While Trump Complains About Facebook Takedowns, Facebook Is Helping Trump Take Down Content He Doesn't Like

from the oh,-look-at-that dept

You might have noticed in the last week or two that President Trump has suddenly jumped on the silly bandwagon suggesting that internet platforms like Facebook and Twitter don't have a right to kick people off of their platforms. There have been a bunch of misleading tweets he's made, but we'll just post this one that kicked it all off:

In it, Trump says:

I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what's known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!

Of course, "FREEDOM OF SPEECH" in the American context only applies to the government interfering with the rights of people to express themselves, and has no bearing on companies choosing to kick off people who it finds problematic. Indeed, part of the 1st Amendment is that it provides the platforms -- as private entities -- the right to determine who they associate with and who they don't.

But a new Wired article suggests that there's a striking contrast here, in that Facebook has someone who is quick to respond and to shut down the accounts of those designated by Trump's government as undesirable. It's difficult not to read this as somewhat hypocritical. The issue relates to another story we discussed last month, in which the Trump White House declared Iran's IRGC a "foreign terrorist organization." The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, is basically Iran's military/security/law enforcement wing -- and this is the first time that a governmental organization has been declared a foreign terrorist organization in the US. And Facebook immediately accepted this claim from the White House and banned any related accounts:

The day after Trump’s move, Instagram, a Facebook property, blocked the accounts of high-ranking Revolutionary Guard officers. And the next week The New York Times reported that Fishman had said Facebook would have zero tolerance for any group the US deems a terrorist organization.

In short, at the same time as Trump is incorrectly referencing the 1st Amendment with regards to Facebook's private moderation decisions, his own White House is effectively able to dictate to Facebook what accounts need to be taken down:

So basically Trump can tell Facebook to de-platform any part of any foreign government—including, presumably, an entire foreign government—and Fishman, along with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, will reply with a crisp salute? Under Facebook’s current policy, that would seem to be the case.

Wired's Robert Wright asks Facebook's "global head of counterterrorism policy," Brian Fishman, to defend this, and Fishman basically says "I'm just following orders"

When I asked Fishman to justify this policy, he said it’s designed to keep Facebook on the right side of the law, which prohibits Americans from providing “material support” to any group deemed a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.”

But, I replied, the law goes on to spell out the things that would constitute “material support,” and none of them sound much like “letting these groups post on your social media platform.” Fishman said, “I’m not a lawyer. I’m a policy guy.”

You can understand why Facebook might wish to avoid falling afoul of material support for terrorism laws (though the few attempts to hit social media companies with this law have all failed miserably), but the end result is this bizarre situation in which the President is whining about blocking accounts on Facebook (which are actions by a private company in which the government has no say), while his own government is using its (questionable powers) to have accounts banned on Facebook (which potentially do have more actual 1st Amendment implications).

Filed Under: brian fishman, content moderation, donald trump, foreign terrorist organization, iran, irgc, material support, social media


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  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 8:56am

    Hypocrisy, thy name is government.

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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 10:03am

    it’s designed to keep Facebook on the right side of the law, which prohibits Americans from providing “material support” to any group deemed a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.”

    I wonder if this means domestic terrorists can get all the “material support” they need from Facebook. Did that armed civilian militia illegally taking prisoners at the southern border have a Facebook page?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      Our present administration seems to think there is no such thing as a domestic terrorist.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 6:50pm

      Re: domestic terrorists?

      If ICE were a domestic terrorist front and ISIS a foreign terrorist front, yes, both are evil and despicable, but this wording would apply an odd double standard which lets domestic terrorists go free.

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

  • icon
    TheLizard (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 10:13am

    Civil Right

    This is a stunningly ignorant take on the situation. We've gone way beyond the point where we can just say "these private companies can do anything they want." These are powerful, global corporations, they collude with each other on silencing certain opinions, and, no, there really is no alternative.

    "Build your own website" as a response is not even viable, since, when you become popular but undesirable, the SV giants have your hosting provider kicked you off, your payment provider ban you, your bank close your account, etc., etc. That's happening RIGHT NOW.

    Lyndon Johnson realized in the 1950's that his black assistants did not want to drive his dog to Texas because, in the south, they would end up sleeping in their car and having no place they could stop to eat and would have to go to the bathroom with the dog. The public accommodations used by most people on road trips were not available to blacks. It had to change.

    The same situation is happening in the digital space. It's time to realize that access to the platforms everyone uses to communicate is a civil right. Government doesn't need to regulate these wealthy and powerful corporations, but they do need to give our citizens a private right of action when they are treated unfairly.

    Just like the Civil Rights law did for blacks in America.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 10:16am

      Re: Civil Right

      Which opinions are being "silenced" by this imaginary collusion?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 10:22am

      Re: Civil Right

      "Build your own website" as a response is not even viable, since, when you become popular but undesirable, the SV giants have your hosting provider kicked you off, your payment provider ban you, your bank close your account, etc., etc.

      The hell it isn't. The conservatives being "targeted" are in no position to say "we can't go somewhere else because..."

      They certainly don't want to take that stance when it comes to a baker not being able to say that to an LGBTQ couple needing a cake. They advocated for companies to have religious/dogma-based rights like people, and this is just the unintended consequence they were too shortsighted to consider.

      So fuck them. Companies like Facebook are entitled to booting these shitbirds because of their dogma - if conservatives have a problem with it, they should clean their own damn houses first.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 11:31am

        Re: Re: Civil Right

        If EVERY baker denied cakes to gay couples then there would be a rights violation.

        The question is whether or not a social-media company larger than X size is a state actor and should be a common carrier.

        I'd also ask, if free speech is so important, why everyone abandoned USENET.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 11:40am

          Re: Re: Re: Civil Right

          If EVERY baker denied cakes to gay couples then there would be a rights violation.

          I see. So since Facebook is not EVERY social media platform, there's nothing to complain about.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 11:50am

          Re: Re: Re: Civil Right

          The question is whether or not a social-media company larger than X size is a state actor and should be a common carrier.

          This is an easy one. The answer is no.

          If a service offered on the internet should be declared "a state actor and ... a common carrier" then the internet service provider should, too. Well before the social media service even.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 2:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Civil Right

            ISPs already function pretty much as common carriers. As many are monopolies, they should be already.

            I don't think social-media sites have reached that critical mass yet, but it is quite possible that they could. Tying content neutrality to Section 230 protection, however, is valid, since 230 was designed to protect "dumb pipes." I wouldn't call another internet user an "information content provider."

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 2:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Civil Right

              Tying content neutrality to Section 230 protection, however, is valid, since 230 was designed to protect "dumb pipes."

              No, it's not. 230 was designed to protect any and all platforms and services from being held accountable for what others posted, and encourage moderation without the company having to worry that doing so would suddenly make them liable.

              Honestly, the recent attempt to re-write(without actually re-writing it) 230 to frame it as something it's not, containing language it doesn't, is just downright laughable, especially as it's not that complicated.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 2:26pm

              230 was designed to protect

              …any website that allows user-generated content — including comments sections such as this one — from legal liability for the actions of a third-party user. I would hardly call Twitter a “dumb pipe”; the same goes for YouTube, Facebook, DeviantArt, 4chan (okay maybe the “dumb” signifier still fits there…), and any other website that allows UGC.

              And the whole “tying content neutrality to 230 protections” proposition is another way of saying “the government should force Twitter, Facebook, etc. to host content and users they do not want to host”. For what reason should a Black Lives Matter blog be forbidden by law to delete any comment that advocates for White supremacy?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 10:39am

      Re: Civil Right

      "Just like the Civil Rights law did for blacks in America."

      And what did that law do for the citizens of the US?
      Writing laws and enforcing laws are two separate and different things. Just because there is a law does not mean it is enforced, and certainly not equally.

      "It's time to realize that access to the platforms everyone uses to communicate is a civil right."
      Why? Many think you are wrong.

      "Government doesn't need to regulate these wealthy and powerful corporations"
      lol, you are a funny one fer sure

      " they do need to give our citizens a private right of action when they are treated unfairly."
      OMG - that one is a belly buster - LOL

      The only reason for the civil rights movement in the 60s was due to LBJ's dog
      LOL - wow, this is killer Jerry, killer

      "That's happening RIGHT NOW"
      Are they being kicked off because of their illegal activities?
      Was there a court case?

