Another Anti-Section 230 Bill? Sure, Why Not?

from the another-day,-another-attack-on-free-speech dept

Because there haven't already been enough attempts by Congress this year to attack free speech on the internet, here's another one. Rep. Ted Budd has introduced yet another bill to wipe out Section 230 and undermine free speech online. Of course, he's really just putting his House stamp on the ridiculous and unconstitutional Senate bill released earlier this year by Senators Hawley, Rubio, Loeffler, Cotton and Braun that we took apart at the time. I'm not going to go over all the reasons the bill is ridiculous and unconstitutional. We covered that when it was released in the Senate.

But Budd's "statement" about the bill deserves to be picked apart because it's utter lunacy.

“Recent acts of political censorship by Twitter and Facebook are a disgrace. Big Tech bias has gone too far in suffocating the voices of conservatives across our country. If these companies want to continue to receive legal protection, they should be forced to play by a fair set of rules in good faith. I’m extremely proud to join Sen. Hawley in this fight.”

Everything about this is wrong. Twitter and Facebook are not "censoring." They are moderating. They are saying there is certain speech they don't want to host, and this is their right, just like Fox News or the NY Post get to spew one sided news and the government cannot do anything about it. But they can't demand that other private companies help them promote that nonsense. That's not censorship. It's moderation or discretion. And it's protected by the 1st Amendment. You know, the thing that Rep. Budd swore to protect and uphold.

Imagine if Congress introduced a bill saying that Fox News actually had to be "fair and balanced" and be more positive towards Democrats and Joe Biden. Republicans like Budd would be screaming about how that was an unfair and unconstitutional infringement of Fox News' 1st Amendment rights. And they'd be right. But the desire to ignore all that and compel speech from social media companies just demonstrates that elected officials like Budd are not coming from a place of principled support of the Constitution or free speech. Rather they are pathetic simpletons who think that they can abuse their power to force companies to promote their bullshit.

That's not how it works, and we shouldn't let grifters in Congress get away with pushing such nonsense. Rep. Budd should be ashamed that he's shitting all over the 1st Amendment while pretending to support free speech. His constituents should think deeply about why they've elected someone so willing to sell out the 1st Amendment.

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Filed Under: 1st amendment, content moderation, good faith, intermediary liability, josh hawley, section 230, ted budd
Companies: facebook, twitter


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 16 Oct 2020 @ 6:06pm

    Call it the 'Turnabout is Fair Play' bill

    Imagine if Congress introduced a bill saying that Fox News actually had to be "fair and balanced" and be more positive towards Democrats and Joe Biden. Republicans like Budd would be screaming about how that was an unfair and unconstitutional infringement of Fox News' 1st Amendment rights.

    Normally I'm against performative bills as a waste of time that could be better spend on real things but honestly at this point I would love it if someone were to actually do that, put out a bill making it so that the likes of Fox, Breitbart or Gab had to treat both parties equally, and if they didn't they could be sued or otherwise face penalties to force 'neutrality'.

    Sure it would be grossly unconstitutional, and the odds of it being passed would be absolutely nil with the odds of it surviving a challenge in court if it did pass even lower, but it would provide the perfect opportunity to point out the hypocrisy of those trying to attack 230 and allow them to undermine their own arguments at the same time as they argued that congress has no business telling a private company what content they are allowed to show/host.

    If they want to try to attack 230 because they don't like the fact that platforms keep showing assholes the door then it's only fair that that be turned against them so they get to see what it would be like were they to 'win' and set the precedent that they want, and while it probably wouldn't be enough to get through to the politicians it might be enough to hammer the lesson home to some of the people they're trying to manipulate.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 19 Oct 2020 @ 10:12am

      Re: Call it the 'Turnabout is Fair Play' bill

      A Democrat should introduce an amendment to the 230 bill that does that. If that's allowed, I'm not sure how it works.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2020 @ 7:47pm

    It's kind of fun to watch this site disintegrate

    Really. It is.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2020 @ 8:07pm

      Re:

      How's that Richard Liebowitz defense fund coming along, bro?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2020 @ 8:15pm

        Re: Re:

        Facebook is a joke. It is not an open platform. Maybe (maybe) an open platform should be immune from suit for innocent behavior, but huge in-kind contributions to political campaigns to censor credible and important news is disgusting.

        Just like Techdirt.

        Same disgusting.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2020 @ 8:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Neutrality isn't a prerequisite for free speech.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            F. N. L. O'Quint, 16 Oct 2020 @ 8:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Neutrality isn't a prerequisite for free speech.

            That's what every Nazi says, also that they're doing actual good by keeping "disinformation" from warping the minds of the masses.

            You slyly and ambiguously put "prerequisite" in there as qualifier, so technically could be correct: you're actually stating about some prior condition. Yet it's clearly a "requisite" for all known places that have reasonably "free speech" in the here and now.

            So let's see you explain exactly how non-neutral can result in "free" for anyone outside the preferred group and without any control mechanisms.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 12:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "So let's see you explain exactly how non-neutral can result in "free" for anyone outside the preferred group"

              Unless the government is the one controlling the speech, the free market allows you to use any of the competing private platforms, or even your own property, to exercise speech, thus you are free to express yourself. The only time freedom is removed is when people try forcing people to lose control of their private property and host other peoples' speech against their will.

              Once again, you demonstrate that the people pretending to be against fascism and communism are actually begging for it, because they know they will not be on top in a free system.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 2:39am

              Yet it's clearly a "requisite" for all known places that have reasonably "free speech" in the here and now.

              No, it isn’t. The United States operates under the principles of free speech, but the First Amendment doesn’t say “you have to be neutral for the protections to apply”. It says the government can’t make laws that abridge the freedom of speech. (Some exceptions apply, of course.) The government can’t force you to be neutral in your speech any more than it can force Twitter, Fox News, or the New York Times to be neutral in the speech they host/broadcast/publish.

              let's see you explain exactly how non-neutral can result in "free" for anyone outside the preferred group and without any control mechanisms

              Simple: If you’re free to say it without government intrusion, regardless of the consequences of saying it (and there are always consequences), it’s free speech.

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 16 Oct 2020 @ 9:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's not only not a prerequisite it's in direct conflict with free speech, as if you have to host speech you want to and/or say things you wouldn't say without coercion it's no longer free speech but compelled speech.

            Funnily and hypocritically enough those demanding that platforms must host them under guise of 'free speech' are instead showing just how much contempt they have for the concept and how eager they are to trample all over it the second someone else's free speech inconveniences them.

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 12:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Funnily and hypocritically enough those demanding that platforms must host them under guise of 'free speech' are instead showing just how much contempt they have for the concept and how eager they are to trample all over it the second someone else's free speech inconveniences them.

              So you consider it OK if I buy up every ISP in your area and then use my new found power over your internet connection to silence anything you post anywhere that I disagree with?

              Even better, why don't I also buy up the few remaining cell service providers and interrupt you during phone calls advising you to only speak the way I favor under threat of call disconnection for non-compliance?

              How about I hire people to stand at every street corner near you reminding you to keep it down whenever you decide to open your mouth?

              After all, it's not the government that's prohibiting you from speaking the way you wish, it's a private company deciding it doesn't want to carry, or listen to, your speech. Which is the company's first amendment right.

              Of course, I'm sure that because it's a private entity making these demands it's perfectly fine in your book, after all only the big bad government would dare make such inroads on your "freedoms."

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 2:47am

                Holy shit, you went full fascist in the first sentence.

                So you consider it OK if I buy up every ISP in your area and then use my new found power over your internet connection to silence anything you post anywhere that I disagree with?

                No. In that case, you wouldn’t be moderating speech on a private service — you’d literally be censoring speech by preventing it from being posted anywhere.

                why don't I also buy up the few remaining cell service providers and interrupt you during phone calls advising you to only speak the way I favor under threat of call disconnection for non-compliance?

                Censorship.

