Twitter Suspended Cory Doctorow For Putting Trolls On A List Called 'Colossal Assholes'

from the moderation-impossibility dept

Shout it from the rooftops: content moderation at scale is impossible to do well. Mistakes will always be made, or even "legitimate" decisions will appear "wrong" to many, many people. The latest example: Twitter -- which has received criticism for being both too aggressive in shutting down accounts and not nearly aggressive enough (sometimes by the same people) -- suspended Cory Doctorow's account earlier this week. The reasoning for the suspension? He would put various trolls onto a Twitter list called "colossal assholes" before muting them, and Twitter claimed this violated its policies (though the company only told him well after it suspended him):

I woke up yesterday morning and discovered that my account was locked. There was no explanation, either in the app, the site or my email for this. I contacted everyone I knew at Twitter, and everyone who knew anyone at Twitter. At 830AM Pacific – about 5h after the suspension – I got an email from support – saying I'd been suspended for having a list to which I add trolls called "colossal assholes."

I'm not sure that this qualifies as a ToS violation (I gave up reporting trolls who called me much worse, because Twitter inevitably replied that these epithets were not prohibited), but it's super-weird that they suspended me without warning or explanation. Also weird: I could not rename the list while suspended, only delete it (I tried to rename it "thoroughly unpleasant individuals").

Weirder: "Colossal assholes" got me suspended, but not its companion list, "Toe-faced shitweasels"

Given the kind of language that I regularly see on Twitter, I agree that this certainly appears to be a silly decision (as is the failure to let him just rename the list, not to mention the failure to notify him until many hours later). At the same time, going back to the Masnick Impossibility Theorem, I can totally see how this happened, where a content moderator (perhaps alerted by some keyword-checking algorithm) flagged the list "colossal assholes" and decided that maybe it violated Twitter's prohibition on abuse/harassment or hateful conduct.

The issue, of course, is that an overworked content moderation team isn't going to be in a position to explore who Cory is, how he's using that list or -- most importantly -- if the list is actually made up of "colossal assholes." It's just going to pull the plug. Of course, there's an argument that merely adding an account to a list is not a form of harassment -- but that ignores the fact that just a few months ago Twitter was heavily criticized for not doing enough to stop trolls from abusing the list feature to harass people.

Again: getting this right is impossible. One person's trolling is another person's counter trolling. One person's impassioned debate is another person's harassment. There's literally no way to get this right -- though I do think that this one looks particularly silly and that Twitter's notification process here could have been much better (also it should have let him change the list name, rather than just deleting it).

In the meantime, Cory has announced that he's renamed all of his lists:

Also, in response to Twitter's sensitivity about "colossal assholes" as a listname, I've renamed and expanded my lists.

  • Potent emetics
  • Tissue-thin bad faith
  • Foolish timewasters
  • Beneath contempt
  • Odious nonsense-spewers
  • Confederate gravy-eaters
  • Toe-faced stenchweasels
  • Hilariously inept lackwits
  • Probably bots
  • Thick as two short planks
  • Raving conspiracists
  • Sociopath climate deniers
  • Dim bulb centrists
  • Inept MAGA trolls
  • Red scare bedwetters

I get the feeling some people could end up on, well, nearly all of those lists.

Filed Under: colossal assholes, content moderation, content moderation at scale, cory doctorow, trolls
Companies: twitter


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  1. identicon
    Glen, 20 Mar 2020 @ 1:37pm

    My favorites are Confederate gravy-eaters and Red scare bedwetters.

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

  2. icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 20 Mar 2020 @ 1:43pm

    I sometimes wonder what lists I'm on....

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

  3. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 20 Mar 2020 @ 1:50pm

    Re:

    I am wondering if it would be inappropriate to nominate oneself to a particular list, whether that is an accurate assessment or not?

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

  4. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Mar 2020 @ 1:58pm

    I’d put myself in “foolish timewasters” for…well, multiple reasons, really. I mean, have you seen how long some of my comments and comment threads here can get?