      I imagine that as the election nears we will be seeing more of these new and rather funny posts from the obvious troll brigade.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 10:40am

      access to the platforms everyone uses to communicate is a civil right

      That idea would violate the First Amendment. Facebook’s owners and operators have every right to decide whether a given person deserves the privilege of using Facebook. To turn usage of Facebook into a civil right is to both destroy Facebook’s right of association and force Facebook to host content/users its owners and operators have explicitly demonstrated they do want on Facebook. You may think forcing Facebook to “play nice” and “be neutral” is worth whatever loss of rights Facebook suffers — but you can be sure that any such law will be applied to every social interaction network. And with enough “creativity”, it could even be applied to comments sections such as this one…or, perhaps, a comments section on a website that you own and operate.

      Usage of a third party platform is a privilege. You are not entitled to use such a platform, and that platform is not obligated to give you an audience. You will not change this stance until you — or anyone else, for that matter — can come up with a damn good reason why the people who run any kind of privately-owned platform for UGC should be forced by law to host content/users they do not want to host. Good luck.

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

      • icon
        TheLizard (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 10:46am

        Re:

        You're using exactly the same arguments that racists used in the 1960's to oppose civil rights legislation.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 11:04am

          The Civil Rights Movement fought for government recognition that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to participate in society at large. You fight for the government’s ability to force Facebook into hosting content that it otherwise would not host. Your counterargument (such as it is) does not explain why Facebook should be forced to host content/users that the government says it must host.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 11:33am

            Re:

            Why should a privately-owned restaurant be forced to serve customers it doesn't like? Because, as you said, everyone deserves a right to participate in society at large.

            The question is how necessary Facebook and Twitter are to this participation.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 11:48am

              Given how many people lack not only a Facebook or Twitter account, but Internet access in general, I would say “not even remotely necessary”. Alex Jones got booted from every major social interaction network and he can still participate in society both in-person and online.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 2:01pm

                Re:

                I would agree. Platforms that censor quickly become irrelevant. If at some point in the future that changes, then perhaps it could be revisited.

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

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 14 May 2019 @ 12:15am

                Re:

                "Alex Jones got booted"

                It's worth noting that Jones has his own platform. He literally owns and operates places that he can use free from anybody else's restrictions.

                His problem is not being without a platform - his problem is that his crappy platforms do not reach a large audience, and he can't force the ones with the audience to put up with him. As usual with that kind of person, he complains that he's being persecuted, but the reality is that he's just not able to force others to put up with him.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 7:00pm

              Re: Re:

              Privately-owned restaurants regularly kick people out for bad behavior. They aren't forced to serve them whatsoever.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2019 @ 8:13pm

              Re: Re:

              The fact is, that privately owned restaurants CAN kick you out for almost any reason, as long it's not based on discrimination.
              If you start yelling and being an asshole, your gonna get booted out.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 10:45am

      Re: Civil Right

      I hear you friend, but its like a gnat pissing red in to a sea of blue in this comments section.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 10:48am

        Re: Re: Civil Right

        Since many like to compare the internet to the real world brick and mortar ...
        what do you think about a private business not serving a customer?
        The reason does not matter, do you think they should be allowed to do not serve whomever they so please?

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 10:56am

          So long as they do not violate any anti-discrimination laws? Yes.

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

          • icon
            TheLizard (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 11:43am

            Re:

            Right.

            So we need anti-discrimination rules for Internet companies that claim Section 230 protections as a platform.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 11:50am

              FYI: Booting people for their opinions, political or otherwise, is not part of any anti-discrimination law that I know of.

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

              • icon
                TheLizard (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 12:12pm

                Re:

                That's why it's needed.

                And we have case law in the real world that supports it. Ralphs Grocery v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union specified that labor union speech trumps the private property rights of companies in some cases.

                Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins established that private shopping malls are public squares, and upheld the free speech rights of citizens to protest there even over the objections of the property owners.

                There are numerous others. But without specific rules allowing private right of action, such as the civil rights act enables, it's impossible for private citizens to take on multi-billion dollar corporations in law suits of this kind.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:36pm

                  Re: Re:

                  That's why it's needed.

                  And if said social media companies object to conservative opinions based on religious grounds, whose imaginary person is more important?

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 1:26pm

                  That's why it's needed.

                  I know of numerous Mastodon instances that have explicitly banned racist, sexist, and anti-LGBT speech (among other “distasteful” forms of expression). Under your proposal of making social media access a civil right, each of those instances — regardless of their wishes — could no longer ban such speech or the people who express it. They would be forced to host that speech and those users regardless of how they feel because it would be the user’s “right” to choose their preferred social media service.

                  Now, for the $64,000 question: How would that do any good at all for those instances and their respective userbases?

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 7:25am

                  Re: Re:

                  "Ralphs Grocery v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union specified that labor union speech trumps the private property rights of companies in some cases. "

                  How does this support your claim about online social media? Did this company run their own web server with a platform hosting social media?

                  Yeah - I didn't think so.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 2:00pm

                Re:

                We can make anti-discrimination a requirement for Section 230 protection. That seems to be the endgame here.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 11:52am

              Re: Re:

              Are you suggesting that "Right Wing Nut Job" should be a protected group along with race, gender, religion, etc?

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 1:53pm

                Re: Re: Re:

                The term "nutjob" is clearly bigoted hate speech against the mentally ill, and should be banned.

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

                • identicon
                  bob, 9 May 2019 @ 5:08pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I see that term hits a little close to home for you.

                  You will never have a right to force others to listen to your opinion.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 7:28am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Some want to megaphone your ears all the while making use of some sweet noise cancellation earphones themselves.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 6:23pm

              Re: Re:

              "Right. So we need anti-discrimination rules for Internet companies that claim Section 230 protections as a platform."

              LOL - aren't you cute.

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

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 8:35pm

        Re: Re: Civil Right

        You should see a few doctors urgently.

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

    • icon
      Cdaragorn (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 10:45am

      Re: Civil Right

      Conflating forcing companies to provide service to meet basic human needs with forcing companies to let you say whatever you want in their space is just flatly wrong. You're trying to extend protections to online companies that were explicitly not extended to physical stores in the very civil rights laws you reference for a dang good reason. Making people listen to you is NOT A CIVIL RIGHT. Even a physical store that has to obey those very laws is free to kick you out if you start spouting out things in their store they don't want you to.

      You act like civil rights are entirely a one sided issue. You are very wrong. Whenever you try to protect any side from any act you have to very carefully balance the "rights" of both parties. You have to recognize that even morally wrong acts do not always deserve protection under the law. You want to completely ignore Facebook's very real moral right to only let people they want to on their online property on the sole excuse that they're not allowing some speech within that very limited space and with no more excuse than "they're big". The simple fact is that no companies influence and power is anywhere near as big as the government's always will be. No matter how much you complain about it it is easy to create your own space to speak whatever you want in. The fact that not many people may want to come to your space to listen to you is not a good enough reason to tramp all over Facebook's basic rights.

      You also can't even be consistent within your own arguments:

      Government doesn't need to regulate these wealthy and powerful corporations, but they do need to give our citizens a private right of action when they are treated unfairly

      You can't create a right of action without regulation. So which one is it? Do you let the government regulate these very real basic rights by tramping all over one parties rights to satisfy another party? Everyone recognizes that there are times where you do have to limit some parties rights. We just also recognize that that is a balancing act and that it is very rare that that balance is honestly far enough to one side to justify forcing it.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 11:52am

        Re: Re: Civil Right

        We "balanced" Title VII by making it apply only to companies with fifteen or more fulltime employees.

        Guess the result.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:05pm

        Re: Re: Civil Right

        The Civil Rights laws vaguely being referenced in this thread basically mean that public facing businesses can't deny goods/services to someone based on their age, sex, race, religion, etc., (I don't remember all the protected classes off hand). But that doesn't mean said businesses can't throw people out for not following their rules (or ToS in the case of online platforms).

