Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the whispernet dept

Our first place winner on the insightful side this week is an anonymous commenter who provided a thorough, piece-by-piece reply to a comment about alternatives to Section 230:

I don't think 230 is so much a panacea. In it's absence something else (a technical solution) would have evolved

No technical solution can provide you legal liability protections from hosting someone else's content. Without it, you could punish an innocent person for the actions of someone else. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

perhaps something like syndicated self hosting on distributed/shared p2p resources, with embedded remote social content via something like magnet links...In such a case- we'd all be "our own" hosts, and responsible for "our own" speech, AND what we wanted censored from "ourselves".

As you state, this would require people to run their own hosts/servers. This would mean that all internet connected users would have to run their own server and make sure it was constantly online or the content would disappear. The level of technical knowledge required to do this would exclude the vast majority of internet users. So much so as to make it absolutely worthless. Only people in IT or those with a tech hobby would even attempt it. And even then, they may not have proper ISP service to do it, since broadband coverage sucks and by the TOS, you can't use residential broadband services to host a server.

Anonymous speech could be handled as it's own category... People could be free to make and share all the tribal lists of undesirables they wanted to exclude in there preferred filter bubbles.

This makes absolutely zero sense. Since it's all self hosted, there is NO anonymous speech.

Or free to just deal with the toxic mess that is a small/loud/ugly part of reality;

This is the current state of affairs with social media platforms.

with the comforting knowledge that neither gov, corp, partizan, or religious agendas where controlling their view and ability to engage with alleged commentary.

This is disingenuous. The only important part of that statement is the government. The government is the only one that should be barred from interfering in online speech. Everything else is protected as its own free speech. Currently you are free to do just that. 8chan is still online if you are so inclined to go there.

This would be much more inline with the ideals of the first amendment

No it would not since the First Amendment ONLY applies to the government. Corporations, religious groups, individuals, etc... are free to block or allow whatever content they want on the platforms they own/control.

it would avoid consolidation of power

By making the entire system useless.

I think it would also somewhat alleviate the pressure of hate speech- a part of which is founded on the concern of being manipulated and controlled through censorship

As far as I know, the only pressure on hate speech is to NOT say it. That hasn't stopped anyone so far who really wanted to say hateful things. Nor would your solution prevent that either. Your assertion (the concern of being manipulated and controlled through censorship breeds hate speech) does not engender more speech (hate or otherwise), it reduces speech over all. You only have to look at countries that severely punish their citizens for saying something that goes against approved speech rules to see massive reductions in their speech.

Hate speech is a symptom of a much deeper problem

Agreed.

trying to cure it through censorship; is like curing an ingrown toenail with amputation

No one is trying to cure it by cutting these people off of the internet (except maybe politicians but we already know they are delusional). What we are trying to do is make the internet a nice place where people can come and not have to see disgusting and offensive views.

Effective censorship requires absolute control

Something that is currently impossible with the internet.

something both the gov and mega corps would love to have

Government? Yes. Mega corps? I think you'd find they don't, at least not generally. In specific areas maybe, but not over the entire internet. That would be a nightmare for them.

that will almost certainly destroy freedom of speech.

Well it's a good thing then that the internet was created as a decentralized network so that no one person or entity can take control of it. This will never come to pass so long as the internet remains decentralized. And changing that is nearly impossible.

Censorship can be a slippery slope in either direction, why not leave it to the individual to decide?

Exactly. Which is how it functions currently, including corporations' rights to block or allow whatever content they wish and they have decided to not allow this content. They are run by individuals as well after all and those individuals have the same rights as the rest of us. The First Amendment and censorship only applies to the government. It does not apply to any other individual or entity.

At least we'd be responsible for "our own" filter bubbles, or lack there of,

We still are. There is nothing preventing anyone from reading something from a person or site that does not align with their views/beliefs.

rather then some proprietary profit-driven black box AI system

This doesn't exist in any form today.

or an arbitrary and subjective set of new laws that people would quickly learn to subvert and dog-whistle around, only to have them ratchet up until Whinne the Pooh was banned, like in china.

Which is why the government should not pass any new laws dictating what social media platforms should or should not allow on their sites. You claim to want zero government interference in online speech, yet in the exact same breath you want the government to force speech restrictions on people online, namely that they can't speak out against speech they don't agree with, or ban it from their site.

In second place, we've got DB with some thoughts on Nielsen's struggle in the face of cord-cutting:

We can be pretty certain they have not been oblivious to their own demise.

The phrase "the company is saddled with debt" means that the upper management and board of directors has already decided to cash out of the business. The net income is likely just barely enough to service the debt, making the company's net worth close to zero. Perhaps even less. Anyone group buying should expect losses, and have profit elsewhere that it needs to offset. Or expect to be really efficient at running the business and extracting all value from the reputation (which usually involves destroying it).

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with an anonymous commenter sharing some justified frustration with Elsevier:

Elsevier has a lot of nerve to charge the authors of the articles it publishes to have the articles appear as "open access." It isn't enough that the publisher gets the authors' institutions to subscribe to their journals at their outlandish prices without actually supporting the research necessary behind the articles' creation? Their annual price increases exceed inflation many times over. Their paper warehouse storage and shipping costs have dropped dramatically with the creation of electronic journal publishing but Elsevier's prices have not. Their economic moral and ethical practices rival Donald Trump's. I think it's time for ALL libraries to boycott Elsevier.

Next, it's Thad with a thoughtful response to the common reaction to mass shootings in which some people are quick to label the shooter as "mentally ill":

Psychology Today: Mass Shooting and the Myth of the Violent Mentally Ill

While certainly some shooters are mentally ill, taking it as axiomatic that all mass shooters are mentally ill reinforces negative stereotypes about mental illness. The vast majority of mentally ill people are not violent, and indeed they're far likelier to be victims of violence than perpetrators.