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2020 @ 2:01pm

    This is what happens when companies such as Twitter is beholding to the likes of Hollywood and the entertainment industries, especially when under threat of colossal law suits if it dont comply with their version of 'right'!

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2020 @ 2:03pm

    Re:

    Confederate gravy-eater is a demographic from the Stephen Bury (Neal Stephenson & J. Frederick George) political thriller, Interface.

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

  7. identicon
    Jono793, 20 Mar 2020 @ 2:13pm

    Sunlight may be the best disinfectent

    ...but if you focus that sunlight through a magnifying glass it ends up burning anything under it's glare. To the point that everything looks like a rules violation.

    What probably happened is triggered assholes decided they didn't much care for being called colossal assholes . They encouraged their credulous asshole followers (either explicitly, or by implication) to bombard Twitter with reports.

    Twitter, seeing the scale of the reporting activity, starts looks overly closely at Cory's Tweets. They decide that the post technically violates the TOS in relation to "Harassment" "Trolling" or whatever other subjective buzzword appears in said TOS. The fact that a large volume of reports are coming in at the same time tends to back up this interpretation. Even though 99.9% of genuine users acting in good faith wouldn't view the post in this way.

    Thereby, the mendacious assholes weaponize the TOS and achieve their objective of getting a prominent critic banned!

    A similar thing happened last year to a British anti-racism activist I follow . They participated in a publicity stunt against prominent racist and football thug Tommy Robinson. The response was a mass flagging campaign against all his social media (along with trolling, death threats, and similar). His old tweets were trawled for anything that even vaguely violated Twitter's TOS. Each of which would never, on it's own, be worthy of being reported by most of his actual followers. But when all reported in such concentration, lead to a permanent twitter ban for the individual concerned!

    The people calling for more severe social media moderation of assholes, often fail to understand that moderation often ends up utilized by said assholes as a tool of their assholery!

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2020 @ 2:21pm

    Given my experience, Cory Doctorow is a colossal asshole on Twitter. Or at the very least has an extremely low threshold for which he will vilify someone and is prone to jumping to conclusions. The man has more passion than sense.

    But I do agree - he should not have been suspended for his list's name.

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

  9. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 20 Mar 2020 @ 2:25pm

    Re:

    I was thinking of Toe-faced stenchweasels, but then I never gave my brothers enough credence when they described me, however accurate they might have been.

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

  10. identicon
    Max, 20 Mar 2020 @ 2:38pm

    Same old, same old.

    Repeat after me: the only platform worth wasting... sorry, investing time into that they can't take away from you at any moment for no reason whatsoever is the one you host yourself.

    Yes, this probably consigns you to invisibility unless you're already famous AND there's some trivially simple way anyone can use to follow you on your own platform using their own clients.

    Which means our kids badly need to work on platform-independent content federation and specifically, discoverability on it. We? Don't sweat it, we're fucked, end of story.

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

  11. identicon
    Agammamon, 20 Mar 2020 @ 2:39pm

    Re:

    wat?

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

  12. identicon
    Agammamon, 20 Mar 2020 @ 2:41pm

    Re:

    You really can't be on Twitter unless you're a colossal asshole. Otherwise no one pays attention to you.

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

  13. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Mar 2020 @ 2:44pm

    To wit: Donald Trump.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2020 @ 2:55pm

    "Toe-faced shitweasels"

    Cory Doctorow is awesome!

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

  15. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 20 Mar 2020 @ 2:56pm

    The fun human nature where if something was bad before, in the future we have to overreact to fix it.

    Some people used the lists to annoy people, lets scan all the lists & go overboard months later.

    Of course it is also possible that some asshole placed on the list of assholes and was so upset they demanded it be fixed. Of course one never checks the complaining persons TL to see that asshole is actually the nicest thing they post.

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

  16. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 20 Mar 2020 @ 3:00pm

    They're allowed to say it, but you can't say it back

    I'm not sure that this qualifies as a ToS violation (I gave up reporting trolls who called me much worse, because Twitter inevitably replied that these epithets were not prohibited), but it's super-weird that they suspended me without warning or explanation.

