Transparency Is Important; Mandated Transparency Is Dangerous And Will Stifle Innovation And Competition

from the a-distinction dept

While much of yesterday's Senate Commerce Committee hearing was focused on the pointless grievances and grandstanding of sitting Senators, there was a bit of actual news made by Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey. As we discussed earlier this week, Zuckerberg agreed for the first time that he was in support of Section 230 reform, though he declined in his opening remarks to specify the nature of the reforms he supported. And while the original draft of Jack Dorsey's opening testimony suggested full support of 230, in the given remarks he also suggested that Twitter would support changes to Section 230 focused on getting companies to be more transparent. Later in the hearing, during one of the extraordinarily rare moments when a Senator actually asked the CEOs how they would change 230, Zuckerberg also focused on transparency reports, before immediately noting that Facebook already issued transparency reports.

In other words, it appears that the "compromise" the internet companies are looking to throw to a greedy Congress regarding Section 230 reform is "transparency." I've heard from a variety of policymakers over the last few months who also seem focused on this transparency issue as a "narrow" way to reform 230 without mucking up everything else, so it seems like mandating content moderation transparency may become "a thing."

Mandating transparency, however, would be a dangerous move that would stifle both innovation and competition.

Cathy Gellis has covered this in detail in the past, and I addressed it in my comments to the FCC about Section 230. But it seems like we should be a little clearer:

Transparency is important. Mandated transparency is dangerous.

We've been celebrating lots of internet companies and their transparency reports going back to Google's decision nearly a decade ago to start releasing such reports. Over time, every large internet company (and many medium ones) has joined the bandwagon. Indeed, after significant public pressure, even the notoriously secretive giant telcos started issuing transparency reports as well (though they often did so in a secretive manner that actually hid important details).

So, at the very least, it certainly looks like public pressure, good business practices, and pressure from peers in the industry have already pushed the companies into releasing such reports. On top of that, many of the internet companies seem to try to outdo each other in being more transparent than their peers on these reports -- which again is a good thing. The transparency reports are coming and we should celebrate that.

At the very least, though, this suggests that Congress doesn't need to mandate this, as it's already happening.

But, you might say, then why should we worry about mandates for transparency reports? Many, many reasons. First off, while transparency reports are valuable, in some cases, we've seen governments and government officials using them as tools to celebrate censorship. Governments are not using them to better understand the challenges of content moderation, but rather as tools to see where more censorship should be targeted. That's a problem.

Furthermore, creating a "baseline" for transparency reports creates two very large issues that could damage competition and innovation. First, it creates a clear compliance cost, which can be quite burdensome for new and smaller websites. Facebook, Google and Twitter can devote people to creating transparency reports. Smaller sites cannot. And while you could, in theory, craft a mandate that has some size thresholds, historically that leads to gaming and other tricks.

Perhaps more importantly, though, a mandate with baseline transparency thresholds locks in certain "rules" for content moderation and creates real harm to innovative and different ideas. While most people seem to think of content moderation along the lines of how Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter handle it -- with large (often outsourced) content moderation teams and giant sets of policies -- there are many, many other models out there as well. Reddit is a decently large company. Yet it handles content moderation by pushing it out to volunteer moderators who run each subreddit and get to make their own content moderation rules. Would each subreddit have to release its own report? Would Reddit itself have to track how each individual subreddit is moderated and include all of that in its report?

Or how about Wikipedia? That's one of the largest sites on the internet, and all of its content moderation practices are already incredibly transparent, since every single edit shows in each page's history -- often including a note about the reasoning. And, again, rather than being done by staff, every Wikipedia edit is done by volunteers. But should Wikipedia have to file a "standardized" report as well about how and why each of those moderation decisions were made?

And those are just two examples of large sites with different models. The more you look, the more alternative moderation models you can find -- and many of them would not fit neatly into any "standards" for a transparency report. Instead, what you'd get is a hamfisted setup that more or less forces all different sites into a single (Facebook/YouTube/Twitter) style of content moderation and transparency. And that's very bad for innovation in the space.

Indeed, as someone who is quite hopeful for a future where the content moderation layer is entirely separated from the corporate layer of various social media sites, I worry that mandated transparency rules would make that much, much more difficult to implement. Many of the proposals I've seen to build more distributed/decentralized protocol-based solutions for social media would not (and often could not) be fit into a "standardized" model of content moderation.

And thus, creating rules that mandate such transparency reporting for companies based on the manner in which those three large companies currently release transparency reports would only serve to push others into that same model, creating significant compliance costs for those smaller entities, while greatly limiting their ability to experiment with new and different styles of moderation.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: competition, innovation, jack dorsey, mandated transparency, mark zuckerberg, section 230, transparency, transparency report
Companies: facebook, twitter


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 10:28am

    Path to Litigation

    One of the things that big tech companies enjoy the most about section 230 protection is that it offers a mechanism to avoid court cases while still engaging in bias. With mandated transparency reports, it risks catching the big tech companies in their lies, potentially opening a new avenue to litigation.

