VP Of 'Students For Free Speech' Sues Critic For (Among Other Things) Calling Him A 'Free Speech Asshole'

from the free-speech-for-me,-not-for-thee dept

What is it with these Canadian "free speech defenders" suing their critics for their free speech? We've already covered the ridiculous lawsuits by Jordan Peterson and Gavin McInnes against some of their critics, and now we can add a lawsuit by Michele Di Franco, whose Twitter profile notes that he is the "VP Finance" for the "uOttawa Students for Free Speech" club.

You would think that, as such, Di Franco would recognize that others' free speech might sometimes reflect negatively on him, and be able to take it. But, nope. In January, Michael Bueckert wrote an article on Medium discussing how Doug Ford's government did not appear to consult many actual students in forming a plan to defund many student organizations at universities. Bueckert's article notes that it appears the only students who were consulted were the University of Ottawa Free Speech club, based on a roundtable it held that Doug Ford attended. Bueckert had some significant concerns about this, noting that (1) a club like that is not representatives of students and (2) Di Franco appeared to regularly associate with various individuals and groups whose focus was often on supporting the right to spew bigotry on campus. Bueckert tweeted out his article a bunch, often referring to the "alt-right" and in one case talking about "free speech assholes who are freely giving these white supremacists a paid platform."

Di Franco lawyered up, sending a threatening cease and desist, demanding that Bueckert take down the post, stop referring to Di Franco as anything remotely connected to bigotry or the alt-right, provide a written apology and retraction, and pay $2,000 to the lawyers. Bueckert hired some lawyers of his own to respond. It's a good response:

I have had an opportunity to review your client’s claims. It appears as though there has been a misunderstanding. My client formulated his opinion that your client’s politics and the political values of his organization are fairly described as ‘alt-right’ or sympathetic to the alt-right on the basis of your client’s repeated promotion and endorsement of various public commentators, politicians and other personalities that openly espouse either far-right or alt-right views and are generally regarded as representing or associated with the alt-right, despite their personal rejection of that label. These individuals include Gavin McInnes, Janice Fiamengo, Jordan Peterson, Tim Moan, Joseph Watson, Steven Crowder, Jack Posobiec, Mike Cernovich, Milo Yiannopoulos, Lauren Southern, James Damore, and Maxime Bernier, among others.

Your client has never made any public attempt to disassociate himself with the discriminatory views espoused by these commentators. The only information available has led my client to fairly infer that your client endorses the express and implicitly discriminatory views of these individuals.

Indeed, the response letter includes nine different examples of Di Franco expressing ideological alignment with people in that list, and notes that even denying being a member of the alt-right has become something of a cliche among those who most of the rest of the world consider in their opinion to be members of the alt-right.

And, of course, in response to all of this, Di Franco sued Bueckert for defamation. Among the claims in the lawsuit, it says that merely calling Di Franco a "free speech asshole" is defamatory. Really.

This lawsuit would be laughed out of a US court. First of all, nearly all of the statements are clearly ones of opinion. Second, many of them (including the "free speech asshole" one) are from tweets that don't even mention Di Franco, but are talking about the types of people that Di Franco has associated with. And, yes, it's not fun at all being called an asshole or a bigot or whatever, but if you're really going to be out there claiming to be in favor of "free speech," then you kinda have to suck it up when people say their not-so-nice opinions about you. Otherwise, it does kind of make you a free speech hypocrite, and quite possibly -- in my opinion -- a "free speech asshole."

Since this is Canada, rather than the US, defamation law is not quite as clear-cut -- though hopefully Bueckert still wins. It is true that the bar for defamation is much lower in Canada than in the US, but "fair comment" remains a defense against defamation, and that includes stating opinions about matters of public interest. Moreover, the province of Ontario (where the lawsuit was filed) has a pretty good anti-SLAPP law (stronger than the anti-SLAPP laws of some US states) that will likely be the first line of defense and, hopefully, will get this case tossed out quickly with Di Franco on the hook for Bueckert's legal fees.