Clearly there's something wrong with anyone who would commit such a heinous deed, and I can understand the desire to label that "something wrong" as mental illness. But it's not, at least, not by the clinical definitions of mental illnesses used by psychologists, and the trouble with making that sort of generalization is that it stigmatizes mental illness.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is another anonymous commenter with a shorter, sweeter take on Nielsen:

Perhaps they can merge with a buggy whip manufacturer?

In second place, we've got That One Guy with a copy editor's note on our post about the White House's draft executive order on social media bias:

After having read the article I have to wonder: Was that supposed to read 'draft' or 'daft'?

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with Bloof and one more well-deserved jab at Nielsen:

Oh no! Without Nielsen who will sign the deathwarrants for the rare few shows on American mainstream TV that actually attempt to be creative? Who will keep the vaseline porridge of crime/military/medical dramas/comedies featuring people who 'play by their own rules, damnit!' appropriately lukewarm? What will become of middle of the road actors like Ted Danson and Scott Bakula who aren't quite handsome enough for Hollywood? Who will think of the advertisers how will they know what shows to run ads during? They might have to gamble on shows with genuine buzz! The horror1

Won't someone please think of the mediocre and save them?!

And last but not least, we've got an anonymous commenter capping off a thread about living by copyright and, thus, dying by copyright:

You can't copyright dying. You have to patent it. You can only copyright a particular expression of dying.

So I have copyrighted dying by shooting yourself in the foot. RIAA can pay up as soon as they're dead.

That's all for this week, folks!


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2019 @ 1:31pm

    I think Mike made LWN.net's quotes page again... I think this is the third week running he's done that.

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

  2. icon
    ECA (profile), 11 Aug 2019 @ 3:07pm

    They say freedom of speach isnt free...

    And now I know why..

    And if you have problems with this..
    Lets look at the EU and the BS they are going threw..
    "Right to be forgotten"?? LMAO..
    China and Asia..
    Middle east..

    But how about FB, demanding we use our proper names??

    As to mass shootings..
    Iv seen that more as, an excuse train, and persons that are bombarded with Complaints and no solutions, except 1.
    And they try to go solve it..

    Sit at home hearing all this crap about this that and WHO/what is causing it..Can overwhelm anyone. Esp the younger people.
    We arnt giving them a choice of Options nor How to see the problem..and Fix what is happening.
    We can point to many causes for the things happening, but if all you hear is "THEY DID IT"", "THEY CAUSED IT", is not a solution nor the problem.

    Who is old enough to remember when Stores were spread out, and 100 in a metro area, meant you could Walk to the store? Now we have 1 Big store 10-20 miles away.
    How many Unions are Still training people for Jobs??
    HOW many schools DONT cost you 1/2 of your wages for the next 10 years to learn something?? If not more.
    HOW much education do you need, before you can get the job you Want, and not work at Burger king for 5-10 years...
    Cost of living?? OMFG. I could solve this easy, and piss off Allot of people..(mostly the rich)
    And much more..

    Good luck folks.

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  3. identicon
    Robert Beckman, 12 Aug 2019 @ 5:38pm

    Amputations

    “trying to cure it through censorship; is like curing an ingrown toenail with amputation”

    Just for fun: for people with repeated ingrown toenails, the treatment really is a partial amputation and killing of the nailbed to prevent regrowth.

    Just saying selective amputation sometimes really is the answer.

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  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2019 @ 6:12pm

    I am the AC the top comment was responding to.

    Caching and hosting are not legally considered the same. That's why/how cloudflare exists. It's also why anyone running i2p/freenet/gnunet/tor/bitmessage type networks aren't arrested simply for running them.

    -is that due to cda 230?= yeah- Could a similar cache protecting precedent have come along? I think it would have, quickly. -that was an unwritten assumption I regret not having fleshed out more. It seamed obvious...If hosts could be held liable for content other then their own- then hosting tech accessibility would have had to rapidly improve to provide functional communication, and the law would have had to follow. Caching and leased/shared resources is an obvious existing solution to a serious problem that would have been driving innovation in absence of cda230.

    I don't support curbing any 1st amendment speech rights- including the freedom of association that causes so many problems due to the scale and consolidated ownership/control of tech. Nothing about the system I described curbed that right.

    Nothing I described is technically impossible now; Whether feasible circumstantially or legally in that period of time is quite open to debate- on that I freely admit I could be way off, a person a few years older then I, or a better study of tech/law history would likely have a much better understanding then I.

    Is it reasonable to assume similar legal precedent decisions would have also happened without cda 230? maybe not, maybe it's a ridiculous assumption- but this post didn't do a good job arguing that.

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  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2019 @ 8:15am

    Re:

    And I am the AC that responded to you.

    Caching and hosting are not legally considered the same.

    That is at best misleading and at worst outright false. The terms are used to describe slightly different processes but the way they work are exactly the same. Literally. There is no technical difference between the two.

    If I host a website and you cache it, that means you have copied the data from my server on to yours. Now you have an exact copy of my website on your system. To be even clearer, if I host a picture called mountains.jpg and you cache it, your system now has a file on it called mountains.jpg. If my server goes down and I lose all the data on it, including that .jpg file, I can ask you to send me a copy of your copy and you will be able to do so. Whereas if it didn't also exist on your system, you wouldn't be able to, and unless I had a backup of that file elsewhere, it would be lost forever and no one would be able to see it.

    I suggest that you read up on how computers work as you quite clearly do not understand some of the basic principles. As a starting point you can start with this wikipedia article on what caching is and how it works: Cache

    From the article:

    In computing, a cache is a hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster; the data stored in a cache might be the result of an earlier computation or a copy of data stored elsewhere.

    Just for clarity: "data stored in a cache might be....a copy of data stored elsewhere"

    That's why/how cloudflare exists.

    It is quite literally not. Yes they do make use of caching but those caches of all their clients or other sites on their system contain actual copies of the websites themselves, or the important parts needed to serve the content faster. https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/200168006-How-does-Always-Online-work-

    It's also why anyone running i2p/freenet/gnunet/tor/bitmessage type networks aren't arrested simply for running them.

