Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the speak-up dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is BentFranklin with a response to the federal judge who ruled that boycotts aren't protected speech:

So Citizens United tells us that spending money is a form of speech. So not spending money is a form of silence. Is this judge saying that we don't have the right to not speak? More broadly, we see this all the time, where the right frequently insists that we spend our money in certain ways, which is now a form of compelling speech.

In second place, we've got an anonymous response to the assertion that our post about cops in schools and MS-13 fears — and its comparison to the satanic panic — was unfair:

That's not the comparison I'm reading, Mason. What I read is the Satanic Panic being compared to the MS-13 panic.

Let's start the discussion here with a simple question: are the school shootings actually demonstrably tied to gang activity?

And here's a second question: Do the school shootings justify the sequence of events that led to a kid being deported because he drew his school's mascot, and happened to not be white?

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we've got a pair of comments from Stephen T. Stone from our post about an independent musician's explanation of why Article 13 is bad for creators. First, it's a point about the fact that only the largest platforms can comply with Article 13:

There is a certain irony in this statement: For all the whining from the usual troll brigade about the major platforms (e.g., YouTube) and their corporate overlords (Google) being too powerful and requiring real competition to prevent monopolies (real or virtual), they are also the ones who come out in support of measures such as Article 13, which would give those major platforms more power and destroy their smaller competition for the sake of “strengthening copyright”. I have to wonder which one they ultimately want more: stronger copyright or a weaker Google.

Next, it's a response to the assertion that opposing Article 13 means trying to make it impossible to fight piracy:

I have some shocking news for you, sir, and I think you may need to brace yourself for it: Piracy already is unstoppable.

Napster came and went; piracy stayed. Limewire and its ilk came and went; piracy stayed. The Pirate Bay came and went (and came again and went again and so on), as did a number of similar public and private trackers over the years; piracy stayed. If the biggest corporations in the world and the bought-off legislators who made laws favorable to said corporations could not wipe out piracy despite having the ostensible power to do so, what makes you think Article 13 can do the job?

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is another comment from that post, with TFG cooking up a counterargument:

This example doesn't count because it's just a small independent artist talking about how things actually work from the perspective of a small, independent artist, who the articles purport to serve, and what he's saying would indicate that Article 13 won't actually help him, which is clearly impossible because people said it would.

Real artists would support the article because clearly it says it helps them out and of course they are constantly hemorrhaging money from massive amounts of piracy that can only be stopped by passing an article that will put all the control back into the hands of organizations like the RIAA. They obviously know best, and would never ever lie.

In second place, it's That Anonymous Coward with another response to the ruling that boycotts aren't free speech:

Someone had a 20% discount on their knowledge of constitutional law.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start with an accusation from Gary following our post about bogus net neutrality comments:

There you go again Mike, shilling for a free and open internet free of corporate interference. Net Neutrality hurts corporations who want to provide their services to us. Stop being so mean to them!!

And finally, it's an anonymous response to our post about the US newspapers that are eager to push their own version of Europe's snippet tax:

Google told me I'm not allowed to read Techdirt anymore. Sorry.

That's all for this week, folks!


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2019 @ 1:29pm

    Politicians are not gonna support a law that stops people or corporations
    spending money,or giving to politicians they support a law that makes it illegal for certain groups to boycott a country ,eg don,t spend money on products from that country. No one has explained how putting massive filters on all user uploads
    would help small artists or creators make money. It would help old legacy corporation turn the internet into cable tv, where only licensed content can be seen.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    B.I. O'Fortified, 3 Feb 2019 @ 2:06pm

    Following on the FUNNY Friday Fracas:

    If you were even adequate -- and had sound notions -- you'd truly take opportunity to answer my speech with more speech.

    Masnick recently claimed that he liked to see opposing notions so could develop counters. But in daily practice seems Masnick only wants to be a controlling old-fashioned Print Editor, doesn't like user-generated content or know what to do with it.

    Many times, like here, I do a "guest Editorial" longer than many Techdirt pieces -- for FREE -- and all you do is trivially object then CENSOR it away!

    I believe that any potential audience of this Public Forum would prefer whole arguments laid out in each comment, not the endless short back-and-forth with imagined objections as "Stone" does, which I indulged to his limit Friday so as to prove it futile. It'd be a good test for each regular to try this week...

    When the Internet gives you trolls, learn to make troll soup.

    Catchy, eh?