        Hotel XYZ can't refuse to rent a room to someone just because that person is black or Christian, but they can throw that person out if they start yelling at other guests, poop in the pool, and/or write "God hates fags" on the bathroom walls with a sharpie.

        A baker who makes and sells wedding cakes to the public at large would be breaking the law by refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple just because they were a gay couple. The baker would not be breaking the law though if he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple that requested their cake say, "Jesus loves gay marriage".

        Just like a local news station would be in violation of the law if they had a policy against hiring women news anchors, but they are well within their rights to fire a woman news anchor if she goes on a racist rant on air (or does anything else that violates company policies).

        Your ISP can't deny you service based on the color of your skin, but they sure as hell can cancel your service if you setup a child porn server in your basement.

        Equal access to goods and services based on gender, sex, religion, etc., is protected by law. Ensuring continued access to those goods and services regardless of your personal conduct is not. Part of Freedom of Speech is the freedom to NOT say something. Government coercing speech is the same as government restricting speech.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 12:10pm

          A baker who makes and sells wedding cakes to the public at large would be breaking the law by refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple just because they were a gay couple.

          Technically, this is only true in states with anti-discrimination laws that explicitly ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. No federal law bans it.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 2:46pm

          'You can't ban me, jackass is a protected class!'

          Well, only one thing to do then: Add 'conservative', 'racist loser', 'neo-nazi douche' 'sexist jackass' and various other 'persecuted groups' as protected classes, and that'll solve it nicely. I mean, clearly something you choose to be should be lumped right in with something you have no choice over.

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

        • icon
          Cdaragorn (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 3:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Civil Right

          I'm not sure why you're replying to me, since my entire post basically agrees with everything you've said.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:54pm

      Re: Civil Right

      Article 1, Section 2 of the California Constitution, when read in conjunction with the Choice of Law provision of Facebook’s Terms of Use, cuts in a direction opposite to the general principle the author of this article asserts here and in numerous prior articles.

      Remember...so long as federal constitutional law is not undermined, states are free to secure constitutional rights that are broader than is the case under federal law, as California has done under the cited constitutional provision and as recognized by the US Supreme Court in its Pruneyard decision of 1980.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 8:34pm

      Re: Civil Right

      This is a stunningly ignorant take on the situation.

      That sentence only holds true if it refers to the rest of the comment that follows it.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 12:40am

      Re: Civil Right

      ""Build your own website" as a response is not even viable"

      He says, on a website that someone built themselves...

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 2:06am

        Re: Re: Civil Right

        It's fascinating that you think this website is as large and encompassing as Twitter and Facebook.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 6:04am

          …he says as if the size of the website and its userbase matter in this discussion.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 7:30am

            Re:

            Didn't you know ????

            Facebook, twitter .... even apple - all these massive corporations were created as huge, from day one. They have always been huge.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 7:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Civil Right

          I didn't say it was. Just that nobody's blocking you from building a website yourself if you and your knuckle-dragging friends keep getting told to remove yourselves from polite gatherings.

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

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 9 May 2019 @ 10:58am

    We are monitoring and watching, closely!!

    So, watch what you say...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 11:03am

    At least Techdirt didn't try to drag out "There is no targeting of conservatives" with this one. Sticking to the private company angle was the way to go.
    Although I was really looking forward to hearing how the anti conservative bent was all a myth.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 11:10am

      It is a myth. To prove it is not, you must prove that such bias exists, that it specifically targets even the most “centrist” conservative beliefs while leaving any belief or user considered “left-of-center” intact, and that any banning/shadowbanning/muting of a conservative user — and only conservative users — is done purely on the basis of their political beliefs despite said user doing nothing to violate the terms of service. I wish you the best of luck; you will certainly need it.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 11:34am

        Re:

        I think the fact that all the accounts being banned are right of center is sufficient evidence for anyone willing to apply critical thought. They are banning people they disagree with, and that is all.

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

        • identicon
          TFG, 9 May 2019 @ 11:46am

          Re: Re:

          "I think the fact that all the accounts being banned are right of center is sufficient evidence for anyone willing to apply critical thought."

          Please provide evidence that all the account being banned are right of center.

          This includes being able to prove that accounts left of center have not been banned.

          I'll wait.

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        • icon
          Gary (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 11:56am

          Re: Re:

          I think the fact that all the accounts being banned are right of center

          That is a simple statement to disprove ain't it? Just a single example makes you a liar.

          https://www.wired.co.uk/article/twitter-political-account-ban-us-mid-term-elections

          Therefore - your alt-right conspiracy is full of shit. Your buddies at Infowars were banned for hate speech.

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          • identicon
            TFG, 9 May 2019 @ 2:31pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            What a shocker.

            "Some right-wing accounts have been banned" is not sufficient evidence for anyone applying critical thought. Critical thought demands that there be a pattern of evidence that only right-wing accounts are banned, and that there be no valid reason for that banning to have occurred (e.g. Violation of Terms of Service).

            So far, that has not been borne out. Instead, we're told that there is a conspiracy, and when asked for evidence, are told what exists is enough if we're "thinking critically" - sorry folks. I'm not buying it.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 7:33am

          Re: Re:

          "the fact that all the accounts being banned are right of center is sufficient evidence"

          Shoot from the hip? Are you Quick Draw McGraw?

          We don need no more evidence, we got all the evidence we need right here. Get that rope.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 11:36am

        Re:

        I think the rules are left-leaning even if their application is neutral. It's "fair" within a left-leaning construct, kind of like news which is fair coverage of story selection which is not.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 11:42am

        Re:

        Here's a conservative viewpoint:

        metoo women say straight men are predators who target straight women.

        gayrights activists say gays and straights are equal.

        Therefore, according to liberals, gay men are predators who target straight men.

        This post, based on pure logic, could easily be construed as "misogynist" or "homophobic" and banned, yet the #metoo statements are not equally misandrist. The desire to ban it isn't that it violates any TOS, but because it is extremely difficult for liberals to refute.

        Here's another: "If abortion is murder, why do pro-life advocates want to prosecute the doctor and not the mother?"

        Or another: "If affirmative-action is so effective, why has nothing changed in half a century?"

        To those who support affirmative action, here's a simple question: what is it? Which law(s) enforce it? To whom does it apply? About 99 percent of Democrats who support AA can't even tell you what it is.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 12:03pm

          If abortion is murder, why do pro-life advocates want to prosecute the doctor and not the mother?

          You must not have heard about the recent anti-abortion bill signed into law in Georgia.

          [T]he most startling effect of HB 481 may be its criminalization of women who seek out unlawful abortions or terminate their own pregnancies. An earlier Georgia law imposing criminal penalties for illegal abortions does not apply to women who self-terminate; the new measure, by contrast, conspicuously lacks such a limitation. It can, and would, be used to prosecute women. … Anti-abortion advocates generally insist that they do not want to punish women who undergo abortions. But HB 481 does exactly that. Once it takes effect, a woman who self-terminates will have, as a matter of law, killed a human—thereby committing murder. The penalty for that crime in Georgia is life imprisonment or capital punishment.

          HB 481 would also have consequences for women who get abortions from doctors or miscarry. A woman who seeks out an illegal abortion from a health care provider would be a party to murder, subject to life in prison. And a woman who miscarries because of her own conduct—say, using drugs while pregnant—would be liable for second-degree murder, punishable by 10 to 30 years’ imprisonment. Prosecutors may interrogate women who miscarry to determine whether they can be held responsible; if they find evidence of culpability, they may charge, detain, and try these women for the death of their fetuses.

          Even women who seek lawful abortions out of state may not escape punishment. If a Georgia resident plans to travel elsewhere to obtain an abortion, she may be charged with conspiracy to commit murder, punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment. An individual who helps a woman plan her trip to get an out-of-state abortion, or transports her to the clinic, may also be charged with conspiracy. These individuals, after all, are “conspiring” to end of the life of a “person” with “full legal recognition” under Georgia law.

