Losing Streak Continues For Litigants Suing Social Media Companies Over Violence Committed By Terrorists

from the twelve-straight-losses-to-open-the-season dept

According to Eric Goldman's count (and he would know), this is the 12th ridiculous "blame Twitter for terrorism" lawsuit to be tossed by a federal court. The dubious legal theory -- one so dubious it has yet to find any judicial takers -- is that Twitter and other social media platforms "allow" terrorists to converse and radicalize and do other terrorist things. What no one has successfully alleged is that Twitter, Facebook, etc. are directly or indirectly responsible for terrorist attacks.

This lawsuit was one of the dumbest. The brain geniuses at Excolo Law convinced a client this would be a winning strategy: claim the shooting of some cops by a shooter in Dallas was Twitter's fault because possibly the shooter thought terrorist group Hamas was pretty cool. 96 pages of lawsuit and this was the tenuous allegation plaintiffs Jesus Retana and Andrew Moss thought might finally prove social media companies are providing material support to terrorists.

Micah Johnson was radicalized by HAMAS’ use of social media. This was the stated goal of HAMAS. Johnson then carried out the deadly attacks in Dallas. Conducting terrorist acts in the United States via radicalized individuals is a stated goal of HAMAS.

Not only did the lawsuit fail to include anything linking Twitter to the killing of Dallas police officers, it failed to include anything linking the shooter to Hamas. That didn't stop Excolo Law from claiming that the only thing propelling the shooter to start killing Dallas police officers was Hamas' social media presence, aided and abetted by Twitter.

As Goldman points out, the court "expressly does not reach the Section 230 defense." That's not because it's not a good defense. It's because the lawsuit -- and the law firm shoveling as many of these into federal courts as possible -- is so awful.

The court opens its dismissal [PDF] by noting the string of courtroom failures Excolo Law (and 1-800-LAW-FIRM) doesn't seem to be interested in discussing when pursuing another lost cause in a federal court.

This case is the latest in a string of lawsuits that Plaintiffs’ lawyers have brought in an attempt to hold social media platforms responsible for tragic shootings and attacks across this country—by alleging that the platforms enabled international terrorist organizations to radicalize the attacks’ perpetrators. In fact, Plaintiffs’ lawyers brought a suit in the Northern District of California, Pennie v. Twitter, Inc., 281 F. Supp. 3d 874 (N.D. Cal. 2017), concerning the same Dallas shooting this Court is confronted with here, albeit with different plaintiffs. The court in that case dismissed the claims with prejudice, finding that there was no connection between the shooting and Hamas, the terrorist organization at issue. Id. at 892. Yet, Plaintiffs’ counsel made no mention of that case in their briefing; counsel discussed the case only after the Court questioned about it at oral argument.

The court then notes it can do its own research if the law firm isn't willing to discuss past work that hews super-closely to the case at hand. GTFO, says the Texas federal court.

The Court dismisses this lawsuit with prejudice. Although the complaint here alleges additional facts not found in Pennie, the complaint nonetheless suffers from many of the same deficiencies discussed in Pennie. Plaintiffs here have not and after multiple attempts, clearly cannot connect Hamas to the Dallas shooting.

Need more? No link between the cop killer and Hamas:

Simply put, the SAC does not allege any facts that show that Hamas radicalized Johnson to commit the Dallas attack, not to mention by using Defendants’ websites. Plaintiffs’ injuries,therefore, were not “by reason of” Hamas, or Defendants’ alleged support of Hamas.

No link between the claimed violation of the ATA (Anti-Terrorism Act) and the Dallas shooting, either:

Plaintiffs’ secondary liability claims fail for an additional, yet similar, reason: Plaintiffs do not allege that the Dallas shooting was an act of international terrorism.

[...]

[T]he SAC is devoid of allegations connecting Hamas to the shooting, even after it occurred. There is no transnational component to Johnson’s planning and execution of the shooting. Instead, this tragic shooting appears to be an act of domestic terrorism.

The case is dismissed with prejudice, continuing Excolo Law's losing streak. This obviously won't keep the firm from trying again, not as long as it can convince victims of violence they have a shot at extracting a large settlement from social media companies. Sure, it hasn't worked yet. But that can only mean Excolo, et al are due for a win! Right?

Filed Under: andrew moss, intermediary liability, jesus retana, material support, section 230, social media, terrorists
Companies: 1-800-lawfirm, excolo law, twitter


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 2:39am

    'You again?!'

    At some point the judges involved really need to hand out some fines/benchslaps for vexatious litigation, as it's pretty clear the firm in question will just keep looking for suckers and finding new judges to try the same garbage argument, despite the fact that said argument has been laughed out of court every time they've brought it.