    Anyhoo, that's the sitch. Here's what you should do:

    1) READ THROUGH SLOWLY. You have to engage the actual target, not the one you want. You must risk that understanding the opponent means might agree!

    2) Control your urge to quote and contradict. That does not convince anyone. You need a whole and focused argument, not just position, insults, and ad hominem. Make BULLET POINTS: those will focus YOUR thoughts.

    3) Resist even more blockquoting law cases: that's just substitute for your own imagined authority. The key flaw is that law and politics is constant argument, NOT settled. If opponent feels has basis and a wrong, then argument goes on. You cannot in practice simply copy-paste and say NOW SHUT UP. No matter how much you believe have won, it's not the end.

    4) Along with that, don't comment at, which is ASKING for a response, then attack FOR responding. In particular, don't challenge for a citation then refuse to address it. You then have same problem but less cred, see?

    5) Analyze your losses and flaws. Of course, that'd require not believing that ad hom attacks are wins. You can only drive people away -- and have -- by convincing that you cannot be reasoned with. You then fall into the ankle-biter mentality -- as have -- of repeating simplest tactic rather than developing whole arguments. [Right now most of you are eager to write that I can't be reasoned with. Drop that because it's irrelevant: your audience isn't ME! -- And you don't have an argument, just yet another trivial attack.]

    6) You'll still need substance, which often starts with what's "self-evident". In other words, you need a simple basis with which most people agree. You have no valid premises for, say, piracy, only the transparent self-interest that you want to be entertained for free.

    Of course, I write this only because believe you can't and won't take good advice.


    Asserting this is a "Public Forum" as I do above is of course one of the points of contention that infuriates you. But it IS always topical for here and ongoing legislation.

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

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 3 Feb 2019 @ 2:34pm

      Re: Following on the Troll

      How does it feel to be censored, and the object of ridicule there Blue?

      If it is against the law to censor you - when are the police showing up?

      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, 3 Feb 2019 @ 6:27pm

        Re: Re: Following on the Troll

        What a strange misunderstanding. On Techdirt, it is bad of honor to be censored. It means that the Techdirt community has “caved”, because they have no choice OTHER than to censor.

        It’s the equivalent of a small puny boy saying “Uncle” rather than engaging, because he knows in advance he has no possible chance at besting his opponent.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Feb 2019 @ 7:49pm

          he knows in advance he has no possible chance at besting his opponent

          We know we cannot “best” assholes like you because you refuse to accept factual statements as actual points, offer factual statements to back up your own claims, and — most importatnly — accept the notion that you might be wrong even if you feel in your heart and mind and soul that you are 100% correct. We can offer the most detailed citation on what the courts have to say about Section 230 and assholes like you will say something along these lines: “That’s not what it says. I know what it says. And even if it is what it says, I feel otherwise, and my feelings tend to fuck your facts in a basement without consent.”

          How can we “defeat” someone who will never admit defeat, even when the facts prove they are defeated? How can we deal with anyone who pulls that bullshit as anything but a troll?

          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, 3 Feb 2019 @ 9:00pm

            Re:

            Your arguments don’t ring true. For example you have no idea whom you are addressing, and yet build your argument on the basis of completely unsubstantiated conjecture.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2019 @ 9:06pm

              Re: Re:

              So you're proposing you have to know the other person by their actual name, then? Thanks for invalidating any criticism you might have of this post.

              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, 3 Feb 2019 @ 9:18pm

                Re: Re: Re:

                That is not what I said, at all. You don’t need to know my name to consider my argument. Discounting my argument because of who I might be is the act of a petulant child, as is the fantasy of throwing milk in someone’s face because you are too stupid to argue the merits.

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Feb 2019 @ 9:28pm

                  Also the act of a petulant child: “I’m right and you’re wrong and nothing you say can change that because I’m right and you’re wrong so there!”, which is something the troll brigade does with regularity. They never need to show how they’re right if they just keep insisting they’re right and bore people into comas as a result.

                  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, 3 Feb 2019 @ 9:37pm

                    Re:

                    Project much? Do you have anything to say regarding the rather insightful and well spoken essay above? Anything at all regarding the actual merits?

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

                    • icon
                      Toom1275 (profile), 3 Feb 2019 @ 10:01pm

                      Re: Re:

                      The only posts fitting the criteria of "insightful," "well spoken," and "above (threaded view)," are:

                      Two posts by Stephen T. Stone, and one anonymous post evenly positioned in between those two.