          It is entirely possible that Georgia prosecutors armed with this new statute will bring charges against women who terminate their pregnancies illegally. In 2015, a Georgia prosecutor charged Kenlissia Jones with murder after she self-terminated; he only dropped the charges after concluding that “criminal prosecution of a pregnant woman for her own actions against her unborn child does not seem permitted.” Starting in 2020, however, Georgia law will permit precisely this kind of prosecution. There is no reason to doubt that history will repeat itself, and more prosecutors will charge women who undergo abortions with murder.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:28pm

            Re:

            I don't agree with this, and I don't believe gay men are more overtly predatory because they have an even greater fear of violence than straight men do. My point is that these are logical arguments which could easily be misconstrued as "hate speech." Many feminsts don't include trans women as "women" and some are being banned for that.

            Political censorship is bad whether or not it's legal.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 12:33pm

              If Twitter were the government, its (alleged) booting of people for their political opinions might matter more. But it is not a state actor by any stretch of the imagination; anyone booted from Twitter can go to any other social interaction network that will have them and say what got them banned without Twitter getting up in their business. Using Twitter is a privilege; no one has yet to explain why it should be a right, such that Twitter should be forced by law to host content/users it does not want to host.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 1:51pm

                Re:

                I agree. The market has consistently punished censorship ever since AOL tried it and chased everyone onto the web once the web had the same features.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:06pm

          Re: Re:

          Your logic fails.
          If Gay = Straight, that would mean
          Women say Gay and Straight men are predators who target Gay and Straight women.

          It follows that the rest of your rambling is quite illogical.

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

          • icon
            TheLizard (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 12:14pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            Why are you arguing the point? It's simple just to ban the user and delete their account for wrongthink!

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 12:25pm

              If your “wrongthink” does not violate the terms of service, your ban is bullshit. But a ban being bullshit does not mean you can force your way back onto that platform by way of a court ruling.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 1:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You seem angry for no particular reason.
              An opinion is one thing, a logical fallacy is something different.
              Many opinions ARE based on logical fallacies, therefore many opinions ARE wrong, though strongly believed.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:28pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            the = is "object of their desire," not the same gender.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 1:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Then you're putting too much interpretation and assumption into what you say is a logical statement. Not sure how you made that 'leap of logic', when there is no such implication in the sentences.
              I'm thinking you're projecting quite a bit.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 1:50pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                If "men" are predatory, as #metoo alleges, why would gay men be exempt from that broad brush? Any time women trash "men" this way, they are also trashing gay men, or they're claiming that gay and straight men are somehow different.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 2:08pm

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

                  There likely are gay men who prey on other men.
                  There likely are actually gay men who prey on women.
                  Then again, you are implying the word 'All' in there as well.
                  The inability to understand nuance is often a problem when making silly arguments against others causes.
                  Are you in the 'All lives matter' so 'Black lives matter' shouldn't be a statement? Then you don't understand the point that 'Yes, it's already agreed upon that all lives should matter, but it's an unfortunate necessity to have to say Black lives matter'.
                  Your argument is the one sweeping up a 'broad brush' that nobody is actually painting with.
                  If the world was as simple as you like to make it with 'broad brushes', we wouldn't need smaller brushes, yet pointillism is beautiful and interesting.

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

                  • icon
                    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 2:53pm

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

                    "Then you don't understand the point that 'Yes, it's already agreed upon that all lives should matter, but it's an unfortunate necessity to have to say Black lives matter'."

                    Then you don't understand that by specifying black in such types of statement you imply that they're worth more than non-black.

                    It's an exclusionary psychological method to invoke guilt in the groups excluded and sympathy in other members of the group.

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

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 3:09pm

                      you don't understand that by specifying black in such types of statement you imply that they're worth more than non-black

                      Given the nature of how Black people have been treated in the United States, the actual nature of the phrase goes something like this: “All lives matter, but black lives matter, too.”

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

                      • icon
                        Bamboo Harvester (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 3:28pm

                        Re:

                        You cropped the last line of my original.

                        Implying that a select group is "more special" than others in this manner is how Solidarity movements, religions, and unions start.

                        Frankly, outside of the immediate family circle, most lives don't matter much, regardless of skin color or any other group identifier.

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 3:35pm

                          Re: Re:

                          Implying that a select group is "more special" than others in this manner is how Solidarity movements, religions, and unions start.

                          Oh noes!

                          Frankly, outside of the immediate family circle, most lives don't matter much

                          We should all definitely take our moral and ethical cues from you!

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

                          • icon
                            Bamboo Harvester (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 5:17am

                            Re: Re: Re:

                            So disprove me.

                            Most of the lives that "mattered" generally only achieve that status at their end, usually by martyrdom. And then it's not what they actually did, but imaginings of what they would have done if they hadn't been killed.

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

                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 4:24pm

                          Implying that a select group is "more special" than others in this manner is how Solidarity movements, religions, and unions start.

                          I am no fan of religion, but I am pro-union, and LGBT civil rights would not have come as far as they have today if not for “solidarity” between LGBT people and their allies in the fight for those rights.

                          Besides, “Black Lives Matter” is not saying Black people are “more special”. It is saying the United States values Black lives so little that it must be reminded that those lives matter just as much as White lives. “All Lives Matter” is an attempt to distract from this message by ignoring the 400 years or so of American history — from the founding of the colonies to the present day — that proves the United States has never valued Black lives in the same way it values White lives.

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

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 4:26pm

                            Re:

                            NO lives matter!

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

                          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 3:49am

                            Re:

                            Hey Stephen, Jihad Stephen, I have a question for you.

                            Do you think that Techdirt will STOP censoring comments now?

                            I think they will, because they are AFRAID of Donald John Trump, the Magnificent, the POTUS.

                            Can’t blame them.

                            Censorship on Techdirt is OVER! YAY! MAGA!

                            And in Fairness, THANK YOU FOR NOT CENSORING. It’s a really good sign, and I think it means TRUMP WILL BE PRESIDENT FOREVER!

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

                          • icon
                            Bamboo Harvester (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 5:15am

                            Re:

                            Unions have devolved into guaranteeing the lowest quality at the highest cost. You may be pro-union, but then you have to deal with murderous cops who can't be fired and teachers who abuse kids that can't be fired - all because of their Unions.

                            As to the "more special", it's part of the psychology of adding a "name" into a general statement to draw attention to that "name" in the specific - which makes it "more special" than everyone/thing not of that group.

                            If it was simply "Lives Matter", you might get a few non-committal nods towards the group, nothing more. By specifying "black" (or "gay", or any other), the implication is that they're special, need to be considered separately from all non-members suffering the same plights. You've made it a group with an exclusive core.

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

                            • icon
                              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 6:00am

                              By specifying "black" (or "gay", or any other), the implication is that they're special, need to be considered separately from all non-members suffering the same plights.

                              White people have never, in the history of the United States, been a marginalized minority. Black people have.

                              Straight people have never been a marginalized minority. Gay people have.

                              Men have never been a marginalized segment of the population. Women have.

                              When counting all sects, Christians have never, in the history of the United States, been a marginalized religious minority. Virtually every other religion has.

                              Specifying a marginalized segment of the population and saying “their lives matter” is about pointing out the historical treatment of that group of people at the hands of the majority and the powerful. “Black Lives Matter” is about pointing out how Black people have been the single most marginalized and oppressed groups in the history of this country. Slavery, segregation, anti-Black voting laws, “separate but equal”, COINTELPRO, redlining, the Ku Klux Klan, the bombing of Black Wall Street, the killings of unarmed Black men at the hands of police…and those are only a fraction of the harm visited upon Black people by the only people who have ever held a majority of the power in this country (White people, natch).

                              The government and the citizenry have never valued Black lives as much as White lives or even the lives of other, less marginalized ethnic groups. (The only group of people that could truthfully claim to be more historically marginalized by American society are Native Americans.) The BLM movement is about mitigating, or even reversing, that trend. All lives matter, of course, but Black lives matter, too — and when American society starts acting like it, there will be no need for that statement.

                              But by all means, go off again on how the “specificity” of saying “Black Lives Matter” is a bad thing.

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

                              • icon
                                PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 6:34am

                                Re:

                                "But by all means, go off again on how the “specificity” of saying “Black Lives Matter” is a bad thing."

