

        I think it was around the same time I started seeing the link at the top for "Test drive our new responsive design!" Which for the record, doesn't work very well for me either.

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

        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 9:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Both of those features require Javascript to be enabled. Make sure it is enabled on your browser or if you are using something like NoScript make sure techdirt.com is whitelisted.

           

          My biggest annoyance with the site redesign is when you set your page width option to "Variable" it isn't honored anywhere but the front page. I prefer to read the articles and comments using my whole screen instead of a tiny column down the middle.

           

          Where, exactly are we supposed to report stuff like this? I've mentioned it a couple of times in the comments, but I guess they were missed by Leigh.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 9:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Help and Feedback at the bottom of the page would be my guess for sending in reports on broken/wonky features like that.

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

            • icon
              Gwiz (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 9:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Huh. I guess I never noticed that. I knew the Submit a Story link was down there, but I don't think I ever clicked on the Help & Feedback link before.

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

          • icon
            Michael Costanza (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 11:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Hey Gwiz,

            The variable width preference does work on article pages as well as the front page. I'm not saying you're not seeing a problem, but the two page types use the same CSS for managing the content width, and variable width on article pages works for me on multiple devices and browsers. So, if you are seeing variable width on the front page, but fixed on article pages, something odd is going on. I'd recommend clearing out your techdirt.com cookies and shift-reloading to be sure you have the latest CSS.

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

            • icon
              Gwiz (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 2:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Hey Michael,

              Thanks for responding. I did some fiddling and it does work in beta mode, but doesn't work in original mode like it used too. I've been resisting switching to the beta version because like the byline and keywords in a column on the left, but that's just a preference, not a deal breaker. Thanks.

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

          • identicon
            Rekrul, 14 Jan 2019 @ 9:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Both of those features require Javascript to be enabled. Make sure it is enabled on your browser or if you are using something like NoScript make sure techdirt.com is whitelisted.

            Javascript is enabled and I don't have any blocking extensions installed. JS works on other sites.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2019 @ 9:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You have a problem with javascript in your browser. I suggest you try restarting your machine or using a different browser. In the meantime you should really try to avoid blaming others for your personal problems.

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

          • identicon
            Rekrul, 14 Jan 2019 @ 9:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You have a problem with javascript in your browser. I suggest you try restarting your machine or using a different browser. In the meantime you should really try to avoid blaming others for your personal problems.

            Javascript works fine on every other site and I haven't installed an extension to selectively block it. I haven't changed anything in my browser in the last few months.

            Which means if something worked previously and now it doesn't, something was changed on the site.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2019 @ 4:10am

      Re:

      Get your eyes tested, as they are grayed out and might be hard to see if you have eye problems. However, the extra space between comments is a clue.

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

  • icon
    Peter (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 4:37am

    What size/market share does a company need ...

    ... before it is required to comply with the constitution and its amendments?

    The constitution says it is up to courts to decide what is and isn't covered by the first amendment, not by some algorithm.

    And once a company reaches a size that they can effectively censor the internet, one might question the presumption in the second paragraph, that "the company has every right to make these calls however they want".

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

    • icon
      btr1701 (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 1:00pm

      Re: What size/market share does a company need ...

      > What size/market share does a company need before it is
      > required to comply with the constitution and its
      > amendments?

      Under current U.S. law, no size because size isn't the barometer that determines whether something enjoys constitutional protection or not. State action is the barometer. Doesn't matter how big a company gets, it's not a state actor so the Constitution does not apply to it.

      > The constitution says it is up to courts to decide what
      > is and isn't covered by the first amendment

      Yes, and the courts have ruled for 200+ years now that 1st Amendment does not govern private individuals or businesses.

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 4:41am

    Red herring

    I think all of this discussion of the comments on that page is irrelevant. In fact I think the response from Google was a red herring.

    I look at the page and I see a quote from Mark Zuckerberg, and the first sentence of that quote ends with the phrase "deny that the H_______t happened".

    Now, no one sane can possibly conclude that use is dangerous and derogatory. But that phrase is probably in a filter, and filters don't have a brain. And the reviewer, who probably was allowed ten seconds to look at it, probably started by looking at the reason, which probably said "denialism", and then looked at the page text, and the comment text, which together used the word H_______t twenty times, and which was going to take a quarter hour to review, shrugged, and tapped "confirm." After all, taking a quarter hour to review the page would get the reviewer dinged on their job review.

    Which is not to say that anything about this type of review isn't going to be prone to the same thing. Because, as discussed above, there's no way for any company, no matter how large, to do this in a sane way on the world wide web. Which, of course, is why no company should have to do this...but we live in a world where companies are called "bad citizens" if they don't.

    Since these advertising systems are biased toward shoving an ad everywhere that can possibly fit an ad, from time to time they're going to review the page to see if the problem has gone away. That explains why, every six months or so, Techdirt is going to get yet another notice for the same article. Because that system doesn't have a brain either.

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

  • icon
    Koby (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 7:06am

    Hard to believe

    I find it hard to believe that ONLY this one article has "derrogatory user comments" and coincidentally happens to be an article critical of Dont-Be-Evil-Google. My bullshit meter is pinging on this one. More likely, they really do hate the article, and they want to censor it.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 7:49am

      Shooting your own defense in the foot

      That's the thing though, it's not critical of them. If anything it's in defense of them by pointing out that something idiots rag on them for, not being able to filter 'bad stuff' perfectly, doesn't scale and isn't realistic because of how massive the amount they have to deal with is.

      If it is deliberate on their part because of the article they are being monumentally stupid in going after an article that helps them.

      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, 11 Jan 2019 @ 7:22am

    Ready? All together now...

    There once was an out of the blue
    Who hated the process of due
    Each post that he'd made
    Was DMCAed
    And shoved up his ass with a screw

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 11 Jan 2019 @ 11:13am

    PC=Politically (IN)correct, which was a good TV program.

    The idea of being PC, is kinda stupid when things dont get done.
    Being able to express oneself, in such away that it leads to no mis-meaning, misunderstanding, Misnomers, and about 15-20 other words.. IS VANTASTIC(no such word).

    Iv gotten my friends and I, to play with words, not the meanings, just saying different ones that have more then 1-2-3-4-26 meanings. there are REASONS to use expletives, And there are ways to say things, in such away, that makes things interesting to say..

    We have caught many people trying to listen to us, and they pick up different meanings to our contention of the thought process. Our words, not being to complicated, can be misconstrued, in many ways, depending on a persons mindset.

    Its a great exercise and teaches how and what words are, and can be.. It would be a great game to teach to younger persons..

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

  • identicon
    Nostril, 14 Jan 2019 @ 4:21pm

    Google code

    If you don't want to keep being pestered by Google, try removing their code from the page.

    "all comments on your site or app comply with all of our applicable program policies on all of the pages where Google ad code appears"

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


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