Rep. Devin Nunes Sues Internet Cow For Saying Mean Things About Him Online

from the the-nunes-effect dept

Last year, Devin Nunes co-sponsored the Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act. Twelve days ago, he voted for a House Amendment "to express a sense of Congress that free speech should be protected."

And yesterday, he sued an internet cow for making fun of him.

By now you may have heard, as first reported by Fox News, that Rep. Devin Nunes -- who spent two years making a total mockery of the House Intelligence Committee -- has decided to sue Twitter and some satire accounts, and a real political commentator for a variety of "offenses" from defamation to shadow banning. The complaint, filed in a local court in Virginia, is not yet available anywhere but Fox News' posting of it (so you can click the link above, but we can't embed it yet).

Let's just get the first part out of the way: the complaint is utter nonsense. It is a complete joke. It makes a total mockery of the judicial system and its an embarrassment that Nunes thought this was a good idea. We'll get into the details in a moment, but rest assured, we see a lot of really dumb lawsuits, and this one is up there on the list of truly special ones.

At the very least, it highlights exactly what kind of content gets under his skin. It's mostly a bunch of dumb tweets mocking Nunes that not that many people saw... and now absolutely everyone will see. Apparently, Rep. Nunes has never heard of the Streisand Effect, but he's learning quite a bit about it now.

Let's dig in. The caption for the lawsuit is... truly special:

If you can't see that, it lists Nunes as the plaintiff followed by four defendants: Twitter, Liz Mair, and then two obviously satirical Twitter accounts: @DevinNunesMom and @DevinCow. Yeah.

The lawsuit does not get any better from there. He's seeking $250 million and almost every argument in the lawsuit is beyond laughable. The very first footnote, on the first page, completely misrepresents Section 230 of the CDA to a laughable degree:

The term “information content provider” means any person or entity that is responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development of information provided through the Internet or any other interactive computer service. See Title 47 U.S.C. § 230(f)(3). The word responsible ordinarily has a normative connotation. See The Oxford English Dictionary 742 (2nd ed. 1998) (stating one definition of responsible as “Morally accountable for one’s actions.”). As one authority puts it: “[W]hen we say, ‘Every man is responsible for his own actions,’ we do not think definitely of any authority, law, or tribunal before which he must answer, but rather of the general law of right, the moral constitution of the universe....” James C. Fernald, Funk & Wagnalls Standard Handbook of Synonyms, Antonyms, and Prepositions 366 (1947). Synonyms for responsibility in this context are blame, fault, guilt, and culpability. See Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus 747 (2nd ed. 2008). Accordingly, to be “responsible” for the development of offensive content, such as defamation, one must be more than a neutral conduit for that content. One is not “responsible” for the development of offensive content if one’s conduct was neutral with respect to the offensiveness of the content (as would be the case with the typical Internet bulletin board). We would not ordinarily say that one who builds a highway is “responsible” for the use of that highway by a fleeing bank robber, even though the culprit’s escape was facilitated by the availability of the highway. Twitter is “responsible” for the development of offensive content on its platform because it in some way specifically encourages development of what is offensive about the content. FTC v. Accusearch, Inc. , 570 F.3d 1187, 1198-1199 (10th Cir. 2009) (citing Fair Housing of Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommates.com, LLC , 521 F.3d 1157, 1168 (9th Cir. 2008) (“a website helps to develop unlawful content …if it contributes materially to the alleged illegality of the conduct.”)

This is totally misrepresenting Section 230 and a variety of lawsuits around it. It focuses in, bizarrely, on the definition section 230(f)(3) ignoring what the law actually says in 230(c)(1) and (2) about the lack of liability for the platforms. Instead, it focuses narrowly on "responsible" as if that's all the law says. It's wrong and no court agrees with this analysis. Indeed, it misrepresents two key CDA 230 cases to try to make this point. The Accusearch case involved a databroker that sold user data, and tried to claim Section 230 immunity after the FTC sued. But as the court found, since Accusearch itself was selling the data, and that was the action the FTC went after the company for, it was liable for those actions, not the user-generated content. And, in the Roommates case, the 9th Circuit was pretty clear that while Roommates could be found liable for violating the Fair Housing Act, it would only be on the specific content that Roommates.com itself created (namely, a pulldown menu for users to disclose their sex, family status and sexual orientation -- which the court ruled could lead to discrimination). Again, in both cases, the law is specifically applied not to any of the content by users, but specifically to direct content or actions done by the platforms themselves.

Nunes is trying to use those cases to argue that Twitter loses its CDA 230 immunity because it's moderating content, because those moderation choices are actions, a la what happened in Accusearch and Roommates:

Twitter is an information content provider. Twitter creates and develops content in whole or in part, through a combination of means: (a) by explicit censorship of viewpoints with which it disagrees, (b) by shadow-banning conservatives, such as Plaintiff, (c) by knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory – providing both a voice and financial incentive to the defamers – thereby facilitating defamation on its platform, (d) by completely ignoring lawful complaints about offensive content and by allowing that content to remain accessible to the public, and (e) by intentionally abandoning and refusing to enforce its so-called Terms of Service and Twitter Rules – essentially refusing to self-regulate – thereby selectively amplifying the message of defamers such as Mair, Devin Nunes’ Mom and Devin Nunes’ cow, and materially contributing to the libelousness of the hundreds of posts at issue in this action.

This interpretation literally ignores basically every Section 230 decision (other than the two it misreads entirely) and completely ignores the entire point of the law, which is to immunize platforms in response to their moderation choices. Remember, CDA 230 was passed in response to the ruling in Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy that found Prodigy liable for moderation choices it had made. The entire point of the law is that making moderation choices for user content leaves you immune from liability.

Furthermore, there is no actual evidence of conservative bias on Twitter, and another lawsuit claiming the same thing got tossed out just last week. As for the claim of "shadowbanning," Nunes is again completely misrepresenting reality. Last year, we wrote about this (in the context of Devin Nunes grandstanding on this), but the claims of "shadowbanning conservatives" was based on a misleading report in Vice. There was a temporary glitch in Twitter's "autocomplete" feature, that meant that some users' names did not show up in the autocomplete pulldown, and some people noticed that some of those impacted were well known conservatives. That's it. They were not shadowbanned. It was a temporary glitch for a very tiny feature (autocomplete) that had no bearing on whether or not users could find those impacted. And it impacted over 100,000 users, not just conservatives.

