Lawyer Steps Up To File Doomed Lawsuits On Behalf Of Catholic School Teens Called Racists On Social Media

from the at-least-he-won't-be-charging-for-these-failures dept

Over the past few days, a social media shit-storm formed over footage of Catholic private school students in MAGA hats apparently engaging in some bigoted behavior while attending an anti-abortion march at the nation's capital. As more footage of the incident was released, the formerly crystal clear narrative of bigoted, privileged white dudes antagonizing a Native American demonstrator became a bit more muddied.

By the time the additional footage came to light, it was too late. Decisions had already been made about the mindset of the Catholic school teens, most of which were posted to Twitter. Some journalists and celebrities were in the mix as well, including a few that went so far as to ask for the kids to be doxxed.

What was made of the situation seemed to come down to preexisting notions of what kind of person would wear a Make America Great Again hat. Most of those notions were in agreement: a person wearing that hat is a racist. In some cases, this is probably true. It's unknown whether the students being called racists on Twitter are actually racist, but there's hardly enough clear evidence on hand to declare this a fact.

Whatever you make of the situation (and the hats), there's an article written that comes down firmly on your side. Robby Soave's article at Reason says everyone calling these kids racist is wrong because the extended footage shows details that don't align with the skewed narrative created by edited clips. Over at Deadspin, Laura Wagner says don't doubt your preconceptions: the footage shows exactly what people thought it showed.

The end result was a handful of teens being called racists, along with their private school, parents, and school administrators. Naturally, someone wants to sue about this. That someone is stunt lawyer Robert Barnes, who was previously seen here at Techdirt declaring a court's indication it would dismiss Chuck Johnson's lawsuit against Twitter a victory for his client. He also represented a person who trolled reporters into calling her a racist when she sued the trolled reporters who called her a racist.

Barnes says he will take any Covington student's case pro bono to sue anyone who called this student a racist. Barnes graciously gave everyone threatened by this uber-vague threat 48 hours to remove the supposedly libelous content. Some have complied. Others have doubled down. Most people appear to not care one way or the other.

Barnes has been making his way around right-leaning press outfits (Fox News, PJ Media) to inform everyone about his intent to sue. So far, he has yet to name any secured clients, but that hasn't stopped him from claiming he's going to sue people for forming an opinion.

So a lot of these journalists have been saying false statements about these kids, false statements about the kids that were at the Lincoln Memorial, false statements about kids that were in various photographs related to the school, slurring and libeling the entire school and all the alumni for the school, and all you have to prove is they were negligent in doing so and by this standpoint, by this point in time, it is clear that anyone who continues to lie and libel about these kids has done so illegally and can be sued for it.

Barnes' statement about the intricacies of legal law are a little vague. While it's true none of these minors could be considered public figures -- thus lowering the bar for bringing claims -- it's a bit more difficult than claiming anyone calling these kids racists are engaging in libel. Given the context presented by the original edited video that circulated throughout social media, it was a common opinion to form.

A far more rational take can be found at the Volokh Conspiracy, which notes the bar is lower for private figures, but not so low Barnes can step over it simply by alleging libel per se.

My guess is that the plaintiffs would have a hard time showing specific damages stemming from a particular Tweet or even a statement in an out-of-town newspaper. They may well be damaged by the controversy as a whole, but that doesn't mean they can show such damage stemming from a particular defendant's speech. They would therefore need to claim presumed or punitive damages; and that requires more or a less deliberate lie, not just a negligent mistake.

Will these teens suffer harm from being called racists? Most likely, there will be some fallout, but it will likely be localized and short-term. The bar Barnes needs to reach in Kentucky (where the students go to school) says defamation per se includes false attributions of "having a repulsive disease, criminality, incest, or promiscuity and uninvited seduction." None of those seem to fit the characterization most frequently seen in any of the nominal litigation targets' social media posts.

Truth is the absolute defense, of course, but it's unlikely the court will try to determine whether or not the students being called racists are actually racists. Possibly some of them are, but even racists get offended when they're called racists.

It's another cautionary tale about reacting too quickly to social media stimuli, but this time there's a bonus threat of mass litigation. Unfortunately, Fox News has clouded the issue by stating this will be a "class action defamation suit," which is, of course, a legal impossibility. Each plaintiff will have to file their own lawsuit as libel is -- with a few rare exceptions -- an individualized tort. Barnes is likely aware of this, but that hasn't stopped the impossible idea from taking hold. For added fun, visit the comment thread for the Volokh post, which contains 280+ highly-partisan comments (both sides!) and a large number of people incorrecting each other about the nuances of libel law. Oh, and it appears the parents of the student featured most prominently in the videos have decided it would be smarter to pay for their own legal representation, not that this guarantees a victory Barnes would be unable to secure pro bono.

Filed Under: covington catholic high school, defamation, robert barnes, social media


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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 9:39am

    Over the past few days, a social media shit-storm formed over footage of Catholic private school students in MAGA hats apparently engaging in some bigoted behavior while attending an anti-abortion march at the nation's capital. As more footage of the incident was released, the formerly crystal clear narrative of bigoted, privileged white dudes antagonizing a Native American demonstrator became a bit more muddied.

    Support for the House Theory continues to mount.

    On the TV show House, you'd see the same thing happen every time:

    • A patient comes in.
    • The usual suspects always claim it's gotta be lupus.
    • Better data becomes available.
    • Turns out it's not lupus afterall.
    • It's essentially never actually lupus.

    Racism in America is like lupus on House.

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

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 9:52am

      Re: Lupus

      Except in this case it turned out to be Lupus afterall, as the kids were clearly doing the tomahawk chop and mocking the old guy - which is, as we learn, what they were taught to do at their racist school where they would wear blackface at sporting events to mock minorities?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 9:56am

        Re: Re: Lupus

        If by "clearly" you mean "clearly not what was happening once you see the unedited version," then yes.