Of course, as we see every time one of these situations shows up, supporters of those suing suddenly start twisting themselves into amazing yoga postures trying to "defend" suing people for their opinions. Among them is Jonathan Kay, former opinion writer at Canada's National Post and now an editor of Quillette. Kay has managed to rise above some popular free speech bad-takes in the past: though he's seriously concerned about "mob-based" censorship of conservative ideas, he correctly recognizes that Trump is a more direct threat to true free speech, and though he's seriously concerned about social media censorship, he correctly notes that private platforms can kick off whoever they like. But when it comes to the use of libel lawsuits to silence critics, he appears to be going with the angle that freedom of speech isn't relevant to civil actions, and that it's wrong to think a dubious libel lawsuit reflects on someone's commitment to free speech:

Alas, I imagine that, as with the other cases mentioned earlier, those who align in viewpoints with Di Franco and others will continue to twist themselves around in trying to justify this use of the government to silence a critic, while at the same time pretending to still support "free speech." But, just to be clear: suing other people for saying their mean opinions about you is not supporting free speech. It is very much anti-free speech and, again in my opinion, kinda makes you an asshole.

Filed Under: canada, defamation, doug ford, free speech, free speech asshole, michael buekert, michele di franco, students for free speech


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  • icon
    Gary (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 9:33am

    Free Asshole?

    Based on this article, I don't think it would be out of line to say that Di Franco is an asshole in my opinion.

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

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 9:58am

    Christ, what an [the remainder of this comment has been censored due to overuse].

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

  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 10:14am

    I don't know a lot of the people on that list of 'alt-righters' provided by Bueckert's lawyer, but I have watched a lot of Steven Crowder's videos because he's quite entertaining and have never seen one where he's expressed 'discriminatory views'. He does rile up a lot of leftist college kids by going to their campuses and putting them on the spot to explain their politics more elaborately than just shouted slogans and regurgitated talking points, and since they usually have no ability to do so, it embarrasses them and pisses them off.

    But that's not discriminatory, nor do I see how that makes him 'alt-right'. And since those labels have been poorly applied to Crowder here, it makes me wonder how many other people on that list that I'm not familiar with have also been purposely mislabeled.

    (Unless we've reached the point where merely being anything other than leftist or 'progressive' is considered both de facto discriminatory and 'alt-right', in which case the whole thing is just a bunch of steaming bullshit.)

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 10:16am

      Re:

      Counterpoint: Steven Crowder is an unfunny dolt. "Change my mind."

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

    • identicon
      TFG, 6 Mar 2019 @ 10:25am

      Re:

      But does the opinion that he is alt-right count as libel?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 11:37am

        Re: Re:

        Pretty much impossible to argue that in a court of law, which must remain neutral, even if I personally think that's a grievous insult.

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        • identicon
          TFG, 6 Mar 2019 @ 1:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And that, of course, is the whole point. If it's not libel, then the case is pointless, and only serves as someone trying to suppress speech they don't like.

          Regardless of what you think of Di Franco and his views, he is currently actively engaging in attempts to suppress speech, which is why he's got this article written about him.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 10:44am

      Re:

      Unless we've reached the point where merely being anything other than leftist or 'progressive' is considered both de facto discriminatory

      What do you mean by that? Applying labels to people based on their political views is discriminatory by definition, but it's not in any way illegal discrimination.

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

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 11:13am

      Re:

      Steven Crowder comes into that distinction based on a variety of activities, id assume. Critisims of the Alt-Right lie at its association with White Supremacy and movements which are anti-feminist (by which i mean everything from claiming feminism is no longer necessary all the way to claiming we need to roll back feminist advances to pre-1900s) Looking at his actions and associations lead some to consider him at least sympathetic. His association with Prager University, a youtube channel which is seen as supporting the alt right by claiming the alt right is intellectually superior, is one such activity even if his video was on socialism.

      The source image of the "change my mind" meme in which he claimed male privilege was entirely a myth is another.

      His claims that a Biracial man made up his black ethnic heritage and used that to get a promotion is another.

      His Change my mind segment on Louder with Crowder, which I have never seen, has had topics which suggest he holds alt-right viewpoints, but I have nto seen them and can not comment on how the context might improve that view.

      This April 2018 tweet where he 'joked' about blaming jews for mass shootings and his followers didn't get the memo probably effects alt-right perceptions.

      And that's a few minutes of googling. I could likely find more in his content. A lot of the individuals on that list are the Gateway drugs of the alt-right world. They often aren't overt like core alt-right presenters, but present surface level reasonable arguments that all happen to support alt-right views. They often can be shown to cherry pick data, using a small part of a scientific study to reach a conclusion that contradicts the very conclusion the study reaches when looking at the larger dataset. He might be included in that region. Again, I'd have spend more time looking at his content then I have.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 5:31pm

      Re: change my mind

      If he didn’t want to be called alt right he shouldn’t have dressed like he wanted it.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 7 Mar 2019 @ 12:40am

      Re:

      "Unless we've reached the point where merely being anything other than leftist or 'progressive' is considered both de facto discriminatory and 'alt-right', in which case the whole thing is just a bunch of steaming bullshit."