    It would be one thing if they were making a valid argument and just arguing it poorly again and again(and again) such that it kept getting tossed, but when the argument is so bad it's been dismissed with prejudice multiple times it should be clear to everyone that it's not even close to valid, and therefore has no business being brought.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:52am

      Re: 'You again?!'

      Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that vexatious litigation alligations(as well as the fines and other penalties) are aimed at the plaintiff, not at the plaintiff's council.

      A bar association reference on the other hand...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 3:41am

    If they really believed Hamas (or any other terrorist organization) was responsible, why aren't they suing them?

    Oh that's right...social media companies have more money.

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    • identicon
      Sharur, 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:54am

      Re:

      Well, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt and say its because terrorist organizations are more likely to shoot you than accept legal service...

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    icon
    Zof (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 4:03am

    How dare they

    How dare they try to deplatform Twitter using the same argument used to deplatform 8chan. I mean, the argument doesn't even work anymore at all or something. Twitter doesn't even have the word chan in it's name!

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 5:12am

      Someone’s pissed that 8chan lacks rules and Twitter has rules.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 5:59am

        Re:

        Someone’s pissed that 8chan lacks rules and Twitter has rules.

        Straw pronoun.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 6:54am

        Re:

        Everyone should be pissed when governments shut down websites for dubious reasons. Censorship is bad, mmmkay?

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 7:27am

          What proof do you have that a specific government took down 8chan?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 9:21am

            Re:

            Pressure from elected officials definitely played a role in censoring 8chan.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 10:17am

              Prove it.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:14am

                  Re: Re:

                  That’s not how proof works bro. You make the claim you bring the proof or else we continue to call you out on your bullshit.

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

                    Re: Re: Re:

                    Not my claim "bro", but I found evidence for it with less effort than it took you to make your stupid comment.
                    You can tell AC's apart by the icon on their comments, by the way.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:24am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Next time bring actual proof, not hearsay bro and/or grow a thicker skin.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:26am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        8chan's owner was questioned by Congress, on more than one occassion. That is a FACT. If facts are proof enough for you, then I can't help you.

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                        • identicon
                          Glen, 19 Dec 2019 @ 12:03pm

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

                          They were questioned by Congress. So the fuck what? Did Congress say "We are going to shut you down?" That would be censorship. If not, take your bullshit elsewhere.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:16am

                  I’m not seeing anything in the article that proves elected officials had anything to do with the 8chan shutdown. Bring actual proof or forfeit the argument — make your choice.

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                  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:24am

                    Re:

                    That wasn't the request for proof I responded to, lazy boy.
                    Here it is again, since you have trouble reading:
                    "Pressure from elected officials definitely played a role in censoring 8chan."
                    To which you responded:
                    "Prove it."

                    I have provided proof that the US government has been pressuring the owners and employees of 8chan. Being summoned, from a different country, to answer questions from the US Congress and the Department of Homeland Security is sure as hell going to put pressure on someone. Direct censorship isn't needed. It's called a "chilling effect". Never heard of it?

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                    • icon
                      btr1701 (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:42am

                      Re: Re:

                      Being summoned, from a different country, to answer questions from the US Congress and the Department of Homeland Security

                      As a citizen of a foreign country and not present in the U.S., he was free to ignore Congress's demand. Congress doesn't have the ability or authority to compel every person in the world to come stand before them.

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                      • icon
                        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 6:10am

                        Re: Re: Re:

                        ^This. The man could have said no to the "invitation." He didn't. Had he done so, there would have been some whingeing by politicians, the same kind of whingeing that occurred when Zuck didn't show up to Parliament. No extradition warrant was issued. No SWAT team showed up at his door.

                        Yes, t'other guy is not American or particularly powerful, but he's also not worth the bother of sending that kind of firepower after. if 8Chan shut down because he felt some pressure, whatever. It wasn't the kind of "Close it or you go to jail" pressure that can actually shutter a website.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 6:24am

      Re: How dare they

      What does "deplatform" mean?

      I have seen it used to address an individual being banned from a website, I have seen it used to address a website being unavailable. Is the usage here the same or is it different? What is this platform that is being "removed"?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 6:34am

        Re: Re: How dare they

        Anything that enables an internet presence: webhosting, a user account, payment processor, etc.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 7:10am

        Re: Re: How dare they

        "What does "deplatform" mean?"

        Not what the 8canner above thinks it does.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 7:25am

        deplatform — verb

        1. when a platform that allows third party speech bans a third party from that platform for violating at least one of the platform’s rules

        2. (derogatory) when a platform that allows third party speech bans a third party from that platform because of “viewpoint discrimination”

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        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 9:02am

          Re:

          deplatform — verb

          1. when the soapbox is removed from the town square

          2. when the town square is denied to the speaker

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 9:20am

            Bold of you to conflate privately-owned platforms such as Twitter with public property such as town squares, but go off, I guess.