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        • icon
          James Burkhardt (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:12am

          Re: Re: Re: Lupus

          Having seen the video, listened to both sides, and taken in the sporting event videos, I can not say it is active racism. That is to say, the children actively acting in a prejudiced manner. Rather they displayed a common level of ignorant institutional racism, a failure to understand how their actions are viewed and impact others. Their actions, performing a Polynesian war dance and the tomahawk chop at a native american US military veteran while wearing MAGA hats, expresses the ignorance of social and political climates also borne out by the sporting event videos. I do not think the longer video helps the students. I don't think anything in the longer video excuses the behavior they displayed.

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            identicon
            Gigi Duru, 26 Jan 2019 @ 1:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Lupus

            He's a Vietnam veteran like i'm a Iraq veteran.
            But hey, you're a liberal after all, you're ready to swallow everything no matter how obviously expelled from a bull's rear end as long as it supports your delusions.

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        • icon
          Gary (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:21am

          Re: Re: Re: Lupus

          Surrounding him shouting "woo woo" and doing the tomahawk chop - completely unoffensive behaviour in Kentucky maybe.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Lupus

            Or Cleveland.

            Or Washington, D.C.

            Or any other city with a sports team of any kind that uses “Chiefs”, “Redskins”, or any other nickname — and any associated symbology, to boot — that is blatantly racist toward Native Americans.

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

            • icon
              btr1701 (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lupus

              > Or any other city with a sports team of any kind that
              > uses “Chiefs”, “Redskins”, or any other nickname — and any
              > associated symbology, to boot — that is blatantly racist
              > toward Native Americans.

              Except every poll taken of *actual* Native Americans (as opposed to their non-Native liberal white knights) shows that 90%+ have no problem with those sports teams, don't consider them racist, and are not only not offended, but find them to be complimentary.

              It's only a very, very tiny minority of Native activists, who clearly do not come anywhere close to representing the thoughts and feelings of the whole, that make all the noise about how 'racist' those team names are.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 11:12am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lupus

                Exactly, dood! Remember when we were kids, and we were taught that stuff like that was a way of honoring other cultures and celebrating the cool parts of them? There was never any hint of malice in it, and anyone who says otherwise is a disgusting slanderer trying to create offenses where none exist for political gain.

                For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off, that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.

                Isaiah 29:20-21

                I for one can't wait, because it's getting worse...

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              • icon
                Mason Wheeler (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 11:34am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lupus

                Except every poll taken of actual Native Americans (as opposed to their non-Native liberal white knights) shows that 90%+ have no problem with those sports teams, don't consider them racist, and are not only not offended, but find them to be complimentary.

                See also: Japanese reactions to Scarlett Johansson being cast in the movie adaptation of the anime Ghost in the Shell. While a bunch of American busybodies were getting all outraged about "whitewashing," most of the Japanese anime fans couldn't see what the big deal was, with "the character was white in the original anime" being a common response when anybody actually bothered to ask them.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 12:34pm

                  most of the Japanese anime fans couldn't see what the big deal was

                  You wanna know why? Because Japanese people aren’t American people. The cultural issue of whitewashing is more of a thing in the U.S. than it is in Japan because American culture tends to reflect the image of Whiteness more than any other, for reasons I hope I need not explain.

                  Ghost in the Shell is a story written by a Japanese man, rooted in Japanese culture, and set in a futuristic version of Japan. You would think that a Japanese person — or at least a Japanese-American — would have landed the lead role of a female character named Motoko Kusanagi who was actually Japanese before being put in a robotic body. But nope, Scarlett “I’m here to audition for the role of Michelle Obama” Johanssen landed the role, so Motoko Kusanagi became “The Major” and (in the film’s canon) the mind and soul of a Japanese woman was put into a “superior” robot body that just so happened to look like a White woman.

                  If you want to dismiss a cultural issue based on how people from an entirely different culture who have no real experience with the issue at hand talk about said issue, at least have the courage to admit that is what you are doing.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 3:11pm

                    Re:

                    So you totally missed the part where the Japanese people said that the character was meant to be white? Your reading comprehension ducks, dood!

                    The strongly Japanese name is irrelephant. Anime portrayal of Western cultural details generally tends to be about as authentic as The Mikado was going in the other direction, and for the same basic reason.

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 3:38pm

                      you totally missed the part where the Japanese people said that the character was meant to be white

                      I didn’t miss the part where, in the Scarlet Johansson-starring live-action adaptation, she played the role of a Japanese woman implanted into a cybernetic body that happened to resemble a White woman. ["Hanka Robotics is making a being that's the best of human and the best of robotics. For some reason, the best stuff they make happens to be white." — Atsuko Okatsuka; citation below] Say what you will about all the other adaptations and whatnot; the ScarJo version had a White woman playing an ostensibly Japanese character — and this was revealed only after Johansson explicitly said “I certainly would never presume to play another race of a person” (despite doing exactly that) a month before the film’s release. And none of that even covers the (verified by Paramount[!]) reports that the filmmakers had initially tested the use of CGI and other visual effects to make ScarJo look more East Asian/Japanese, nor does it get into the fact that they pulled the same damn twist with the film’s villain, Kuze (played by Michael Pitt), whose real name is revealed to be Hideko (which itself suggests at least an East Asian ethnicity).