                How about I hire people to stand at every street corner near you reminding you to keep it down whenever you decide to open your mouth?

                Perfectly legal, but stupid as hell.

                it's not the government that's prohibiting you from speaking the way you wish, it's a private company deciding it doesn't want to carry, or listen to, your speech

                If you start a private company for the sole purpose of silencing one person’s speech out of spite for a goddamn Techdirt comment about free speech, you have bigger problems on your hands.

                I'm sure that because it's a private entity making these demands it's perfectly fine in your book

                They’re not really “demands” if you’re using money and power to silence someone you loathe to your very core. They’re acts of an authoritarian jackass who can’t stand being criticized and takes their internal misery and self-loathing out on those who expressed those criticisms because the authoritarian can’t stand being told “you were wrong” and they can’t ever admit to being wrong.

                Congratulations — you’re no better than Donald Trump.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 9:33am

                  Re:

                  No. In that case, you wouldn’t be moderating speech on a private service — you’d literally be censoring speech by preventing it from being posted anywhere.

                  That's not really true. A person could still use the postal service, for example, to request things be posted on the internet. Or could use the telephone service to post via an out-of-area ISP, or could physically post notices around town.

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                • icon
                  eMark (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 7:45pm

                  Re:

                  Besides agreeing with your points, the fallicy in the original post is Fox News and MSNBC and CNN etc.. are Not currently protected by section 230! Nicholas Sandman and CNN can tell you that LOL.

                  The platforms have become the 'voice' of the people. Freedom of speech is an individual's right. And that right is denied if the postal service, Amazon, FedEx, or any method of modern communication was warped for political squelching of those individuals' right to free speech.

                  All the bill says, is if a communication platform insists on putting their 'finger on the scales' to push for a private company agenda, then section 230 should be lifted and those individuals should have their 'day in court' to be heard, if they and their attorney think their 1st Amendment rights were infringed upon.

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                  • identicon
                    Rocky, 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:26pm

                    Re: Re:

                    All the bill says, is if a communication platform insists on putting their 'finger on the scales' to push for a private company agenda, then section 230 should be lifted and those individuals should have their 'day in court' to be heard, if they and their attorney think their 1st Amendment rights were infringed upon.

                    Please define 'private company agenda'. Also, who decides what is considered 'to put the finger on the scales'. And is it considered bad to put the finger on the scales to get it in balance?

                    Anyone who thinks that amending section 230 with rules built on vague and subjective terms somehow will make it better is in my opinion a fucking moron.

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                    • icon
                      That One Guy (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:34pm

                      Re: Re: Re:

                      Not to mention if companies 'pushing an agenda' or having a bias is such a terrible thing that it's grounds for punishment then it would seem to be well past time to bring the hammer down on Trump's buddies over at Fox(among others) and force them to be more 'balanced', given there have been past articles on TD that noted that they seemed to have a greater impact on people than social media and as such it would be even more vital to reign in any 'bias' they might have so they can't so freely push their agenda/bias.

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                  • icon
                    That One Guy (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:26pm

                    Re: Re:

                    Besides agreeing with your points, the fallicy in the original post is Fox News and MSNBC and CNN etc.. are Not currently protected by section 230! Nicholas Sandman and CNN can tell you that LOL.

                    In which case they would be wrong, as just like any other company that might have an online presence they absolutely are protected by 230 so long as they have platforms that with third party content, and if they don't then to say that they aren't protected by 230 is just as relevant as me pointing out that I'm not protected by lèse majesté laws due to not being royalty in a country stupid enough to have those laws; true, but it doesn't actually matter because those laws don't apply to me in the first place.

                    The platforms have become the 'voice' of the people.

                    Incorrect, there are plenty of people out there who manage to speak just fine without access to social media platforms.

                    Freedom of speech is an individual's right.

                    And that right has never included the right to a platform to speak from, nor any obligation for anyone(not even the government) to provide one.

                    And that right is denied if the postal service, Amazon, FedEx, or any method of modern communication was warped for political squelching of those individuals' right to free speech.

                    Three strikes, you're out. A private platform not offering you a platform to speak from does not in any way impact your free speech. On the other hand demanding that they be forced to provide that platform would be an infringement on free speech, namely theirs.

                    All the bill says, is if a communication platform insists on putting their 'finger on the scales' to push for a private company agenda, then section 230 should be lifted and those individuals should have their 'day in court' to be heard, if they and their attorney think their 1st Amendment rights were infringed upon.

                    An argument they would lose funnily enough thanks to the first amendment, because as I am others have said countless times now you have no first amendment rights to someone else's property, not to mention last I checked the first amendment does not have a 'does not apply if one side has a bias' clause.

                    230 merely makes it clear that moderation is allowed and platforms are only liable for content they create in order to cut down on nuisance lawsuits by allowing early dismissal and in turn incentivize moderation so that platforms don't turn into cesspits, take 230 away and sites would still be entirely within their rights(first amendment and property) to set rules and give the boot to violators of those rules or even just someone they don't like, with the only real difference being that they would be a lot quicker with the boot and a lot more people would be on the receiving end of it, assuming they were allowed to post at all.

                    This bill, and those like it, are not in any way attempting to 'save' or 'defend' the first amendment, they are if anything attempting to undermine it by punishing platforms for exercising their rights and stripping those rights away because some whiny children don't like the fact that there are consequences for their actions.

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                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:30pm

                    the fallicy in the original post is Fox News and MSNBC and CNN etc.. are Not currently protected by section 230!

                    For speech that each outlet published? Sure. But any possible third party speech posted on their website? 230 protects the right of those sites to moderate it. Also 230 isn’t a defense against defamation claims if the outlet is the liable party in those claims.

                    Freedom of speech is an individual's right.

                    That doesn’t entitle you to use Twitter, make Twitter give you an audience, or make other Twitter users read your tweets. The First Amendment stops the government from infringing upon your rights to speech and association; it doesn’t give you the right to infringe upon everyone else’s because you want a captive audience and the largest possible stage for your speech.

                    if a communication platform insists on putting their 'finger on the scales' to push for a private company agenda, then section 230 should be lifted

                    In which case, prepare for those fingers to press down even harder by overmoderating (to prevent the risk of exposing itself to legal liability for third-party speech) or ignore the scales altogether by refusing to moderate (to prevent knowledge of content and avoid liability). Which one would you prefer?

                    if they and their attorney think their 1st Amendment rights were infringed upon

                    Twitter can’t infringe upon anyone’s First Amendment rights. If Twitter were to finally nut the hell up and kick Donald Trump off the service, Trump could go to Facebook and keep posting his bullshit. He could also go to Gab or Parler, or start his own Mastodon instance, or…hell, I dunno, post on 8chan, for all that it matters. He isn’t entitled to a spot on Twitter, and even with all the power of the presidency at his fingertips, he can’t force Twitter to host his speech — or yours, or anyone else’s. If you’d like him (and future presidents who aren’t him) to have that blatantly unconstitutional power, please say so. I’d appreciate the honesty about your support for fascism.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2020 @ 4:41am

                    Re: Re:

                    Free speech means you can stand on your own soap box, assuming you can afford one, on your own property, or in a suitable public space, and try to attract an audience. People can walk past and refuse to stay to listen to you without infringing your free speech rights.

                    Also, you could buy paper and a means of printing, and print and hand out your own pamphlets. People can refuse to take a pamphlet, or promptly through them in the nearest rubbish bin without infringing your free speech rights.

                    Any support and aid provided by anybody else to get you words spread further is down to their voluntary co-operation. However if the audience will not come to you, and owners of private property keep showing you the door,then you have a problem, and its up to you to change your behaviour and speech if you want to attract and keep an audience.

                    What you and your likes really want is a law that enables you to exercise the hecklers veto by enabling you to shout down views that you disagree with on any platform, and to push your views on platform where they are off topic. That is not free speech, but rather demanding that you can convert the heathens to your religion.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 4:25am

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

                What if .....