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

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Feb 2019 @ 10:17pm

                      Re: Re:

                      Do you have anything to say regarding the rather insightful and well spoken essay above?

                      Yeah: When is he gonna start doing any of that shit?

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2019 @ 11:07pm

                      Re: Re:

                      Three lines on a screen is not an essay.

                      Or a self-help book.

                      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, 4 Feb 2019 @ 12:09am

                        Re: Re: Re:

                        This is what I meant by “essay”:

                        If you were even adequate -- and had sound notions -- you'd truly take opportunity to answer my speech with more speech. Masnick recently claimed that he liked to see opposing notions so could develop counters. But in daily practice seems Masnick only wants to be a controlling old-fashioned Print Editor, doesn't like user-generated content or know what to do with it. Many times, like here, I do a "guest Editorial" longer than many Techdirt pieces -- for FREE -- and all you do is trivially object then CENSOR it away! I believe that any potential audience of this Public Forum would prefer whole arguments laid out in each comment, not the endless short back-and-forth with imagined objections as "Stone" does, which I indulged to his limit Friday so as to prove it futile. It'd be a good test for each regular to try this week... When the Internet gives you trolls, learn to make troll soup. Catchy, eh? Anyhoo, that's the sitch. Here's what you should do: 1) READ THROUGH SLOWLY. You have to engage the actual target, not the one you want. You must risk that understanding the opponent means might agree! 2) Control your urge to quote and contradict. That does not convince anyone. You need a whole and focused argument, not just position, insults, and ad hominem. Make BULLET POINTS: those will focus YOUR thoughts. 3) Resist even more blockquoting law cases: that's just substitute for your own imagined authority. The key flaw is that law and politics is constant argument, NOT settled. If opponent feels has basis and a wrong, then argument goes on. You cannot in practice simply copy-paste and say NOW SHUT UP. No matter how much you believe have won, it's not the end. 4) Along with that, don't comment at, which is ASKING for a response, then attack FOR responding. In particular, don't challenge for a citation then refuse to address it. You then have same problem but less cred, see? 5) Analyze your losses and flaws. Of course, that'd require not believing that ad hom attacks are wins. You can only drive people away -- and have -- by convincing that you cannot be reasoned with. You then fall into the ankle-biter mentality -- as have -- of repeating simplest tactic rather than developing whole arguments. [Right now most of you are eager to write that I can't be reasoned with. Drop that because it's irrelevant: your audience isn't ME! -- And you don't have an argument, just yet another trivial attack.] 6) You'll still need substance, which often starts with what's "self-evident". In other words, you need a simple basis with which most people agree. You have no valid premises for, say, piracy, only the transparent self-interest that you want to be entertained for free. Of course, I write this only because believe you can't and won't take good advice. Asserting this is a "Public Forum" as I do above is of course one of the points of contention that infuriates you. But it IS always topical for here and ongoing legislation.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2019 @ 10:29pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You suggested that the previous rebuttal wasn't meritorious because "you have no idea whom you are addressing", like it's a damning chink in the argument's armor.

                  Here's a hint: it isn't. And we do know who you are; you're the same sad sack who thinks that Section 230 is responsible for AIDS and world hunger.

                  How's that Article 13 vote working out for you after the rightsholders themselves rejected it?

                  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, 4 Feb 2019 @ 1:59am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Wrong. I am not the author of the essay, just an interested reader.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2019 @ 3:59am

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

                      Interested reader? You must be mistaken, nobody ever reads this place. According to this website's critics, interested readers don't exist!

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2019 @ 9:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Following on the Troll

          What community? You gleefully claim nobody reads this site. Why do you care so much about what a non-existent community thinks, especially a site that cannot influence national legal policy?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2019 @ 3:05pm

      Re: Following on the FUNNY Friday Fracas:

      You have never provided a cogent opposing point of view. People have repeatedly addressed your personal opinions with equal or better reasoning and evdence but you simply keep repeating the same thing. It is hardly a wonder that some choose to flag you or insult you (you still don't know what an argumentum ad hominem is, and anyone who ever says "ad hom" is pretty much immediately suspect for using this ignorant, bandwagon-y catchphrase).

      Many of your stated points apply very much to yourself, except the "i don't want to provide any evidence to back up my assertions, and i won't accept any from you or the rest of reality". Yeah, making vague references non-specific concepts is so much better.