The story we wrote last year mocked Nunes for insisting he was considering taking legal action over this, and we would have thought that maybe lawyers would have talked him off of this, but apparently not. In short, the entire legal basis for including Twitter in this lawsuit is nonsense.

And from there, the complaint gets even worse. Because most of the lawsuit is little snowflake Devin Nunes whining about how a couple of satirical Twitter accounts, as well as one Republican political commentator, mocked him mercilessly, and Nunes just can't take it. If you want to know how to get under Devin Nunes' insanely thin skin, he's just given the entire world a guide.

We seriously don't have enough time to go through all of the claims in the lawsuit, but suffice it to say almost all of them are (a) opinions, (b) opinions based on clearly disclosed facts, or (c) rhetorical hyperbole. And note: none of those are defamatory. Also, the complaints reveal what Nunes is most afraid of: people looking into his "family farm" that is so much a part of his origin story, as well as an investment he made in a Napa winery. While the lawsuit doesn't go after these two articles, he does seem to consider references to the following two articles magically defamatory. And therefore, you should probably join in with thousands of others people today in reading the following two articles from last year:

  1. First up, an article in the Fresno Bee about Nunes investment in a Napa winery, with the following headline: "A yacht, cocaine, prostitutes: Winery partly owned by Nunes sued after fundraiser event." That can't look good. The details do show that it was merely a winery that Nunes had invested in, and there's no allegations that Nunes had anything to do with the yacht, cocaine or prostitutes, but Nunes has carefully tried to avoid commenting on it, leading to even more coverage. And Liz Mair keeps reminding him of all of this, leading Nunes to call the following tweet the "most egregious and defamatory" of her tweets towards Nunes:

This is not defamatory. The facts stated are not in dispute. The Fresno Bee wrote about the story. Nunes did invest in the winery. The winery was involved in a lawsuit where it was alleged that prostitution was used on a boat and it was alleged in the lawsuit that some of the prostitutes appeared to be underage.

  1. Then we have this truly amazing story in Esquire by Ryan Lizza about how Devin Nunes' family sold their California farm, opened a new dairy farm in Rep. Steve King's district in Iowa, where nearly all of the farms in the area employ undocumented workers. The story is completely worth reading, and I would have never known about it, absent this lawsuit (there's a term for that...). Basically Lizza goes to Sibley, Iowa to try to track down why Nunes is so secretive about his family moving there, and discovers a friendly set of people in the town who readily admit that they think Steve King and Donald Trump's views on immigration are bad, and worry that ICE raiding the farms in the town would put all the farms out of business. But, then Lizza is basically chased out of town by Nunes family -- and, amazingly, at the same time a years-old article that Lizza had used to find out about the Nunes' farm in Iowa magically disappears from the internet.
The rest of the lawsuit, concerning the two satirical accounts @DevinNunesMom and @DevinCow are truly something to behold. This is "someone is mad online" in the form of a $250 million lawsuit. I mean, look, when your lawsuit has this paragraph, I'm afraid you've already lost:

Defendant, Devin Nunes’ Mom, is a person who, with Twitter’s consent, hijacked Nunes’ name, falsely impersonated Nunes’ mother, and created and maintained an account on Twitter (@DevinNunesMom) for the sole purpose of attacking, defaming, disparaging and demeaning Nunes. Between February 2018 and March 2019, Twitter allowed @DevinNunesMom to post hundreds of egregiously false, defamatory, insulting, abusive, hateful, scandalous and vile statements about Nunes that without question violated Twitter’s Terms of Service and Rules, including a seemingly endless series of tweets that falsely accused Nunes of obstruction of justice, perjury, misuse of classified information, and other federal crimes

This is followed by a bunch of tweets from @DevinNunesMom, almost all of which are clearly rhetorical hyperbole, accusing Nunes of not caring about his district and of engaging in obstruction of justice (a claim based on some of Nunes' activity as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, in which he seemed much more focused on protecting the President, rather than actually doing his job). And then there's all of this, none of which is really defamatory. It's just part of being a public person (indeed, an elected official) online:

In her endless barrage of tweets, Devin Nunes’ Mom maliciously attacked every aspect of Nunes’ character, honesty, integrity, ethics and fitness to perform his duties as a United States Congressman. Devin Nunes’ Mom stated that Nunes had turned out worse than Jacob Wohl; falsely accused Nunes of being a racist, having “white supremist friends” and distributing “disturbing inflammatory racial propaganda”; falsely accused Nunes of putting up a “Fake News MAGA” sign outside a Texas Holocaust museum; falsely stated that Nunes would probably join the “Proud Boys”, “if it weren’t for that unfortunate ‘no masturbating’ rule”; disparagingly called him a “presidential fluffer and swamp rat”; falsely stated that Nunes had brought “shame” to his family; repeatedly accused Nunes of the crime of treason, compared him to Benedict Arnold, and called him a “traitor”, “treasonous shitbag”, a “treasonous Putin shill”, working for the “Kremlin”; falsely stated that Nunes was “100% bought and sold. He has no interest remaining for his constituents”; falsely accused Nunes of being part of the President’s “taint” team; falsely stated that Nunes was unfit to run the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; falsely accused Nunes of “secretly hat[ing] the people he’s supposed to serve”; falsely accused Nunes of being a “lying piece of shit”; falsely stated that Nunes would lose custody of his children and was going to “the pen”; falsely accused Nunes of receiving pay for undermining “American Democracy”; falsely stated that Nunes was “the most despicably craven GOP public official” and that “Devin might be a unscrupulous, craven, back-stabbing, charlatan and traitor, but he’s no Ted Cruz”; falsely stated that Nunes was “voted ‘Most Likely to Commit Treason’ in high school”; falsely stated that “The people of California’s Central Valley are upright folk who work hard, look you square in the eye and give you a firm handshake. And then there is @DevinNunes”; falsely stated that Nunes is “not ALL about deceiving people. He’s also about betraying his country and colluding with Russians”; stated “I don’t know about Baby Hitler, but would sure-as-shit abort baby Devin”; falsely stated that “Alpha Omega wines taste like treason”; falsely stated that “@DevinNunes wanted me to tell everyone that he’ll be releasing a pic soon to get ahead of that AMI thing, and that it only looks that way because of all the blow”; falsely suggested that Nunes might be willing to give the President a “blowjob”; falsely stated “@Devin Nunes look @SpeakerRyan is removing @Rep_Hunter from his committee seat because he’s corrupt and incompetent. I wonder why he let you keep yours?”; falsely accused Nunes of “covering up Trump’s conspiracy against the United States”; falsely accused Nunes of lying to Congress; falsely accused Nunes of suborning “perjury”; falsely stated that “@Devin Nunes is DEFINITELY a feckless cunt”; falsely stated that “[i]f you vote for @Devin Nunes the terrorists win”; falsely stated “please don’t call @DevinNunes compromised. He’s not at all. He’s a complete and total fucking traitor”; falsely stated that Nunes was a “spy” in Congress “passing along information to the subject of a federal investigation”; falsely stated that Nunes knows “a thing or two about throwing away evidence, don’t you Scabbers”; falsely claimed that Nunes was “WANTED” and hiding and “hopes he doesn’t get indicted”; falsely claimed that Nunes would “probably see an indictment before 2020”; and even falsely stated that Nunes has “herp-face”.