    No, it's because the law says you can't be held responsible for user submitted content.

    -is that due to cda 230?= yeah

    Yes, that is the law that says you can't hold platforms responsible for what their users upload. It has nothing to do with caching or hosting though.

    Could a similar cache protecting precedent have come along?

    Umm, it did? It's called Section 230. That law you were just talking about.

    I think it would have, quickly.

    You're not making any sense. Again. Your whole point is predicated on finding a technical solution to a legal problem, which is impossible. Now you are saying that no matter what, a legal precedent similar to 230 would have emerged. That completely destroys your original argument, despite the fact that your original argument was not valid to begin with.

    that was an unwritten assumption I regret not having fleshed out more. It seamed obvious

    Now that you have it makes less sense than before.

    If hosts could be held liable for content other then their own- then hosting tech accessibility would have had to rapidly improve to provide functional communication

    What you suggest is not technically feasible and literally impossible because that's not how computing or the internet works. You have to store copies of data on your own systems if you want that data to be accessible if the original host goes down.

    the law would have had to follow.

    It did. It's called Section 230. Something that you implied just a few sentences up would have happened no matter what.

    Caching and leased/shared resources

    ...requires that copies of your data be stored on other systems. That's how caching and those systems work. All those other systems you like to tout (i2p/freenet/gnunet/tor/bitmessage) they all work the same way. They store a copy of the data. That is what caching is.

    is an obvious existing solution to a serious problem that would have been driving innovation in absence of cda230.

    No, caching and leased/shared resources is how the internet and computing functions today and were developed and in use long before Section 230 existed. Again, Section 230 only came about in the late 90s. Caching was around long before then.

    I don't support curbing any 1st amendment speech rights

    You kind of do actually.

    including the freedom of association that causes so many problems due to the scale

    Where you see problems, we see the system working as designed.

    and consolidated ownership/control of tech

    Mastodon is a thing. You can start your own social media platform today.

    Nothing about the system I described curbed that right.

    Except for the fact that the system you described cannot physically work because it ignores how computers work, and the fact that you would have to pass a law forcing everyone to start using it because no one who knows anything about computers and the internet would even attempt to use it on their own.

    Nothing I described is technically impossible now

    Yeah, it pretty much is. You described a system where users host their own content on their own servers and if those servers go down, the content is somehow magically still available from other people's servers WITHOUT them having a copy of it on their systems. That is a technical impossibility.

    Whether feasible circumstantially or legally in that period of time is quite open to debate

    If it's physically impossible to do, any other concerns are irrelevant.

    on that I freely admit I could be way off, a person a few years older then I, or a better study of tech/law history would likely have a much better understanding then I.

    Better study of tech right here. It's impossible. No idea how old you are so I can't speak to that. Also, the law and history quite literally say you're wrong.

    Is it reasonable to assume similar legal precedent decisions would have also happened without cda 230?

    Yes, because they did. Section 230 is a result of exactly what you describe. The "alternate history" you think could have happened actually did. It is mind boggling that you are unable to see this yourself.

    maybe it's a ridiculous assumption

    It is not just a ridiculous assumption, it's an ignorant one. As I've pointed out several times, you appear to be ignorant of not only how technology, computing, and the internet works, but you are also ignorant of history and already established case law.

    but this post didn't do a good job arguing that.

    Are you talking about your post? If so then yes, you did a terrible job arguing your point because you made statements out of ignorance of how things actually work.

    If you're talking about my reply, well, I've explained exactly how and why you are wrong, with examples and detailed explanations. Not the least of which being that caching doesn't work the way you think it does and it DOES require that a copy of the content be stored on any system that caches it.

    Please, please take some time to read up on how all this technology that you are talking about actually works.

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  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2019 @ 9:13pm

    Re: Re:

    I don't portend to have miraculous insight into your head- how about granting me the same basic courtesy? -Unless you're intending to come off as you have...

    You've suggested I have tribal affiliation with 8chan, and now mastodon... you continue to say I'm anti-1st, and I'm for forcing things on people, when I've explained multiple times how this system would respect the first, improve rights access, and have been chosen freely given the circumstance.

    You continue to falsely represent/conflate tech capability and legal interpretative potentials with historical realities. -worse yet, you do a piss poor job of refuting anything, simply asserting authority in opinion rather then providing any sort of contextual examples that might support those assertions...

    ie: what other 1st amendment precedent case law had happened prior to cda230 that would make my theory of an alternate decision to legally differentiate caching from hosting unlikely? What do YOU think they would have done to alleviate the pressures that led to cda230 if that decision hadn't happened?

    Frankly I could do much better job shredding my own idea then you've managed...and the more I think on it, I bet it wouldn't stand a chance against a proper legal student.

    I'm talking about theories and you seam to be insisting no one should theorize because history happened the way it did. I'm talking about technological capabilities, and your coming back with historical legal interpretations that ignore the very premise of the theory, and then you say "I" somehow don't make sense- because "your" choosing to ignore my premises. What the duck?- your logic is trash, and you argue in bad faith. I seriously wonder if your a troll, but maybe you're just ignorant; Sure seams that way when you point to a wiki page that doesn't even say what you think it says...

    I get the sense I understand more about caching then you do- at least from what you poorly explained. -some of which is incorrect/incomplete/oversimplified.

    I won't speculate on your knowledge or reading comprehension; maybe you missed these parts of that wiki: (emphasis added.)

    "to enable efficient use of data, caches must be relatively small. Nevertheless, caches have proven themselves in many areas of computing, because typical computer applications access data with a high degree of locality of reference. Such access patterns exhibit temporal locality, where data is requested that has been recently requested already, and spatial locality, where data is requested that is stored physically close to data that has already been requested."

    Temporal locality, and spatial locality
    -did you get that?