                      The Hollywood Reporter did an excellent interview with four Japanese-American actresses about the whitewashing of The Major and the Japanese reaction to said whitewashing soon after the film’s release. The Atsuko Okatsuka quote I used above comes from that article. I suggest giving it a read and noting how much any disagreements you may have with their points of argument are rooted in something other than pure logical reasoning.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 4:45pm

                        Re:

                        So you are suggesting what? A Japanese actress should have been put in whiteface for the role?

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                      • icon
                        btr1701 (profile), 28 Jan 2019 @ 11:11am

                        Re:

                        Seems to me that if they're making an adaptation of a Japanese anime story where a Japanese woman's mind is implanted in the body of a Caucasian robot, then expecting the story to not be about a Japanese woman's mind being implanted in the body of a Caucasian robot is idiotic.

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 12:37pm

                It's only a very, very tiny minority of Native activists, who clearly do not come anywhere close to representing the thoughts and feelings of the whole, that make all the noise about how 'racist' those team names are.

                For what reason, other than “but they’re just a loud minority”, should we ignore them if they feel that their cultural heritage and their ethnic identity are being mocked and used to excuse racist feelings and actions toward Native Americans? Queer people make up a minority of all Americans; should we ignore them when they speak out about homophobia/transphobia because they’re just a small segment of the population as a whole?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 3:04pm

                  Re:

                  If a majority of queer people felt something wasn't an issue, and a bunch of straight people got offended by it, personally I'd feel annoyed if they then claimed it was being done in our name.

                  I don't know if Mason Wheeler is right or not, but that's the analogy that works, not queer people speaking out about bigotry.

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                • icon
                  btr1701 (profile), 28 Jan 2019 @ 11:21am

                  Re:

                  > For what reason, other than “but they’re just a loud
                  > minority”, should we ignore them if they feel that their
                  > cultural heritage and their ethnic identity are being
                  > mocked and used to excuse racist feelings and actions
                  > toward Native Americans?

                  Because as stated, the vast majority of Natives seem to think the team names are not only not racist, but complimentary. (You don't name your team after something you denigrate, after all.)

                  Why should the feelings of the overwhelming majority of Natives be ignored and have something they feel paints them in a good light taken away from them because of a tiny number of grievance mongers who use the issue for their own dubious self-promotion?

                  How small a group are we going to allow to override the feelings the of the entire whole? Does there have to be literally 100% agreement among every single Native American before a team name is acceptable? If even one person objects, their feelings win the day over everyone else's?

                  Given that standard, plenty of other team names would need to be shit-canned, too. I bet I could find at least a few cowboys who don't like Dallas's team name. I bet there's one or two people of Nordic descent we can find to object to Minnesota's Vikings. And a handful of orthodox religious people for whom New Orleans' team name is offensive.

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              • identicon
                anon, 25 Jan 2019 @ 1:18pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lupus

                I fail to see how Chief is racist. (Does Hollywod complain about a team named the Stars?) Same with Fighting Sioux. They had an honorable history where they were fighting, and in fact scored an impressive victory against the US Cavalry, and their accomplishment should be celebrated. Certainly they fought for a better cause than the Confederates, whose flag is like a scourge unto the nation... Or the Fighting Irish, whose name implies drunken brawls. The Blackhawks (Chicago) apparently license the name from a local tribe. Redskins may or may not be racist - I've never heard it in that context but in is perhaps, like "Chinaman" quaint enough to come across as insulting.

                As for Covington - apologists can argue they were "singing along" with the native Veteran, but it's pretty obvious (to me at least) they were mocking him with their chant as they were doing their own thing, not keeping time or following the song, and it degenerated into a type of sports crowd chant. Then, of course, facial expressions don't lie and the "smirk of ridicule" look is all too obvious. But yes, the Black Hebrew guys were being deliberately provocative; but that wasn't the natives.

                Personally, I liked the guy with the one-wheel gizmo rolling around the crowd.

                And lawsuits? There's a fake motivational poster - "Sometimes maybe your purpose in life is to be an object lesson to others..." I doubt there's a problem here that can be solved by suing anyone.

                But for damages - I wonder what that one guy's university application letter will look like? "I participated in a national covered event and am personally recognizable. Select me and I will attract untold attention to your institution..." Good luck, buddy.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 11:27am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lupus

              Except Indian tribes were involved in designing the Redskins logo back in 1971. It used to be that the names were thought to be a tribute to the teamwork of an Indian tribe, not a racist insult.

              Too much retconning going on now. Baby it's really stupid outside sometimes.

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            • icon
              Gary (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 12:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lupus

              Doing the chop at a sportsball event is offensive to many, but opinions differ. ("History says it wasn't always bad, so we can keep doing it" seems to be the main argument.)

              Getting into a native american's face to jeer and chop seems pretty offensive to me. Many have stepped forward to defend this behaviour so I guess everyone doesn't feel as I do.

              Like pussy grabbing - nothing wrong with that. Or wearing blackface as a sportsball game - good fun.

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 12:38pm

                "History says it wasn't always bad, so we can keep doing it"

                The most dangerous phrase in the English language is “we’ve always done it this way”.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:43am

        Re: Re: Lupus

        I never heard the term 'blackface' until 2018.

        The notion of someone wearing dark makeup means they are racist and/or making fun of colored people would have never crossed my mind.

        Is it ever OK to wear dark makeup?
        Can a Navy seal on a night mission put black on his face or does that make him a racist?

        Can dark people wear light makeup?

        I just do not get how wearing makeup is racist.

        My young white children play with their colored friends and all of them call EACH OTHER the N word.
        OMG They are racist!

        No, they use that word because they see other people of color greeting each other that way on TV and in person at school. To them it is a greeting you say to your close friend, not an insult. The concept of people not liking someone of another race makes no sense to them.

        Seeing a colored child greet his white friend with 'Hey Ni---!' shows just how much racism is a thing of the past.