Seriously, there is way too much to comment on in there, but pretty sure none of that is defamatory. It's mocking and disparaging, and lots of it contains rhetorical hyperbole, but defamatory? How do you prove whether or not someone has a "her face"? Also, apparently Nunes would like it to be known that he thinks it breaks the law to refer to him as a "presidential fluffer and swamp rat." Also, the "taint team" reference apparently makes it clear that Nunes and his lawyer don't understand puns. Which, you know, not a good look.

And then the part that is getting the most attention of all:

Many of the tweets were vile and repulsive, including tweets that depicted Nunes engaged in sexual acts with the President:

Right.

On to Devin's Cow.

Defendant, “Devin Nunes’ cow”, a person who, with Twitter’s consent, created and maintains an account on Twitter (@DevinCow) for the sole purpose of attacking and defaming Nunes. [https://twitter.com/devincow?lang=en]. @DevinCow has 1,204 followers. Like Devin Nunes’ Mom, Devin Nunes’ cow engaged a vicious defamation campaign against Nunes that lasted over a year. Devin Nunes’ cow has made, published and republished hundreds of false and defamatory statements of and concerning Nunes, including the following: Nunes is a “treasonous cowpoke”; “prosecutors” were “investigating Devin Nunes”; “Nunes needs to be investigated. He knew the truth, yet conspired with a criminal, @realDonaldTrump, to conceal the facts from the investigation. Nunes is a criminal too”; “718 more days until your term is up, Devin. Unless Mueller indicts you first”; “724 more days, Devin, unless the indictment comes first”; “It’s on, Ranking Member Nunes. #nunesindictment”; “Devin Nunes is a traitor”; “Devin Nunes used Leadership PAC funds on luxury vacay in his family’s native Portugal”; Nunes hung out with the Proud Boys at a private invite-only fundraiser; “Devin’s boots are full of manure. He’s udder-ly worthless and its pasture time to move him to prison”; “Devin is whey over his head in crime … I bet @DevinNunes’ cocaine yacht and underage prostitutes won Trump over #AlphaOmega!”

Incredibly, the lawsuit also whines about two other satirical accounts mocking Nunes, but doesn't sue them:

Among these additional Twitter accounts are “Fire Devin Nunes” (@fireDevinNunes) and “Devin Nunes’ Grapes” (@DevinGrapes). The additional Twitter accounts followed the same pattern as @DevinNunesMom and @DevinCow, and published the same false and defamatory statements Nunes was involved in underage prostitution, etc. Fire Devin Nunes published memes of Nunes in prison attire. In a July 30, 2018 post, Devin Nunes’ cow retweeted the following:

Complaining that one of the satirical accounts mocking you retweeted another satirical account mocking you does not suggest you're a big believer in free speech, Nunes.

Anyway, two other points on all of this. As first pointed out by Gabriel Malor, the supposed free speech supporting Devin Nunes first argues that "The ability to use Twitter is a vital part of modern citizenship" and that "Twitter is essential for an individual to . . . engage in any level of political organizing in modern America" just a few paragraphs before demanding that Twitter should permanently suspend Liz Mair's account. It actually goes beyond that. It doesn't just say these accounts should be permanently suspended, but that all of their likes should be removed.

In order to protect Nunes’s property interests and his reputation, Nunes requests the Court (a) to Order Twitter to reveal the names and contact information of the persons behind the accounts “Devin Nunes’ Mom”, “Devin Nunes’ cow”, “Fire Devin Nunes” and “Devin Nunes Grapes”, and (b) to permanently enjoin and order Twitter to suspend @LizMair, @DevinNunesMom and @DevinCow and to deactivate all hyperlinks to all tweets, retweets, replies and likes by @LizMair, @DevinNunesMom and @DevinCow that contain false and defamatory statements about Nunes.

Yeah, you see, while Twitter can make moderation decisions on its own, no court can order such a result, as it would clearly violate the First Amendment. You know, that thing that Nunes is supposedly sworn to protect.

The other key point. As the lawsuit notes, the @DevinCow account had 1,204 followers when the lawsuit was filed. This morning, just 1 day after the lawsuit was filed, it currently has 106,000. And it will probably have more by the time you look at it. The @DevinNunesMom account has been suspended by Twitter, however. Still, congrats to Devin Nunes for telling lots of people about these accounts, and just what kinds of satire you are unable to live with, and which you insist requires people pay you $250 million for.

Despite the fact that both Twitter and Nunes are based in California, Nunes chose to file the lawsuit in a local court in Virginia. Twitter and the other defendants may be able to remove it to federal court, but Virginia's anti-SLAPP law is not nearly as strong as California's. In particular, Virginia's anti-SLAPP law does not do the one thing most important in anti-SLAPP statutes: allow the defendants in SLAPP suits to stop lawsuits before they get ridiculously expensive:

Unlike California and other states, the Virginia statute does not create a special procedure for filing anti-SLAPP motions requiring judge’s to conduct an early assessment of the plaintiff’s probability of success; there is no presumptive limitation of discovery, and no provision for an interlocutory appeal when anti-SLAPP motions are denied.