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            • icon
              Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 9:39am

              Re:

              Social media is analogous to the town square and the soapbox these days, with better reach. That they are privately owned has stopped very few from expressing things that a couple of hundred years ago was relegated to the town square, on the soapbox.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 9:45am

                Re: Re:

                So your argument is effectly that since certain social media platforms are popular they are no longer the property of their previous owners, but instead publicly owned?

                Even though lots of people treat them as public squares to talk in, that doesn't change the fact that they are private property.

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                • icon
                  Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 10:02am

                  Re: Re: Re:

                  I never said the first sentence (you seem to have imagined that), I did say the second sentence. Just because users use private platforms like public squares does not change the fact that they are privately owned. If there is confusion in this, look to the private platforms allowing themselves to be used as public squares used to be used. Something I do not think is actually wrong.

                  The difference is, that it is really hard to ban someone from a real public square, but it is not all that hard to ban someone from a platform, for legitimate or other reasons. The point about differences in reach, stands.

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                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 10:20am

                    Just because users use private platforms like public squares does not change the fact that they are privately owned.

                    In that case, you can’t conflate public squares with platforms like Twitter, regardless of the size or popularity of a given platform. Getting booted from those platforms doesn’t stop anyone from going to another one or building their own. “Deplatforming” doesn’t equal getting booted from a town square, and if you knowingly make the comparison again, you will only embarass yourself.

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                    • icon
                      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 10:44am

                      Re:

                      Why would I be embarrassed by stating an analogy? Are you arguing for the sake of argument, or do you have an actual point to make? I get that you don't think the analogy is good, but that is not my problem, it's yours.

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                      • icon
                        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:14am

                        Why would I be embarrassed by stating an analogy?

                        Because your analogy is wrong, since you’re comparing public property (i.e., a town square) to private property (i.e., Twitter). If you know you’re wrong but plow ahead anyway, don’t expect anything but embarassment over how wrong you are.

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                        • icon
                          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:22am

                          Re:

                          Definition of analogy
                          1a: a comparison of two otherwise unlike things based on resemblance of a particular aspect

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                          • icon
                            PaulT (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 12:25am

                            Re: Re:

                            What do they have in common, other than "people like to use them"? Why should Twitter lose their right to free speech and free association just because they're popular? What are the limits - how popular do you need to be before you start losing those rights? Why should they be forced to lose customers when other people decide they'd rather be somewhere else than be near the scum that Twitter have tried telling are not welcome in their community?

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              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 3:43am

                Re: Re:

                "Social media is analogous to the town square and the soapbox these days..."

                They're really not. They perform much the same type of function but you can say that about a LOT of private property and it's never a reason for overturning basic ownership rights.

                The key difference is that if you get banned from Twitter because you're an obnoxious fuckwit you can go on another service to get your message out...or start one, like Gap, for instance.

                That Stormfront isn't Facebook only serves to demonstrate the respective popularity of the accepted viewpoint of both platforms. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.

                Your argument rather quickly leads down to a very nasty rabbit hole where the popularity of a service determines whether it's public or private property, rather than who the actual owner is.

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            • icon
              btr1701 (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:44am

              Re:

              Bold of you to conflate privately-owned platforms such as Twitter with public property such as town squares

              The distinction between public and private property is irrelevant to the question of whether a person has been "deplatformed" or not.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 12:17pm

                Re: Re:

                "The distinction between public and private property is irrelevant to the question of whether a person has been "deplatformed" or not."

                I do not agree, I think it is very relevant who is responsible and upon what authority they make their judgements.

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                • icon
                  btr1701 (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 3:11pm

                  Re: Re: Re:

                  No, the responsibility and authority is irrelevant to the question of whether it has happened or not.

                  If Twitter kicks me out, they've deplatformed me. They may be perfectly within their rights to do it, but that doesn't change the fact that it has, in fact, happened.

                  Same with the government. If the cops seize my soapbox and kick me out of the public park, they've deplatformed me. It may be unconstitutional for them to have done it, but that doesn't change the fact that it has, in fact, happened.

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 12:26am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "If Twitter kicks me out, they've deplatformed me."

                    No more than you've been made homeless when the bar you've been causing fights in bars you.

                    "Same with the government."

                    You do understand the massive differences between private companies exercising their right to refuse admission and the government suppressing speech, right?

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                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 3:49am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "No more than you've been made homeless when the bar you've been causing fights in bars you."

                      In all fairness btr1701 has a point. Deplatforming =! Censorship.

                      A bad cop can kick you off your soapbox. That's different from said cop actually being a good one for having the full backing of law when he does.

                      Deplatforming isn't censorship. The first one is where the bar tosses a guy out for being an ass. The other is where the government decides you aren't allowed to speak at all.

