Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the talking-time dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is Wyrm with a response to Eric Goldman's post about the top myths about content moderation:

Summary

All these myths are based on a single misconception: that content can be evaluated objectively and by itself. However, nearly all content is evaluated subjectively and requires context (including in-service context, poster-profile context, overall social and cultural context...) Denying this fundamental problem leads to being blind to all the aspects you mentioned. Virtually anything depends on context.

  • Violence is bad in real-life, but is fundamental to lots of entertainment products.
  • Sincere hate speech is bad, but can be quoted or parodied for criticism.
  • Criticizing someone is allowed, as long as you avoid libel/slander, but will make the target feel bad. (Particularly when they are thin-skinned, even more so when orange-skinned.) They might lash out, claim victim-status, pretend the critic is lying... or claim copyright violation.

Nothing is easy to judge as the spin given to the reports of the instance can sway public opinion regardless of the merit of the report. Something is often presented as an "obvious" case despite not being objectively obvious at all. This is done by several means, such as slightly misquoting the content, ignoring context or inversely adding false context, etc.

This makes for lots of cases presented as "black-and-white" issues, whereas the immense majority of edgy cases are often ignored because they are harder to spin as "obvious". This issue, which is pretty common in the media landscape, leads to the biased myths above, that - in short - "moderation is easy".

In second place, we've got a comment from Dan responding to our post about how there are many problems with the police interrogation firm's lawsuit against Netflix:

There are, but I think you've missed the biggest one: a "technique" is simply not susceptible to defamation. You can defame people, companies, organizations, etc., but not an idea or a process (or, for that matter, a product).

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment from David.A.M. about AT&T's reasons for not releasing 5G coverage maps:

AT&T said, stating that "requiring 5G coverage maps in this early stage of 5G deployment could reveal sensitive information about cell site locations and even customer locations."

Is this not the company that would sell your exact G.P.S. location to the highest bidder?

Next, we've got PaulT slightly correcting our assertion that the adults who got a 12-year-old arrested for making finger-guns didn't feel compelled to use common sense:

I dare say it's the opposite - they were compelled not to use it. Usually at the root of these kinds of events is that administrators have decided to put in zero tolerance policies to fend off the risk of lawsuits. Zero tolerance = zero thought, and someone daring to use common sense might find their job at risk.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is a response to that same incident, this time from JoeCool repurposing an old saw:

When it's a crime to make finger-guns, only criminals will make finger-guns.

In second place, it's Gary responding to the simplistic assertion that "it's just a known fact games are addictive":

If you are loose with "Fact" and "Addictive" then maybe!

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with an anonymous suggestion about how Bret Stephens could have been convinced to participate in a public debate:

All they had to do was put a huge mattress in a back room that he could scuttle under when things didn't his way.

Finally, we couldn't have the first place comment above without its counterpart, dutifully brought to us by the National Finger Association:

Only thing that stops a bad guy with a finger is a good guy with a finger.

That's all for this week, folks!


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  • icon
    ECA (profile), 20 Oct 2019 @ 12:39pm

    Moderation..#1..

    how to disprove what others are Flooding the net with.. to PROVE what they wish to Prove is proven..
    Based on the fact that a LIE is better then Proof..

    Its easy to prove 1 fact...
    Its a bitch to prove against 900,000 posts that its NOT A FACT..

    We have dealt with this for many years of NEWSPAPERS.. that display what 1 person/group THINKS...not FACT.

    How many persons/groups do we have trying to FORCE opinion over any facts, that tend to be hidden.

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

  • identicon
    Bobvious, 20 Oct 2019 @ 2:19pm

    "Violence is bad in real-life,

    but is fundamental to lots of entertainment products." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBcT2rcYlWA

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

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 20 Oct 2019 @ 3:06pm

      Re: "Violence is bad in real-life,

      Oooh a trifecta - It's violent, makes someone look bad, and has multiple copyright violations!

      It's also transformative, entertaining and fair use!

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

    • icon
      sumgai (profile), 20 Oct 2019 @ 7:34pm

      Re: "Violence is bad in real-life,

      •Violence is bad in real-life, but is fundamental to lots of entertainment products.

      We do have to be careful here.... the first and most obvious question is, exactly why is violence fundamental to entertainment? Sadly, very few facts surrounding this topic are acceptable to both sides, so nearly all "reasoned discussions" lead to two diametrically opposed camps - "violent games lead to violence in real life!" and "no they don't!".

      Using the word "reasoned" was snarky of me, sorry if I offended anyone.

      sumgai

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2019 @ 10:02pm

        Re: Re: "Violence is bad in real-life,

        Well to answer your first question... I have multiple Ideas... Though feel free to take a grain of salt.

        First, Some theories regarding the nature of humor (and thus comedy) point to the idea that humor is linked with misery. Violence is a form of misery that most people recognize, and thus empathise with. This is part of why we have old slapstick cartoons like Tom and Jerry.

        Adventure Stories meanwhile have violence for the sake of story and character progression. Violence is often a direct challenge the character needs to overcome in order to reach their goal. Alternately Said Violence can set up a mental challenge for the character later.

        Horror stories have violence as a means inducing fear in the audience.

        Action stories have violence for mostly the same reasons as adventure stories, but with the added idea that the Hero is going to be the one that will defeat the villain to defend the ones who can't, thus creating a power fantasy of sorts.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 20 Oct 2019 @ 10:10pm

      Re: "Violence is bad in real-life,

      Oh yeah, that is going right into the WTF folder.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2019 @ 7:39pm

    This week, resolve to be thankful for small blessings in your life.

    Such as Techdirt not cowing to Shiva Ayyadurai's bullying, and out of the blue batting a zero when it comes to funny/insightful comments.

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

    • identicon
      Bobvious, 21 Oct 2019 @ 2:40am

      Re:blue batting a zero when it comes to funny/insightful

      That's because Mike hasn't introduced a PHONY/Most INCITEFUL comments category yet.

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

      • identicon
        TFG, 21 Oct 2019 @ 7:15am

        Re: Re:blue batting a zero when it comes to funny/insightful

        Honestly, I'd prefer it be kept that way. Making it part of this roundup would incentivize the bullshit behavior.

        Additionally, it feels ... mean. It's one thing to point out how a trolling argument is built on nothing - the mockery that comes in response to such comment is the consequence of posting it up in public. It's another to then take said argument and pin it to the bulletin board, with the proprietors essentially then calling for a round of public mockery by all and sundry.

        I don't like the idea.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2019 @ 5:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:blue batting a zero when it comes to funny/insightful

          Making it part of this roundup would incentivize the bullshit behavior.

          You say that like the lack of any meaningful penalty or reaction from Masnick for the past decade or so hasn't already incentivized blue from constantly referencing that throwaway comment from 2011.

          Additionally, it feels ... mean.

          It's been a decade. Any kind of goodwill or benefit of the doubt has been thoroughly squandered by blue.

          It's another to then take said argument and pin it to the bulletin board, with the proprietors essentially then calling for a round of public mockery by all and sundry.

          You say that like we don't already do this. If anything it would be a great way to explain to newcomers that the fucknugget who picks shitty, OTP pseudonyms is a stalker that deserves no more than scorn and derision, plus tracking all the lies he's spewed to be debunked.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2019 @ 7:39am

    "AT&T said, stating that "requiring 5G coverage maps in this early stage of 5G deployment could reveal sensitive information about cell site locations and even customer locations."

    Is this not the company that would sell your exact G.P.S. location to the highest bidder?"

    I only have one comment/question -"Highest bidder" I think you mean anyone willing to pay enough.

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


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