    How about this part:
    "A distributed cache[11] uses networked hosts to provide scalability, reliability and performance to the application.[12] The hosts can be co-located or spread over different geographical regions. "

    Since you've made it completely clear, you have serious issues keeping nuanced context in mind, (see what I did there? -sorry, I couldn't resist) I'll explain something I'm guessing you missed. Yes- it uses the word 'hosts' , but that is within the larger context of 'hosts of the cache'. This is not necessarily something that must be legally considered the same category as 'hosts of the content', even though the cache contains ephemeral mirrored copies of the content --which all goes right back to the premise of the theory I presented...A legal distinction between caching and hosting.

    A key difference between caching and hosting, is that if the host goes down the cache will go down too- eventually. -The two are linked and caching performs service to both performance, and availability. The host still controls the content. That's what makes a cache a cache, and not a host. -the cache mirrors the host for a predetermined period after the last update- after that period if the content is not refreshed from the host, it's dropped. That's another thing that differentials a cache from a host- it's ephemeral. That period of time before dropping cached content could be set long enough for people to come and go, online and off, while maintaining a Host relationship to their content.

    Get it now? This stuff isn't technically impossible, it's not even new tech (making it accessible would have been); it's mostly a matter of nomenclature.

    Think of it like distributed cloud computing but for caching- That's the idea/theory- stop misrepresenting it; it is not the same as hosting. Hosts control content, caches mirror it in a limited way and help with distribution.

    Had the law chosen to protect caching without cda230 this IS a feasible way that law/tech could have evolved to allow people to self host .

    When you assert "that's not how it happened" over and over, you just come off as a fool- I'm theorizing on how it may have gone in absence of cda230. Some precedent would have had to come along to solve at least some of the problems a lack of hosting protection created. The pressures that led to cda230 would still exist in it's absence. A legal distinction between caching and hosting, seams a perfectly logical line that could have been drawn.

    ...but like I said- a legal student would probably shred this theory. You've done jack to show it's 'impossible' technically. You've only proven you're the one that doesn't understand the tech.

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  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Aug 2019 @ 1:09am

    As designed?

    "Where you see problems, we see the system working as designed."

    Who's this "we" you speak of, and what of the following do they think is "working as designed"?

    1. Corporate speech over real property rights: Farmers having to watch their crops rot in the field, while they wait for monopolized repair service only available from the manufacturer. They're also not allowed to have data collected on their own crops. Because modern interpretations of the first, place John Deers' speech rights over a farmers real property rights. 1a. Truckers have similar problems.
      1c- in fact really, anything that has software in it, when companies assert monopoly dominance, with force of law, there's really little property rights left on it- this is going to be ever worse in the future. Corporate speech rights may effectively trump most real property rights with the way some of these legal decisions have gone. See: Arron Swartz re: CFAA -Will companies get to write their own laws in private contract punishable by felony?

    That sound like what the 1st was intended for?

    1. Undermining the ability to check the security of voting machines that could potentially be hiding a rigged system. Because modern interpretation of the 1st deems the manufacturer's speech rights more important then our ability to have a functioning democratic republic?

    How about that- sound like a 1st amendment that's working as intended?

    1. People with medical devices/implants have NO secure options (literally everything is hackable) due to monopoly and modern 1st amendment interpretation that deems corporate speech more important then 100's of thousands of lives.

    Does that sound right to you?

    1. Accessibility to the vast majority of expressed speech, and digital places/devices to express it requires subjugation to private contractual obligation with platforms, ISP's, software, and hardware providers. All of whom may place there own arbitrary restrictions on use.

    Is that what you think the founding fathers intended? Freedom of speech only so long as you sign up for private contracts?

    -seriously, I want to hear you argue any of these are how things should be and "working as designed".

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  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Aug 2019 @ 9:25am

    Re: As designed?

    Who's this "we" you speak of,

    Anyone and everyone who doesn't think conservatives are being biased against on social media and recognizes that they either violated the TOS or were one of many victims in the unsolvable problem of moderation at large scale.

    Corporate speech over real property rights:........

    From what you describe it sounds like you are talking about property rights, not the right to freedom of speech or free association, especially as it relates to online social media. So I have to wonder what relevance this has to the discussion at hand.

    That sound like what the 1st was intended for?

    No, it sounds like you are conflating property rights and the right to free speech, so technically no, but it's not related to what is being discussed here.

    Undermining the ability to check the security of voting machines

    This has nothing to do with the First Amendment or what social media can or cannot allow on their platforms.

    How about that- sound like a 1st amendment that's working as intended?

    Again, not actually related to the First Amendment.

    People with medical devices/implants have NO secure options

    That's REALLY not a First Amendment issue, that's companies not taking proper security into consideration when designing their devices. Nothing to do with the First Amendment.

    Does that sound right to you?

    No it doesn't but it has nothing to do with First Amendment and to be frank, it's not technically illegal. Morally wrong and bad security practice sure, but not against the law.

    Accessibility to the vast majority of expressed speech, and digital places/devices to express it requires subjugation to private contractual obligation with platforms, ISP's, software, and hardware providers. All of whom may place there own arbitrary restrictions on use.

    A bit dramatic there, don't you think? But, yes, you generally have to agree to the TOS to use somebody else's stuff.

    Is that what you think the founding fathers intended?

    Yes. The First Amendment only restricts the government from restricting free speech, it EXPLICITLY ALLOWS private individuals, businesses, and other organizations to restrict speech on the property/services they own however they want.

    Freedom of speech only so long as you sign up for private contracts?

    Nothing is preventing you from starting your own platform with your own rules. If you want to use somebody else's then you have to agree to play by their rules. The only one who can't set limits on your speech is the government.

    -seriously, I want to hear you argue any of these are how things should be and "working as designed".

    Done. You seem to be confused about what the First Amendment does and does not allow/protect or what or whom it applies to. I suggest doing some reading up on this.

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  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Aug 2019 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't portend to have miraculous insight into your head- how about granting me the same basic courtesy?

    I thought I did with the considerably long and extensive posts I made in reply to yours. What specifically are you having trouble understanding?

    -Unless you're intending to come off as you have...

    Which would be...?