That means that, as ridiculous as this lawsuit obviously is, it may still end up costing the defendants a lot of money to get it tossed out. And, thus, we have a case in which an elected official is using the burdens of the legal system to tie up some of his critics in a wasteful, time-consuming, expensive mess that could take years to resolve. That's an incredibly shameful thing for a politician who literally supported a bill against "frivolous lawsuits." Devin Nunes is deserving of mockery for a variety of reasons, and this lawsuit is one of them.

Filed Under: cda 230, conservative bias, devin nunes, devin nunes cow, devin nunes mom, free speech, frivolous lawsuits, intermediary liability, liz mair, section 230, shadow banning, thin skin
Companies: twitter


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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:01am

    I miss when people were taught civics & it was required to get elected.

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

  • icon
    Improbus (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:04am

    Poor Devin

    Let's hope he gets what is coming to him.

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

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      identicon
      FZ Hunter, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:45pm

      Re: Oh, look! The improbable "Improbus" with FIVE YEAR GAP!

      This is astro-turfing, by which any new should judge the site as for entertainment purposes only. Dissenters do not get treated fairly here. -- Which is the topic. -- Behind the scenes, Masnick fiddles. He provides code that allows the appearance of "the community" voting to "hide" comments, though there's no up votes even possible. An Administrator must make final decision whether to "hide", or I suppose X "votes" out of Y many readers, though one can't get Masnick to state any of that, it's a black box "system", and isn't likely to be audited, either. Add those all up.

      Modern censorship is SNEAKY, that's why this suit is difficult.

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

      • identicon
        Rocky, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:52pm

        Re: Re: Oh, look! The improbable "Improbus" with FIVE YEAR GAP!

        Ran out of tin-foil hats again?

        Here's one for you: Correlation does not imply causation

        But I guess that's a concept that's too big for your mind to handle.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:54pm

        Re: Re: sup liar

        Why you still here bro?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:19pm

        Re: Re: Oh, look! The improbable "Improbus" with FIVE

        There are literally two different positive votes...

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:42pm

        If you believe Techdirt is “censoring” your comments, you can go to literally any other platform on the Internet and whine about your grievances there. I fail to see how having your comments hidden equals censorship when no one at Techdirt can stop you from reposting them somewhere else.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Mar 2019 @ 4:43am

      Re: Poor Devin

      "Let's hope he gets what is coming to him."

      You mean he'll get moved one step forward in the human centipede?

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

  • icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:10am

    Neither...

    ...digital nor analog cows have first amendment rights.

    As to his hypocrisy, you'll find that it all depends on whose ox is being gored.

    /s for the humor impaired

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:11am

    If the Twitter handle "DavidNunesLawyer" is still free, you should definitely not claim it and use it to add more mockery to the situation.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 4:29pm

      Re:

      There's a huge number of possibilities here:

      DavidNunesLeftNut
      DavidNunesRightNut
      DavidNunesMiddleFinger
      DavidNunesBitToe
      DavidNunesHairCut (Would have to be jealous of TrumpsHaircut)
      DavidNunesUnderware
      DavidNunesHand (Always tired from the masterbation)
      DavidNunesPenus (ditto)

      And so on.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:13am

    Back up for election in 2021. Remember this at election time.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:16am

    The real issue with the meme posted by DevinNunesMom is that it doesn't accurately depict how far Devin Nuned has his head up his own ass.

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

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    identicon
    Nate P Cilver, 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:21am

    Focus on Net Neutrality

    Twitter, Facebook, and Google needs to do more to get rid of all conservatives from the Internet. They are barely human and should be treated as such.

    We really should be focusing on Net Neutrality because my Netflix movie slowing down at 4K resolution is far more important than these subhumans with views I oppose being removed from the Internet. Only people with the correct political views should be allowed to converse on the Internet, everything else is hate speech.

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

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    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:30am

    Masnick, whose juvenile, slanted language ignores the state-actor exception to private companies, also ignores the "dumb pipes" argument raised by Nunes, i.e,. that Section 230 was designed to immunize internet conduits (like AOL for processing e-mail), rather than those who exercise editorial control. Impersonation goes beyond defamation but courts have ruled that 230 applies to those state-law claims as well.

    There's also the false-light defamation tort which does not require explicit falsehood, but "portrayal in a false light." This would seem to merit a trial, particularly on claims of white-supremacy. Calling this and the other stuff "satire" doesn't make it so.

    Twitter definitely has a conservative bias. It has allowed explicit death threats against conservatives to the point of not terminating accounts, while suspending conservatives over speech whose liberal equivalent is never sanctioned. As a highly intrusive platform (like television), and one which borders on being a public square, a trial on this issue would seem warranted.

    Without section 230, several attorneys who interact with Masnick online would have been financially destroyed in lawsuits. While he may not have a direct dog in this fight, they certainly do. Those attorneys, in turn, often interact with hackers who put up defamatory content to which the attorneys then link, in what is often called "salami slicing." Throw in Masnick allowing death threats against EU officials in the comments here, as well as harassment of others who post against the side taken by his articles, and a very clear picture of who this man is emerges.

    The "hide this post" feature is also useful because it is more difficult for search engines to pick up these posts, though a robot probably could click through to them.

    Masnick is certainly not an unbiased journalist, nor one who engages in proper debating techniques. His language is juvenile, slanted, and his emotions bleed through in a way that a truly professional journalist would never allow. His support of Section 230 and opposition to Article 13 are both on the path to be on the losing side of history, and as the inevitable defeat approaches, his tantrums get louder and much more frequent, yet they remain irrelevant, and he remains literally powerless to stop either trend.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:35am

      Re:

      "the "dumb pipes" argument raised by Nunes, i.e,. that Section 230 was designed to immunize internet conduits (like AOL for processing e-mail), rather than those who exercise editorial control."

      This is flat-out, 100% false.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:38am

        Re: Re:

        No need to let truth get in the way if a political agenda.