      Anyone who whines about one label being applied to them while throwing out meaningless labels to apply to everybody else is already spouting massive piles of the stuff.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 10:20am

    o_O

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 10:33am

    These are the sorts who see the need to "call a spade a spade", until someone else has an opinion about them. Then it is completely not cool.

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

  • icon
    Thad (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 10:39am

    But when it comes to the use of libel lawsuits to silence critics, he appears to be going with the angle that freedom of speech isn't relevant to civil actions

    I can't speak for sure to Canadian law (though I gotta say, this reasoning sounds dubious), but here's a handy Popehat link explaining why that's definitely not the case in US law: Hello! You've Been Referred Here Because You're Wrong About The First Amendment.

    Civil lawsuits employ government power in two ways. First, they are premised on laws passed by legislatures. A defamation lawsuit is a lawsuit based upon a defamation law enacted by a state, which is an action by the state. On occasion, they're based on a nebulous collection of non-statutory precedents called common law, which are nonetheless recognized and enforced by the government through the courts. Second, civil lawsuits employ government power to force you to come to court and force you to pay any resulting judgment against you.

    So in 1964, faced with an Alabama defamation judgment against the New York Times for running an advertisement about abuse of civil rights protesters by local officials, the Supreme Court noted that the First Amendment obviously applies to private civil actions that employ state power. "The test is not the form in which state power has been applied but, whatever the form, whether such power has, in fact, been exercised." Because civil lawsuits aimed at speech invoke state power to attack speech, they are limited by the First Amendment. That doesn't mean that all civil lawsuits attacking speech are absolutely barred. It means that First Amendment analysis applies to them, and may or may not provide a defense to them.

    If you think about it even a little, this is the only sensible interpretation. Under a contrary interpretation, a state could pass a law saying that private parties could sue you for offending them, or annoying them, or for expressing certain political views the state disfavors. People could then use the coercive power of the courts to sue you based on those laws. Although I admit there is a certain appeal to a regime under which I may ask a judge to compel you to pay my bar tab if you say stupid and ignorant things about the First Amendment, I recognize that it is not consistent with ordered liberty.

    (links and format omitted)

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    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 11:02am

      Re:

      There are some different contours to how Canada's Charter rights apply in civil lawsuits, however the Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that the Charter right to free speech is a critical guiding principle in civil defamation/libel law specifically.

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

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 11:39am

    Meanwhile, Facebook's "deboosting" scandal seems to validate censorship of conservatives:

    https://www.projectveritas.com/2019/02/27/facebook-insider-leaks-docs/

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

    • identicon
      Glen, 6 Mar 2019 @ 11:43am

      Re:

      Since you beat that dead horse, it is a PRIVATE company. If they are censoring, it is their prerogative.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 12:07pm

        Re: Re:

        And if Congress strips their Section 230 protection, it's their prerogative.

        These companies were denying what they were doing to conservatives, which actually can run afoul of consumer-protection laws. Regardless, it means their conversations are censored, which devalues them considerably.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 12:40pm

          These companies were denying what they were doing to conservatives, which actually can run afoul of consumer-protection laws.

          Please cite the specific consumer protection laws to which you refer, then explain how a private company potentially exhibiting a political bias might violate such laws. An answer that contains only your opinion on the matter is playground horseshit that has no place in this discussion.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 3:00pm

            Re:

            Common carrier, public square, state actor, etc. It's why the post office and phone company can't censor people.

            My post, however, dealt with Facebook denying it was censoring, and that can run afoul of consumer fraud laws (misleading claims, etc.0.

            On a practical level, censorship poisons debate.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 3:15pm

              Re: Re:

              • social media networks have not been declared common carriers under Title II

              • declaring private property to be the "public square" is very rare, and has only (and under current law pretty much can only) happen at the state level, whereas SCOTUS has repeatedly declined to do so

              • "state actor" would only come into play if a social media network was directly conspiring with government officials to censor conservatives. please tell me you're not that paranoid

              • you're going to need a hell of a lot more evidence than you've got to make a consumer fraud case. feel free to spend your time fruitlessly searching for it, though

              • on a practical level, MAGA shitheads poison debate too

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 3:36pm

              Re: Re:

              Common carrier, public square, state actor, etc.

              These are generalized notions, not specific laws. Also: Facebook is not a government-owned entity.