    You've suggested I have tribal affiliation with 8chan, and now mastodon

    I have suggested no such thing. I have provided them as examples to prove my points and suggested you could use them if you want. Nowhere did I suggest you were affiliated with them.

    you continue to say I'm anti-1st, and I'm for forcing things on people, when I've explained multiple times how this system would respect the first, improve rights access, and have been chosen freely given the circumstance.

    And I've shown how it wouldn't do those things and to get people to even begin using it in the first place you would have to force them to. That is where I get that you are "anti-1st" and "forcing things on people".

    You continue to falsely represent/conflate tech capability and legal interpretative potentials with historical realities.

    No I haven't. I even provided you links that describes, in detail, exactly how this tech works and that you are wrong. History also shows that all of this tech was developed PRIOR to Section 230 being passed so it was given the chance and your way wasn't chosen. You have provided no evidence that I'm wrong.

    worse yet, you do a piss poor job of refuting anything, simply asserting authority in opinion rather then providing any sort of contextual examples that might support those assertions

    Then you didn't actually read my posts because I went into excruciating detail in how it all works and exactly why you are wrong, with examples and links that back my assertions up. Nothing that I have said in regards to technical capability or history is my opinion, it is documented fact that you can find for yourself and that I have linked to.

    what other 1st amendment precedent case law had happened prior to cda230 that would make my theory of an alternate decision to legally differentiate caching from hosting unlikely?

    Sigh. You don't understand. Cacheing and hosting existed prior to Section 230 for MANY years. For at least a decade or two, case law already had the opportunity to go a different route than 230. It didn't. It was already given the chance you want it to have and it didn't go your way. You can't just re-write history because you don't like how it turned out.

    What do YOU think they would have done to alleviate the pressures that led to cda230 if that decision hadn't happened?

    Shut down and gone dark or not allowed any user submitted content at all and we would not have the free and open internet we have today. It would be curated and only the big, major players, like Hollywood, would have any content on it at all.

    Frankly I could do much better job shredding my own idea then you've managed

    Considering you've managed to get how computing works and history blatantly wrong, I don't see how. But please do try. I'm curious.

    the more I think on it, I bet it wouldn't stand a chance against a proper legal student.

    Your argument? Yeah, no it wouldn't. My argument? My argument is based on the immutable fact of how computers work and documented, recorded history. Unless he can time travel and change history, he wouldn't stand a chance.

    I'm talking about theories and you seam to be insisting no one should theorize because history happened the way it did.

    No, I'm saying that the theory you envision is what actually happened in recorded history. Therefore we don't have to theorize about what would have happened, we KNOW exactly the result of that scenario.

    I'm talking about technological capabilities,

    So am I, i.e. caching and hosting don't work the way you think they do. But you are also talking about legal and historical theories and accounts and so I have also addressed those. I'm sorry that you keep conflating them.

    your coming back with historical legal interpretations that ignore the very premise of the theory

    No, I'm not. I'm saying you are ignoring the fact that the chance you theorize about this being given already happened and the end result was Section 230. I'm also calling out the fact that you don't understand how computing works, which is a technological argument, not a legal/historical one.

    then you say "I" somehow don't make sense- because "your" choosing to ignore my premises.

    I have not ignored ANY of your premises. I have addressed every single one of them in sometimes ridiculous detail, and mostly your premises are false and not based in reality.

    What the duck?- your logic is trash, and you argue in bad faith.

    What the duck indeed. My logic is not trash. You can verify everything I've stated yourself. For instance, your continued insistence that caching doesn't store a copy on someone else's system. You can even test this yourself. I am not the one spouting incorrect technological statements and a complete revision of history.

    I seriously wonder if your a troll, but maybe you're just ignorant;

    I highly doubt a troll would take the time to explain, in detail, why you are wrong and link to proof. The fact that you don't know, or can't accept, how computing works or recorded history says more about your ignorance, not mine.

    Sure seams that way when you point to a wiki page that doesn't even say what you think it says...

    Oh do please explain to me in exact detail how that page doesn't say what I think it says when I quoted the exact line that says you are wrong. I would LOVE to shred this one for you.

    I get the sense I understand more about caching then you do- at least from what you poorly explained. -some of which is incorrect/incomplete/oversimplified.

    You sense incorrectly. But do please explain it to me.

    I won't speculate on your knowledge or reading comprehension; maybe you missed these parts of that wiki:

    And you missed the part before and after that that explains HOW caches work, by storing a copy of the content, which I quoted. The part you quote just explains how to efficiently use them or in what scenarios they are best used in. Neither of which supports your argument.

    Temporal locality, and spatial locality -did you get that?

    Yes I did. The paragraph you quote is talking about what scenarios cache is used in, such as temporal and spatial localities. That is not HOW caches work. Are you seriously suggesting that caches and time travel and teleport to retrieve data they don't have?

    How about this part: "A distributed cache[11] uses networked hosts to provide scalability, reliability and performance to the application.[12] The hosts can be co-located or spread over different geographical regions. "

    Yes, a "cache uses hosts". Or in other words it stores data on multiple hosts for faster and more efficient retrieval. Dude, read the article.

    Since you've made it completely clear, you have serious issues keeping nuanced context in mind

    Considering I'm keeping up with your ignorance of technology and history, I'd say I don't have a problem.

    (see what I did there? -sorry, I couldn't resist)

    I see you've insulted yourself. Not sure why you would want to though.

    I'll explain something I'm guessing you missed. Yes- it uses the word 'hosts' , but that is within the larger context of 'hosts of the cache'.

    No, that's not how the English language works. The phrase "A distributed cache[11] uses networked hosts" means that the cache is made up of hosts. In other words, no hosts, no cache. And what do hosts do? Store data.

    This is not necessarily something that must be legally considered the same category as 'hosts of the content'

    It pretty much does, since there is no technical difference between the two.

    even though the cache contains ephemeral mirrored copies of the content

    So you admit that a cache is a stored copy of the data. Can we all go home now?

    which all goes right back to the premise of the theory I presented...A legal distinction between caching and hosting.