        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, 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:45am

        Re: Re:

        This is true. Section 230 gives big tech all the power of a publisher while requiring none of the responsibilities that go along with that. Much like how Uber and Airbnb avoid all local laws and regulations because they are on the Internet. Isn't it great that if you are a tech company you are more equal than other companies.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You bullshit dosent even pass the laugh test bro.

          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, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Well that was a well reasoned response.

            dosent?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:25pm

              Re: Some commenters ARE more equel than others

              Make stupid comments, win stupid prizes. Make a comment worth debating the merits thereof, and you won’t get called a potato headed idiot with the iq of a warm bowl of three day old milk.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:40pm

                Re: Re: Some commenters ARE more equel than others

                the iq of a warm bowl of three day old milk.

                I take issue with this insult. I'm quite certain a warm bowl of 3-day-old milk would have a measurable IQ. Therefore your statement is an insult to old, tepid milk rather than the intended target.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Digitari, 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:43am

      Re:

      that Mike allows free speech here is Awesome, it really really is. That the readers of Techdirt supress speech, not so much.

      there are assholes in EVERY crowd of more that 2 people.

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

      • icon
        Gary (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:48am

        Re: Re: Moderation at any scale

        And thus the impossibility of making everyone happy. Same content and some people complain about over moderation while others shout about lack of moderation.

        Still ironic that Smith makes baseless, defamatory claims while crying that TD doesn't censor comments about his medication.

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

      • identicon
        Glen, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:25pm

        Re: Re:

        So, let's look at a moderated comment here. There is still presented a way to look at the comment if it is hidden. I'm sorry but the whole speech suppression is is a waste. If it was removed, maybe, just maybe you could make that argument.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:41pm

        Re: Re:

        there are assholes in EVERY crowd of more that 2 people

        Yep. And we work hard to suppress all of them. You're welcome.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Mar 2019 @ 7:42am

        Re: Re:

        "that Mike allows free speech here is Awesome, it really really is. That the readers of Techdirt supress speech, not so much."

        Remarkably, Baghdad Bob, you are the only one who manages to be such an asshat that other readers feel the need to flag your comments as offensive.

        Perhaps if you stopped it with the blatant and persistent lying, spontaneous & repetitive ad homs, constant straw man presentations, tinfoil hat conspiracy theory armchairing, and the odd attempt at marginalization you might have your commentary remain unflagged.

        Hell, if you went easy on stuff like telling "aspies" you were going to fuck them up the ass or bragging about how the feds were going to haul off all the "cyber-bullies" who did such unforgivable things as...pointing out that you've been lying, again, then who knows? More people might decide not to instantly flag you as irrelevant, offensive and spammy.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:51am

      Re:

      that Section 230 was designed to immunize internet conduits (like AOL for processing e-mail), rather than those who exercise editorial control.

      This is literally false. From Chris Cox, who WROTE CDA 230:

      In 1995, I was on a flight from California to Washington, DC during a regular session of Congress when I read a Wall Street Journal story about a New York Superior Court case that troubled me deeply. The case involved a bulletin board post on the Prodigy web service by an unknown user. The post said disparaging things about an investment bank. The bank filed suit for libel, but couldn’t locate the individual who wrote the post. So instead, the bank sought damages from Prodigy, the site that hosted the bulletin board.

      Up until then, the courts had not permitted such claims for third-party liability. In 1991, a federal district court in New York held that CompuServe was not liable in circumstances like the Prodigy case. The court reasoned that CompuServe “had no opportunity to review the contents of the publication at issue before it was uploaded into CompuServe’s computer banks,” and therefore was not subject to publisher liability for the third party content.

      But in the 1995 New York Superior Court case, the court distinguished the CompuServe precedent. The reason the court offered was that unlike CompuServe, Prodigy sought to impose general rules of civility on its message boards and in its forums. While Prodigy had even more users than CompuServe and thus even less ability to screen material on its system, the fact it announced such rules and occasionally enforced them was the judge’s basis for subjecting it to liability that CompuServe didn’t face.

      The perverse incentive this case established was clear: any provider of interactive computer services should avoid even modest efforts to police its site. If the holding of the case didn’t make this clear, the damage award did: Prodigy was held liable for $200 million. By the time I landed in Washington, I had roughed out an outline for a bill to overturn the holding in the Prodigy case.

      In other words, the entire point of CDA 230, from the guy who wrote it, was to make sure that platforms, such as those running online message boards, could feel free to moderate those boards without liability. Your attempt to rewrite history is not just wrong, but it is entirely counter to what the actual author of CDA 230 explained as his rationale for writing the law.

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:11pm

        Re: Re:

        So the whole point was to make sure that tech companies don't have to follow the rules other companies have to follow. They can act like spoiled children with none of the responsibilities of adults.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:13pm

          So

          Otherwording. Opinion discarded.

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

        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So the whole point was to make sure that tech companies don't have to follow the rules other companies have to follow.

          No. The point was to place liability on the person doing the actual speaking, not on the tool being used.

          Do you also think that pencil manufacturers are liable for everything written with their pencils?

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Person, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            not on the tool being used.

            That "tool" is actually an active, well-funded participant making editorial decisions to promote and enforce an agenda, NOT being mere passive tool.

            You are trivially wrong, but SLY.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:38pm

              That "tool" is actually an active, well-funded participant making editorial decisions to promote and enforce an agenda

              Prove it.

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

            • icon
              Gwiz (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That "tool" is actually an active, well-funded participant making editorial decisions to promote and enforce an agenda, NOT being mere passive tool.

              Not really sure what that has to do with the "whole point of CDA 230". The purpose of CDA 230 was to place liability where it belongs while simultaneously encouraging platforms to keep themselves from becoming cesspools of human interaction.

              If we had retained publisher liability concerning user generated content on the internet, we would have ended up with either no UGC whatsoever or completely unmoderated UGC. Neither of those options appeal to me at all, so what is your solution in lieu of CDA 230?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Absolutely not. Anyone else providing an open forum for discussion is held to the same rules. If you have a big literal bulletin board on the side of your property facing a public space, you cannot be sued for the defamatory content other people post on it, regardless of whether you try to take down postings that are defamatory or not.