        But post a video of a white child saying the same thing to a colored child on the internet and dumb adults will have their heads explode from all the racism depicted.

        Not everything you see as racist is performed with the intention of being racist.

        Intention is what matters here.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:48am

          Re: Re: Re: Lupus

          Not everything you see as racist is performed with the intention of being racist.

          Bad execution overrides good intent. And speaking as an American who has seen numerous blackface scandals play out in the news in just the past few years alone — hell, there was such a scandal just this week involving Florida’s now-ex Secretary of State — if you really think the intent of a group of White students wearing blackface at sporting events where the visiting team has people of color on the roster was not “ha ha, dumb n⸻s”, you need a proper education on the subject.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Lupus

          I never heard the term 'blackface' until 2018.

          I mean, if your defense is that you're staggeringly ignorant, then...that's...a defense, I guess.

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            identicon
            Gigi Duru, 26 Jan 2019 @ 1:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Lupus

            Well, you haven't heard its antinome - shitstaining - it's still only seen on /pol/ and the like, but i don't hold you that against you.
            But your fellow travellers have been doing it for years already anyway and you don't see anything wrong with that. Are you by any chance a racist in denial?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 1:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Lupus

          The fact that you said colored child indicates just how out of touch you really are. And blackface has been offensive for at least a century so maybe do some research before you open you mouth and peove your ignorance.

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        • identicon
          Anon, 25 Jan 2019 @ 1:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: Lupus

          Context is everything. Friends calling each other something is one thing. Using a term as an insult, with all the history loaded behind a word, is something very different.

          King, for example, says "what's wrong with talking about white nationalism, white supremacy"? Well, white power meant subjugating negro ex-slaves, and restricting other non-white races. Black power means overcoming that subjugation. The concepts are not context free. They come with a heavy baggage. Two kids bantering may not come with that baggage, but as they get older, it will. Intent may lay a part, but to the casual observer, intent is hard to grasp in some contexts. We assign meaning, and hence intent, based on the social concepts embodied in the terms based on who is saying them.

          So two black kids, or two young innocent children, or even close friends of different races, might seem ok calling each other "Mah Niggah!" When some random white person says that to some black person, it carries the whole baggage of slavery, Jim Crow, police shootings, and civil rights struggles against repression.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2019 @ 2:41am

        Re: Re: Lupus

        CNN Attempts Damage Control for Covington Misreporting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_dnOtv9FOw

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    • icon
      Thad (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:10am

      Re:

      Racism in America is like lupus on House.

      I'm...still seeing plenty of cases where racism turns out to be racism.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2019 @ 6:30pm

      Re:

      So all they have to do is infect the kids with malaria and they'll solve the case.

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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 9:49am

    in Kentucky ... defamation per se includes false attributions of ... "promiscuity and uninvited seduction."

    Is there some legal nuance I'm missing here, or is that a really fancy way of saying "rape" without actually using the word?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 9:53am

    You missed the moms

    One of the moms calling it the fault of "black Muslims" goes to show that there was racism.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:07am

      Re: You missed the moms

      ... exceot for the fact that there were black religious extremists spouting off a whole bunch of pretty bad stuff there. just edited out by the media for convinience sake.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:17am

        Re: Re: You missed the moms

        Except they weren't Muslims and their behavior doesn't excuse what the racist kids did around the Native American guy.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:25am

          Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

          Nor does it excuse the fact that the Covington assholes escalated the situation when they could have done something else — like, say, kneeled in prayer or, more simply, ignored the Black Israelites.

          Nor does it excuse one of the people in the Covington group (who may or may not have been from Covington) saying “It’s not rape if you enjoy it”.

          I can grant that the Black Israelites “started” the situation. But that fact does not, and should not, excuse the behaviour of the Covington group.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

            The biggest question that I have and blame that I place is "where the fuck were the supervising adults?" They were waiting for their transportation. Where were the chaperones to make sure they didn't get into trouble, whether as victims or as perpetrators?

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          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 11:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

            > I can grant that the Black Israelites “started” the
            > situation. But that fact does not, and should not, excuse
            > the behaviour of the Covington group.

            Everyone is quick to "grant" what is euphemistically referred to as the "bad behavior" of the Black Israelite group, right before they brush it aside and spend all their time vilifying a couple of high school kids.

            The fact is that the Black Israelites' behavior was horrifically and blatantly vile, foul, and undeniably both racist and homophobic, but it's routinely brushed aside with barely an acknowledgement in the rush to roast the high school kids over a spit.

            However much racism was present in the kids' behavior, it was spectacularly overshadowed by that of the Black Israelites. If a person is of the mind to be outraged over racism, it beggars the imagination why they would focus on the kids while barely acknowledging the behavior of the Black Israelites.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 11:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

              It doesn't "beggar the mind" at all, dood; the reason why it happened that way is blatantly obvious: because the Black Israelite are... well... black, and the Covington kids are white. And calling out black people for being more racist than white people flies in the face of the narrative they want to push.

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              • icon
                David (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 12:10pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

                Also, Many (I doubt most) on the left say that blacks can't be racist. Yes, it's a stupid idea but that is how the left thinks.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 1:23pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

                  Way to judge an entire group by the actions of a few of its members in a thread about racism. The lack of self awareness is staggering.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 1:26pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

                dood I look forward to your blog post about that subject. Send me the link from stormfront. Here the adults are talking about the white racists. So do please quit trying to change the subject and attempting to blame black folks for some shit that white people did.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 1:33pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

                  No, the adults in the room are talking about false accusations of racism against innocent children. Try to keep up, dood.