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                      • icon
                        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 6:16am

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

                        What SDM says. Deplatforming is simply the removal of the soapbox. The entity removing the soapbox acts unconstitutionally when acting as an agent of the government. When Twitter does it, tough tizzy.

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                        • icon
                          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Dec 2019 @ 3:38am

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

                          "The entity removing the soapbox acts unconstitutionally when acting as an agent of the government. When Twitter does it, tough tizzy."

                          And in both cases as it turns out, the soapbox in question belonged to Twitter in the first place.

                          That's pretty important to note since it's lamentably the first issue conflated by both the honestly ignorant and the trolls.

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                    • icon
                      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 6:14am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      **"If Twitter kicks me out, they've deplatformed me."

                      No more than you've been made homeless when the bar you've been causing fights in bars you.**

                      @PaulT, you're both right.

                      btr1701 is right about being deplatformed. This doesn't, as you pointed out, mean there are no other platforms to use. He's also right that when Twitter does it, they're acting within the protections of the 1st Amendment in that they can't be forced to host unwanted speech, and right again by stating that if the government does it, they violate the 1st Amendment. Yes, we can force the government to host unwanted speech, i.e. us complaining about them.

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                    • icon
                      btr1701 (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 11:07am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "If Twitter kicks me out, they've deplatformed me."

                      No more than you've been made homeless when the bar you've been causing fights in bars you.

                      That makes literally no sense in this context.

                      "Deplatforming" merely means taking away someone's platform to speak Period. It doesn't come with all sorts of implications about motivations or limitations of legalities.

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                    • icon
                      btr1701 (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 11:09am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      You do understand the massive differences between private companies exercising their right to refuse admission and the government suppressing speech, right?

                      You do understand the word "unconstitutional", right?

                      If so, go back and read what I wrote, paying special attention to that word.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2019 @ 7:46am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "If Twitter kicks me out, they've deplatformed me."

                    Please explain what this means. There are plenty of other "platforms" out there no? Why not use one of them?

                    If the platform were forced, by the government, to host your speech - wouldn't that action be socialism?

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                    • icon
                      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 8:13am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "If Twitter kicks me out, they've deplatformed me."

                      That's actually true.

                      Please explain what this means. There are plenty of other "platforms" out there no? Why not use one of them?

                      You just explained it yourself. Let's not be conflating "deplatforming" with "Censorship." They're different things.

                      If the platform were forced, by the government, to host your speech - wouldn't that action be socialism?

                      No. Please can we also not be conflating "Socialism" with "totalitarianism?" While certain socialist governments have indeed been totalitarian, the record on the Right has been no better. Remember Pinochet? I do.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 22 Dec 2019 @ 6:16am

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

                        I think the problem is the word deplatform, it is not very descriptive and its use indicates many differing interpretations of what it is.

                        What is it called when you get tossed out of a bar? Is that debarred?
                        How about a restaurant ... is that derestauranted?
                        People who are escorted off an airplane, are they being deplaned?
                        Why is the word banned not used in these cases? Does it not instigate enough misconception and outrage?

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                        • icon
                          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Dec 2019 @ 3:50am

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

                          "Why is the word banned not used in these cases? Does it not instigate enough misconception and outrage?"

                          Nailed it.

                          There's a very vocal minority around which feels outraged and upset over the fact that they are now considered persona non grata in the most heavily used social platforms because they just can't shut up about the "jewish conspiracy", the "inferiority of the black man", or the conspiracy of women not spreding their legs on command.

                          "Banned" makes sense to most people. It's pretty clear. As a result that vocal minority is all too eager to push for alternative terms they can use to conflate the issue with censorship.

                          For a sterling example, peruse any posts made containing the words "section 230" written by our resident troll Bobmail/Jhon/Blue who is apparently VERY bitter about not being allowed to force everyone on Facebook to read his wild rants about how women are all asking for it.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2019 @ 10:11pm

            Re: Re:

            If someone is banned from social media, there's nothing stopping them from simply making a new account.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re: How dare they

        "What is this platform that is being "removed"?"

        Mass market platforms that they used to be able to use for free, but have been told they can no longer use because their extreme behaviour is scaring off advertisers and normal people. People like zof try to spin this as being a conspiracy and not the fact that nobody wants them on their property.

        They whine because they know that they can't get anything like the income and reach by setting up their own platforms as they can by leeching off others. But, people like zof will whine about it being unfair that nobody wanted to do business with 8chan (a site that was a pariah because of all the mass shootings they helped inspire) than examine why their own behaviour is so toxic to others.

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        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 6:20am

          Re: Re: Re: How dare they

          They whine because they know that they can't get anything like the income and reach by setting up their own platforms as they can by leeching off others. But, people like zof will whine about it being unfair that nobody wanted to do business with 8chan (a site that was a pariah because of all the mass shootings they helped inspire) than examine why their own behaviour is so toxic to others.