                                The problem is that some people insert a word into that phrase other than that which is intended. The phrase is obviously meant to imply also, but a minority seem to think it implies only. Nobody who reads the term correctly will get offended by it unless they have deeper seated issues to address.

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

                              • icon
                                Bamboo Harvester (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 10:21am

                                Re:

                                "White people have never, in the history of the United States, been a marginalized minority. Black people have."

                                The key word there is "minority", not "marginalized".

                                But has nothing to do with my observation on the psychology of adding a group "name" into what is intended as a catch-phrase.

                                The group doesn't matter. You get the same psychological results with ANY group. Hell, use "nazi" and the psych still doesn't change.

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

                                • icon
                                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 5:10pm

                                  The key word there is "minority", not "marginalized".

                                  I do not deny that individual White people and even small subsets of White people (e.g., the Irish) have been marginalized by American society in the past — but White people as a racial group have not. Even those marginalized groups of White people have not been nearly as mistreated as (or by) Black people and Native Americans as those two groups have been treated by White people over the course of U.S. history.

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 4:26pm

                          Re: Re:

                          Snowball is less equal.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 7:10pm

      Re:

      It's a myth.

      Conservatives (of certain sorts, anyway), even when they control everything in every sector of life will still act all persecuted and downtrodden because reasons. Their hearts bleed more than any liberal's, but only for themselves.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 8:36pm

      Re:

      That the "evidence" for such a claim can so far only be fabricated from whole cloth a la Project Veritas doesn't build much confidence in its veracity.

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

  • icon
    Dan (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 11:29am

    The real problem

    The white elephant in the room is the fact that people use social platforms as a [sole] news source, instead of exercising independent thought and common sense. No legislation, or private action is going to do that for them. We all look at the symptoms, and never the actual problem. Anyone who allows their views to be shaped by social media is an idiot. They need to stop being lazy and do their own research. That goes for blindly following political parties during elections, as well.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 11:36am

      Re: The real problem

      Unless you want to regulate the right to vote, this cannot happen.

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

    • icon
      TheLizard (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 11:53am

      Re: The real problem

      But it's actually worse than that. The mainstream media news stories are often by and large GENERATED from social media. This has been going on for quite a while.

      It's why Twitter is so very protective of the mainstream media reporters on their platform. It's why people are there.

      So when outlets started laying off journalists, and users started reminding the journalists of the stories they wrote during the mass layoffs in the rust belt, Twitter decided they needed to BAN users posting the #LearnToCode hashtag.

      Silencing conservatives is one thing, but it's not just conservatives, it's anyone that challenges the corporate / globalist / capitalist system that SV relies on for their fat paychecks. They banned the Anti-Media and the Free Thought Project a while back, for example, and many other far-left publications that challenged the narrative of the corporate hegemony.

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

      • icon
        Dan (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 12:04pm

        Re: Re: The real problem

        Agreed. The mainstream media has not only gotten lazy, but they have put an emphasis on being the first to put out a story, as opposed to putting out an accurate one. So, they let others do the garbage collection for them. That is solely their fault. I don't fault Facebook or Twitter for that. News is not social media's purpose, and social media never claimed it to be, unless you've heard something I haven't.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re: The real problem

        "The mainstream media news stories are often by and large GENERATED from social media."

        You maybe on to something there in that they do report on unhinged twitter ranting.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 11:59am

      Re: The real problem

      What I find amusing about this is that, for ages now, FB has had a policy against any FB-integrated app reproducing "the FB experience" in any way. If your app displays messages from other FB users and especially if it allows you to post a reply without ever logging into FB they will kill off your app.

      They do all this while hosting entire news articles and allowing commentary without ever sending the user over to the original news source.

      Hypocritical at best.

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

      • icon
        Dan (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 12:17pm

        Re: Re: The real problem

        You have to understand the Facebook business model. "We" are their product. Without people getting on FB directly, their whole business falls apart. Sure, they will host news articles posted by users. Provided, you have to log on to FB directly to get it. That is the source of their revenue, not what is being posted. That is why the third party apps you mention, are not allowed.

        FB pulling things down is them being fearful of what actual government regulated moderation might arise, if they did not. The entertainment industry did the same with the voluntary Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) film rating system, back in the day. If that had not occurred, the government would have intervened, to force the issue.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: The real problem

          Please clarify how your statements illustrate that Facebook is not hypocritical in their treatment of apps and news from non-FB sources.

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

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 4:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The real problem

            I’ll tell you. Facebook is NOT hypocritical in their treatment of apps and news from non-FB sources because Facebook LOVES Donald J. Trump, the Magnificent, the POTUS.

            THEY LOVE HIM! Zuckerberg himself loves Trump, and has been secretly supporting his campaign for 2020 by PRETENDING to not like him, and at the last minute, he will ENDORSE HIM! Really. He’s been posing all along as some kind of socialist give money away lunatic, but it’s NOT TRUE.

            Zuckerberg knows where his bread is buttered, and besides that, Trump has ALL KINDS OF SHIT ON HIM! Really. Nothing like CIA/NSA/FBI etc. to help get people on your side. No kidding, it really works.

            So don’t judge Facebook too harshly - it’s all a SETUP, just to get Trump re-elected in 2020 - really! The whole thing, even the tweet at the top of this article. It’s a plan of 3-dimensional chess, and now that the gloves are off, because of the Mueller report, EVERYONE is coming to Trump’s aid, either in public, or in private, or like Zuckerberg, WHAM! At the last moment, when everyone least expects it.

            So leave Facebook alone, they’re OK in my book.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 12:43am

      Re: The real problem

      "They need to stop being lazy and do their own research."

      Indeed. The trick is changing that, and the problem is far, far older than social media.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:38pm

    The "1st Amendment" only applies to the government in the American context. I am always distressed to see people - especially someone with the great history of defending freedom of speech as Mike Masnick - claim "freedom of speech" only applies to the government.

    Freedom of speech is a concept and exists beyond what the government can or cannot do. While I have no reason to believe Trump actually cares about the concept of freedom of speech, it is absolutely a concept that applies to private actors. It just isn't something the government can mandate for private actors.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:57pm

      Re:

      claim "freedom of speech" only applies to the government.

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      Where does 1A say that it applies to private businesses deciding with whom they want to do business.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 1:09pm

        Re: Re:

        I literally said the "1st Amendment" only applies to the government in the American context and you quoted the 1st Amendment back at me to try to prove me wrong?

        What?

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 1:20pm

          You also said “the concept of freedom of speech … is absolutely a concept that applies to private actors”.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 1:34pm

            Re:

            Yes. Because it is a societal value and has been for many generations. Hell, it was of near religious importance to large swaths of the tech in the late 90s and all of the 2000s up until the early 2010s.

            This doesn't mean freedom of speech is an obligation. It's as ambiguous a concept as "safety" when it isn't qualified. In practice it's generally used to debate the confines of the Overton window and the degree of sanctions for perceived deviations from the current Overton window.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 1:37pm

              Re: Re:

              *large swaths of the tech community

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

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 4:16am

                Re: Re: Re:

                When you say “Overton window” you mean YOU ARE A COMMIE, right? You are a Russian Paid Traitor to the USA of A, right?

                I did a whole dictionary for Trump so he could spot traitors and lunatics and lawyers, and “Overton window” was right there on the first page. Easy to spot, easy to disregard.

                And by the way, YOU ARE BEING RECORDED - even Trump said so, right at the top.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 5:23am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  even Trump said so, right at the top

                  He also said Mexico's paying for your wall.

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 5:44am

                  I did a whole dictionary for Trump so he could spot traitors and lunatics and lawyers

                  I hope it had lots and lots of pretty pictures. We all know the old man can barely say a coherent sentence these days; reading one must be an even tougher challenge.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Where does 1A say that it applies to private businesses deciding with whom they want to do business.

          You didn't answer my question....

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 1:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Because your question asserts I said something that I did not.

            I explicitly stated the 1st Amendment only applies to Government. You keep pointing at the wording of the 1st Amendment while asking me how it applies to private businesses.