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                  • identicon
                    Baron von Robber, 25 Jan 2019 @ 2:00pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

                    Which ones? I didn't see any.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 5:24pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

                    dood if you think you’re the adult in the room you must be looking in a funhouse mirror. Because dem poor lil white folks was anything but innocent. The actual adults are now talking about how a certain segment of society will do and say anything to try to excuse their precious lil snowflakes. dood

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 12:46pm

              Everyone is quick to "grant" what is euphemistically referred to as the "bad behavior" of the Black Israelite group, right before they brush it aside and spend all their time vilifying a couple of high school kids.

              I do not condone the actions or the rhetoric of the Black Israelites who instigated the situation. That said: This group apparently has a history of doing this sort of thing, so I could equate them with the Westboro Baptist Church in that both groups are a bunch of provocateurs who go around looking for attention.

              The Covington kids could have done what counterprotestors to the Westboro assholes do and countered with less hateful rhetoric. They could have kneeled in prayer. They could have turned their backs and ignored the Black Israelites as best they could. All of those options were on the table. The kids chose to instead escalate the situation, and now here we are.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 12:58pm

                Re:

                So btr calls you on your crap, and your response KS to double down, dood? That's a bold move, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off.

                The simple fact is, you're still arguing that, while the Black Israelites may have done something wrong, what the Covington kids did was so much worse. Well, no. No it wasn't. Stop saying ugly, disgusting things and slandering innocent children.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 1:28pm

                  Re: Re:

                  Yeah it was. And it’s not slander, it’s libel, and it’s not libel, if it’s true.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 3:45pm

                  Re: Re:

                  you're still arguing that, while the Black Israelites may have done something wrong, what the Covington kids did was so much worse

                  No, I am not, and I would appreciate you not shoving words down my throat that did not first come from it.

                  The Black Israelites acted like assholes. The Covington group acted like assholes. The only possible thing that makes what the kids did worse than what the Israelites did is simple: The kids escalated the situation (twice, if you count what they did to Nathan Phillips). And even that is still a matter of subjective opinion, not of objective fact. (And no, neither your opinion or mine are facts.)

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                  • icon
                    btr1701 (profile), 28 Jan 2019 @ 11:34am

                    Re: Re: Re:

                    > The only possible thing that makes what the kids did
                    > worse than what the Israelites did is simple: The kids
                    > escalated the situation

                    They're KIDS.

                    Kids do stupid shit.

                    The Black Israelites are ADULTS.

                    We expect more from adults than kids.

                    That makes the behavior of the Black Israelites worse than that of the high schoolers.

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              • icon
                Mason Wheeler (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 1:02pm

                Re:

                While you're correct that this is an appropriate response to WBC-style provocateurs such as the Black Israelites, is there any reason to believe that these high school kids knew that that's what they were dealing with? I didn't know about the WBC back when I was in high school, even though they had been active and doing typical WBC stuff for many years by that point.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 3:48pm

                  Re: Re:

                  is there any reason to believe that these high school kids knew that that's what they were dealing with?

                  Does it matter? The Covington group outnumbered the Black Israelites by a sizeable margin. Those kids had no good reason to metaphorically “fight back” against the Israelites other than “we were provoked by the mean language”. They could have ignored the taunting and jeering or kneeled in prayer. They chose to escalate the situation instead.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 4:28pm

                    Re: Re: Re:

                    Typical leftist. Don't let facts or reason get in the way of making the same wrong point over and over again. If someone shows your premise is wrong, just move the goalposts and declare that we have always been at war with Eastasia.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 5:26pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Typical idiot. Making shit up about a group he has been told to hate so it makes his tiny peen feel bigger.

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                  • identicon
                    Digitari, 28 Jan 2019 @ 6:10am

                    Re: Re: Re:

                    So, the black hebrew racists right to free speech is more important than white MAGA hat wearing kids. Hope your kids are perfect

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              • identicon
                Digitari, 28 Jan 2019 @ 6:05am

                Re:

                You could have stopped those racist white kids too, but you didn't, you must hate white children (sounds silly but it's still true.)

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              • icon
                btr1701 (profile), 28 Jan 2019 @ 11:30am

                Re:

                > That said: This group apparently has a history of doing
                > this sort of thing

                So because the Black Israelites are racist and bigoted all the time, they're somehow less worthy of condemnation and disapproval than a bunch of high school kids who aren't racist all the time?

                How exactly does that work?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2019 @ 8:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

              Too true. The 600lb gorilla everyone is ignoring is that this incident developed the way it did only because of 2 things.

              They were white and wearing a MAGA hat.

              If instead of Black Israelites spewing filth it had been a white group, and instead of white kids from KY it had been a group of people of color from say Baltimore or NY the whole narrative would have been different from the start.

              There never would have been the claims of the kids "bullying" anyone. It would have been all about the provocative language being directed towards them.

              No one seems to want to face up to the fact that right now the whole racism thing is one sided.

              If a white person is against something, like increased "social" programs they're racist because they want to keep people of color down, if they are for it they are condescending and saying people of color have no value.

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            identicon
            Gigi Duru, 26 Jan 2019 @ 1:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

            But not everyone is a limpwristed soyboy like you, some of us are more than capable of exercising our right to stand for our rights and ideas.

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          • identicon
            JEDIDIAH, 26 Jan 2019 @ 12:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You missed the moms

            You mean some kids that were confronted by a bunch of adults? It's really assinine that you expect children to "do the right thing" when they are being antagonized by adults.

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    • icon
      David (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 12:07pm

      Re: You missed the moms

      "Black Muslims" (notice that it should be capitalized) was the name of an African-American religious movement in the United States that split in the late 1970s into the American Society of Muslims and the Nation of Islam. Assuming that she doesn't follow the changes of every religious group out there then she may not know that the group no longer exists. Many of the news stories I have seen also refer to the group as Black Muslims.