              My post, however, dealt with Facebook denying it was censoring, and that can run afoul of consumer fraud laws

              Please cite the exact law that Facebook might be breaking in this regard.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 7 Mar 2019 @ 12:42am

              Re: Re:

              "Common carrier, public square, state actor, etc. It's why the post office and phone company can't censor people."

              Which would explain why ISPs shouldn't be censoring people, whether by blocking sites or violating net neutrality.

              What does that have to do with Facebook?

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

          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 7 Mar 2019 @ 7:44am

            Re:

            Businesses that provide Internet services in California, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, are subject to §51 of the California Civil Code, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of political affiliation, religious affiliation, or political or religious beliefs, including speech expressing those beliefs. [California Civil Code §51 (Compl. ¶¶ 46-53)]

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

            • icon
              Toom1275 (profile), 7 Mar 2019 @ 9:03am

              Re: Re:

              Businesses that provide Internet services in California, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube,

              Error: contradictory

              "Providing services over the internet" =/= "Providing internet service"

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            • icon
              Leigh Beadon (profile), 7 Mar 2019 @ 9:57am

              Re: Re:

              Woah there!

              You just straight up imagined that the Unruh Act covers "political affiliation". Like most anti-discrimination rules, it does not.

              California Civil Code s.51, aka the Unruh Civil Rights Act, prevents discrimination based on:

              "sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation"

              Not political affiliation. It's very interesting to me that you simply assumed (or intentionally pretended?) that political affiliation was on that list.

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

              • icon
                Leigh Beadon (profile), 7 Mar 2019 @ 10:02am

                Re: Re: Re:

                (It has been held, in some circumstances, to cover certain aspects of political views - but that is most certainly not in the text of the act)

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

                • icon
                  btr1701 (profile), 8 Mar 2019 @ 10:04am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Wow, so after mocking for 'just assuming', you follow up with "Well, yeah, it has been held to cover that', then pretend you were still right because it's not in the text of the act, as if I had quoted directly from the act in the first place.

                  It's very interesting to me that you simply assumed I was quoting directly from the statute.

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

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 8 Mar 2019 @ 12:08am

                Re: Re: Re:

                I suppose that to some people their political affiliation is essentially a religion? I know for a fact it's sometimes easier to reason with actual religious cult members than Trump supporters.

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

            • icon
              nasch (profile), 7 Mar 2019 @ 10:45am

              Re: Re:

              Besides the fact that section 51 doesn't cover political affiliation, it's also not clear to me it covers information service providers. It guarantees "full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever." The section does not include a definition of "business establishment" but I would think that means a physical location. So as far as I can tell, both components of your claim are incorrect.

              http://www.search-california-law.com/research/ca/CIV/51./Cal-Civil-Code-Section-51/text.h tml

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        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 6 Mar 2019 @ 2:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Being full of shit will also devalue you, case in point, Project Veritas.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 5:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          We can call them pirates if that will make you feel better Jhon boy.

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

        • identicon
          Nostrildamus, 6 Mar 2019 @ 8:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Censoring conservatives' conversations doesn't devalue them - it improves them.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 8:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Tough shit.

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

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 1:15pm

        Re: Re:

        If they are censoring, it is their prerogative.

        No one (other than the crackpot whose posts everyone hides) is saying it's not, but if they're claiming to be viewpoint neutral, then it's valid to challenge their bullshit when the evidence reveals otherwise.

        And if there is evidence to the contrary, that brings up issues of perjury, since the Facebooks execs testified under oath to Congress that they are viewpoint neutral.

        It all hinges on whether there is real evidence or just a perceived bias.

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

        • identicon
          Glen, 6 Mar 2019 @ 1:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I wish you the best of luck and all the tin foil needed for such a search.

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

          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 2:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I wish you the best of luck and all the tin foil needed for such a search.

            What makes you think this is my crusade? I'm merely commenting on the issue and pointing out the caveats inherent in your general statement.

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

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 3:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          People who impute mental illness upon others will one day be the ones who have it imputed upon them, based on their actual behavior.

          At some point they will be unemployable and generally ostracized, much like those who used the N-word years ago now find themselves, never dreaming that language which was acceptable at the time could bite them years later.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 5:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Cool story bro. Do you cut and paste all your little bullshit saying or do you rewrite them every time?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 11:50am

      Re:

      Regardless of whether we agree with it these platforms have every right to curate the content hosted on their services. It's not really news.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      If Project Veritas told me it was sunny and warm outside, I'd think "It must be snowing."