          There are platforms such as Gab that will host extremist speech but they're not popular because most of us like to present ourselves as reasonable, decent, live-and-let-live people.

          The Right's solution to the lack of reach is to get their advocates to present their views as mainstream. Sadly, this seems to be working.

          Extremists aren't interested in examining why their behaviour is toxic because they like being toxic and demand that we all join them in their toxicity. I'd rather have them fenced off in their own hellholes and out of my sight.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 6:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: How dare they

            That is all this "debate" is about ultimately. They don't just want a platform, they want a guaranteed audience, and they cannot get that audience unless they force themselves on to someone else's.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2019 @ 7:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How dare they

              What if said audience wants no part of their hate?

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              • icon
                Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 8:14am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How dare they

                They get deplatformed and sent whining on their way to Gab, etc.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 8:30am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How dare they

                That's my point. These platforms are largely making business decisions. That's why they initially allowed these people to use their platforms, but then started changing their minds when advertisers and other users started looking elsewhere. Standing up for "free speech" in the case of something like 8chan actively loses them other, higher revenue, business.

                When these platforms are saying "we don't want 8chan here", often they're really saying "people who make us money don't want 8chan here". In that sense, it's no different to a restaurant kicking out a loud, abusive customer, or a train kicking off a drunk, or a TV channel cancelling a controversial show. These guys just suddenly have a problem because they're the ones being told they're not wanted.

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                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Dec 2019 @ 3:58am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How dare they

                  "In that sense, it's no different to a restaurant kicking out a loud, abusive customer, or a train kicking off a drunk, or a TV channel cancelling a controversial show. These guys just suddenly have a problem because they're the ones being told they're not wanted."

                  ...which is why our common resident trolls are so upset over section 230. There's just a certain type of person who thinks it's their right to piss all over the carpet in your living room if you just let them into the building.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 7:05am

      Re: How dare they

      its*

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 7:24am

      Re: How dare they

      "How dare they try to deplatform Twitter using the same argument used to deplatform 8chan"

      Your arguments would be better if you tried learning the actual definitions of the words you're obsessed with. I know you're sad that your white supremacist friends weren't able to get a free ride among polite society like they wanted, but lying about what happened won't help your cause. Especially when you try applying it to a situation that has nothing to do with your beloved 8chan's being told they weren't welcome on someone else's property.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 9:20am

        Re: Re: How dare they

        "How dare they try to deplatform Twitter using the same argument used to deplatform 8chan"

        Your arguments would be better if you tried learning the actual definitions of the words you're obsessed with. I know you're sad that your white supremacist friends weren't able to get a free ride among polite society like they wanted, but lying about what happened won't help your cause. Especially when you try applying it to a situation that has nothing to do with your beloved 8chan's being told they weren't welcome on someone else's property.

        It's not a free ride to ensure that all voices are on equal footing in a debate. If someone's "property" claims to be neutral territory with open debate, censoring people, even white supremacists, is inconsistent with that.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 10:21am

          If someone's "property" claims to be neutral territory with open debate, censoring people, even white supremacists, is inconsistent with that.

          So sue them for false advertising. Because you sure as shit can’t sue them for banning White supremacist propaganda.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 3:56am

          Re: Re: Re: How dare they

          "If someone's "property" claims to be neutral territory with open debate, censoring people, even white supremacists, is inconsistent with that."

          Not really. Even if your mission statement is "We're here to give everyone a platform" and the white supremacists mission statement is "We're here to take the platform away" then kicking the latter out fulfills the mission statement of the former.

          But that's not what most platforms even say. Most platforms only say "You are free to say whatever as long as you don't piss on everyone else".
          And once the KKK show up and start pissing on everyone who doesn't possess a 100% african-free genome that means they've abused the hospitality of their hosts and get to leave.

          It's really not that hard. Except for the closet racists who whine that them not being able to portray the black man as inferior is somehow a sign of bigotry.

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 4:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: How dare they

            "Even if your mission statement is "We're here to give everyone a platform""

            ...it doesn't matter because you still have the right to kick people out who are being disruptive to everybody else. Saying "we're open to everyone" does not translate to "we have no right to kick people out". Never has.

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

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Dec 2019 @ 4:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How dare they

              "Saying "we're open to everyone" does not translate to "we have no right to kick people out". Never has."

              No need to tell ME that. Consider the sentence I replied to;

              • "If someone's "property" claims to be neutral territory with open debate, censoring people, even white supremacists, is inconsistent with that."

              I really don't like to let people try to get past very shaky moral high ground with only a fast-talk argument.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 4:24am

          Re: Re: Re: How dare they

          "It's not a free ride to ensure that all voices are on equal footing in a debate"

          It's a free ride to insist that people host your speech at their own expense, with no right to remove you if you're losing them money from normal people.