                You consider this to be an argument - lol

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 3:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          but huge in-kind contributions to political campaigns to censor credible and important news is disgusting.

          How do you feel about huge financial contributions to only one political party by a company? That is an equally biased action.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I take it that the attempt to fund copyright's biggest enforcer isn't going well.

          Good.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:34am

        Re: Re:

        He's already raised 2000x Liebowitz's yearly worth as a lawyer for the fund.

        so $0.02 with a +- margin of error of 2 cents

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    F. N. L. O'Quint, 16 Oct 2020 @ 8:28pm

    Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE links.

    Twitter and Facebook are not "censoring." They are moderating.

    This is crux of your position, so let's look at actual definitions, not your self-serving one, nor your vague melding. -- These come from an early 90s CD, which is a handy time-capsule in itself to see how masnicks distort words to their purposes.

    moderate = adj. 1. within reasonable limits; avoiding excesses or extremes; temperate or restrained 2. mild; calm; gentle; not violent [moderate weather] 3. of average or medium quality, amount, scope, range, etc. [moderate skills, moderate prices] n. a person holding moderate views or opinions, as in politics or religion vt. -ated, -atùing 1. to cause to become moderate; make less extreme, violent, etc.; restrain 2. to preside over (a meeting, etc.) vi. 1. to become moderate 2. to serve as a moderator

    censor = n. 1. one of two magistrates in ancient Rome appointed to take the census and, later, to supervise public morals 2. an official with the power to examine publications, movies, television programs, etc. and to remove or prohibit anything considered obscene, libelous, politically objectionable, etc. 3. an official in time of war who reads publications, mail, etc. to remove information that might be useful to the enemy 4. in earlier psychoanalytic theory, and still popularly, a part of the unconscious that serves as the agent of censorship vt. to subject (a book, writer, etc.) to censorship

    Stick to Twitter censoring the Biden revelations. -- By those definitions, which is it?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2020 @ 9:24pm

      Re: Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE links.

      No magistrate or official is involved, so by your definition, it's not censorship.

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

      • icon
        eMark (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:05pm

        Re: Re: Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE link

        You are playing with semantics. Whatever you call it, when an individual's communication is filtered on the basis of opinion, their 1st Amendment rights are damaged. If you allow pipes of American communication to clog this country is in deep sh*t!

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:19pm

          when an individual's communication is filtered on the basis of opinion, their 1st Amendment rights are damaged

          If I kick someone out of my home for saying “Tiffany was better than Debbie Gibson”, have I “damaged” their First Amendment rights? After all, I did filter that someone’s communication based on my disagreement with their opinion.

          Censorship requires the infringement of the right to speak freely. Someone getting booted from Twitter does no such thing. You don’t have a right to an audience. You don’t have a right to use someone else’s private property as your own personal soapbox. And you don’t have a right to force anyone into either becoming your audience or helping you publish/distribute your speech.

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        • identicon
          Rocky, 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE

          You are playing with semantics. Whatever you call it, when an individual's communication is filtered on the basis of opinion, their 1st Amendment rights are damaged.

          If an individual can force their speech upon others, whose rights have then been infringed? The speaker or the one who had to carry that speech against their will?

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        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE

          You are playing with semantics

          [Projects facts not in evidence]

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2020 @ 6:30am

          Re: Re: Re: Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE

          "You are playing with semantics. Whatever you call it, when an individual's communication is filtered on the basis of opinion, their 1st Amendment rights are damaged"

          Your rights end where mine begin.

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        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 19 Oct 2020 @ 11:41am

          Re: Re: Re: Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE

          Whatever you call it, when an individual's communication is filtered on the basis of opinion, their 1st Amendment rights are damaged.

          Only if the government is the one doing or enforcing it.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 12:20am

      Re: Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE links.

      "These come from an early 90s CD"

      So, you love big tech as long as they're telling you what you want to hear?

      But, funny thing about language - it evolves and clinging to a definition from an old dictionary that fits your desires does not work with the current definition in general use. If you disagree, try telling everyone you're feeling gay next time you're in a good mood - after all, according to my 1930s dictionary it just means happy and carefree with no other definitions, so you'll be communicating that meaning to everyone you speak to, right?

      "an official"

      Indeed. Now, who installed Twitter as a government official?

      "Stick to Twitter censoring the Biden revelations. -- By those definitions, which is it?"

      None of those definitions apply, since no official or magistrate is involved.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 4:32am

      Re: Twitter and Facebook are not moderating when REMOVE links.

      What do these revelations have to do with anything I may be concerned about? Why should I care about whatever bullshit story you people have made up this time.

      Are you going to continue arguing about the definitions of words or will you debate the issues?

      This is censoring .. No it isn't ... yes it is ... no it isn't ...
      and all because of a difference in what you consider a word to mean. How about you make use of more than just one word to describe how you are not able to communicate very well.

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    identicon
    F. N. L. O'Quint, 16 Oct 2020 @ 8:29pm

    HA! You state they're hosts! They're NOT publishers, then!

    They are saying there is certain speech they don't want to host, and this is their right, just like Fox News or the NY Post get to spew one sided news and the government cannot do anything about it.

    You just witlessly dropped a key assertion, silly. They're then MERE hosts trying to prevent others from publishing. That too fits CENSORING.

    Here's pithy wit: As Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Pearce put it, "Facebook limiting distribution is a bit like if a company that owned newspaper delivery trucks decided not to drive because it didn't like a story. Does a truck company edit the newspaper? It does now, apparently."

    Also see Glen Greenwald's excellent take:
    https://theintercept.com/2020/10/15/facebook-and-twitter-cross-a-line-far-more-dangerous-than- what-they-censor/

    You're not good at this, Maz. Your bias prevents you, even if had substance.

    As final proof, everyone can SEE what happens to dissent here, no matter how mild. IT'S CENSORED. -- Masnick trapped himself long ago into a half-measure euphemized as "hiding", but does claim a right to remove comments which he solicits with plain HTML input box. That violates the site's "form contract" and spirit of Consumer Review Fairness Act, which has no enforcement but does state the current intents of Congress.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 2:54am

      They're then MERE hosts trying to prevent others from publishing. That too fits CENSORING.

      No, it doesn’t. Twitter has no legal, moral, or ethical obligation to host anyone’s speech. And as much as you wish this wasn’t the case, you can’t make Twitter host your speech, and you can’t make Twitter force people to view it.

      Facebook limiting distribution is a bit like if a company that owned newspaper delivery trucks decided not to drive because it didn't like a story. Does a truck company edit the newspaper? It does now, apparently.

      It’s nothing like that. At all. Facebook is more like a newsstand than a newspaper truck — the owner of the newsstand can choose whether it carries the newspaper, and the law can’t force it to carry the newspaper.

      You're not good at this, Maz.

      Every accusation, a confession.

      everyone can SEE what happens to dissent here, no matter how mild. IT'S CENSORED.

      Dissent only gets hidden — not censored, since you can start your own goddamned blog and repost your bullshit there — when it’s the work of a troll who operates in such bad faith that even Satan thinks you’ve gone a bit overboard.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 3:57am

        Re:

        "Dissent only gets hidden — not censored"

        Not necessarily. "Dissent" in the form of honest opposing opinions and actual debate gets a conversation going and can lead to some interesting discussions, which is honestly the point of this kind of site. The only things that get hidden outside of actual spam is the kind of "dissent" where someone thinks that spewing multiple messages outright lying about both the subject at hand and the people they're supposedly addressing is a good conversation starter.

        "since you can start your own goddamned blog and repost your bullshit there"

        Then it boils down to his same complaint about Twitter - he won't do that because he knows he could never attract the same audience as exists on the platforms he's using to cry about non-existent oppression.

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    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 18 Oct 2020 @ 4:43am

      Re: HA! You state they're hosts! They're NOT publishers, then!