      And I live in Phoenix.

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

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 12:14pm

      Re:

      Project Veritas is an organization that has been held criminally liable for his actions in the past, and lost a defamation lawsuit for using editing and framing to misrepresent the truth of statements made by ACORN employees.. They are known to setup undercover 'stings' to catch out the wrongdoing in liberal organizations. These stings inevitably rely on misrepresentation, using statements and quotes out of context, in many cases deliberately cutting out exculpatory context, or framing a situation in such a way to provide an inaccurate context. The famous ACORN sting, is a great one, with an establishing shot of a stereotypical 'Pimp' and 'Prostitute' outside the ACORN offices, and then jumping to the hidden camera, which never shows that the undercover individuals are now in standard business attire, changing the context of the conversation with the Social worker significantly. The AG of CA found that the video produced a false impression of ACORN's actions, and the GAO determined the funds were managed appropriately. As such, Project Veritas requires a greater level of proof to convince me of anything.

      Much of the details about the policies needed to analyse and verify the claims of this video are not present. Several statements that appear to be anecdotal observations are instead presented as overarching company philosophy. None of this proves that content removal or moderation policies are biased on the basis of the political viewpoint of the content, rather than the content breaching community standards.

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

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 1:07pm

        Re: Re:

        PV is also behind:

        The faked "Planned Parenthood sells baby parts" video

        The faked "Twitter engineers admits they target Conservatives for censorship" video

        And a PV agent is pretty much the only person so far to have faked their accusations of being abused by Roy Moore, as part of a failed attempt to sabotage The Washington Post and The New York Times's truthful coverage of the subject.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 12:57pm

      Re:

      It validates nothing aside from people wanting to play the victim.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 5:35pm

      Re: ol blue never had a clue

      I can’t even be mad that you used tried using project veratas as a source. It just sad how fucking divorced from reality and how batshit insane you are to think that those idiots have a shred of credibility. Not to mention that out of all the shit going on, this is the turd you throw in the punch bowl.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 7 Mar 2019 @ 12:45am

      Re:

      I'm constantly amazed. I mean, you'd have thought you'd have found a source somewhere that wasn't a proven producer of fiction, yet everything you source as factual proof is known to outright lie to its audience.

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

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 11:40am

    There were other allegations that go beyond opinion.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 11:57am

      Re:

      Such as...?

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 12:08pm

        Re: Re:

        The ones in the screenshot of the complaint.

        Perhaps your computer missed that.

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

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 12:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          d, maybe (I think probably not). The rest IMO would clearly be considered opinion in a US court. Don't know about Canada.

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

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 1:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          DiFranco is a racist;
          DiFranco is a bigot;
          DiFranco is a Neo-nazi;
          DiFranco is a race IQ scientist (or adheres to race IQ science)
          DiFranco is a free speech asshole

          So nope, it doesn't look like there's anything non-opinion there that Thad might have missed.

          The problem must be on your end.

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

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Perhaps your computer missed that.

          As a matter of fact, it did; I'm unable to view content from imgur.

          But even if it hadn't? I'm not gonna do your homework for you. Gesturing vaguely at a screenshot doesn't cut it; if you're going to make a claim, it's on you to back it up.

          What specific statements do you believe are defamatory?

          You really don't seem to want to answer that question, which suggests that you do not have much faith in your answer.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 5:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don’t suppose you are going to apologise to the class for being demonstrably wrong again?

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

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    Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 12:08pm

    Is Masnick an attorney?

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

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 5:38pm

    For an interesting take on Ken "Popehat" White of Brown White & Osborn LLP (Kenneth P. White), or at least someone he deals with, Marc J. Randazza, this article should be interesting:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/alex-jones-lawyer-marc-randazza_us_5c1c283ae4b08aa f7a86b9e4

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 5:43pm

      Re: your point much like your dick is flaccid

      Randazza is a piece of shit. So what?

      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, 6 Mar 2019 @ 5:48pm

        Wow I struck a nerve

        Poor thing.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 5:57pm

        Re: Masnick shouldn't allow that type of language

        It reflects poorly on him, his blog, and those who stand near him.

        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, 6 Mar 2019 @ 5:58pm

        Masnick should not allow that type of language

        It's disgusting, and a poor reflection on him, his blog, and those who choose to stand near him.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Mar 2019 @ 1:45am

          Re: Masnick should not allow that type of language

          And...? I thought nobody took Masnick seriously and people don't read this site.