          You're disrupting the debate, people can tell you to GTFO their property for doing so.

          "censoring people, even white supremacists, is inconsistent with that."

          No, telling you to get your racist ass out because other people don't want you there is consistent. Free speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

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

        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 6:30am

          Re: Re: Re: How dare they

          It's not a free ride to ensure that all voices are on equal footing in a debate. If someone's "property" claims to be neutral territory with open debate, censoring people, even white supremacists, is inconsistent with that.

          It's nobody's job to ensure an equal footing for any voices in a debate. Drop the strawman and be honest; you have no problem with racism and the abusive behaviours that result from it. In fact, you want a burning cross on every front lawn, don't you?

          If you're being deplatformed, your comments hidden, and told to shove off, this is the conclusion to be drawn:

          Mene, mene your arguments have indeed been taken on board;
          Tekel they have been carefully considered and found unworthy;
          Uparsin your account will be shut down so off you sod to WhateverChan or other unpopular platform where the rest of us don't have to hear your nonsense.

          Bear in mind that mad racists don't have anything new to bring to the table and there is no discussion to be had with them. They think they're superior (why??) and don't want to play nicely with the rest of us. What debate can possibly be had with such people?

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

      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 6:22am

        Re: Re: How dare they

        Nobody is trying to deplatform Twitter.

        8chan wasn't deplatformed, it was shuttered. Deplatformed people can speak elsewhere. It's different to and separate from censorship.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 4:52am

    So Excolo is radicalizing people with insane ideas about causality?

    Or at least that is the only thing I see to learn here.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 6:02am

    A more interesting case would be against a lawyer who radicalized someone into making death threats after the lawyer linked the person making the threats to a libelous website designed to incite them, or what they call "stochastic terrorism."

    Even MORE interesting would be a challenge to Section 230 if this was done in retaliation for someone excercising their Title VII rights, since courts have ruled that "natural adversaries" (business competitors) cannot rely on 230 to stand down when someone is their enemy's enemy.

    They also might be aiming to change the laws. Congress could easily modify 230 and this might be part of that process.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 6:26am

      Re:

      What a tangled mess they have created, better give them all lots of money so they can study it out.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 8:10am

      A more interesting case would be against a lawyer who radicalized someone into making death threats after the lawyer linked the person making the threats to a libelous website designed to incite them

      Please cite a case where this actually happened, or I will assume that you are the lawyer of whom you speak.

      Even MORE interesting would be a challenge to Section 230 if this was done in retaliation for someone excercising their Title VII rights

      Boy, you are really aching for 230 to be destroyed and the entire Internet to be changed so that you’ll never again have to worry about comments sections calling you on your bullshit, huh?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 8:22am

        Re:

        He longs for the days of mailing lists, where he could control what his marks could see about whatever he was selling.

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 9:19am

          Re: Re:

          He longs for the days of mailing lists, where he could control what his marks could see about whatever he was selling.

          So someone who doesn't even know what is being sold is calling the customers "marks?" Not very sound logic, sounds more like jealousy.

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

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 9:22am

            someone who doesn't even know what is being sold is calling the customers "marks?"

            In capitalism, every customer is a mark.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:15am

            Re: Re: Re:

            Bro you admitted you were scamming the runes. Not surprised that forgot about that while you were blotto.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 4:59pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            You literally spent a few posts talking about your own business model which relied on selling "white elephants" you didn't even like to rich patrons.

            Also your spirited defenses of financial advice books that go out of date in months is duly noted.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 4:00am

            Re: Re: Re:

            "So someone who doesn't even know what is being sold is calling the customers "marks?" Not very sound logic, sounds more like jealousy."

            Oh, stop it, Bobmail. A shady book on card counting and how to cheat casinos is definitely aimed at "marks". Or was it about tax evasion?

            Either way I think everyone here is pretty clear why you want section 230 gone so you never have to worry about launching a similarly dubious enterprise only to get busted by the first googled consumer review - or court case, figuring your real name and the word "fraud".

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 9:15am

        Re:

        The Rose McGowan case is the best example of the online "rapeutation" mafia. She accused a lawyer of proposing to the lawyer's client to have her disparaged online, which would involve "juicing up" those "useful idiots" into disliking her.

        Nixon did the same thing to knock Muskie out of the 1972 primaries, though not online. He had his underlings pretend to be rival democrats in order to turn the party against itself and make McGovern the nominee.

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

    • icon
      Khym Chanur (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 9:26am

      Re:

      A more interesting case would be against a lawyer who radicalized someone into making death threats after the lawyer linked the person making the threats to a libelous website designed to incite them

      What are your talking about, specifically?