    Tech companies with a Neutral Point of View will likely have clear policies, and will be incentivized to only censor for clear cut cases. But because a lot of bias is now entrenched in the current batch of social media monopolies, they're starting to sweat at the prospect of accountability.

    And I think the upper management is okay with this. If the SJW employees engage in bias and censor accounts for bogus reasons, the management will have good cause to fire them when court cases are on the line.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 10:36am

      Re: Path to Litigation

      If companies are not allowed to be biased, why is Fox news nor under the same level of attack?

      Are you one of these those people where bias is only acceptable if its a bias you agree with?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2020 @ 8:58pm

        Re: Re: Path to Litigation

        Fox is allowed to be biased, but it is also liable for what its bias leads it to say (or anything else it says).

        I'd prefer if it wasn't allowed to be biased either, but that's a more difficult problem.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 10:40am

      Re: Path to Litigation

      With mandated transparency reports, it risks catching the big tech companies in their lies, potentially opening a new avenue to litigation.

      What?!?

      Koby, you're just wrong.

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

      • icon
        VTEX (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 10:47am

        Re: Re: Path to Litigation

        I honestly don't get it. If you don't like how a website moderates, you are free to use another. If enough people don't like it, a new competitor will eventually fill that void. Unlike the limited options for ISPs, people are not forced to use Facebook and Twitter. They can certainly go the way of Digg, Myspace, or Slashdot.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 11:20am

          Or Reddit, or Voat, or Gab, or Parler, or any given Mastodon instance, or 4chan (and its numerous imageboard brethren), or the Something Awful forums, or ResetEra, or Discord, or Telegram, or…well, basically any other interactive web service that has any kind of “socializing” functionality.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 10:42am

      Re: Path to Litigation

      while still engaging in bias.

      Considering it has been shown to you over and over and over and over again, that there is no inherent bias against conservatives, why are you still here trying to state that as fact?

      And if there was bias, who fucking cares, go use somebody else's platform that isn't biased. I've heard parlor is good for that.

      Also, Fox News, OANN, Alex Jones, etc are all biased, and that is a fact.... Why aren't you complaining their biases?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 10:43am

      Re: Path to Litigation

      What is a neutral point of view? Perhaps you could provide an example.

      Here is my attempt:
      npov - Water is wet
      possible counter to claim - not when it's frozen! Bias!!!!!!

      It is apparent that everything can be made to look biased and therefore attempts at no bias websites is a fools errand.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Koby (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 11:45am

        Re: Re: Path to Litigation

        Here is my attempt:
        npov - Water is wet
        possible counter to claim - not when it's frozen! Bias!!!!!!

        And dont forget the counter-counter claim: frozen h2o is no longer water, it's ice!

        Neutral Point of View: allow arguments from both sides to remain visible. Let both sides speak.

        Biased Point of View: Site operator takes a side. Fact check: h2o is always wet, according to Snopes. The post about freezing has been removed due to policy violations.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 11:57am

          Let’s say you know of a Mastodon instance run by queer people. For what reason should the law force that instance to host/associate with anti-queer speech out of some inane insistence on “neutrality” if the instance admins don’t want to host/associate with that kind of speech?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 12:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

          So 8Chan then?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 4:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

          Water ice is always... water. Next.

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 5:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

          Neutral Point of View: allow arguments from both sides to remain visible. Let both sides speak.

          This makes multiple assumptions, none of which are true.

          1. There are two sides to every argument.
          2. The two sides have equal weight.
          3. Letting all voices speak will lead to an equal and fair distribution of accurate and factual points.

          That's not neutral. That's a bullshit factory. What you are asking for is freedom to lie to cheat to steal and to mislead on someone else's property. No one has to give you that. In fact, you continuing to demand that is a violation of their rights. Remember when you Trumpists pretended to support private property, and now you want to strip companies of their rights?

          You're a weak minded snowflake, Koby. When you grow up, maybe you'll figure this out.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2020 @ 10:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

            While I don't disagree with your argument, I do find it simplistic. To me it seems to overlook something very important about the universe. Statements can be of two, distinct types. They can be objective or factual, in which case they can only be true or false, and they can be subjective, often a matter of values, in which case there is no objective truth. Often they combine both attributes, which really complicates things. It is entirely possible for two people to start with the same facts and logically arrive at two contradictory conclusions, if there are value judgments necessarily involved in drawing the conclusion.

            Also even with objective, factual statements, it is entirely possible to have more than one logically correct conclusion if the original statements are insufficiently constrained. As an example, what is 1 + 1? You may say "2" and that is logically correct. However in the binary system, the correct answer is "10". The problem is an insufficiently constrained initial question.