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    • identicon
      Anon, 25 Jan 2019 @ 1:32pm

      Re: You missed the moms

      Yes, when you consider that there were Black Hebrews - who were definitely being as provocative as they could be, free speech and all. (Plus placard of Jesus with giant devil horns) But I didn't see any Muslims. Or maybe, some people are so ignorant they see what they want to see...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:06am

    Not just about "opinions"

    My impression was the Barnes is not threatening lawsuits against everyone who expresses the (unfounded) opinion that the students are racist. Rather, he is threatening to sue those who stated falsehoods about their actions.

    For instance, that they "surrounded" or "blocked" Nathan Phillips or anyone else. And that they "mocked" anyone, or made "tomahawk chops" or said "build the wall." These are not matters of opinion, these are factual assertions. And the video proves none of them is true.

    I'm not saying he is bound to win a libel judgment, but he won't fail because he is suing anyone for his mere opinion.

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    • icon
      Matthew Cline (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:19am

      Re: Not just about "opinions"

      My impression was the Barnes is not threatening lawsuits against everyone who expresses the (unfounded) opinion that the students are racist. Rather, he is threatening to sue those who stated falsehoods about their actions.

      The fact that Barnes is throwing around "libel per se" doesn't give me much confidence that he's skilled/smart/restrained enough to act in such a limited fashion.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:26am

      Re: Not just about "opinions"

      For instance, that they "surrounded" or "blocked" Nathan Phillips or anyone else.

      So you're saying your didn't watch the longer video. Phillips walked up to them and was surrounded within a few minutes.

      And that they "mocked" anyone, or made "tomahawk chops" or said "build the wall."

      Phillips said he heard them say build the wall. The video shows them doing tomahawk chops. The longer video shows them engaged in mutual mocking with the Black Israelites.

      These are not matters of opinion, these are factual assertions. And the video proves none of them is true.

      Even if the video didn't show them doesn't mean they aren't true. Lack of evidence is not proof of non-occurrence unless you're claiming the videos captured every single moment and spoken word throughout the length of the various encounters in that space.

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      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 11:43am

        Re: Re: Not just about "opinions"

        It's like those who lied that James A. Fields Jr. was only acting in self-defense when he ran over those protesters, referring only to the shorter videos taken after impact, and not the full one that showed him preparing his murderous charge further up the street.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 12:35pm

        Re: Re: Not just about "opinions"

        Phillips walked up to them and was surrounded

        Clever to use the passive voice there. Obviously, Phillips is capable of surrounding himself with other persons if he so chooses. The accusation that the boys surrounded him is false. The boys stood right where they were, waiting where their chaperones told them to wait.

        Phillips said he heard them say build the wall

        Yes he was the first to give voice to that lie. But anyone who repeated with ample proof of its falsity is just as much a liar.

        The video shows them doing tomahawk chops

        No it does not. It shows them making various motions in time to the drumming, because they were enjoying it. (See, they thought Phillips was a cool friendly guy, very much misjudging his motives.) But not one of them did any "tomahawk chops."

        The longer video shows them engaged in mutual mocking with the Black Israelites. It shows them enduring racist taunts from them, but they did not even mock that bunch. The closest they came was when one boy replied "So what?"

        you're claiming the videos captured every single moment and spoken word

        Yes. All the various videos from various angles that have been published do collectively record the encounter from long before Phillips arrived to after it ended. So if something you are alleging cannot be seen in any of them, it is false.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 5:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: Not just about "opinions"

          Well you tried... I mean it’s obvious to everyone you will throw any bullshit against the wall to try to defend your horseshit. But keep shoveling in an upwards direction.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:32am

    And here we have an example of someone pretending there isn't ample evidence these kids are racist in order to justify their worldview. Literally take a moment to see what's been dug up and you'll get the feeling this is not a one off incident. I'm astounded Techdirt let you publish this article, it's the most biased, unobjective, right wing article I've seen on here. You should be shamed for journalistic malpractice.

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  • identicon
    Joseph, 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:39am

    Defamation vs "article on your side"

    Tim, your subject heading for your post and the legal focus of the post seem to be at odds with what you seem to infer about the incident: "there's an article written that comes down firmly on your side". You seem to be suggesting that there is no way to make solid, tangible conclusions about what happened. You make an equivalency between Soave's article and Wagner's.
    If the question were approached legally, a legal review of the facts at hand would come down firmly on the side of Soave. Wagner's article is a mess of preconceived bias, whereas Soave's article is dense on particulars and facts. Soave seems far more reasonable and open-minded than Wagner, whereas Wagner exhibits the same type of preconceived prejudice that created the whole mess in the first place. She simply wants to believe what she originally believed and will continue to edit the facts the same way the original video was edited to suite someone's preconceived notions.
    Caitlin Flanagan's article in the Atlantic is also far more reasoned and fact based than Wagner's or any of the other attempts to explain how media and many progressives launched a hate fest against a teenage boy.
    While I agree with you that a lawsuit seems doomed, your equivalence between Wagner and Soave perpetuates the same mess that started this.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:40am

    When even The Atlantic admits the narrative of racism was made up and this entire thing is a massive failure of journalistic ethics that will cost everyone who reported it credibility, you know "there's no 'there' there," as they say.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 11:28am

    "Racist" may be an opinion that is not libel, but "portrayal in a false light" falls under invasion of privacy.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 11:38am

    Wouldn't the kids be limited-purpose public figures for injecting themselves into a national debate?

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

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 11:43am

      Re:

      They didn't "inject themselves into" anything; they got thrust into it against their will by unscrupulous media. If that were the standard, the public figure distinction for libel would be meaningless, as the act of being libeled itself would then turn someone into a "public figure."