      Clearly you have a belief which is unalterable by facts or arguments, at least as much so as those against whim you levy this same accusation. If you don't care to consider it a belief, perhaps you are one of "rationalists" with an extreme disdain for the most minute bits of empiricism.

      As a final thought, perhaps also you might abandon your thread-derailing and incessant facts-optional meta-issues.

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

    • identicon
      Rocky, 3 Feb 2019 @ 3:50pm

      Re: Following on the FUNNY Friday Fracas:

      You missed:
      7) Use verifiable facts when making a claim, the onus is on the one making a claim to prove it. If you can't do that your claim is BS. (See the Sagan Standard)
      8) Realize that people opposing draconian and maximalist copyright are not automatically pirates that should be put in jail (See syllogism of logical reasoning).
      9) Pointing out flaws and outright falsehoods in posts is not the same thing as "defending" Techdirt (See syllogism of logical reasoning).

      Also, in a public forum nobody is stopping you from expressing your opinion, but it doesn't necessarily means anyone will listen to you. And the only one here that is infuriated is you - you have on multiple occasions ranted about how you are censored even though if someone chooses to, they can read what you have written.

      Now, I have to go and shovel some more snow...

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

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 3 Feb 2019 @ 4:16pm

        Re: Re: Following on the FUNNY Friday Fracas:

        You left out the difference between a public forum (aka the public square) and a privately owned forum that allows not only the public to comment, but gives the moderation function to the public. Something said troll has a hard time getting his head around.

        In addition there is a big difference between the government being required to let the people speak (1st Amendment speech rights) and some anonymous troll being able to force people to listen. He seems to think the 1st Amendment requires Mike's privately owned forum that allows public comments to require Mike's followers to listen to his drivel. It doesn't.

        More importantly, nothing that you or I say will change his position. He is either paid to take that position, or is deluded to the point that he actually believes his very precarious and untenable positions.

        Point being: don't feed the trolls.

        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, 3 Feb 2019 @ 6:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: Following on the FUNNY Friday Fracas:

          “Don’t feed the troll”

          Translation to American English: Label anyone you disagree with and cannot debate with as having evil in his heart, and refuse to engage.

          In reality: you run away like a scared little girl that everyone can witness whimper rather than engage and respond.

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

          • icon
            Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 3 Feb 2019 @ 6:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Following on the FUNNY Friday Fracas:

            At the risk of feeding a troll: We cannot debate with you or your kind because you don't listen. You and your kind also do not display any capability of reason. Cognizant counter arguments are presented, yet later in the day, or the next day, or the next the same tired, inapplicable arguments that have no merit are re-argued, ad nauseam. So, what do you expect?

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Feb 2019 @ 7:42pm

              We cannot debate with you or your kind because you don't listen.

              To quote Natalie “ContraPoints” Wynn: “The aim of debate is not truth. It is humiliation. Power. That’s why we don’t debate them. We pour milk on their faces.”

              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, 3 Feb 2019 @ 10:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Following on the FUNNY Friday Fracas:

              Wow. “You and your kind”. Wow. Do you hear yourself? The create a class “my kind” even when you have no idea who I am. The only way to interpret your writing is that you feel helpless in front of any criticism, with no choice but to censor, namecall and rationalize your stupidity as noble.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2019 @ 10:31pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Following on the FUNNY Friday Fracas:

                Like your President Trump?

                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, 3 Feb 2019 @ 11:30pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Following on the FUNNY Friday Fracas

                  You don’t know who I am, but he is “my” president. Could you look more ridiculous?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2019 @ 7:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Following on the FUNNY Friday Fracas:

            How's that John Steele defense fund coming along, bro?

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 3 Feb 2019 @ 3:30pm

    YOU LIKE ME YOU REALLY LIKE ME!!!!!!!!!! /sallyfield

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

  • icon
    Gary (profile), 3 Feb 2019 @ 8:48pm

    Sunday Funnies

    I know I give Blue a lot of shit, but it's because nothing he says makes any sense and is always off topic.
    So, does anyone agree with what he is trying to say, or is he just a monkey throwing shit through the bars?

    If he thinks this forum is being run incorrectly, the obvious solution is to run a better one. Failing that, show one single forum in the history of the internet that can function without moderation.

    He says he's "debating" but he's just reading off a script for someone else's' manifesto. He can't explain his own complaints worth a damn.


    Common Law, Google, Corporations, Dark Helmet

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


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