    Ah gotta love the hypocrisy, even if it's likely unintentional and simply another case of botched moderation from trolls spamming the report function in retaliation. Troll calls him a derogatory name, he reports them, Twitter says there's nothing wrong with that. He compiles a list of trolls and puts them into a list of 'Colossal Assholes' and now saying that about someone is a terrible, 'shut down your account'-level offense.

    Make up your gorram mind Twitter, if calling people those sorts of names is a terrible offense then apply it equally. If it's not then tell the trolls to suck it up as they're only getting what they handed out.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2020 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re:

    I'd tag myself as:

    • Potent emetics
    • Foolish timewasters
    • Beneath contempt
    • Odious nonsense-spewers
    • Toe-faced stenchweasels
    • Hilariously inept lackwits
    • Probably bots
    • Thick as two short planks

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2020 @ 4:16pm

    Re:

    donny has the best assholes

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2020 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re:

    asshole*

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

  20. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 20 Mar 2020 @ 4:23pm

    They Have Too Much Power

    If they cannot be trusted to exercise that power responsibly, then it must be taken away from them.

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

  21. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 20 Mar 2020 @ 4:36pm

    Strike three, you're out

    Yeah, you're just spamming at this point, enjoy the flags.

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

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2020 @ 5:06pm

    ... there's an argument that merely adding an account to a list is not a form of harassment ...

    True. But I'm sure that that argument is of great comfort to, for instance,

    1) make a list, for which you are (generally) unanswerable.
    2) other people use that list (by inclination or regulation)
    3) disclaim any responsibility for those other people's actions.
    Easy.

    One last one: A rape accusation list, where the accused are named, and the accusers are anonymous, specifically created with the intent of harassing the accused.

    If there's an argument that adding an account to a list is not harassment, it is not an absolute argument.

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

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2020 @ 5:51pm

    Re:

    I actually like Trump. Not because he's good or anything. But because he can't keep his mouth shut. If I have to choose between two politicians, both of which have policies that I disagree with. One of which is very good at being quiet and sneaking their objectional personal policies into official actions, while the other can't keep his mouth shut and therefore can be blocked, I'll pick the blabbermouth every time.

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2020 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re:

    donny has the best assholes

    They really are the best and biggest. Nobody else's can compare. They may be the biggest in history.

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

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2020 @ 7:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Although I admire your tenacity, I question your priorities.

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

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Mar 2020 @ 10:04pm

    Re: Same old, same old.

    Paid advertising or a contest with a small prize is enough to put ANYONE on the map.

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

  27. identicon
    k-h, 20 Mar 2020 @ 11:05pm

    So where is the original post with the Colossal assholes? I can't find it.

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

  28. identicon
    Kristy KELLY-Bellman, 21 Mar 2020 @ 4:48am

    I 2 have been suspended

    Twitter has band or suspended me twice in two weeks!! No explanation, no way to question what I did!! I don’t believe have done anything wrong

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

  29. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2020 @ 6:13am

    Live By the Sword...

    Fails to register on my "give-a-shit" meter. Boing Boing does the same stuff.

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

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2020 @ 6:33am

    Expect Service...

    ...from our attorneys.

    Lumping our honorable group, The Hilariously Inept Lackwits with the immoral collection called "The Toe-Faced Stenchweasels," demands our anti-defamational response.

    We at Lackwits are not Stenchweasels. Apologize and retract our inclusion on your list or cite where you prefer to receive legal service.

    P.S. We're cool with "colossal assholes."

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2020 @ 9:33am

    I was hoping to find
    tiny fingered, Cheeto-faced, ferret wearing shitgibbon
    on the list.

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2020 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The 2020 election will more than likely be Trump vs Biden. I can't stand Trump, the man-child is the dumbest thing ever installed in the Oval Office. But Biden? This asshole is dangerous. I am genuinely unsure of who to vote for in November.