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 2:26pm

        Re: Re:

        they got thrust into it against their will by unscrupulous media

        Absolutely!

        It's definitely feasible they were unaware that they were in a public place.

        It's certainly feasible that they were somehow unaware of all of the people with cell phones all around them.

        It's also feasible they were unaware that cell phones were capable of taking video.

        And it's also feasible they were unaware that cell phones that captured video in a public place could somehow make its way onto social media.

        And I'm nearly certain they would never know that something on social media could spread beyond a few people.

        Poor, poor things.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 3:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          None of this addresses the point. The point is that these kids are not public figures, and arguing otherwise erases that distinction.

          BTW, are you happy with the idea anything you do in a public place can at anytime become the center of a national news event?

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 3:51pm

            The point is that these kids are not public figures

            Given how one of the kids did a TV interview at the behest of the Republican-connected PR firm hired by his parents to help spin the situation such that he was just a poor boy who needs your sympathy and Nathan Phillips was an evil Injun with a criminal record? At least that one kid is a public figure now.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 11:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            When has that ever not been the case?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2019 @ 8:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The point is that these kids are not public figures, and arguing otherwise erases that distinction.

            There's no distinction to begin with. They're no different than Permit Patty, or any other douche who did something stupid in public, got filmed while doing it, then found themselves trying to explain on the Internet afterwards.

            Are you arguing that they were too stupid to be aware of this?

            BTW, are you happy with the idea anything you do in a public place can at anytime become the center of a national news event?

            Absolutely. It helps show where all the assholes in this country are.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 11:21pm

        Re: Re:

        The moment they began cchanting back at the old guy, they injected themselves into whatever they thought they were debating. They were at a national march and involved in a hot-button, divisive issue over which such debates (their conduct) are encouraged.

        Not sure public-figure status matters here anyway.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 11:40am

    Rather than sue for libel, just flip the script and start talking about the other side in ways the other side cannot file suit. Often, the other side will threaten lawsuits and show that it cannot take what it dishes out.

    Rhia also puts the burden on the other side to file the suit, to be litigious, and to waste court resources. It is often the most effective means of stopping defamationm, and one which is approved by most courts: counterspeech. It's also a lot cheaper.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 12:54pm

    It would be a GROUP lawsuit, not a class-action.

    Many in media have made that error.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 1:08pm

    Why don't they just go after Twitter & Facebook instead?
    The threats made against them is clearly against Twitter & Facebook guides. Yet the posted threats remained after days.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 1:35pm

      Re:

      Section 230 of the CDA, but don’t let facts stop you.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 3:15pm

      Re:

      Section 230 of the CDA. The way it's been interpreted, they have no right to sue, even if it violates the terms and conditions of the sites.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:50pm

        Re: Re:

        Section 320 enables death thrats and online lynch mobs, when it probably should not. India has had a terrible problem with this and their "Artile 79" of the IT law only immunizes platforms until they are aware of it.

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

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

    One point is that these were kids. 17 year old kids. Even if they were being complete jerks, should people like Michael Moore (this kid will be remembered forever) and Resa Aslan (asking if anyone had seen a more punch able face)


    If this continues, social media will completely fuck up our society. People need to chill out a bit. It was wrong when it happened to the Central Park 5 and it is wrong now.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 3:54pm

      Re:

      If this continues, social media will completely fuck up our society.

      You best start believin’ in post-Twitter societal apocalypses, honey — you’re in one.

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  • identicon
    Glenn, 25 Jan 2019 @ 2:16pm

    Don't know what happened or who said what--then or since. But... if you're stupid enough to wear one of those hats, then you deserve whatever response you get. It's all on you, just like the hat.

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    • identicon
      Fan of Glenn, 25 Jan 2019 @ 2:52pm

      Re:

      Exactly, what were they expecting wearing short skirts like that. They got what they deserved.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 3:17pm

      Re:

      I'm really uncomfortable with the idea that supporting a particular political party/candidate/person is enough to judge someone.

      I know plenty of horrible people who supported both Trump and Clinton, and I also know nice people who supported both. Just knowing someone's politics is not enough to know who they are.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Jan 2019 @ 4:06pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm really uncomfortable with the idea that supporting a particular political party/candidate/person is enough to judge someone.

        It’s one thing to support a candidate/political party who may not always vote the way you want them to, but generally leans in your political direction and tries not to fuck everything up over a pet project announced during the campaign.

        It’s another thing to support a candidate who refers to an entire segment of a foreign population as criminals and rapists, has no problem talking about how he sexually assaults women, (allegedly) conspires with a foreign government to attack his political rival, openly talks about jailing his political rivals, and attacks the media for reporting facts that make him look bad — and to support the political party that consistently backs him regardless of his scandals, his spewing of bullshit, and his ridiculous pursuit of an impossible campaign promise (one that led him to partially shutdown the government!) because he won the presidential election and could thus help turn that party’s political orthodoxy into the law that affects everyone in the country.