          Everyone has to follow the same rules. The nuance of which rules apply in what situations appears to be lost on Nunes and some ACs here, that's all.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          They can act like spoiled children“

          Careful bro Jhon boy is king of projection here and he’s a jealous lord.

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

        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So the whole point was to make sure that tech companies don't have to follow the rules other companies have to follow.

          Also, I would like to point out that you are comparing apples to orangutans here.

          What is the percentage of user generated content in a traditional publication, like a newspaper or magazine compared to the user generated content on a platform like YouTube or Facebook? They are completely different beasts that require different handling.

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

        • icon
          JMT (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 2:03pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "So the whole point was to make sure that tech companies don't have to follow the rules other companies have to follow."

          Um, CDA 230 is the rules that all companies have to follow. It's an actual law and everything.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Person, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:37pm

        Re: Re: One person doesn't make The Law:

        From Chris Cox, who WROTE CDA 230: -- and so on

        DOES NOT MATTER.

        A) Cox IS simply wrong.

        B) Cox could have been bought by moneyed interests.

        C) The overwhelming: does not matter because We The People have final say. We now find what our servants wrote, Section 230, is hazardous to Free Speech / First Amendment: therefore it's null and void from start (though requires process to get it off the books).

        As always, Masnick is for de facto censorship by corporations.

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

        • icon
          Gary (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: One person doesn't make The Law:

          Argh Wepeople is back with the caps. Gold Frill! No court may tame him, he is beyond the law!

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: One person doesn't make The Law:

          DOES NOT MATTER.

          A) Cox IS simply wrong.

          B) Cox could have been bought by moneyed interests.

          C) The overwhelming: does not matter because We The People have final say. We now find what our servants wrote, Section 230, is hazardous to Free Speech / First Amendment: therefore it's null and void from start (though requires process to get it off the books).

          As always, Masnick is for de facto censorship by corporations.

          Wow...the temper tantrum is strong with this one.

          The author of the law is wrong because the poster believes so; the author of the law was bought off (careful with that accusation or you could find yourself on the receiving end if a 250 million dollar lawsuit for defamation) and laws that aren't liked are simply void even though there is a process to get them removed.

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

        • identicon
          Rocky, 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: One person doesn't make The Law:

          Have you ever wondered if you ever have been wrong?

          Judging by your posts I guess the answer is no, which means that you are the most perfect specimen of humanity of all times or that you are a narcissistic asshole that thinks he is the most perfect specimen of humanity of all times.

          Which one is it?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: One person doesn't make The Law:

          A) please bring a court case using your arguements.

          B-Z) Pretty please with a cherry on top.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:11pm

          Re: Re: Re: One person doesn't make The Law:

          Section 230, is hazardous to Free Speech

          So you want section 230 repealed so that you can have other peoples speech removed, seems like you want regulated speech and not free speech.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Mar 2019 @ 7:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: One person doesn't make The Law:

            "So you want section 230 repealed so that you can have other peoples speech removed, seems like you want regulated speech and not free speech."

            Not quite.

            Baghdad Bob simply wants a law which ensures his is the only narrative still being read by anyone.

            He believes that way the Republican Guard will finally be able to shove those persistent allies out of Iraq and leave Saddam alone.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:37pm

          Section 230, is hazardous to Free Speech / First Amendment

          FYI: Without 230, Twitter would not exist because the people who made it would have never put themselves in the position to be held legally liable for the speech of third parties. The same goes for public comments on Techdirt, too. What platform would dare to host any kind of third-party speech if it could not legally moderate such speech?

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

        • icon
          JMT (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 2:05pm

          Re: Re: Re: One person doesn't make The Law:

          Loosen your tin foil hat, it's making your eyes bulge.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 6:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: One person doesn't make The Law:

          Hey John guess what?
          Your wrong and it does matter.
          Lololol

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

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        identicon
        George, 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:09pm

        Re: Re: so you're saying Fugitive Slave Act okay...

        because enforced as was intended by who wrote it.

        No, Masnick. There is FAR MORE to Law than one statute, regardless of what ANY one person says. Western Law is collective opinion of what's right and serves all interests reasonably well. YOU, though, are solely for empowering corporations over "natural" persons. YOU are a corporatist.

        Besides, you are daily here railing about BAD laws! Be consistent: STOP complaining about those other laws IF WORKING AS WRITERS INTENDED, your SOLE basis here for a complex topic.

        Sheesh.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: so you're saying Fugitive Slave Act okay...

          He was literally responding to someone lying about the intent behind the law. Your reading comprehension is non-existent.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 2:22pm

          Re: Why you still here liar?

          “Besides, you are daily here railing about BAD laws! Be consistent: STOP complaining about those other laws”

          God if you’d only take you own medicine

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:53am

      Re:

      I for one can’t wait to point and laugh at your dumb ass when this suit gets tossed on its head like it deserves, and you apperently were as an infant.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:55am

      Re: Jhon boy king of projection

      “Masnick, whose juvenile, slanted language”

      This coming from a person who just wished Mike death.

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

    • icon
      Matthew Cline (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      There's also the false-light defamation tort which does not require explicit falsehood, but "portrayal in a false light.

      Then he should have sued for false-light.

      Without section 230, several attorneys who interact with Masnick online would have been financially destroyed in lawsuits.

      Care to name any of these lawyers? Of the top of my head, when it comes to lawyers who interact with Masnick, I can only think of Marc Randazza and Ken White.

      Also, how would any lawyers have been financially destroyed? Clients they represented might have lost lawsuits in the absence of section 230, but the only way that would have financially impacted the lawyers would be a loss of repeat business since those clients would no longer be able to afford attorneys.

      Those attorneys, in turn, often interact with hackers who put up defamatory content to which the attorneys then link, in what is often called "salami slicing."

      1) Have any sources for this?

      2) You've previously claimed that lawyers do this in order to get business from those they defamed, with the defamees hiring them to sue the defamers. I guessing that the alleged scheme goes something like:

      2-A) Lawyer gets a client.

      2-B) Lawyer hires a hacker to post defamatory stuff about client.

      2-C) Client pays lawyer to sue defamer.