            If you want me to answer a question, ask me something that follows from what I actually said.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 1:45pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You're original comment:

              I am always distressed to see people - especially someone with the great history of defending freedom of speech as Mike Masnick - claim "freedom of speech" only applies to the government.

              How is it a "claim" that freedom of speech only applies to the gov't, when in reality, the 1A exactly only applies to the gov't. Hence, my quoting of the text of the 1A.

              So, why is it distressing to see people claim "freedom of speech" only applies to the government?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 3:12pm

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

                Because it is factually incorrect and I have seen far too many instances of activists using that phrase to promote censorship via mob justice as an alternative to censorship via government.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 4:02pm

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

                  I have seen far too many instances of activists using that phrase to promote censorship via mob justice

                  Define what you mean by that statement as it doesn't seem to really mean anything... Better yet, please post a link or two that are instances of "censorship via mob justice" so that I can better understand what you are trying to state.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 4:24pm

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

                    Harassment and defamation have silenced many.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 4:30pm

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

                      Harassment and defamation have silenced many.

                      Please point me somewhere, easy if it's a link, that shows me how "Harassment and defamation have silenced many" If it's so common, there has to be something documented somewhere that provides a good example.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 4:59am

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

                      Like when you threatened to rape mentally disabled people?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 4:34pm

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

                    Justine Sacco is a pretty infamous case if you want one that has plenty of documentation and analysis surrounding it.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 5:03pm

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

                      Justine Sacco is a pretty infamous case if you want one that has plenty of documentation and analysis surrounding it.

                      Hmmmm. I still don't get it. I Googled that name and vaguely remember hearing about it years ago. But what I failing to understand is how that is in any way related to Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...

                      She exercised her 1A right to say stupid things, everybody else exercised their 1A rights to call her out. It's a sad story, but if you say something offensive, joke or not, how do you not understand that people will become offended.

                      And back to my point above, how does any of this relate to "Congress shall make no law ..."?

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 5:16pm

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

                        This is your second and last warning before I stop responding to you.

                        I said the 1st Amendment is government only. "Free Speech" is not government only. You keep pointing back to the 1st Amendment and claiming I said it applies to private actors.

                        As for your other point, it sounds like you're arguing that mob justice is the ideal end-goal for responding to undesirable speech. If that is your standpoint, then I believe we are done here as I fundamentally disagree with the notion that mob justice is a good or even desirable outcome in almost every social media case it's used in.

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                        • identicon
                          bob, 9 May 2019 @ 5:33pm

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

                          So you redefine what the term Free Speech means so you can make your point? No wonder you are confused.

                          Free speech is short for freedom of speech which is directly related to the concept described in the first amendment of the USA.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 5:37pm

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

                            This is the last comment to you as you seem to be commenting in bad faith:

                            Free Speech is a concept. The 1st Amendment is an application of Free Speech.

                            The 1st Amendment is necessarily about Free Speech but Free Speech is not necessarily about the 1st Amendment.

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 6:09pm

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

                              That was not me... look at the gravatar.

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 1:10am

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

                              The basic concept of free speech is that the Government shall not stop you publishing your speech, at your own expense. When you demand more, you are no longer talking about free speech, but rather compelled publication at somebody else's expense.

                              Way back in the 60s and 70s, free speech meant buying a Roneo to print your own speech, and then selling or giving away the result via you own effort, and the efforts of your friends. Today, the equivalent is build your own website, purchasing a commercial Internet connection or renting a server as necessary.

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                            • identicon
                              bob, 10 May 2019 @ 8:00am

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

                              This is the last comment to you

                              One can hope and wish that it would be the last comment from you to anyone.

                              But please, dont grace the rest of us with your arrogance again. Even if it is funny to read your illogical arguments.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 6:01pm

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

                          As for your other point, it sounds like you're arguing that mob justice is the ideal end-goal for responding to undesirable speech. If that is your standpoint, then I believe we are done here as I fundamentally disagree with the notion that mob justice is a good or even desirable outcome in almost every social media case it's used in.

                          I never once indicated that I thought that mob justice was an ideal end-goal for responding to undesirable speech, so don't put words into my comments that weren't there to begin with.

                          As for your idea of "Free Speech", just because there may be lots of people who don't want to hear what you have to say and are promot[ing] censorship via mob justice, doesn't mean you are not still free to say it. You may just need to find a different venue or a crowd more willing to listen, but ultimately, your "Free Speech" still exists and hasn't been taken away via "mob justice."

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                            Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 3:57am

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

                            “Undesirable speech” - who are you? This is America, this is an American web site, owned by an American Citizen and published in the USA. “Undesirable speech” - are you a commie? Or a Mullah? Or a “would be” TYRANT? Undesirable?

                            What is “undesirable” is the idea that any AMERICANS GIVE A POOP about your bullshit superiority opinion at all.

                            If you’re NOT an American, then SHUT UP - we’re in AMERICA HERE.

                            If you ARE an American, then POTUS IS MONITORING YOU, he even said so. So GET READY to be MONITORED a LOT.

                            Either way, go piss up a rope. (What does that mean, anyway?)

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                            • icon
                              PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 4:22am

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

                              "we’re in AMERICA HERE."

                              No we're not. The server I'm reading this on is not located in the US, anyway. Xenophobic ignorance is a helluva drug.

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                                identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 4:27am

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

                                Well, then we should prosecute Techdirt to the fullest extent of the law.

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                                • icon
                                  PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 4:47am

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

                                  For...?

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

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                                    identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 5:17am

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

                                    Misstating an event without sufficient detail or using the same vocabulary that you used on a previous occasion. I think that’s what they sent General Flynn to prison for. Wait, I’m fact checking that. Yes, well, that’s close enough. Sorry - let me say it another way - failing to break a law when ordered. No, that’s not it, that’s General Barr. By the way, does that sound American to you? Congress holding General Barr in contempt because he refuses to break a law? I’m confused. Let me look into it more clearly. Oh, wait, I know. Being a foreign American hating traitorous asshole that should be hung by the neck until dead and then kept hanging until black. PaulT. That’s what for, you foreigner traitorous asshole.Metaphorically speaking, that is.

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                                    • icon
                                      PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 5:35am

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

                                      So, no action where charges are applicable anywhere, then. Just as I thought, thanks for confirming!

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                                        identicon
                                        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 5:43am

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

                                        Paul, Wendy, whoever you are, I don’t care.

                                        We all understand that the UK was part of this conspiracy. Duh. Christopher Steele, ring a bell?

                                        We can’t prosecute you, because you’re a fucking foreigner, but we sure can kick your ass for the next hundred years or so. Because that’s how long the Trump spirit is going to HAUNT the UK for how it tried to UNSEAT an American President with LIES AND SPIES.

                                        Americans. Long Memory. No kidding.

                                        But we’ll be very polite as we put our boot up your ass, sideways. Have a nice day. :)

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                                        • identicon
                                          TFG, 10 May 2019 @ 7:32am

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

                                          As an American, this person brings shame upon our country. Since they will never apologize, allow me to apologize on their behalf.

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                              identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 4:58am

                              Re: Ain’t no brown guys here

                              Sup trailer trash. I fucked melenia last night.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 7:15pm

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

                    Mobs have no freedom of speech, apparently. At least not the wrong sorts of mobs.

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                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 4:03am

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

                      Come on, admit it. The idea that POTUS is monitoring you freaks you out, because you have a LOT to feel guilty about. Comey is gone, Clapper is gone, Brennan is gone, and POTUS is pulling the levers of the intelligence community now.

                      Do you get what he said? He’s MONITORING YOU! Really. Do you think he can’t? Do you think he can’t UNMASK ANYONE and EVERYONE HERE?

                      Of course he can. He has a file on all of you. I helped write those files, from my extensive investagatorial experience (though I can’t spell, I CAN investigate). I’ve made a lot of notes, with circles, arrows, diagrams, and All the things that Arlo Guthrie talked about in Alice’s Restaurant (that’s spy talk, trust me).

                      Go ahead, say some more. Every byte of every message from every source to every destination on the Internet is monitored, recorded, verified, archived and kept FOREVER by POTUS!