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

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2020 @ 10:18am

    Re: I 2 have been suspended

    Are you a racist asshole? Maybe a homophobe? A religious zealot, anti-vaxxer or flat Earther?

    Phrased another way, are you a Republican?

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

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2020 @ 10:19am

    Re:

    Flagged "lol" but really, there's not much point in having a list of 1.

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

  35. identicon
    Bruce C., 21 Mar 2020 @ 11:01am

    Sounds like...

    Twitter took assholes as an anatomical term, rather than a sociological one. The idea that internet trolls as a group have humungous anuses seems reasonable to me.

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

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2020 @ 12:53pm

    Re: I 2 have been suspended

    What kind of band was it?
    I prefer rock 'n roll myself, what kind of band does twitter have?

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

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2020 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Think of the Supreme Court. Whoever wins the election will pick the next Supreme Court nominee.

    If I recall correctly, the next person in line for Trump's Supreme Court pick is an anti-porn religious fundamentalist. Of course anything could change, but I'm hard pressed to believe Biden could pick someone worse than that.

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

  38. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 21 Mar 2020 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Sounds like...

    Not at all, if anything the exact opposite would make more sense, as barely functioning anus' would explain nicely how they're constantly full of shit.

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

  39. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 21 Mar 2020 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A very good point.

    Laws that were added and/or changed can be changed back or removed.

    Domestic and/or foreign policy can be changed.

    Reputations of the government both in the country and globally can slowly but surely be improved.

    While none of these are easy they are all vastly easier to change than a Supreme Court justice, as those are lifetime appointments and therefore the only real way to deal with a bad justice is to wait for them to die/retire.

    As such who a president is likely to nominate to fill a slot in the SC should be one of if not the biggest sticking points when deciding who to vote for, as while a president can certainly do damage while in office few things are likely to impact the country and those that live in it more and for longer than who is sitting in the highest court in the country.

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

  40. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Mar 2020 @ 4:41pm

    Trump will continue to install asskissing yes-men who will do his bidding even if it means other people have to die. (But that is a sacrifice he is willing to make!)

    Biden will most likely install people with actual competence into necessary government roles. (He’ll need to, considering his age and the reasonable chances that he might die while in office.)

    And the makeup of not only the Supreme Court, but of the entire federal judiciary hangs in the balance of whoever wins.

    All presidential elections come down to the lesser of two evils. Given the past three-plus years of Trump, I’ll take Biden even if my vote for him is a nose-holding vote. At least Biden has compassion for other people; Trump cares only about himself.

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

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2020 @ 8:22pm

    Re:

    I don't believe Biden has any more compassion for others than Trump. Like any politician, particularly one running for president, he'll take whatever position he thinks will get him elected. And like every other president, what he does in office likely will have very little if anything in common with what he said pre-election.

    Some of his positions are outright dangerous. For example, he is anti-Section 230. He is also in favor of investigating tech companies but has said nothing of connectivity providers. On the whole, though, I suppose he is a smaller turd than Trump is. If I must pick one to flush into the Oval Office on platform alone, Biden seems the one to require the least toilet paper to clean up.

    Also, very good point wrt the supreme court, both you and the AC above.

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

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2020 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re:

    I am very tired of the cult of personality bullshit and quite put off by their never ending lies. We should vote on the issues not the person.

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

  43. icon
    freakanatcha (profile), 22 Mar 2020 @ 8:06am

    Re: Covid 19

    When you come down with symptoms for Covid 19, can't get tested because the hospital is alarmingly low on supplies because Trump didn't think a pandemic could ever happen and told us there were 15 cases, soon to be zero, do you really have to think that much to decide?

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

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2020 @ 9:44am

    Re: Sunlight may be the best disinfectent

    The people calling for more severe social media moderation of assholes, often fail to understand that moderation often ends up utilized by said assholes as a tool of their assholery!

    Yep. Isn't great that the Internet isn't a free speech zone? You can limit a person's ability to communicate greatly with very little consequence.