      As final proof, everyone can SEE what happens to dissent here, no > matter how mild. IT'S CENSORED.

      Actually, it's even mild assholery and you seem to have that in spades. Tough shit!

      clicks report

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 19 Oct 2020 @ 11:46am

      Re: HA! You state they're hosts! They're NOT publishers, then!

      As final proof, everyone can SEE what happens to dissent here, no matter how mild. IT'S CENSORED.

      Setting aside that hiding a post but still letting it be seen with a simple click is not censoring that post, there’s a user named eMark who has been posting multiple disagreements here. As of right now, none of their posts here have been hidden or “censored”. Clearly you’re wrong that all dissent gets “censored” no matter how you look at it.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    F. N. L. O'Quint, 16 Oct 2020 @ 8:34pm

    "Thanks for your comment. It will appear in a moment."

    And within a few minutes, will be "hidden".

    Masnick: state how many clicks out of how many readers it takes to constitute "the community" which "hides" comments. C'mon, be transparent as you've demanded others be.

    Next, state a REASON that nearly all of my comments are hidden. (Several thousand over course of ten years, even if you don't do so here just to pretend it's not near certain.)

    Next, state why your fanboys NEVER have their comments hidden.

    Where are your guidelines? How can I keep from running afoul of "the community" so that my viewpoint isn't disadvantaged? -- Unalterably, there's NO appeal or way to UN-hide.

    Couple answers (now that I've asked hundreds of times) would be great. Thanks.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 3:00am

      state a REASON that nearly all of my comments are hidden

      You argue in bad faith and without substance. You yell and whine about being “censored”. You insult everyone with little-to-no provocation and in such absurd extremes. You confront others with the intent of dragging them down into the same gutter as you so you can take out your self-loathing on them.

      You are a troll. This community continually hides your comments because it doesn’t think your comments are worth anyone’s time — including your own.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 4:00am

      Re: "Thanks for your comment. It will appear in a moment."

      "Next, state a REASON that nearly all of my comments are hidden."

      You're an obnoxious prick, and rarely do anything other than whine about non-existent issues. Therefore, people wish to not see your comments infesting otherwise polite and intelligent conversation.

      "Several thousand over course of ten years"

      Huh, aren't you the guy who usually attacks me for having a lot of posts here? Well, while it's obvious why you won't use an identifier that allowed everyone else to see how much you post here, at least you admit that much now.

      "now that I've asked hundreds of times"

      You've been answered hundreds of times. It's not our problem you don't like the truthful answers.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:35am

        Re: Re:

        "Next, state a REASON that nearly all of my comments are hidden."

        I could drop the Nunes memo thread but frankly I'd just rather the dumbfuck continues to forget the link to his obsessive project.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 4:37am

      Re: "Thanks for your comment. It will appear in a moment."

      Ok Karen ... do you want to speak to the manager?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2020 @ 8:49pm

    Let's suppose for a moment that Facebook is not an open platform.

    (pause)

    THAT'S OK.

    THAT'S EVEN GOOD. THAT'S FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THE LAND OF THE FREE.

    I have never had any of my contributions moderated out by Facebook. (The fact that I've never posted anything there may have something to do with it.) I've had my comments moderated elsewhere, and as a moderator elsewhere I removed comments other people had posted. That's life online.

    I have this little trick. I have stuff that I post online, and stuff that I choose not to post online. When I want to post something online, I ... figure out which site to post it, based on the kind of thing that site has posted before. None of those sites are open: which is OK, GOOD, FREEDOM etc.

    This is simple. This works. And anyone with room-temperature IQ can do it.

    Anyone who feels they could create a better way of selecting posts, has the right to create their own website: that's THEIR freedom of speech, and more power to them. I haven't taken advantage of this, because so many other people have made their site available for so many different kinds of content, including everything I've desperately wanted to post--so far. That includes the equivalent of maybe 1500 pages of music and 200,000 pages of literature or information.

    Now, it is very possible that some of the sites I've posted to, have fewer daily visitors than Facebook. Which is OK. That's called "Freedom...." Although I know that my work has increased the number of visitors at several sites, it is not at all possible that I will ever count visitors, or care what someone else's count is.

    And it's almost certain that there are many sites which have no interest in posting anything of mine, and which I have no interest in reading. That too is OK. Because we're both free.

    Anyone who is complaining about the way this works, MUST be either too stupid to have an opinion worth repeating, or too dishonest to have an opinion that anyone OUGHT to care about.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      F. N. L. O'Quint, 16 Oct 2020 @ 8:57pm

      Re: "AC", you confuse small private forums with The Public Forum

      So, you advise tailoring and targeting your speech according to what kind is allowed each site? Hmm.

      I myself have been banned from Linux forums for stating that it simply doesn't work, and it's no big loss... because who cares about Linux?

      Skip that, because the biggies, GOOGLE, Facebooks, Twitter, are vastly more important and control literally billions of people. If those corporations are allowed to treat all their users as mere Authors over which they have total power as Publishers, rather than as MERE HOSTS for person publishing, then they'll use it for corporate ends, and The Public will suffer, even those who think they're the "in-group" and will remain "free".

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        identicon
        F. N. L. O'Quint, 16 Oct 2020 @ 9:00pm

        Re: Re: "AC", you confuse small private forums with Th

        And the "AC" concludes with abusing his audience:

        Anyone who is complaining about the way this works, MUST be either too stupid to have an opinion worth repeating, or too dishonest to have an opinion that anyone OUGHT to care about.

        Oh, I missed that, and it's precious, utterly typical.

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

      • identicon
        Rocky, 16 Oct 2020 @ 9:50pm

        Re: Re: "AC", you confuse small private forums with The Public F

        I myself have been banned from Linux forums for stating that it simply doesn't work, and it's no big loss... because who cares about Linux?

        For starters, every fortune 500 company and almost all stock exchanges cares about Linux. But hey, what do they know in comparison to you and your towering intellect...

        But your comment actually illustrates something brilliantly - you are an irrelevant asshole stuck in 80's that rubs everyone the wrong way. I'm not at all surprised that you have been booted from many forums.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2020 @ 11:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: "AC", you confuse small private forums with The Publ

          He’s not stuck in the 80s
          He’s stuck in the 40s still angry the Russians took Berlin lol

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 3:10am

        So, you advise tailoring and targeting your speech according to what kind is allowed each site? Hmm.

        Yes, that’s how people who aren’t complete assholes interact with different communities: They tailor their speech according to the standards and general tenor of each community. If you visit 4chan on a regular basis, you’d know that half the shit people say there wouldn’t fly in non-4chan communities more often than not. (And that’s just the text.)

        I myself have been banned from Linux forums for stating that it simply doesn't work, and it's no big loss

        Let me get this straight. You violated the rules of a forum. The community told you “we don’t do that here” and showed you the door. And…you’re not concerned about “censorship” of your speech in that instance?

        I knew you were a self-sabotaging jackass. But I didn’t think you’d undercut your entire argument against moderation by pointing to a personal example of an interactive web service choosing not to host your speech and going “meh, no big deal”.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 4:04am

          Re:

          "Yes, that’s how people who aren’t complete assholes interact with different communities"

          Bingo. If you go into a business meeting and address potential clients the same way as you would your drinking buddies, you're not going to get far in life. You don't act the same in a library as you would at a rock concert. You don't watch a movie in the cinema the same way as you do in your own living room. There are different standards and you adjust accordingly.

          Somehow, I think he's familiar with that problem, but he hasn't quite worked out why he keeps failing at life.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 4:12am

          Re:

          "You violated the rules of a forum"

          He didn't just violate the rules of a forum, he went there to troll them with deliberate lies. Wow, who'd have thought that people having conversations about Linux would not want someone telling them bullshit about it?

          Although, that just makes his usual rantings even more pathetic. I mean, why does he spend so much time whining about companies like Google and Twitter that base their entire infrastructure on Linux? It doesn't work, so clearly those companies have no workable business...