                      I love that. I told him to say that, actually. (I can’t prove he heard me, but I did tell him, really).

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                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 4:33am

                        Re: Yum yum yum

                        I ate melienas ass last night. Tasted like honey. Too bad you’ll never know bro.

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                      • icon
                        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 5:39am

                        The idea that POTUS is monitoring you freaks you out

                        It would…if I believed for even one attosecond that he is monitoring individual websites for “censorship” instead of learning about alleged “censorship” via Fox News and parroting their bullshit to inflame his base and make them more enthralled with him.

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                          identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 5:46am

                          Re:

                          I love your comment.

                          You are publicly denying an obvious reality.

                          I love that. You really have no idea. That’s so good.

                          How many comments have been censored in this article. Count them, please.

                          Report back. Think about it. Pussy, you are too afraid to even respond.

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                          • icon
                            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 6:08am

                            Pussy, you are too afraid to even respond.

                            Hey!

                            My fursona is canine in nature, not feline.

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                          • identicon
                            TFG, 10 May 2019 @ 6:15am

                            Re: Re:

                            As of this comment, 0 comments have been censored.

                            As of this comment, 3 comments have been flagged as a warning that the speech contained within was considered dumb by the community.

                            I suspect a majority of your comments may be similarly flagged in the near future, since you like to accuse people of arguing in bad faith and make spurious accusations of people being fearful of the big bad POTUS.

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

  • identicon
    estimulante sexual, 9 May 2019 @ 3:06pm

    estimulantesual,estimulantesual Frminino

    Since many like to compare the Internet with the real world, the brick and mortar ...
    What do you think of a private company not serving a customer?
    The reason does not matter, do you think they should be allowed not to serve whom they please?

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    • identicon
      bob, 9 May 2019 @ 5:30pm

      Re: estimulantesual,estimulantesual Frminino

      Yes they should be allowed to kick someone off their property as long as the reason is not one of the protected items in the law.

      Hence a store can kick out a rude person, a criminal, or a racist, (list keeps going) all day every day. But the store can't kick out a person just because the person is a minority, a woman, a man, etc.

      The racist may be a woman, or a man but the person's sex is not why they were asked to leave. The person's behavior was why they were asked to leave.

      How is this a tough subject to understand?

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 6:32pm

        Re: Re: estimulantesual,estimulantesual Frminino

        Fuck that. You can’t censor me because I’m female. Or Male. Or black. Or white. Or red. Or yellow. You can’t censor me because if you do, you’re a racist. Or a sexist. You have the intention of being a racist, sexist, homophobic nasty disgusting animal.

        And by the way, James Comey is not a law enforcement officer. He is a political hack. And he will soon goto jail. And so will you and your stupid sexist racist homophobic friends.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 7:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: estimulantesual,estimulantesual Frminino

          lolwut

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 7:22pm

          You have the intention of being a racist, sexist, homophobic nasty disgusting animal.

          So…Mike Pence?

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 8:27pm

            Re:

            There is exactly one politician in the United States that the American people can be sure is not an agent for a foreign government, and that one person is Donald J. Trump, the Magnificent, the POTUS.

            It’s time for the rest of you fucking foreigners to go fuck yourself, and that includes you, Stone, you fucking foreigner. Do you think you could withstand a Mueller investigation? Donald J. Trump, the Magnificent, prevails again, as does the USA against the ENTIRE WORLD. That’s RIGHT. We’re better than ALL OF YOU! We’re AMERICANS! SO TAKE YOUR SOCIALIST COMMUNIST LEFTIST LEGAL BULLSHIT TALKING POINTS ABOUT WHAT WORDS MEAN AND SHOVE THEM UP YOUR ASS.

            THE AMERICAN MOB IS UNLEASHED! YAY! What? What’s that? We already own the world, every other country sucks compared to us? Hey, I already knew that. Quit whispering in my ear, great-great-great Grandpa Webster.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 9:57pm

              Re: Re:

              It’s time for the rest of you fucking foreigners to go fuck yourself, and that includes you, Stone, you fucking foreigner.

              Thanks for reminding everyone once again you have no grounds to complain about other posters using profanity in typed speech, Hamilton.

              How's that Charles Harder lawsuit coming along? Since he's suing people who make fun of him now, can I point out how he managed to fuck up convincing the judge that Shiva Ayyadurai invented email?

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 12:27am

                Re: Re: Re:

                Ok, well, your criticism of my language might be fair. Sometimes I have a glass of wine with dinner, and yeah, maybe tonight I had two glasses. When I drink two glasses, my pinky finger often wanders to the CAPS button, and sometimes I say bad words when I feel emotional.

                About Charles Harder, yeah, maybe that’s fair criticism, too. I expected more from him, he had quite a high profile and ended up producing nothing with regards to Techdirt. He did well for Melania, but I didn’t see him get very far with his argument about Techdirt.

                You win - on those two points. I will no longer criticize others for their bad language (unless it’s really disgusting), and I am also less of a Charles Harder fan. I had high hopes, but it turned out he lost. He was a loser. In this one case. Balancing that out is his work for Melania, so he’s still quite a good fellow, just not as good as I hoped.

                See? I can be an amiable fellow.

                There should be a grand jury empaneled. Comey and his friends should be put under other, their children, too, and they should be given the Mueller treatment. Biden, too, and his children. By the way, how does Pelosi make her money? Have we seen her bank accounts? How did they all get so rich? Let’s take a look at that, that would be fair, wouldn’t it? What do you think?

                The ONE PERSON in the USA who is NOT CONSPIRING with a FOREIGN POWER is DONALD J. TRUMP, that’s a fact. Right?

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 12:45am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "The ONE PERSON in the USA who is NOT CONSPIRING with a FOREIGN POWER is DONALD J. TRUMP, that’s a fact. Right?"

                  Nope. The Mueller report explains this, if you bother read it. Well, the parts that Trump's cronies allow you read, anyway.

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 12:59am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    You know that Donald J. Trump, the Magnificent, the POTUS, is monitoring you right now, right?

                    He’s monitoring you. Listening to foreigners like you. Considering what to do about traitorous conspiring foreigner fuckwads like you.

                    You know that, right?

                    And he runs the NSA and the CIA, and maybe one or two other really important three letter places. They know ALL ABOUT YOU.

                    Nervous much, foreigner faker?

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                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 1:01am

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

                      So, you didn't bother to read the report, then?

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                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 1:09am

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

                        I read the whole thing, end to end, page by page, late at night, under candlelight, with my young wife, naked, and drunk. We read it to each other, laughing and cavorting, drinking and smoking, cherishing every page. Every single one. Then, we pasted the pages on the wall, starting in the bedroom, extending into the hallway, the grand ballroom, the pool area, the gazebo, page after page, some smeared with lipstick, some with bodily fluids, we loved it all. Literally. We loved it and read it, over and over, time after time, laughing, cavorting, drink, smoking and smearing it all over our naked bodies in delight.

                        How ‘bout you? Same experience?

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                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 1:18am

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

                          I'd prefer the unredacted experience, but the one we have so far was enough to know that you lied above.

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

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                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 2:10am

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

                            Well, I didn’t talk about any overt sexual acts, not because we didn’t perform them, but because I thought it might be inappropriate.

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 2:16am

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

                              I recall that talking about "shit" and "sexual acts" was one of your major criticisms of Techdirt.

                              Good to know you finally saw the light and started writing about your own bedroom escapades. Nice job on joining the dark side, Hamilton.

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

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                                identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 2:20am

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

                                But I didn’t talk about any sexual acts, loser. And I’m married, so sex is OK.

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                                • icon
                                  PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 2:32am

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

                                  Assuming you're not hallucinating again (which is rather likely), my sympathies to the poor creature.

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 3:41am

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

                                    Am I hallucinating about Donald John Trump, the Magnificent, the POTUS, stating he is monitoring the censorship of American Citizens?

                                    Am I hallucinating about Donald John, Trump, the Magnificent, the POTUS, being CLEARED of Conspiring with the Russians?

                                    I don’t think so.

                                    Am I hallucinating about the big tree down the road looking exactly like a bust of Melania Trump, even down to the hair style, eye makeup and cheek lines?