    I've said it countless times, corporations are censorship's loophole. You want an Internet where people can express themselves without fear of reprisal? Fix the loophole. Otherwise, sit back and watch as your "content moderation" turns into the thought police.

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

  45. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2020 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Sunlight may be the best disinfectent

    You are free to put up your own website where you can say absolutely anything you like (within the law). Nobody will moderate you.

    And by all means, allow comments where anyone can post whatever they like, too, even if it really pisses you off that you're now hosting others' speech that you dislike. Let's see where that goes, shall we?

    I've been booted off of Breitbart multiple times simply for disagreeing with the locals. Not even trolling, just trying to have a discussion. On that site, if you get downvoted enough you simply get banned. And they don't allow anonymous comments. Consider the fact you're allowed to post here at all, unable to be banned and your comments are never fully removed the closest thing to free speech on the internet.

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

  46. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2020 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Sunlight may be the best disinfectent

    Perhaps you misunderstand the first amendment.

    Do you think a baker should bake all cakes, should a restaurant allow no shirts?

    Are you being repressed?

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

  47. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Mar 2020 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And Trump isn’t dangerous? Seriously, I can’t think of a single metric by which Biden ranks worse (objectively or in my opinion) than Trump.

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

  48. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Mar 2020 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re:

    Like any politician, particularly one running for president, he'll take whatever position he thinks will get him elected.

    I don’t think that was entirely and precisely true of any of the past few presidents (Trump’s positions don’t appear to have any correlation with what would get him elected, and despite their flaws, and GWB and Obama seemed to take public stances based more on principle or personal beliefs), but even if true, I fail to see how that makes him worse than Trump or any other previous POTUS.

    Some of his positions are outright dangerous. For example, he is anti-Section 230. He is also in favor of investigating tech companies but has said nothing of connectivity providers.

    True, but again, few politicians, especially among those running for president in this election, don’t take similar stances on those subjects (unfortunately).

    On the whole, though, I suppose he is a smaller turd than Trump is. If I must pick one to flush into the Oval Office on platform alone, Biden seems the one to require the least toilet paper to clean up.

    And that is, sadly, the issue: there isn’t really anyone better who is currently seeking the office.

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

  49. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Mar 2020 @ 3:38pm

    Re: They Have Too Much Power

    I don’t agree with either premise or conclusion, or that the logic connecting them is entirely valid.

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

  50. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 22 Mar 2020 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Live By the Sword...

    I’m sorry, but what same stuff are you claiming Boing Boing also does? The moderation, the irreverent language, the lists, the lack of explanations for moderation? What?

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

  51. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Mar 2020 @ 2:16am

    You’re free to buy your own servers and start your own website. Nobody owes you a place on theirs, and you’re not entitled to one.

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

  52. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Mar 2020 @ 2:17am

    Age might be the only factor, and even then, it’s not like Trump is twenty years younger than Biden or some shit.

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

  53. icon
    nasch (profile), 23 Mar 2020 @ 10:43am

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

    the only real way to deal with a bad justice is to wait for them to die/retire.

    “...nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

    • Donald Trump

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

  54. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 23 Mar 2020 @ 10:24pm

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

    Can't tell if poe or actual quote from Trump engaging in some good old stochastic terrorism, because honestly I wouldn't put it past him...

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

  55. icon
    nasch (profile), 24 Mar 2020 @ 7:57am

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

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

  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2020 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sunlight may be the best disinfectent

    >You are free to put up your own website where you can say absolutely anything you like (within the law). Nobody will moderate you. Kind of, except when they start to DDOS the server you're on.

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

  57. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 24 Mar 2020 @ 7:59pm

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

    Because of course he did...

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

  58. icon
    nasch (profile), 24 Mar 2020 @ 8:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sunlight may be the best disinfectent

    Or send takedown requests to your web host.

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

  59. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Sunlight may be the best disinfectent

    "I've said it countless times, corporations are censorship's loophole."

    And we've countered that argument many times because it's quite simply completely wrong. It's pretty much self-evident that you aren't censoring anyone if you toss them out of your own private property.