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 4:07am

        Re: Re: "AC", you confuse small private forums with The Public F

        "I myself have been banned from Linux forums for stating that it simply doesn't work"

        He says on a perfectly reliable Linux server that's made available to him via Linux based distribution services...

        Yes, communities don't tend to want people who go there to deliberately troll them about their employment and their hobby with outright lies. Who'd have thought it?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 4:41am

        Re: Re: "AC", you confuse small private forums with The Public F

        "I myself have been banned from Linux forums for stating that it simply doesn't work"

        Wow, bragging about being an asshole.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2020 @ 11:06pm

      Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

      Okay, le't say that room temperature is 30...

      ... degrees Celsius! IQ = 30!

      ... Farenheit! IQ = 86!

      ... Kelvin! IQ = 303!

      Hmmm, I "MUST be either too stupid to have an opinion worth repeating" [or...?].

      C'mon Guys, get with the SI (International Units) completely! Even your own industry and manufacturing uses these in various areas!


      Oh, I forgot... the Internet is heavily USA-influenced, and also northern-hemisphere-influenced. It's sad to see snow themes all over Christmas paraphernalia, when sometimes the temperature in my location exceeds 37 degrees C on the day...

      It's sad to see local culture being steadily eroded, and because mass-production means that the Largest Meme Wins, we get lots of USA-centric materials for us to consume (until we die of Consumption) being foisted on us instead.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 9:39am

        Re: Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

        For what it's worth, snow-laden Christmas themes began in Britain, not the USA. Interestingly, nativity scenes still take a large part of Christmas decor and those almost never have snow involved, likely due to the location that event took place.

        I live in Washington state and it's rarely snowy here on Christmas. Sometimes icy, always cold, but the snow doesn't arrive until late January or early February. Those snow-themed decorations don't mean anything more here than they do where you are.

        Maybe find something else to focus your energy on?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 3:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

          Then there are those huge chunks of the US and the world in which fir trees do not grow. Damn those Germans for their Christmas tree thing! Ans also the majority of the world isn't even Christian, and not all Christians are into Christmas as a celebration. I am so angry!

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

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 19 Oct 2020 @ 11:50am

        Re: Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

        I’m sorry, but how is this relevant?

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 19 Oct 2020 @ 9:11pm

        Re: Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

        "the Internet is heavily USA-influenced, and also northern-hemisphere-influenced"

        Which is a weird contradiction in your argument, since most of the northern hemisphere outside of the US uses Celsius which the US itself uses Fahrenheit. Very strange to whine about other people foisting certain measurements of you when they haven't agreed between the 2 main choices themselves yet...

        "Christmas paraphernalia when sometimes the temperature in my location exceeds 37 degrees C on the day...

        It's sad to see local culture being steadily eroded"

        Unless you live in the middle east, there's nothing "local" about any Christmas tradition in a country that's warmer in December than it is on my local beach in summer.

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

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 6:28am

        Re: Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

        Regarding the exact number for “room temperature”, given that no one uses Kelvin every day outside of lab experiments, and given that room temperature is below 100 (average IQ) whether measured in degrees Celsius or degrees Fahrenheit, I believe the point gets across either way. If anything, it just means that it’s even more insulting in most of the world.

        Hmmm, I "MUST be either too stupid to have an opinion worth repeating" [or...?].

        The OP said that (which continues, “or too dishonest to have an opinion that anyone OUGHT to care about,”) with regards to people complaining about social media sites having the right to moderate content on them. Unless you’re saying that making such a complaint about units/“room-temperature IQ” is equivalent to complaints about the right to moderate, I’m not sure why you’d (sarcastically) apply that descriptor to yourself.

        C'mon Guys, get with the SI (International Units) completely! Even your own industry and manufacturing uses these in various areas!

        I actually agree with that, but standards are slow to change, especially in the US (remember how long it took to ban lead in paint, plumbing, and gasoline and to regulate cigarettes), and I personally like Fahrenheit when discussing the weather simply because of how well it fits everyday temperatures (which rarely exceed 110°F or go below, like, –30°F; 75°F or higher = hot; less than 75°F but at least 65°F = warm; 50 to 65°F = cool; less than 50°F = cold) and the amount of precision you get without using decimal places. I do acknowledge that its logic makes no sense (180°F between freezing and boiling point I can understand, but why is 0°F set where it is?), but it works fine.

        Oh, I forgot... the Internet is heavily USA-influenced, and also northern-hemisphere-influenced.

        Well, it’s also partly because most English-speakers are in the northwestern quadrant, and the Internet was essentially invented and initially popularized in the US. Also, I think the phrase “room-temperature IQ” was created independently of the internet.

        It's sad to see snow themes all over Christmas paraphernalia, when sometimes the temperature in my location exceeds 37 degrees C on the day...

        That has nothing to do with the internet, really. That’s just because of how those Christmas traditions migrated from Europe to Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and South America (whichever you are from), and Europe is firmly in the Northern Hemisphere.

        It's sad to see local culture being steadily eroded

        I’m sorry, but what local culture is being eroded, exactly?

        To end this, I’d like to ask again: what does this have to do with the article or the comment you’re replying to?

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

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 6:38am

          Re: Re: Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

          less than 50°F = cold

          lol

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 7:01am

          Re: Re: Re: "room-temperature IQ"...

          "I personally like Fahrenheit when discussing the weather simply because of how well it fits everyday temperatures"

          That's a personal and generational thing. Growing up in the UK, whatever units are used is almost exclusively a preference born from when you grew up. My grandparents would sometimes get confused by post-decimalised currency, my parents often prefer to refer to temperatures in Fahrenheit and can get confused by kilos. I personally can't even conceive of using as illogical and overcomplicated as the old money system, I naturally gravitate toward Celsius when discussing temperatures and I'm quite comfortable using metric for weights and distances (though my moving to a country where that's the standard probably helped).

          Basically, there's no right or wrong but when you start communicating with someone not using the system you're personally familiar with it gets confusing, which is why standards are preferred. You say 100 degrees to me, you're thinking of a hot summer day, I'm thinking of the boiling point of water.

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

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    identicon
    F. N. L. O'Quint, 16 Oct 2020 @ 9:20pm

    Note who's not defending "free speech" but corporations.

    And their alleged "rights". That is Masnick's unalterable position, and his only take on the topic.

    Corporations are of course just legal fictions which We The People permit to exist provided that they SERVE our wants and needs. They are not persons as masnicks and romneys and other legalistic fiends claim. They have no actual rights, just similar privileges granted, which can be removed for bad behavior.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      F. N. L. O'Quint, 16 Oct 2020 @ 9:22pm

      Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but corpora

      New browser session because forgot can't put "Masnick" in subject line, that's how fanatical he is about controlling speech. Sheesh. Shows shouldn't take this low-level psychopath's opinion as good for The Public.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 3:11am

      Corporations are of course just legal fictions which We The People permit to exist provided that they SERVE our wants and needs.

      How can a corporation control and enforce a copyright when you believe corporations have no legal rights, and how do you feel about corporations using copyright to censor speech?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 4:23am

      Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but corporations.

      Corporations are of course just legal fictions which We The People permit to exist provided that they SERVE our wants and needs.

      Facebook and Twitter serve the needs of the vast majority of their users, that is why they are popular. As not everybody has the same wants and needs, they will find that do not serve them well, but that is ok as they can move on to a a different service that better meets their needs.

      What give you the right to force society to comply with your desires?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Rex, 17 Oct 2020 @ 11:55am

        Re: Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but corporations.

        Facebook and Twitter got big because they acted like open platforms in the beginning. Remember Jack Dorsey’s comment about being “the free speech wing of the free speech party.” Of course once Twitter got big enough and didn’t have any competition he disowned it.

        https://www.wired.com/story/jack-dorsey-twitters-role-free-speech-filter-bubbles/

        The owners of Facebook and Twitter don’t like Trump and are doing what they can to elect Biden. Biden has hired Twitter’s former Public Policy manager and probably has other contacts in Social Media companies. The censoring of the Post story was nothing but a ham fisted attempt to squelch the story before it went viral.