    You just admitted that caching stores data, which makes it indistinguishable from hosting. Therefore your premise is wrong by your own admission.

    A key difference between caching and hosting, is that if the host goes down the cache will go down too- eventually.

    Not necessarily. That all depends on the retention settings of the cache. For example, the administrator could set it to keep the cache indefinitely, therefore it would never go down.

    The two are linked and caching performs service to both performance, and availability.

    You are making my argument for me here.

    The host still controls the content.

    On the original host, yes. The cacher has control over the cache though and can delete it or re-sync it at any time.

    That's what makes a cache a cache, and not a host.

    As you've already admitted, a cache stores a copy of data. Whoever controls the cache controls what is cached and how. What makes a cache a cache is that it's a copy of the master content, but it still has to be stored/hosted somewhere.

    the cache mirrors the host for a predetermined period after the last update- after that period if the content is not refreshed from the host, it's dropped

    Mostly accurate except for the dropped part. Whether content is dropped from the cache or not after a period of not getting it refreshed is entirely dependent on how the administrator configures the cache. Sure you could set it that way, but you could also just as easily set it to not drop the content if it can't get a refreshed copy within a certain time frame. That's actually a better way to do it for disaster recovery scenarios, since if your site goes down, people will still be able to access it via the cache for however long it takes you to get your master site back up.

    That's another thing that differentials a cache from a host- it's ephemeral.

    It can be, but it doesn't have to be. All depends on how you set it up.

    That period of time before dropping cached content could be set long enough for people to come and go, online and off, while maintaining a Host relationship to their content.

    And how long is that? Alternatively it could also be set to cache it indefinitely and if possible, refresh it at pre-determined intervals.

    Get it now?

    I never didn't get it. But you are continuing to make blatantly obvious that you don't.

    This stuff isn't technically impossible, it's not even new tech (making it accessible would have been); it's mostly a matter of nomenclature.

    You have mixed a fair amount of actually technically possible things with some technically impossible things and claimed it's all possible. Your logic flip flops back and forth. You state caching doesn't store content, then you say it does, then you claim it doesn't and can somehow time travel and teleport, then you say it does store it but it's time limited. Why don't you do some more research on it and make up your mind before you continue this faulty line of reasoning?

    Think of it like distributed cloud computing but for caching

    Both of which store copies of the master data/servers.

    That's the idea/theory- stop misrepresenting it

    I'm not, you just don't understand how it works.

    it is not the same as hosting

    Yes, it is.

    Hosts control content, caches mirror it in a limited way and help with distribution.

    Mostly accurate but the owners of the cache do have control over the cached content, just not the master. As you've more or less implied.

    Had the law chosen to protect caching without cda230

    And how would it have done that? With another law? Gee, that sounds like Section 230, a law.

    this IS a feasible way that law/tech could have evolved to allow people to self host.

    Sure they could self host but they would still be liable for any of the content they cache. Section 230 is the legal protection from that liability. Without it, if I cache your content, I'm liable for it.

    When you assert "that's not how it happened" over and over, you just come off as a fool

    I'm sorry, do you come from an alternate timeline where Section 230 existed prior to the development of hosts and caching? If not, go read a history book.

    I'm theorizing on how it may have gone in absence of cda230.

    And I'm saying Section 230 WAS absent for a couple of decades after caching and hosting was developed. Your theory actually happened and the end result was Section 230.

    Some precedent would have had to come along to solve at least some of the problems a lack of hosting protection created.

    It's called Section 230 and it was in response to a court case where a hoster was attempted to be held responsible for someone else's content.

    The pressures that led to cda230 would still exist in it's absence.

    Yes, which means that we'd likely end up with the exact same thing, or something similar.

    A legal distinction between caching and hosting, seams a perfectly logical line that could have been drawn.

    Except it would have no meaning since they operate the same way and are technically indistinguishable.

    but like I said- a legal student would probably shred this theory

    Yep, because any legal student would know that laws don't trump physics and mathematics. You on the other hand seem to have issues with that.

    You've only proven you're the one that doesn't understand the tech.

    Really? I mean, REALLY?

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Aug 2019 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    For the last time- Caching is not equivalent to Hosting, not legally, not technically.
    This is a matter of Scientific Nomenclature, not opinion. Having similar and overlapping qualities does not mean categorical nomenclature is irrelevant. A pen requires ink to write- but that does not make the pen and ink equivalent, nor does it make the pen an inkwell, or octopus. If you have citations of law that show they're treated equally, present them- by my recollection it was cases around cloudflare that determined the legal status of caching, and determined, as I've said- NOT equivalent. That's old knowledge for me- it's not something of great interest or relevance to me -and if all that somehow changed at some point, I've missed it. If so, present the case law I've missed, or explain how I've misinterpreted what I read, long ago.

    I'm done arguing on that- as you say, facts are immutable. I'm always open to hearing any that could change my understanding- so far as I can tell the links you provided only support my understanding...hosting/caching are categorically different, and the law treats them as such. I only skimmed the wiki, was there some legal interpretation facts I missed in there?- really not interested in dragging this out anymore, it feels utterly pointless. -bickering over semantics.

    My sense of you arguing in bad faith is only growing. You respond to my posts line by line, placing my words in false context, while ignoring the plain context I've provided, at length, numerous times, often in the same posts your replying too.

    If you want to communicate, you read an entire post, then respond- not pick apart lines individually, ignoring everything below the line your responding to.

    I called you out for this "no point in theorizing cause that's not how it happened" BS- and holy crap, you just went right ahead and did it again. It's not really about communicating for you, is it? this is something else to you I think.

    You said you thought the web would have gone dark of user content without 230- I agree - that's exactly the environment I imagine fostering accessibility to cache tech, and a quicker ruling on the cache vs host issue. How could you possibility misunderstand the premises and logic of my theory so terribly?