          If people don't read this site, why does it matter to you so much what appears on it?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Mar 2019 @ 2:03am

          Re: Tough titties

          Stop acting like a little bitch and we will stop treating you like one.

          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, 6 Mar 2019 @ 5:59pm

    Wow, now I'm being MODERATED!

    Can't imagine why LOL.

    Won't help much since many other sites are beyond the reach of the OUTRIGHT CENSORSHIP practiced here.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 6:00pm

      Reminder:

      Moderation is a platform operator saying “we don’t do that here”. Discretion is you saying “I won’t do that there”. Censorship is someone saying “you can’t do that anywhere” alongside threats of either violence or government intervention.

      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, 6 Mar 2019 @ 6:03pm

        Re: Reminder:

        It was just a software glitch or something, but given what will be posted here not too long from now, this site's commitment to "free speech" will be tested like never before.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 6:43pm

          Re: Re: Reminder:

          what will be posted here not too long from now

          What, like more of the anti-Techdirt/Randazza/Pissedconsumer libel Roca Labs concocted?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 7:43pm

          Re: Re: Reminder:

          Ohhh it’s the long awaited police investigation. Or wait is it the FBI report? No it’s the Fox News Expose. Or wait it’s local channel 9 report. Wait wait it’s the SEC investigation.

          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, 6 Mar 2019 @ 6:04pm

        Re: Reminder:

        You reply faster than a social media manager who earns an actual salary. Impressive.

        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, 6 Mar 2019 @ 6:01pm

      Re:

      Seriously! Now WHAT could have TRIGGERED the snowflake CENSOR on this site?

      Fortunately there are many other places to post, and a lot more is about to be posted.

      Masnick thinks it's funny to let his commenters bully people online. Some don't agree.

      Get ready, Mike.

      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, 6 Mar 2019 @ 6:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Sadly, it seems to be just a computer glitch, but the timing was odd.

        Let's test the limits of free speech here, however, and let's also see if some of the more vociferous types here can restrain themselves from breaking all measures of the law. Most don't, sadly.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 6:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Sadly"

          Sadly? As in, you were actually thrilled to be "censored" because it gave you a basis on which to paint yourself as a martyr and yell at Techdirt? Or what?

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 6:05pm

        Re: Re:

        a lot more is about to be posted

        Dude, zip up your pants, your impotence is exposed!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Mar 2019 @ 12:05am

        Re: Re:

        The last time you told us to get ready was the middle of last year.

        I've yet to see SWAT teams burst through my ceiling.

        Said it before, I'll say it again: you're firing blanks.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Mar 2019 @ 2:05am

        Re: Re:

        For what? You to shit your pants again? I think thrice in one day is plenty Jhon boy.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2019 @ 6:09pm

      Re:

      Won't help much since many other sites are beyond the reach of the OUTRIGHT CENSORSHIP practiced here.

      As always, a simple challenge: name a single blog with comments that are less moderated than Techdirt's.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 6:26pm

        Re: Re:

        Anyone can post with no need to create an account or even post under a name, the only 'bar' is a few spam filters that can occasionally catch legitimate posts, so to get less moderated you'd have to have no spam filters, and good luck not having that spammed into oblivion inside a week.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 6:29pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I’m honestly surprised I haven’t yet gotten dinged for my overuse of “Christ, what an asshole”.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 6 Mar 2019 @ 7:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Posting the exact same comment multiple times soonish after each other can get it flagged/held for moderation, but unless I missed something you've only used that phrase twice recently, and the wording of the comment was different, such that I'm not surprised it hasn't reached that point.

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

            • identicon
              TFG, 7 Mar 2019 @ 6:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It helps if there's a significant period of time between the postings. Plus, Stephen's put it on entirely different articles. So yeah. It's not triggering any flooding/spam protection.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Mar 2019 @ 6:40am

    Why is it the ones who cry the loudest when subjected to criticisms or insults, are almost always the same ones who believe they should be the only ones entitled to insult and criticize? And its almost a given they hold bigoted views of others, and openly express those views, but whine incessantly when subjected to anything resembling the language they use. Add to it this claim of free speech, then throw a complete hissy fit when someone else exercises their free speech in challange of them, exposes them as hypocritical snowflakes.
    They want free speech, but they believe free speech is them being able to say anything they want, free from challenges and consequences of their words, free speech is only for them.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    MiniBigTech (profile), 9 Mar 2019 @ 4:45am

    Digital Media Agency Karachi

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Otel Tanitim (profile), 11 Mar 2019 @ 11:48pm

    Güre Saruhan Termal Otel

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


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