        We know the owners of Techdirt don’t like Trump. It is sad that they are willing to sell out their free speech principles to try and stop him. Because we all know the truth. If Facebook and Twitter were trying to suppress a news article about Donald Trump Jr with a crack pipe they would be the first to condemn it. But since the real story helps Trump and harms Biden, they are willing to let Facebook and Twitter censor stories that Techdirt doesn’t approve of.

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

        • identicon
          Paul B, 17 Oct 2020 @ 12:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but corporati

          Wheu boy are things wrong here.

          Back in the day when Republicans and Democrats talked to each other, You ended up with a meeting of the minds, a democratic idea was a bit to far, but a constrictive idea was already causing problems for not going far enough. A group formed in the middle and you got something passed.

          Then things changed, Dumpf gave a voice to rapists, pedophiles, and revolutionaries who felt minorities and women where the problem with the US. We block this speech from polite company because its not polite. This is no longer political speech but simply anti outgroup speech.

          Finally the 2 sides are playing different games, Democrats will remove people for breaking laws, Republicans have realized if they have all the power who cares how many laws they break. That said but I hate to tell you but even businesses cant run forever in this mode because they always have to play the game of "am I next?" because the rule of law is at the whim of a man child who feels loyalty is above the law.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Rex, 17 Oct 2020 @ 12:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but corpo

            Are you seriously suggesting that all of Trumps voters are pedophiles and racists?

            There aren’t enough of them to elect a president. But it’s much easier to deny rights to others if you falsely claim they are very bad people. Then when they are all kicked off you can claim they are a minority view because there aren’t any left.

            Censorship is censorship, whether is is by the government or a corporation.

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

            • identicon
              Rocky, 17 Oct 2020 @ 1:10pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but c

              Are you seriously suggesting that all of Trumps voters are pedophiles and racists?

              It seems you can read, but you don't seem to understand what he or she wrote. Nowhere did he say that all voters of Trump are pedophiles and racists, what he did say that some of the people cheering Trump on are rapists, pedophiles and racists which is somewhat of a hyperbole.

              The thing is, if you choose to support someone you also have to tolerate that you will be joined by people who support the same person, and those peoples reputation will affect your reputation - ie you will be judged by the company you keep. So if Trump happen to attract racists and bigots as supporters, is that the kind of guy you want to support?

              There aren’t enough of them to elect a president. But it’s much easier to deny rights to others if you falsely claim they are very bad people. Then when they are all kicked off you can claim they are a minority view because there aren’t any left.

              So there are no rapists, pedophiles and racists supporting Trump?

              Censorship is censorship, whether is is by the government or a corporation.

              No, censorship means you can't express your view anywhere. You aren't entitled to use someones property for your speech and it's not censorship when the owner of that property tells you to take your business elsewhere.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 2:08pm

              it’s much easier to deny rights to others if you falsely claim they are very bad people

              And which rights are denied to someone if they get kicked off Twitter for being an asshole? Let’s see…

              Well, it isn’t the right to free speech. (Twitter can’t stop someone from saying dumb bullshit outside of Twitter.) It sure as hell isn’t the right to religion. It also isn’t the right of association. (Twitter can’t stop dumbfucks from forming their own little dumbfuck cave and acting like dumbfucks in it. To wit: Gab and Parler.) It isn’t the right to bear arms, or the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, or the right to due process, or…well, literally any other right enshrined in the Constitution or federal law.

              You don’t have a right to an audience. You don’t have a right to use someone else’s private property as your own personal soapbox. And you don’t have a right to force anyone into either becoming your audience or helping you publish/distribute your speech. So please, by all means: Explain to me what civil right(s) Twitter infringes upon when it boots someone for a TOS violation.

              I’ll wait.

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

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 2:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but c

              Are you seriously suggesting that all of Trumps voters are pedophiles and racists?

              More the latter than the former I imagine, but not all of them, some I'm sure are very good people.

              There aren’t enough of them to elect a president.

              Depends on how you stack the deck, as last election demonstrated that it's entirely possible to lose the popular vote by literal millions and still win the election.

              But it’s much easier to deny rights to others if you falsely claim they are very bad people.

              Two things there:

              One, yeah, that's why Trump's GOP has been doing that for a long time now, demonizing anyone who isn't a part of their cult by lying through their teeth about how horrible anyone who doesn't agree with them is and how if the Other gets any amount of power all these horrible things will happen because look at all the bad stuff that already happens and is definitely due to the Other.

              Two, you have no 'rights' to use someone else's platform to speak from, so a platform deciding that they don't want you on it is not in any way a violation of or denial of your rights, it's simply them exercising their rights both first amendment and property.

              Censorship is censorship, whether is is by the government or a corporation.

              Only if you want to stretch the word to the point that it's useless. Trying to argue that a private company not letting you use their property to speak from is equivalent to a government telling you you can't speak at all is rather like comparing killing a mosquito and killing a human, because look, in both cases you're killing something.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 5:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              But it’s much easier to deny rights to others if you falsely claim they are very bad people.

              You mean like how Trump promised to lock up Hilary? How'd that come along?

              Oh, wait. He had four years to do it, and not only has he not delivered on his campaign promise he's bleating about how he's going to nail the Bidens too.

              Your side is firing blanks, champ.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 18 Oct 2020 @ 2:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but c

              "Are you seriously suggesting that all of Trumps voters are pedophiles and racists?"

              Not all of them, but they do seem to be vastly disproportionately represent, especially in 2020.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2020 @ 7:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but c

              "Are you seriously suggesting that all of Trumps voters are pedophiles and racists?"

              You did

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 12:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: Note who's not defending "free speech" but corporati

          What makes you think the government should tell Twitter what to do about its moderation?

          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, 16 Oct 2020 @ 9:30pm

    Look, all of this is just stupid. Everyone with any sense knows what is right and what is wrong. Well, not everyone knows, actually. Some people don't know what is right and what is wrong, like anyone who disagrees with BLM. We have to help them. Those of us, like Mike, who understand Truth need to help those stupid idiots who don't understand Truth, it's our moral obligation. So, when people post here and what they say is not True, it's OK to censor it. And when the NY Post writes something that's not True, it's OK not forward it. Only True things should be allowed on the Internet.

    And Mike should be the Minister of Truth. And BLM deserves your immediate compelled financial contribution.

    Amen.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2020 @ 11:30pm

    Who cares what Facebook does?

    Facebook doesn't control anyone. And nobody but Facebook's advertisers have any reason to care how many people visit Facebook (and how often).

    Facebook could die, and I wouldn't notice. But they spend a lot of money figuring out what most people like to see, and posting that kind of content. If your posts are not being allowed on Facebook, it's because their market researchers have decided most people don't want to hear you.

    If you don't like Facebook, set up your own face(book)less corporation, spend as much money as you like figuring out what people want to see--and post that. Or post whatever you like, on whatever site will allow it, and don't worry about how many people care to see it.

    Either way, there's no reason to complain about Facebook making exactly the same choice you also have--to pander, or to pontificate. And if you make the choice to ignore what people like, then it's especially stupid to complain that more people like the site that's chosen to consider what most people like.

    Freedom means everybody having choices. You can talk, and you can choose whom to listen to. But other people can talk also, and they can decide not to listen to you. Which, unless you have something better to say than "people don't like to listen to me", is the right decision.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Twitter, 16 Oct 2020 @ 11:30pm

    The sloppy

    I got your fair and balanced right here budd

    “Unzips pants”

    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, 17 Oct 2020 @ 12:26am

    Would you nerds find something else better to do?

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 3:13am

      I’m sorry, the operator who handles your personal grievances against people smarter than you is busy with other callers. Please wait for the next available operator.