        Never mind the “very fine people on both sides” bit, the fact that most Trump rallies were a sea of White American faces, the fact that White Americans were the largest segment of the population to vote for Trump, and that at least one Trump voter is dismayed by the government shutdown because “he’s not hurting the people he’s supposed to be hurting”. Anyone who voted for Trump, regardless of how they feel about their vote now, voted for what Trump promised to do and has since done. If they are dismayed by the cruelty of his administration, they have no one to blame but themselves; Clinton voters sure as shit didn’t put that orange buffoon in the White House, after all.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 4:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It’s another thing to support a candidate who

          refers to an entire segment of a foreign population as criminals and rapists,

          That's an outright lie

          has no problem talking about how he sexually assaults women

          True

          (allegedly) conspires with a foreign government to attack his political rival,

          Here in America "allegedly" means nothing. Innocent until proven guilty is the standard we civilized people hew to.

          openly talks about jailing his political rivals

          Clinton's criminal conduct would be criminal completely independent of anything Trump did. Him not having the spine to follow up on this is a far greater moral failing than whatever you are trying to insinuate here.

          and attacks the media for reporting facts that make him look bad 

          True again

          and his ridiculous pursuit of an impossible campaign promise

          Why does everyone keep saying this? If the ancient Chinese could build a wall much bigger than the one being discussed here, and over far worse terrain to boot, using pre-industrial technology, why in the world should any thinking person believe it's beyond the grasp of modern America?!?

          the fact that most Trump rallies were a sea of White American faces,

          Most of America is a sea of white American faces. That's literally what "majority" means!

          and that at least one Trump voter is dismayed by the government shutdown because “he’s not hurting the people he’s supposed to be hurting”.

          So every candidate is responsible for everything any random supporter says? Because if you name any candidate, of any party, I can find you something loathsome from someone who believes in them!

          Anyone who voted for Trump, regardless of how they feel about their vote now, voted for what Trump promised to do

          Yes

          and has since done.

          No, seeing as how the two have not been particularly similar. (Just like any other politician.)

          Clinton voters sure as shit didn’t put that orange buffoon in the White House, after all.

          No, Clinton herself and her campaign did, first by all their dirty tricks to steal the primary from Bernie Sanders, who would have beaten Trump, and alienating so many of his voters, who would have given the election to her otherwise, and second by being just so generally loathsome, slimy, and offensive that as terrible as Trump is--and he really is pretty awful--he was literally the lesser evil compared to the monster that is Hillary Clinton. Trump was not put into office by people voting for him as such, but by people voting against Clinton.

          You are coming across as completely unhinged here, and throughout this entire post comment section. Why don't you go take some time off, take a few deep breaths, and try and re-center yourself a bit. It'll do you good, and it'll do all the rest of us good too, for not having to read what you're posting right now. You're usually better than this. Get your emotions back together, man.

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

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2019 @ 9:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "You're usually better than this."


            Is that humor? Steven T. Stone is usually the total shit smear that makes this whole forum reek of unhinged hatred.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2019 @ 2:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So you think others are obligated to obey you politically but not the other way around. This is why Hillary lost.

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

        • identicon
          Digitari, 28 Jan 2019 @ 5:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No matter how hard you try Stephen, I still doubt Alyssa Milano will date you

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 5:31pm

        Re: Re:

        I’m really unhappy with pillow cases being associated with the kkk but here we are. David Duke endorses Trump and also tan for office so if you don’t think that’s enough to judge someone you are either Bhudda or an idiot.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 3:17pm

    Where I come from we take death threats seriously regardless of who makes them, including school children. Shame on you techdirt, although I expect no less from tabloid news.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 5:32pm

      Re:

      That’s nice. Completely off topic but nice. And I’m also sure you were super upset about all the death threats on Obama and his family.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:15pm

      Re:

      Can you explain where in the article it is suggested that the author doesn't take death threats seriously? I see no indication of that.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    comnothingmon, 25 Jan 2019 @ 7:29pm

    Open and shut. Sympathetic plaintiffs / unprovoked vile attacks.

    Took Techdirt minion a week to figure how to slant this for maximum clickbait effect: he actually states the intent up there by asserting that "both" sides have good points. -- Though of course omits undermining the alleged "Vietnam vet" who went AWOL and ranked all of private when got out.

    But no jury will start with minion's total bias: they'll just see confused kids deliberately attacked, and any "surrounding" of the provocateur was because they were curious what he was saying. Period.

    Scoop: `Defamation Dream Team' Of Five Law Firms Assembling To Take On Journalists, Media Outlets, And Celebrities Who Attacked Covington Kids

    thegatewaypundit.com/2019/01/scoop-defamation-dream-team-from-five-law-firms-assembling-to-take -on-journalists-media-outlets-and-celebrities-who-attacked-covington-kids/

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2019 @ 10:51pm

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Gigi Duru, 26 Jan 2019 @ 1:03am

    And you tribesmen are so amazed and irritated when you discover that everyone hates your guts and want you out of their country.
    It's never your fault after all, they are all antitribesmen, everyone knows that.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2019 @ 5:40am

    Did the Indian guy slowly shed a tear?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2019 @ 8:40am

    Seems to me that there are plenty of targets for legitimate lawsuits. Anyone who threatened the lives of the students or who encouraged someone to commit physical harm against the students would seem to be quite open to possible criminal and civil liability. The failure of Twitter to shut down accounts associated with such threats also shows at the least inconsistency with actions they've taken in the past and shows a clear bias in favor of one side of the political spectrum which seems discriminatory at a minimum. And then there are the adults making sexually abusive comments aimed at minors... perhaps placement on a sex offender registry would be appropriate there!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2019 @ 9:07am

    It still amazes me how far some will go in an effort to rationalize their bigotry, proclaim their innocence and project their insecurities upon others.

    No one is perfect and everyone has faults, yet very few are capable of admitting it. Oh well, just another day in paradise.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2019 @ 2:50pm

    I think it was more a case of a bunch of moron teenagers from rich families upholding the now hoary image of being privileged dipshits and cretins.

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

  • icon
    Zof (profile), 28 Jan 2019 @ 10:26am

    So basically the media is mad that their attempt to declare a piece of clothing racist failed? Consider how childish that is. Declaring a piece of election merchandise racist.... that's a new low for ethics in our media. No wonder trust in the media is at an all time low.

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


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