      Even MORE interesting would be a challenge to Section 230 if this was done in retaliation for someone excercising their Title VII rights, since courts have ruled that "natural adversaries" (business competitors) cannot rely on 230 to stand down when someone is their enemy's enemy.

      1. What exercise of Title VII rights?
      2. Who were these two business competitors?
      3. Who was the "enemy's enemy"?
      4. How did they use 230 to help their enemy's enemy?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 10:31am

        Re: Re:

        Even MORE interesting would be a challenge to Section 230 if this was done in retaliation for someone excercising their Title VII rights, since courts have ruled that "natural adversaries" (business competitors) cannot rely on 230 to stand down when someone is their enemy's enemy.

        What exercise of Title VII rights?

        Say a woman who is sexually harassed and files a lawsuit. In the past, employers might not have found it, but now that they GOOGLE their applicants, whistleblowers are put on blast at no cost. Before that, they could find a place that didn't care enough to look (not that they should have to care about someone looking but retaliation against snitches is persistent). Section 230 immunizes google against this retaliation.

        Who were these two business competitors?

        Two antivirus software companies where one listed the other negatively:
        https://securityboulevard.com/2019/12/can-antivirus-companies-use-good-samaritan-defense-to-block-r ival-software/

        Now lets say GOOGLE allowed defamatory search results against someone who filed a Title VII lawsuit against GOOGLE. This could easily be an exception to Section 230 since the platform is benefitting from the defamation.

        Who was the "enemy's enemy"?

        How did they use 230 to help their enemy's enemy?

        Let's say a woman sued this site for sexual harassment, and this site allowed comments defaming her. The "enemy" poster who broke the rules here would have a common "enemy" of the site in that both would be attacking the woman, even if they didn't get along themselves.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:11am

          Section 230 immunizes google against this retaliation.

          And for good reason: Google didn’t carry out the retaliation. I mean, we don’t hold Craftsman responsible if someone uses a hammer to commit murder. For what reason should Google be held responsible for someone using information Google did not create, publish, or host to retaliate against another person?

          This could easily be an exception to Section 230 since the platform is benefitting from the defamation.

          By all means, please explain how this…novel legal theory would coïncide with an actual law.

          Let's say a woman sued this site for sexual harassment, and this site allowed comments defaming her.

          Whenever you say stuff like this, I have to assume you’re preparing to do exactly what you’re hypothetically saying someone else would do.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:20am

            Re:

            We all know he doesn’t have the balls to actually put his name in a lawsuit here. All that trash he talked would be fair game for discovery. Nevermind the other shit he gets up to.

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

        • icon
          Khym Chanur (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 11:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Say a woman who is sexually harassed and files a lawsuit. In the past, employers might not have found it, but now that they GOOGLE their applicants, whistleblowers are put on blast at no cost. Before that, they could find a place that didn't care enough to look (not that they should have to care about someone looking but retaliation against snitches is persistent). Section 230 immunizes google against this retaliation.

          Are you talking about defamatory content against the plaintiff (woman) being found via search engines, or the lawsuit itself being found by search engines? If the latter, are you saying that, absent section 230, the woman would have some grounds for suing Google for indexing pages about her lawsuit? If so, on what ground would she sue?

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

          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 12:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Are you talking about defamatory content against the plaintiff (woman) being found via search engines, or the lawsuit itself being found by search engines?

            This guy repeatedly brings up hypotheticals like this-- a company finds information via a Google search which has negative consequences for an employee-- and pretends like that's defamatory or something.

            There's nothing defamatory about either the details of a harassment lawsuit on a courthouse website, or Google returning that information in its search results. Just because information impacts someone negatively doesn't make it defamatory.

            What he really seems to be butthurt about is that in the past, you could run away from your mistakes, go live somewhere else, and your past generally wouldn't come back to haunt you, but now, the computer age has made it much harder to do that because someone's shady past is only a click away. And he acts like that's somehow illegal or defamatory when it's just the way of the world. You don't have a right to remake yourself and force the world to forget everything you ever did.

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

            • icon
              Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 6:44am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              ^This. Mind you, even if you have screwed up so completely you fear you might never be able to show your face online again, there are things you can do to paint yourself in a better light.

              Start by apologising for the thing you did wrong.

              Start a blog and contribute to other websites stating what you've learned since then and how you've moved on.

              Do good things or make the kind of blog posts that paint you in the light you want to be seen in.

              If someone calls you out for your past, you have all of that behind you. Don't be defensive, acknowledge it and be courteous to win the person over. In that way, people who see your past can also see your present and this can help to move you to a better future.

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

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Dec 2019 @ 4:10am

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

                ...all of which assumes the screwup is capable of getting past the point where he realizes "i dun goofed".