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

  • identicon
    dickeyrat, 17 Oct 2020 @ 2:54am

    But, but...Herr Goebbels taught us that all Glory must be brought to The Party, no matter what it takes! And we know that's the ultimate goal, behind the promotion and promulgation of the Tales of Patriotism, such as QAnon, and Pizzagate. And what about those secret camps on Mars, stocked full of kidnapped Republican children, and run by Obama and HILLARY!!? And that all Democrats worship Moloch, who thrives on the blood of children...or perhaps I'm doubling back to QAnon with that. In any event, it wasn't enough to get these idiots to stop listening to "Rev". Robert Jeffress, of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, who shamelessly blathered that on Todd Starnes' ex-Fox News show. (To Fox's credit, they canned this moron immediately after he was seen complacently nodding in apparent agreement to Jeffress' psychotic ramblings.) I agree with some, that Fazebook is a useless pile of shit, but how DARE they stifle the voice of The Patriot(s), thus denying The Party some of its true glory (obviously!). I mean, Barr, so you want "sedition"??

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2020 @ 9:30am

    Well!

    I’m extremely proud to join Sen. Hawley in this fight.

    Just goes to show that some people, when they can't find a good mule, hitch their wagon to a jackass.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Rex, 17 Oct 2020 @ 11:38am

    Social Media brought this on themselves

    Facebook and Twitter created a proprietary communications client and in the beginning had an open policy about people signing up. Once they had a monopoly they started tightening the screws and censoring people they didn’t like.

    Saying that people can just not use Facebook or Twitter ignores the fact that for a lot of people that is not realistic, as it would require everyone they want to communicate with to also install a different client. It would be like AT&T 50 years ago saying “We don’t like who you are or what you believe, so you can’t have a telephone. And it’s not a violation of speech because you can always send a letter in the US Mail.”

    Facebook isn’t a small website like Techdirt. They have taken deliberate action to create a communications monopoly and exclude competing products. Just look at Facebook Messenger. The burden of switching to another service is extremely high. Google tried to compete with Google+ and look how that turned out.

    Facebook either needs to remove the moderation or open up their communications protocol. This is the 21st century equivalent of AT&T only allowing genuine AT&T equipment to connect to the phone system. No one wants giant Tech Companies to decide what is allowable free speech. The incident a few days ago really showed people just how bad it is getting, and if nothing is done how it will get worse.

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

    • identicon
      Paul B, 17 Oct 2020 @ 11:58am

      Re: Social Media brought this on themselves

      Seriously, what right do you have to reach the people whom are on Facebook? People with arguments like this very often want to Spam or spread poor quality information in order to make a quick buck. Facebook and others got wise to this and gave lots of ways to block those low quality messages. Follow the money and you find out its just advertising.

      Not only are you demanding access, but your demanding everyone have access to everyone. To be able to push your message in front of people because of some silly reason that means people are there. This would totally shut down Facebook in hours.

      Your goal is plain, destroy social media, because that is all you get if you remove moderation and all the blocks in place.

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

    • identicon
      Rocky, 17 Oct 2020 @ 1:34pm

      Re: Social Media brought this on themselves

      Saying that people can just not use Facebook or Twitter ignores the fact that for a lot of people that is not realistic, as it would require everyone they want to communicate with to also install a different client.

      Booho, cry my a river. Talk about laziness and entitlement, if your friends can't be arsed to keep in touch with you if you use another social network - they aren't really friends.

      And the simple solution is, adhere to the fucking TOS you accepted and you will have no problems with using that social media platform where all your "friends" are. If you can't follow that simple suggestion, then you are free to move to a platform that caters to your particular viewpoint and loose those "friends" of yours. That's the consequence you have to live with.

      And saying that Facebook and Twitter are a monopoly tells us that your grasp on the realities of competition among social media is tenuous at best and your incredible stupid argument is debunked with one simple question "Do Facebook and Twitter force me to only use their services?".

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

      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 1:43pm

        Re: Re: Social Media brought this on themselves

        And saying that Facebook and Twitter are a monopoly tells us that your grasp on the realities of competition among social media is tenuous at best and your incredible stupid argument is debunked with one simple question "Do Facebook and Twitter force me to only use their services?".

        Very well said. Also, keep in mind that one can still have an internet presence even if one does not use Twitter or Facebook. For instance, Ron Gilbert and Wil Wheaton both have blogs even if neither of them have ever used Facebook and both have left Twitter. Also, Alex Jones still promotes his dangerous conspiracy lies even though he's been kicked off of Youtube, Facebook, iTunes, and Twitter. All four of those platforms said "We don't do that here" but the government so far didn't say "You can't do that anywhere" with the exception of him losing a defamation suit brought by parents of victims of the Sandy Hook massacre.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2020 @ 6:48am

      Re: Social Media brought this on themselves

      "Facebook and Twitter created a proprietary communications client and in the beginning had an open policy about people signing up. Once they had a monopoly they started tightening the screws and censoring people they didn’t like. "

      Please explain how Facebook and/or Titter is a monopoly.

      You mention the client both platforms have created for you as if every user had to use said client. You are aware that a browser works just fine - right?

      Saying that one does not need to use either platform is very realistic and is in no way imposing undue hardship. Saying otherwise is simply exposing your entitled attitude. Private business owes you nothing, certainly not a platform for your bullhorn.

      The burden of switching to a different service is negligible and you sound like a spoiled child. FB does not need to do what you want, they need to do what generated income. I had read that they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders that overrides any consumer petty grievances, I imagine that at one time you agreed with this.

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

  • icon
    eMark (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:27pm

    First we had telegraph, then telephone. Next Television and then email. all these companies are responsible for liability. Say AT&T decided all calls promoting Biden for President would be disconnected if voice recognition detected his name.

    What if gmail had a text filter that stopped all pleas for campaign donations for only one candidate? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, are evolutions of modern day communication.

    It could be argued 'the', primary form of communication today, thanks in part to algorithms designed to make them 'addicting as cigarettes', according to a recent Director of Monetization from one of those platforms.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 8:36pm

      To quote a comment a little further up: Do Facebook and Twitter force me to only use their services?

      If the answer is “yes”, maybe Facebook and Twitter deserve some regulation. But if the answer is “no” — and it is — they don’t deserve to be regulated like public utilities because they’re not public utilities.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 17 Oct 2020 @ 11:15pm

      Re:

      First we had telegraph, then telephone. Next Television and then email. all these companies are responsible for liability

      Since when is AT&T liable for when someone calls in a bomb threat? Or if someone is running a scam boiler room operation using AT&T lines? Answer: they're not.

      Also you're comparing a lot of apples and oranges here. Television isn't comparable to telephone or email. I mean, what does any of this means?

      Say AT&T decided all calls promoting Biden for President would be disconnected if voice recognition detected his name.

      Telephone services are a regulated monopoly for a long list of reasons that have literally nothing to do with today's social media companies.

      What if gmail had a text filter that stopped all pleas for campaign donations for only one candidate?

      Then Gmail would very quickly lose a significant number of its users. The free market at work!

      Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, are evolutions of modern day communication.

      And yet they are very different.

      It could be argued 'the', primary form of communication today,

      You named four companies and said they are the primary form of communication today. I don't think you know what "primary" means.

      thanks in part to algorithms designed to make them 'addicting as cigarettes', according to a recent Director of Monetization from one of those platforms.

      You left out the part where that "Director of Monetization" is currently trying to sell people a tool to limit your social media screen time. In other words, he has strong incentives to lie about how "addictive" he made social media. Also, it's been about a decade since he was last at Facebook, and no legitimate person thinks it's as addictive as cigarettes.

      Either way your entire post is jumbled confused nonsense.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 18 Oct 2020 @ 2:42am

      Re:

      "First we had telegraph, then telephone. Next Television and then email. all these companies are responsible for liability"

      Since when have they had liability for the actions of people using them? For this to be remotely comparable to what you're saying, you must be suggesting that Hotmail is directly responsible for spam or that AT&T can be sued for allowing telemarketing, which is nonsense.