      2-D) Lawyer starts the lawsuit and issues subpoena to the platform for identity of the defamer, but the hacker used his leet skillz to cover his tracks so that the email & IP address the platform has are useless for tracking down the hacker. (I'm guessing why this scheme would require a hacker).

      3) This a bit pedantic, but

      Salami slicing refers to a series of many small actions, often performed by clandestine means, that as an accumulated whole produces a much larger action or result that would be difficult or unlawful to perform all at once.

      In other words, "I do not think those words mean what you think they mean".

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

    • icon
      Matthew Cline (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:05pm

      Re:

      The "hide this post" feature is also useful because it is more difficult for search engines to pick up these posts,

      Nope. If you look at the HTML source for the page (right-click -> view source, or just Ctrl-U) then you'll see your comment is right there where it will be seen by any search engines.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Go easy on him. Conservative techno-idiots don't know how anything works. They just arm-wave and shout about how they think (incorrectly) things work, demonstrating only that they're idiots.

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

        • icon
          Matthew Cline (profile), 20 Mar 2019 @ 12:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's a mistake anyone who isn't tech savvy might make.

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

          • identicon
            Rocky, 20 Mar 2019 @ 2:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, it's a mistake many people do because they narrowly define the world from their own viewpoint only and never questions if what they are seeing is the same as what everyone else are seeing.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Mar 2019 @ 7:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Conservative techno-idiots don't know how anything works. They just arm-wave and shout about how they think (incorrectly) things work, demonstrating only that they're idiots."

          Can't be. Bobmail/Baghdad Bob/Blue has repeatedly made claims that he's got a genius-level IQ and an education in IT.

          Hence we, the anonymous crowd sans credentials must be in the wrong when he waves his arm and shouts.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:20pm

      Re:

      Twitter definitely has a conservative bias. It has allowed explicit death threats against conservatives to the point of not terminating accounts, while suspending conservatives over speech whose liberal equivalent is never sanctioned.

      I know of people who got suspended for posting “trebuchet TERFs”, so this absolutist assertion of yours is bullshit from the get-go.

      Masnick allowing death threats against EU officials in the comments here

      [citation needed]

      harassment of others who post against the side taken by his articles

      You keep coming here to be a contrarian asshole; we simply respond to your bullshit as we wish. If you think being called an asshole and having your bullshit deconstructed is harassment, you have a simple solution: Stop coming back to a site you hate.

      Masnick is certainly not an unbiased journalist

      Please point out where he ever claimed to be an unbiased journalist. Also, please identify one honest-to-God unbiased journalist, because that would be akin to showing me a unicorn or a cyclops.

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

      • icon
        techflaws (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 10:52pm

        Re: Re:

        "If you think being called an asshole and having your bullshit deconstructed is harassment, you have a simple solution: Stop coming back to a site you hate."

        The better thing would be for him to stop being an asshole but I guess that'd be way too hard for him. Pity.

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  • icon
    Vidiot (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:56am

    Lead with the dictionary definition - that was my go-to strategy for high school essays whenever I knew absolutely nothing about the topic at hand. It's the biggest, waviest, reddest flag imaginable for the stream of bullshit sure to follow.

    And Nunes doubles down - by listing a bunch of synonyms, too! That dictionary-thesaurus desk set sure earned its keep this week.

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

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      identicon
      George, 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:14pm

      Re: "Lead with the dictionary definition" -- common practice

      Clearly you've not read even one actual suit. One defines terms up front so everyone uses same defs (often argued later because defs are crucial).

      A dictionary is used because generally is the Common Law meaning of any term.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 2:26pm

        Re: Re: Look up common law in a dictionary bro

        You know blue, not being able to write a single proper sentence in English. completely destroys the point you are trying to make.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 2:30pm

        Re: Re: "Lead with the dictionary definition" -- common practice

        A dictionary is used because generally is the Common Law meaning of any term.

        So, in your mind, privately-employed lexicographers at a university in another country are in charge of issuing the binding definitions of terms under US law?

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

      • identicon
        cpt kangarooski, 19 Mar 2019 @ 6:09pm

        Re: Re: "Lead with the dictionary definition" -- common practice

        Clearly you've not read even one actual suit. One defines terms up front so everyone uses same defs (often argued later because defs are crucial). A dictionary is used because generally is the Common Law meaning of any term.

        No, that’s not true. Also I have no idea what you mean by ‘read a lawsuit.’ That’s not a thing people do.

        What was filed here was what is called a ‘complaint,’ and in this kind of suit it is the initial document one files that gets into the substance of what the suit is about. Very simply: First, it should state who the parties are. Then it should state why the Court has jurisdiction over the case. Then it should state alleged facts that, if true, justify the bringing of the suit and the request for relief. Next are causes of action that apply pertinent law to the facts to establish why, even assuming the facts are true, something illegal has happened. Then how that injury has harmed the plaintiff filing the complaint. Then the remedies, which are things the law allows the court to do to fix the harm that has been caused and/or prevent it from continuing to happen or happening again.

        Definitions might be included to avoid repetition, but pretty much never dictionary definitions. They’ll either be definitions relating to facts (like a brief explanation of what a Tweet is: a brief message of no more than 140-280 characters of text and/or simple graphics composed by a user of Twitter) or they’ll be quotes of other cases to explain legal concepts, like what intentional infliction of emotional distress is.

        If you’re going to spew crap out of your mouth about the law, you should probably learn something about it one day. Guess that wasn’t this day, though!

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

        • identicon
          Rocky, 19 Mar 2019 @ 6:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Lead with the dictionary definition" -- common prac

          If you’re going to spew crap out of your mouth about the law, you should probably learn something about it one day. Guess that wasn’t this day, though!

          You are replying to a person who has championed the idea that people should be able to be represented in court by non-lawyers.