    You've misrepresented what I've wrote so many times now I've lost count... it's beyond absurd, and seams intentional. I've followed up with more details, and then you accuse me of changing what I'm saying- when it was you that didn't understand what I had written in the first place.

    Here's some examples:
    "...your continued insistence that caching doesn't store a copy on someone else's system."

    Never once did I state that, much less insist on it; you've fabricated this from your own misinterpretation.

    "You state caching doesn't store content, then you say it does, then you claim it doesn't and can somehow time travel and teleport, then you say it does store it but it's time limited"

    -This is really the perfect example of you twisting my words, with your own loony false context into a pretzel of nonsense... How am I even supposed to respond to this? It feels like you've just done some sort of absurd caricature of me, except it's so off base it's not that personally offensive- it just makes you look terrible.

    I'm not sure what your trying to do... I've never seen a troll put in so much effort, so I'm not ready to label you as that. Maybe your just overly aggressive, and hyper competitive. Maybe your trying to 'win' - while I'm not even sure what the game is, or why you're playing; I just wanted to share some idea's I find interesting; only to have some rando try and tar and feather me over semantics.

    I find you both frustrating, and fascinating- I think if I wanted to seriously learn the art of dirty, winner-take-all, argument style, you'd be a great person to study. Maybe that's the sort of thing I should learn- because I don't know how to defend against it- it feels like an unproductive loosing battle; no matter how good or bad my ideas may be, I'll never find out- because you wont even acknowledge them, rather you twist my words around, bundle them into a strawman and set it ablaze. I'm just left slack jawed, gathering up more straws for your next round. It's like wrestling with a pig- you only end up bruised and covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it...

    I'm quite happy to be proven wrong, because it means I have an opportunity to learn. -You haven't done that at all though, it doesn't seam like there's any attempt to understand what I've written, only to tear down your own false impressions and label them as my viewpoints.

    I think I'm done with this thread- though maybe you'll change up your game and surprise me with a response that deserves reply. -you've certainly exerted effort, and for that I thank you, regardless of our differences; even if it's trolling, I have to say it's...extraordinarily novel.

    I'm curious how your slack attitude on nomenclature will play out in the "as designed" post though- that could be very interesting; maybe one of us will actually learn something... Will reply there when I have time.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2019 @ 3:12am

    Re: Re: As designed?

    I started to write something then realized you're probably right- I don't understand it... Reading what I wrote I figure at best you'd eventually say that when speech is copyrighted it becomes property law... and I wouldn't have anything left to say, because that's probably right... terribly ironic for me to go on and on about nomenclature only to fail so hard at it myself.
    so anyway, I've torn down my own ideas and saved you the trouble.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2019 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    For the last time- Caching is not equivalent to Hosting, not legally, not technically.

    I can do this too. For the last time caching and hosting both operate by storing data on a server. There is no technical difference between them. If your host goes down and people get your content from the cache on my server, then my server is now the defacto host of your content. Sorry. Can't change that. The same data is stored on both yours and my servers.

    This is a matter of Scientific Nomenclature, not opinion.

    No, this is a matter of you not understanding how basic computing works. Has nothing to do with nomenclature or opinion. Data is data and to be accessible it has to be stored somewhere accessible. Whether it's a host or a cache, it's stored there and whoever owns/operates the host/cache can be held responsible/liable without a law like Section 230 to protect them.

    Having similar and overlapping qualities does not mean categorical nomenclature is irrelevant.

    They aren't just similar, they're almost identical.

    If you have citations of law that show they're treated equally, present them- by my recollection it was cases around cloudflare that determined the legal status of caching, and determined, as I've said- NOT equivalent.

    Then your recollection is wrong. No such cases exist that I can find. The few that I can, such as ALS Scan vs CloudFlare, the judge stated the following during the course of the case:

    It is undisputed that cache copies of Cloudflare clients’ files are stored on Cloudflare’s data servers

    Gee, kind of sounds like what I've been saying all along.

    But if you need further proof, I will direct you to Section 512 of the DMCA in which it states the following regarding caching:

    (b)System Caching.— (1)Limitation on liability.—A service provider shall not be liable for monetary relief, or, except as provided in subsection (j), for injunctive or other equitable relief, for infringement of copyright by reason of the intermediate and temporary storage of material on a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider

    Wow. Another law stating that caching is LITERALLY data stored on someone else's server and making it clear that they can't be held liable for it. Just like Section 230. Take away one or both of these laws and suddenly people who cache content become liable for whatever content they cache.

    if all that somehow changed at some point, I've missed it

    You did, as pointed out above.

    If so, present the case law I've missed, or explain how I've misinterpreted what I read, long ago.

    Just did, but for reference:

    1. Section 512 of the DMCA

    2. Section 230 of the CDA

    3. Judge's initial ruling in the case ALS Scan vs Cloudflare

    4. Probably many more

    I'm done arguing on that- as you say, facts are immutable

    Yet you continue to deny all the evidence I've given you while providing none of your own.

    so far as I can tell the links you provided only support my understanding

    Because you either:

    A. didn't read the full thing

    B. don't understand the technology you are reading about

    C. are being deliberately ignorant

    D. some combination of the above

    hosting/caching are categorically different, and the law treats them as such

    They are different in usage, not in technical operation. Data is still stored on hard drives in each case. As such whoever is doing the storing is liable and responsible absent a law that says otherwise. Section 512 and 230 are the laws that basically treat them differently. Take either or both of those laws away and the law would treat them identically.

    I only skimmed the wiki, was there some legal interpretation facts I missed in there?

    There were some technical facts you missed in there.

    really not interested in dragging this out anymore, it feels utterly pointless. -bickering over semantics

    Well, since we're not actually bickering over semantics and instead the basics of computing and history, I am interested in it.

    My sense of you arguing in bad faith is only growing

    You are entitled to your own opinion.