      Also, if you can't tell the difference between a broadcast medium like television and a communication medium like the telephone there may be no hope for your ignorance, but I'm an optimist so maybe you will learn...

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

  • icon
    Tim R (profile), 18 Oct 2020 @ 8:51am

    The summary of every Anti-230 bill in Congress right now:

    The people who don't contribute nearly enough to our re-election campaigns, and don't provide nearly enough jobs and tax income for [insert legislator's home state here], are breaking no laws, and are, in fact, behaving in such a way that the law actually encourages.

    They promote the free exchange of knowledge in an uncluttered marketplace of ideas by large multi-national corporations and private individuals alike, on a playing field more level than at any point in the history of the Earth. They combat those who would pollute that commons with self-serving tripe designed to foster division instead of cooperation, in favor of their own selfish interests.

    They do all of this under a legal framework that mimics existing liability, present in our system for decades and backed by an immeasurable amount of common sense. It provides efficient ways to reduce court burden by offering a viable defense to those who have been wrongfully targeted by opportunists that would choose to simply shift blame to an entity with deeper pockets.

    It's abhorrent and must be stopped [so that I can show people how tough I am during an election year].
    We must do something [no matter how counterproductive].
    Think of the children [and lawyers, but mostly lawyers].

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2020 @ 1:33pm

    14 more years !! :)

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Denny Scape, keeper of lab animals, 19 Oct 2020 @ 11:55am

    There are NO individuals in your example, only powerful media...

    already famous and having their own outlets. -- This is VERY telling of Masnick's mania. He never thinks of individuals, only of corporations.

    They are saying there is certain speech they don't want to host, and this is their right, just like Fox News or the NY Post get to spew one sided news and the government cannot do anything about it.

    What of one individual "natural" person, Masnick? How do we get even one tiny little website when NONE of the corporations have to allow us -- not even during good behavior by common law standards? Peasants don't matter to you, Ivy League elitist?

    Google isn't required to index a site which fails to meet its unknown shifting "standard" when scanned by "AI" -- it has defunded even you for "dangerous and derogatory" content! -- so would never be discovered. How many voices has Google already simply not listed? How many has it invisibly demoted or promoted? Aren't you worried about losing potential creations / inventions as you claim we do with current copyright / patent laws?

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Denny Scape, keeper of lab animals, 19 Oct 2020 @ 11:56am

    How are ISPs different? Can't they exert control TOO?

    You kids are so fixated on your preferred corporations controlling individuals who just happen to be your political opponents, "conservatives" for the immediate future, that can't see how the next logical step affects YOU:

    If Masnick's notions were the law, then any ISP can simply put in blocks to keep extremists like Mike Masnick entirely off "their" network! -- Wouldn't have to be their idea: the evil Ayyadurai could pay ISPs to block Masnick's site! ISPs get NO money from Masnick so a few bucks (less than a court case!) would be enough to silence Masnick because all profit. Simple justice too.

    ISPs can monitor website accesses, say to pirate sites, and automatically cancel service within seconds, simply erase the cable modem's MAC # from the allowed list. NO warning, NO explanation, NO tolerance, NO appeal. That would certainly be effective against piracy, and by Masnick's notions, within corporate rights! In practice, the evil ??AAs would pay a bounty to hit the biggest downloaders, then sue with detailed information and split the settlements / fines, especially after the looming CASE act.

    You kids don't understand the complex systems you play with. There's no limit when abandon "fairness" and the "The Public Good"! Those notions protect little YOU from The Rich and their corporations!

    Of course if any ISP acted to censor on its own hardware network the way you say mere hosts can control websites, you'd SCREAM "Net neutrality! I have a RIGHT to access what sites I want, send what messages I want!"

    So what's the legal difference between a host and an ISP with regard to censoring and control? Has to be NONE. If you claim an ISP can't arbitrarily control, then what's your basis for a host doing so? (Take out profit as the reason ISPs don't: the two real world examples above show how ISPs can profit FAR MORE by using Masnick's theory of what "they don't want to host"!)

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 19 Oct 2020 @ 9:04pm

      Re: How are ISPs different? Can't they exert control TOO?

      Well, you start by lying about the opinions held by others here, proudly display ignorance about the very basics of the subject at hand (hint: ISPs and platforms are very different arguments so you shouldn't conflate them), and really don't understand the tech that you're saying an ISP can use.

      But, you're loud, obnoxious and guaranteed to be able to whine about people telling you that you're a prick so that you can repeat the same cycle again. How typical, and what a shame you have nothing better to do.

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:46am

      Re: How are ISPs different? Can't they exert control TOO?

      Here’s a basic overview: ISPs (or IAPs) are like telephone companies or cable (or satellite TV) companies that just provide the communication lines, not the content or services that go over those lines; services like Twitter or Facebook are privately owned, publicly accessible/viewable bulletin boards/billboards.

      You seem to want social media to operate like the former, but that’s not what they do (unless you’re talking about private DMs like in Facebook Messenger, but that’s another topic entirely), nor are they required to. Social media companies and such are “edge providers” that use the internet to provide a service; the internet itself is not the service provided.

      Furthermore, people generally can only have, at most, one ISP for the home/WiFi and one for cellular service, and switching is fairly difficult and potentially expensive. If an ISP blocks something from going through, its customers become incapable of accessing what was blocked at all. By contrast, people can have as many social media or social media-like accounts as there are social media(-like) providers (or freely switch between search engines or browsers), and the sites and accounts themselves are completely free to use/create; if an edge provider blocks something, there are still many options available to users to get the data. That’s not even getting into the fact that ISPs are limited to specific areas (having Verizon won’t help me if I move to Japan), and many ISPs don’t directly compete with each other (most locations can only access one or two players), but that’s (mostly) not the case with websites like Twitter or Google (and even for the exceptions, a VPN can get around geoblocks pretty easily).

      Basically, ISPs are completely different from social media companies and other edge providers (both fundamentally and as applied), and the principles behind supporting net neutrality is very different from those involved in being anti-§230.

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

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    identicon
    Denny Scape, keeper of lab animals, 19 Oct 2020 @ 12:00pm

    And I repeat: Techdirt is so small that EVERY comment counts.

    No matter where placed. So when BLOCKED from current topic -- that happens regularly when Maz doesn't want opposition, after sees first apparently switches to okaying every comment -- if I then drop them into other pieces, they're still as effective -- and just as censored -- but from your perspective tend to clutter and distract, besides that I'll point up why and that can hardly help your "free speech" facade.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2020 @ 5:41pm

      Re:

      ...And? This is not the first time you fucknuggets have brought up Techdirt's (allegedly) small userbase as a damning argument against... what, exactly? Hasn't your argument against Twitter and Facebook moderations been that they shouldn't be allowed to "censor" Republicans because they're too big? What the fuck do you think pissing and moaning about Techdirt's small size is going to do?

      Hell, you're not nearly the first one to have brought up Techdirt being small, your fuckbuddy MyNameHere used to think that mentioning the site's falling Alexa ratings was funny as shit. Again - how does this help your case? How does crowing about being an asshole on a community so small, calling it insignificant is literally one of your linchpin arguments, help convince others that the Trump presidency wasn't a complete fucking train wreck?

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:55am

      Re: And I repeat: Techdirt is so small that EVERY comment counts

      You’re not being blocked or censored. Your comments are being hidden (but still viewable) by the community.

      Also, this comment of yours is hard to understand because of the atrocious grammar and bad syntax. “[A]fter sees first”? “[B]esides that I'll point up why”? What do these mean? Also, what do you mean by “effective”, what are “still as effective”, and what exactly “can hardly help [their] ‘free speech’ façade”? You need to offer more clarity.

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


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