                                    Not sure.

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

                                    • identicon
                                      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 4:26am

                                      Re: They are all gonna laugh at you

                                      Remember when Fran divorced your stupid ass bro?

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                                        identicon
                                        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 5:33am

                                        Re: Re: They are all gonna laugh at you

                                        First, let me say you are totally correct, I am whom you think I am. And the truth is, there is nothing you can do about it, your a helpless idiot who can only watch as I take my money from my previous Gawker lawsuits and use it to bury this site. I’m enjoying every minute of it. Your Best Friend, Shiva (the EMail guy, you remember me, right?) Right?

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                                        • icon
                                          PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 5:53am

                                          Re: Re: Re: They are all gonna laugh at you

                                          Shiva? The fraudster who got laughed out of court and hasn't had an appeal ruling yet because he was too busy running a failed political campaign? Yeah, I remember you.

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

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                                            identicon
                                            Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 5:57am

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: They are all gonna laugh at you

                                            Thank you very much for that news update. I actually didn’t know that Shiva has not had an appeals ruling yet. Very interesting. So there is still hope. Thanks for the update, whoever you are (are you MIke?) Maybe Shiva will STILL WIN! Would that be cool, or what? Even POTUS would be happy about that. For sure.

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

                                            • icon
                                              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 6:06am

                                              Maybe Shiva will STILL WIN!

                                              And maybe I will have sex with Ivanka Trump. I mean, the chances of that are mind-bogglingly small, but still!

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

                                            • icon
                                              PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 6:16am

                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They are all gonna laugh at you

                                              So.. you admit lying when you said you were Shiva in the post I was replying to? That's something at least.

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

                                              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                                                identicon
                                                Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 6:44am

                                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They are all gonna laugh at you

                                                Wait, are you Nancy Pelosi, and am I General Barr?

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

                                    • icon
                                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 5:34am

                                      Donald John Trump, the Magnificent

                                      He is a man, not a god or a king. Get over it.

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

                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 4:56am

                                  Re: Or were you single all along?

                                  Remember when she divorced you bro?

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

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 5:36am

                      He’s monitoring you. Listening to foreigners like you. Considering what to do about traitorous conspiring foreigner fuckwads like you.

                      How can a foreigner be a traitor to the United States? 🤔

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 5:26am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  3.4%

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

            • icon
              techflaws (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 10:28pm

              Re: Re:

              "Donald J. Trump, the Magnificent"

              Marked as funny.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 10:43pm

              Re: Enquiring minds want to know

              Hey hamilton. Your obvious mental illness aside. Does it hurt to know that melenia will never even know who you are?

              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, 9 May 2019 @ 11:19pm

                Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                Yes. It will. It does. Hurt, I mean. I love her, really, like a schoolboy crush. Oh well. Some things were just never meant to be. I can still admire her from a distance, there’s nothing wrong with that.

                But now you can see that I what I said about Donald John Trump, the Magnificent, the POTUS, has always been true. He (through his advisors, like ME) has been looking at Techdirt for YEARS. We have a LOT of historical records about the ridiculous suppression of FREE SPEECH that has taken place RIGHT HERE on THIS FORUM.

                Talk all you want about “Corporate RIghts”, nobody cares. Use your weasel wording justification of CENSORSHIP in PUBLIC FORUMS! How ridiculous is this un-American anti-American bed of traitorous and disgusting foreigner bullshit? COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS!

                My advice is this: Censor me! Please. I have a record of my every post, word for word, with date and time stamps, and the date and time of the resulting censorship. Your position about censorship is ridiculous and indefensible.

                Do me a favor and censor some more. The truth is, the only comments worth reading on Techdirt are the censored ones. Everybody knows that.

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

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 12:46am

                  Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                  "I have a record of my every post, word for word, with date and time stamps, and the date and time of the resulting censorship"

                  So does Mike Mansick. Only one of you has a severe untreated mental illness, however, and it's not the guy who I've just called by name.

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

                  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 12:55am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                    Charles Chaplain. Nikolai Tesla. Benjamin Franklin. Michelangelo. Geniuses All. And Crazy.

                    The ONE GUY that we know is a STABLE GENIUS is DONALD J. TRUMP, the Magnificent, the POTUS. No untreated mental illness, that’s proven. No conspiracy with FOREIGNERS from OTHER COUNTRIES that HATE THE USA. None.

                    Are you a FOREIGNER from ANOTHER COUNTRY that HATES THE USA?

                    Tell the truth, for once.

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

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 1:00am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                      I did tell the truth - you're a nut. Seek help.

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

                      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 5:21am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                        “Hi - I’m PaulT - I’m a technical support kind of person (same as President of the Lesbian Separatist Society in the UK) but I don’t live in the UK but I sound like I’m from the UK and actually I HATE America and I HATE men (hence my presidential role) and I like to post AS A MAN when in fact I’m Wendy Cockcroft with a strange name and a bad history on ripoffreport.com”.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 2:15am

                  Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                  I have a record of my every post, word for word, with date and time stamps

                  Ah, yes, I remember the last time you made a similar claim. It was a plea to the judge to look favorably upon Shiva's case because you dreamed of a Melania Trump/Shiva Ayyadurai presidency.

                  So good job fucking it up for your hero, Hamilton.

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

                  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 2:23am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                    Actually, it was Melania who inspired me. Is she amazing or what? I have a weakness for ladies with a slight accent and a GREAT figure. And anyway, I’m married now, so that’s all over.

                    Even Donald John Trump, the Magnificent, the POTUS, is not perfect. And no one cares, because no one is perfect. Not him, not you, not me, not Melania. Well, maybe Melania is perfect, at least in my imagination.

                    Is it cool that POTUS is watching Censorship on Techdirt, or what! Totally cool!

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 4:29am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                      Remember when Fran divorced you?

                      That was cool 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, 10 May 2019 @ 5:18am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                        Do you know nothing about me at all? I never married her. She was free while she lasted - that’s about the extent of it. A bargain at twice the price.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 4:28am

                  Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                  Poor hamilton. Can’t even pay for an Eastern European hooker like Donny did.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 4:31am

                  Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                  That stupid euro trash hooker will never even know who you are because you’re a pathetic brown loser 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, 10 May 2019 @ 5:25am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                    Wait - did you say I was a BROWN loser? OWN IT, RACIST.

                    OMG, who is not tired of this racist projection syndrome. RPS, it’s a disease carried by Democrats (and foreigner fucking globalists). Like a mindless zombie kind of thing, I think it’s fatal in every case. Once the mindless zombies start projecting their (racism, sexism, ...ism) there no saving them.

                    But, as a good American, I say LET THEM BE. Who cares. Talk all you want, you democratic socialist foreigner fucking globalists. Tell me more about “euro trash hooker”, those are your words. And I’m brown - lay out what that means for us, genius leftist idiot. Project away. We’re all listening.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 7:28am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                      leftist idiot

                      Have you ever considered that you may just have an enantiomeric relationship with what you accuse people of being?

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

                      • identicon
                        bob, 10 May 2019 @ 11:07am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                        Could you clarify the term you used "enantiomeric relationship"?
                        I can't find any definition specifically using those words not related to chemistry. So I have a vague notion of what you mean but I'm not sure.

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2019 @ 7:32am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Enquiring minds want to know

                          In other words, "mirror image" -- i.e. if the mirror image of a leftist is a rightist. :) (and yes, same AC as the post you replied to)

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 5:32am

                  the only comments worth reading on Techdirt are the censored ones

                  If only I could give a Funny vote to individual sentences…

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2019 @ 7:41am

    These comments - wth

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

    • identicon
      bob, 10 May 2019 @ 8:11am

      Re:

      Yeah, every now and again somebody comes here when they are drunk, off their meds, trolling, or just plain stupid (sometimes combos of the above).
      and then they just excrete the thoughts in their brain thinking the rest of us are as messed up as they are.

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

  • icon
    Zof (profile), 10 May 2019 @ 9:41am

    I mean, they just kill people

    That's all. They aren't really dangerous like...
    Frogs, Clowns, and learning to code apparently.

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


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