          His grasp of the realities in a court-room and how the law works is tenuous at best. Heck, his grasp how the world works outside his narrow vision is almost non-existent.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 6:29pm

        Re: Re: "Lead with the dictionary definition" -- common practice

        Hey John guess what?
        You can’t use a dictionary.
        And atjat also does matter lol

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

  • identicon
    william e emba, 19 Mar 2019 @ 3:22pm

    That Helpful Diagram

    The Helpful Diagram tweeted by "Mom" is from a poster for one of the "Centipede" Movies. You can see the original on Wikipedia.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 3:28pm

      Re: That Helpful Diagram

      <channel idiot="blue">OMG! Article 13 needs to happen now to stop this rampant piracy!</channel>

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Bruce Oscar, 19 Mar 2019 @ 3:45pm

    "moderation choices" is euphemism for "viewpoint discrimination"

    entire point of the law, which is to immunize platforms in response to their moderation choices.

    No, it's not.

    A) Section 230 requires "good faith", cannot be arbitrary. -- By the way, new readers, last time Masnick quoted Section 230 he somehow left out those words.

    B) Arbitrary, a priori, discrimination against political viewpoints stated in ordinary terms perfectly okay to a reasonable person in (well-defined) Common Law by a "platform" that's intended to be "dumb pipe" is not "moderation", it's censorship.

    C) IF your notions were followed, then since ALL access to teh internets is through some corporation or other, then the result will be de facto censorship. That cannot be purpose of CDA, it's UN-Constitutional, therefore this mere stature is null and void.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Bruce Oscar, 19 Mar 2019 @ 3:46pm

      Re: "moderation choices" is euphemism for "viewpo

      And again, Masnick hits the corporate empowerment hard because he wants that, he's a corporatist and globalist. -- He also wants unlimited immigration into the US. He claims to be Ivy League educated -- and we all now know those are simply bought. In short, he's a Born Rich advocate of the Establishment.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 4:11pm

      Re: "moderation choices" is euphemism for "viewpoint discriminat

      (You're still lying)

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 4:21pm

      Question: If I go to a White supremacist forum and post a Black Lives Matter essay, for what reason should the forum be forced to host my essay?

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

  • icon
    Miles (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 3:52pm

    It's Bob Murray all over again

    This complaint reads like Bob Murray's letter to the judge after he lost his suit to John Oliver. On steroids.

    There's nothing like listing all the best insults in a court filing.

    So everybody join with me now, in 3 part harmony: Consume defecation Devin.

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

  • icon
    Thad (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 4:01pm

    Ars suggests that Nunes' goal here may not be to win, but to fundraise. I've said much the same thing about Arpaio's defamation suit against the New York Times.

    Recent years have seen a rash of lawsuits brought by conservative political figures against big technology companies.

    In 2017, conservative commentator Dennis Prager sued YouTube for allegedly censoring his videos. The same year, right-wing social media service Gab sued Google for rejecting its Android app. In 2018, the conservative group Freedom Watch sued Google, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter for allegedly censoring conservative viewpoints.

    Legally speaking, those lawsuits haven't been successful. Prager lost last year, then filed another lawsuit in January. Gab dropped its lawsuit within weeks of filing it. A federal court dismissed the Freedom Watch lawsuit last week.

    But while none of these lawsuits have succeeded in the court of law, they may still have been useful in other ways. They have allowed the plaintiffs to portray themselves as the heroes in David-and-Goliath struggles against increasingly unpopular technology giants. Filing a lawsuit against a big technology company is an easy way for right-leaning people and organizations to raise their own profiles.

    Nunes' lawsuit has plenty of signs that it was written for grassroots conservatives as much as for the judge in the case.

    Put like that, it makes a lot of sense. The comments under yesterday's thread about Loomer and Klayman's suit being tossed demonstrate that there's no shortage of gullible people with a victim complex who are convinced that Twitter is oppressing them. That may well be Nunes's audience here.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 6:47pm

    Nunes is blue's pet project to spam the site with alt-right Nazi news so it's not surprising the mere mention of Nunes in a possibly negative light puts a tree's worth of sticks up his ass.

    Speaking of which:

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

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

  • icon
    Federico (profile), 20 Mar 2019 @ 12:24am

    First amendment

    "What? When I sponsored that bill, I was told that free speech means I have the right to only read things I agree with, and everyone has to hear my opinion!"

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

  • identicon
    Bovine Supporter, 20 Mar 2019 @ 12:25am

    Fight for Bovine Freedom

    I have to get a Twitter account so I could follow Devin Nunes’ cow. She's up to 290k followers now.

    We will fight for bovine freedom! #CowsWithGuns

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

  • icon
    Thad (profile), 20 Mar 2019 @ 10:01am

    I wrote a post here yesterday that hasn't shown up yet; it had a couple links in it so that's probably what got it caught in the spam filter.

    I mentioned there's an Ars Technica article suggesting that Nunes could be doing this for publicity rather than because he thinks he can win. I find that plausible. You don't have to look far to find conservatives losing their shit about Twitter.

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

  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 20 Mar 2019 @ 1:48pm

    Furthermore, there is no actual evidence of conservative bias on Twitter, and another lawsuit claiming the same thing got tossed out just last week. As for the claim of "shadowbanning," Nunes is again completely misrepresenting reality. Last year, we wrote about this (in the context of Devin Nunes grandstanding on this), but the claims of "shadowbanning conservatives" was based on a misleading report in Vice. There was a temporary glitch in Twitter's "autocomplete" feature, that meant that some users' names did not show up in the autocomplete pulldown, and some people noticed that some of those impacted were well known conservatives. That's it. They were not shadowbanned.

    Well, this sure is inconvenient for Masnick's "there's no such thing as shadowbanning" narrative...

    https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/03/19/journalist-accuses-twitter-of-testing-more-ex treme-shadowban-technique-on-his-account/

    Twitter is admitting to it now.

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

  • identicon
    troy, 20 Mar 2019 @ 9:21pm

    give me a bucking break

    this bucking guy is just another trump kiss ass that is on the take. how much cash is trump giving you to be such a dumb ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  • icon
    3donkeys (profile), 26 Mar 2019 @ 4:03am

    this is insane man !! trump kiss my ass hahaha http://www.3donkeys.co.uk go with this donkey

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

  • icon
    Best Deals (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 8:09pm

    Best Deal

    Buy Deals On DIRECTV Now, Call DIRECTV for amazing TV Offer that saves your money. Best Bundles Deals, Get Best TV Deals On DIRECTV today.https://www.buydealsondirectv.com/

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


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