    What can be done is raise public awareness that corporation A is moderating away people it really shouldn't, and either hope corporation A learns why this costs them customers...or start a platform of one's own where those views may be freely expressed.

    "You want an Internet where people can express themselves without fear of reprisal? Fix the loophole."

    Do we need to bring WHY abolishing section 230 is the exact opposite of bringing "freedom of speech" to the internet? Because to me what you wrote just reads as yet another buildup to the suggestion that a corporation shouldn't be able to decide the ToS which apply to their own private property.

    Your argument is that the bartender is not supposed to be able to ban rowdy patrons from his premises and must stand powerless when they shit on his tables.

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

  60. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You mean They're Great.

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

  61. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Of course anything could change, but I'm hard pressed to believe Biden could pick someone worse than that."

    Depends. Who's paying him at the moment?

    Problem with Trump is he's an unruly man-child wh has learned, for 40 years, that every problem can be solved by bullshitting people. And is now throwing tantrums because real-world issues aren't as easy to solve as dodging fiscal responsibility in his latest collapsing joint venture scheme built for strip & fail.

    Problem with Biden is that you can't even call him a weatherwane so much as a free-floating sock puppet. Voting for him is basically a vote to put the right to write executive orders up for auction.

    It's also a tacit message to the democratic party that no matter how badly they fsck up their voters will keep letting them get away with it.

    The assumption made by the democrats, that Biden has a winning docket as long as he can get Buttigieg's and Klobuchar's votes may be a fundamental mistake. A great many Bernie voters started out as independents and were only "democrat" because Bernie was scouted into that party. They're basically swing voters.

    And the democratic party thinking they've won those votes despite getting rid of Sanders is just too damn optimistic.

    Trump may just win the 2020 election and if he does it'll be because the democrats will rather throw multiple elections rather than let an incorruptible into office. In it's own way the democratic party is as harmful as the GOP - just more insidious about it.

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

  62. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 7:19am

    Re:

    "At least Biden has compassion for other people; Trump cares only about himself."

    ...you obviously haven't checked up on Biden's career.

    Biden's compassion for other people depends greatly on which lobby's paid him off at the moment. He'd stand and argue in favor of human sacrifice and a ban on the color Green tomorrow as long as someone threw a wad of bills into his hat.

    If Trump wins this election it'll be because the democrats thought that the swing voters Bernie brought would magically remain democrats even if Bernie's been run off by the Biden/Buttigieg/Klobuchar merger.

    Which will be the second time the greatest factor putting Trump in office will have been the democratic party.

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

  63. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Seriously, I can’t think of a single metric by which Biden ranks worse (objectively or in my opinion) than Trump."

    Just as corrupt, yet far, far slicker than the Trumpy man-child?

    It's a hell of a choice. Vote for the spoiled-rotten man-child throwing tantrums or vote to put a price tag on the right to write executive orders with the House of Mouse standing first in line?

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

  64. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 7:28am

    Re:

    Somewhere in africa an unsanitary gibbon with small forepaws is looking for a good lawyer to rectify the slander of being mistaken for the white house resident clown.

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

  65. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2020 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Sunlight may be the best disinfectent

    The gent at 0944 gets it.

    'Content moderation' has already turned into the Though Police. All wrongthink is purged from Twitter, YouTube, etc. Masnik and his children's crusade of anti-American commenters here are a-ok with this Orwellian madness, as long as it's the people they despise (the ones who remind of their dads) getting silenced.

    But when a kooky un-American fruit like Doctorow gets told to play nice, well, Twitter better re-platform him tout de suite … else how else will the sheep know what goodthink looks like?

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

  66. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2020 @ 2:44pm

    Re:

    But sir ... don't you understand … Doctorow do goodthink! The people on his list do wrongthink!

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

  67. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2020 @ 2:48pm

    Re:

    Ah, yes: patriots do wrongthink and must be purged, lest our most sensitive souls encounter something -phobic. But Doctorow does goodthink, and any de-platforming is now an 'overreaction'.

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


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