    You respond to my posts line by line

    It's called point-by-point refutation and is a legitimate debate mechanism.

    placing my words in false context

    I have responded to your words as you've written them. If you meant something different, I suggest boning up on your understanding of the English language.

    while ignoring the plain context I've provided

    I really haven't. If you think I have then you don't understand the English language either in addition to your lack of technical knowledge.

    at length, numerous times, often in the same posts your replying too.

    I could say the exact same thing about you and your continued ignorance of how technology works, despite explaining it multiple times.

    If you want to communicate, you read an entire post, then respond- not pick apart lines individually,

    That is one way of doing it. My way is another. Both are legitimate. Just because you don't like one doesn't make it bad.

    ignoring everything below the line your responding to.

    You just got done saying (right before this line) I pick apart your lines individually. By your own admission I haven't ignored anything. I've responded to pretty much every statement you've made.

    I called you out for this "no point in theorizing cause that's not how it happened" BS- and holy crap, you just went right ahead and did it again.

    Yep because, holy crap, you're still wrong and ignoring what I said. Big shocker at this point. Caching and hosting existed for 20ish years prior to Section 230. We had around 20 years to come up with a technical solution and we didn't. We went with Section 230.

    It's not really about communicating for you, is it? this is something else to you I think.

    You are entitled to your opinion.

    You said you thought the web would have gone dark of user content without 230- I agree

    It is fascinating how you can say this but maintain your point that we don't need Section 230 and that some other technical solution will solve a legal problem.

    that's exactly the environment I imagine fostering accessibility to cache tech, and a quicker ruling on the cache vs host issue.

    Except you can't solve a legal problem with a technical one. If a drug dealer asks you to hold on to his drugs for him (host), and you agree (cache), when the police come knocking on your door they aren't going to give you a pass just because they don't belong to you. You are in possession of the illegal content. The same applies to hosts and caches in the absence of laws like Section 230.

    How could you possibility misunderstand the premises and logic of my theory so terribly?

    How can you possibly not understand basic computing technology, history, and legal liability?

    You've misrepresented what I've wrote so many times now I've lost count

    Quote where I have misrepresented you. Then we can talk.

    with your own loony false context into a pretzel of nonsense

    Caching and hosting developed 20ish+ years before Section 230 even existed and caching works by storing a copy of the hosted data on your physical server. What of any of this is "loony false context" or a "pretzel of nonsense"?

    How am I even supposed to respond to this?

    Easily. If you are right and I am wrong, then you should be able to easily point to widely accepted documents and historical records that say something along the lines of "caching doesn't store any copies of the data" and "caching and hosting were developed after Section 230 was made law". That's it. That's all you have to do. If you can do that then I will admit you were right and I was wrong.

    It feels like you've just done some sort of absurd caricature of me

    You have only yourself to blame for that. I only pointed out your misunderstandings of tech and history.

    except it's so off base it's not that personally offensive- it just makes you look terrible.

    I've provided links and evidence that prove I'm right. How is that off base and making me look terrible?

    I'm not sure what your trying to do

    Educate you and anyone else who comes along later and reads this who also doesn't understand tech and history.

    I've never seen a troll put in so much effort, so I'm not ready to label you as that.

    Well, that would be because I'm not a troll.

    Maybe your just overly aggressive, and hyper competitive.

    Overly aggressive would be slinging insults and typing in all caps. I suppose it could be interpreted as hyper competitiveness but it's really just me trying to spread a little education so that people don't push for a solution that not only will not work but will actively make everything worse. Don't believe me? Then why did my response to your comment get chosen as most insightful for the week?

    Maybe your trying to 'win' - while I'm not even sure what the game is, or why you're playing;

    No games, no winning. Just plain-old school in session.

    I just wanted to share some idea's I find interesting; only to have some rando try and tar and feather me over semantics.

    Your ideas are factually incorrect and non-workable. While some may consider them interesting as some consider the flat earth theory false but interesting, it doesn't change the fact that they are wrong. If people pointing out the fact that your ideas are wrong and contradicted by pretty much every available metric, constitutes as "tar and feathering" in your mind, then I pity you and fear for how exactly you are going to survive in the world, because you're going to get a lot of criticism, not just from me.

    I find you both frustrating, and fascinating

    Well thank you. I'll take that as a compliment and state that I feel much the same about you.

    I think if I wanted to seriously learn the art of dirty, winner-take-all, argument style, you'd be a great person to study.

    Hardly. I have presented actual facts and evidence as politely as I can. Not theories and ideas. If I was going to play dirty I'd start insulting you and lying about practically everything. Not that that would actually cause me to win. Winning a debate of this nature is pretty straightforward, either you have the facts to back up your case or you don't.

    no matter how good or bad my ideas may be, I'll never find out- because you wont even acknowledge them

    I have acknowledged them. Many times. And each time I have explained why they are unworkable. And I find it entertaining that you seem to think that I, and only I, am your barrier to finding out if your ideas are good or bad.

    But to humor you, your ideas are bad. End of story. There, now you know.

    rather you twist my words around, bundle them into a strawman and set it ablaze

    Quote my strawman. I'll wait.

    I'm just left slack jawed, gathering up more straws for your next round.

    Dramatic much?

    It's like wrestling with a pig- you only end up bruised and covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it...

    Then the pig isn't wrong, is he? It's the person wrestling him.

    I'm quite happy to be proven wrong, because it means I have an opportunity to learn.

    You have not shown this to date, despite mountains of evidence and proof that you are wrong being provided to you. You have rejected all of them with no evidence to support it.

    You haven't done that at all though, it doesn't seam like there's any attempt to understand what I've written, only to tear down your own false impressions and label them as my viewpoints.

    I understand what you have written just fine and I have responded to what you have written. If what you have written does not match what you intended, that is not my fault. I am only capable of reading the words you have written, not your mind. If the words you write do not convey what you mean, then you need to brush up on your English language skills and learn to more accurately express yourself.

    I think I'm done with this thread

    Good bye, have a nice day.

    I'm curious how your slack attitude on nomenclature will play out in the "as designed" post though- that could be very interesting

    Apparently it wasn't slack at all and played out very well.

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


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