                And that is just too much work for Bobmail/Blue/Jhon who lives in a la-la land of his own devising where fraudulent financial advise and mailing list should have made him a billionaire and the only reason women would complain about abuse is because they weren't paid enough compensation.

                Much easier for him to just take offense at the fact that people will remember his bullshit. And cry bitter tears over people not being as easy to con thanks to the evil internetz.

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

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

      Re:

      “When the sauce gets put on this gander, Masnick, you'll wish Shiva had blown up your piracy apologism cesspool isntead of me. You think Rose McGowan had it bad. I'm going to rip open that pretty white boy asshole so wide it'll send that shitstain wife and kids of yours to China.
      Just you wait.”

      Not that it would ever happen but what would be really interesting is if you actually had the balls to file a suit and shit like this got attached to your real name.

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

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 1:10pm

    Not very creative in naming their law firm either - just dropping a couple characters from "Ex-Colon."

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

    • icon
      Norahc (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 2:14pm

      Re:

      Not very creative in naming their law firm either - just dropping a couple characters from "Ex-Colon."

      Given the crap they file in court, I imagine it was actually shortened from "Exit Colon".

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

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 19 Dec 2019 @ 8:41pm

        Re: Re:

        I was going more for "Ex" meaning "from" as in "Ex Libris" but I think the hyphen obscured that intent.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 5:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Ex colon" literally "out of the ass".

          It sort of makes me wonder how an actual law firm could come up with that sort of name. There is no way that a law school graduate wouldn't have picked up enough latin to make the connection.

          The literal translation of their name as spelled - "out of color" - doesn't make much sense either.

          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, 20 Dec 2019 @ 1:09am

    This guy repeatedly brings up hypotheticals like this-- a company finds information via a Google search which has negative consequences for an employee-- and pretends like that's defamatory or something.

    It's not a hypothetical at all. It's called "rapeutation."

    I'm sure if someone paid someone who was judgment-proof or terminally ill to flood google with lies about say Masnick, or one of his attorney buddies, to where no one could be sued for it, they wouldn't call it "pretending."

    Females who have been targeted by malicious exes with revenge porn or defamation are all too aware of this.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 1:16am

      Re:

      You do make . a lot of these claims, but when asked for evidence of it happening you always fall silent. I wonder why that is.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2019 @ 1:36am

      Re:

      Come on Jhon. You’ve been pushing this bullshit for years. We all know you’re too much of a little bitch to do anything. Stick to actual rape threats.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 5:04am

      I’m not seeing an offer of proof that your claims are legit. (And don’t trot out the Rose McGowan situation as your sole offer of proof; we all know you will, and we all know you’re full of shit for doing it.)

      Also: You seem rather obsessed with the word “rape”. You threatened to rape Mike’s family, you keep spouting “rapeutation” as your hot new catchphrase of the week…you, uh, got something you wanna admit to, champ?

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 6:00am

        Re:

        "...you, uh, got something you wanna admit to, champ?"

        Given bobmail's oft-repeated view of women in general, or the way he keeps insisting that any woman in an office got there by sleeping her way to the job...
        ...he's beginning to paint himself as some repressed incel who thinks the only reason he isn't getting any is because he's not paying women to sleep with him.

        He's wrong, of course. In a world where there are people of both genders aroused any preference you can name there's probably someone who has the kink of being with a creepy delusional asshole like jhon. The trick would be finding that type of person outside a correctional facility or mental institution, because someone that obsessed with shame play and masochism is a mortal danger to herself.

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

      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 6:49am

        Re:

        The Rose McGowan thing backfired and Weinstein got excoriated for it. All Weinstein's fault.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2019 @ 1:47am

        Re:

        "Rapeutation" isn't even original. Anyone familiar with the Charles Carreon shitshow will probably remember it as one of his sad legal theories for why Matthew Inman should be effectively beheaded.

        Now, I'm not saying John Smith is actually the husband of the unhinged power couple who decided the wisest career move was to defend a meme site who regularly stripped the artist attribution from user-submitted/copied images. Tara Carreon, to her credit, actually had the guts to sign up an account with her real name and post her shitty Carreon/Inman Foe Yay fanfiction for out_of_the_blue to gush over. This was before Hamilton tried to make it cool (read: fucking stupid).

        And as we all know the last thing Herrick wants is to tie his real name to anything.

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

    • icon
      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 20 Dec 2019 @ 6:47am

      Re:

      I'm sure if someone paid someone who was judgment-proof or terminally ill to flood google with lies about say Masnick, or one of his attorney buddies, to where no one could be sued for it, they wouldn't call it "pretending."

      A troll did this to me for free. I didn't sue, I used the troll's posts as evidence that it was trash talk and not credible. The posts came down on all but one platform. Even Hamilton has given up trying to use it against me since it doesn't stick. Why? Every time he links it, my rebuttal comes up too.

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


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