            Now, applying this to your points:

            There are two sides to every argument.

            This is something that really annoys me about our local reporting (the CBC), which is deeply addictied to what I would call faux objectivity. They always strive to give "both" sides of an argument a chance to express themselves. It is virtually always a moderate-left speaker who makes a reasonable case for whatever the CBC agrees with and in opposition a dingbat alt-right or extermist libertarian speaker who generally make no sense whatsoever. My problem isn't so much the dishonesty of the approach as the fact that there are often many times more than two sides to the argument. A truly neutral stance would require that ALL of them are granted the podium to express themselves, which is totally impractical. I don't see any problem with a website or news outlet having a particular bias, so long as they are open and honest about their stance.

            The two sides have equal weight.

            You know, it is entirely possible for two sides to have equal weight to their proponents. Where this is entirely about value judgments, who has a right to decide which has merit? Where there is a factual component, and one side is denying the objective truth, I would say that the side with the objective truth should triumph. But what if both sides have demonstrable objective falsehoods? Should the side with the lessar amount of falsehood triumph? Who gets to decide, and isn't that a value judgment anyway?

            Letting all voices speak will lead to an equal and fair distribution of accurate and factual points.

            I completely agree. The problem is, who decides who speaks? Should governments be allowed to decide in their own countries? Like Turkey? Or China? You believe that the property owner should have the say. Koby disagrees. And in this case it is completely a value judgment. Noone can reasonably say Koby is wrong, only that they don't agree. Mind you, I don't think Koby would accept that, he is very unreasonable in this area. You can quite reasonably give objective facts that you believe support your values, and you can quite reasonably ask him to explain why he doesn't, but he simply isn't objectively wrong. Of course, the trumpist position here is more than a little hypocritical here. I am absolutely positive that if someone posted "Trump is a morally bankrupt murdering rapist" I'm fairly sure they would be screaming to take it down and punish the website that had the audacity to publish it. Asking Koby to decide whether he supports wide-open discussion or moderation of highly objectionable material is quite reasonable and calling him wrong if he refuses is quite reasonable, hoiwever, as they are logically incompatible positions.

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

            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 30 Oct 2020 @ 11:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

              Regarding the “equal weight” thing, look at the COVID-19 stuff, which has also been argued about. There are objective truths (COVID-19 has a higher death rate than most flus, is highly contagious, social distancing reduces its spread, and the pandemic has not ended yet) that are at issue here, and “both sides” don’t have equal weight.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 1:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

              "I completely agree. The problem is, who decides who speaks? "

              The problem isn't even who is allowed to speak, it's that on many subjects there are many positions, but only one that's actually true - and that the wrong positions disrupt any useful debate.

              We're seeing this now with the response to COVID. Places where governments have listened to medical experts and done what was necessary to contain the pandemic, life is largely back to normal while citizens remain vigilant. In the US, nutter spouting conspiracy theories have taken a lot of attention, to the point where the President is publicly attacking the advice of his main expert, and the results have been utterly disastrous.

              "I am absolutely positive that if someone posted "Trump is a morally bankrupt murdering rapist" I'm fairly sure they would be screaming to take it down and punish the website that had the audacity to publish it"

              Which is a little concerning because there's real evidence for all of those claims.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 30 Oct 2020 @ 12:28am

          Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

          "allow arguments from both sides to remain visible. Let both sides speak"

          Huh, you spelt "allow disinformation to thrive" and "let obnoxious assholes destroy the use of the platforms for people trying to discuss actual facts" wrong. Why is that?

          "Fact check: h2o is always wet"

          Erm, you think that ice and water vapour have a different chemical composition to water? Or, does your argument depend on hypothetical lies?

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 5:55am

          Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

          "Neutral Point of View: allow arguments from both sides to remain visible. Let both sides speak."

          Bullshit. The false equivalence of, say, two sides with one claiming the holocaust never happened and that black people are lesser beings does not invite to a debate. Every stance other than outright condemnation is complicitness.

          In your example, then, the "neutral" position is the one which gives an equal platform to an actual nazi that they'd give to a humanitarian, and opposing the nazi is, in your words, "bias".

          How the fuck do you live with yourself, Koby, when in order to push your point, you actually have to demonize the frigging UN human rights charter and the US constitution as "biased"?

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 11:18am

      it offers a mechanism to avoid court cases while still engaging in bias

      …and? Bias isn’t against the law. If it were, Gab and Parler — two services notorious for their right-wing biases — would be breaking the law right now.

      With mandated transparency reports, it risks catching the big tech companies in their lies, potentially opening a new avenue to litigation.

      …how? Bias isn’t against the law. If it were, cases involving supposed “anti-conservative bias” and “Twitter is a true public forum” claims wouldn’t have been shut down in court already.

      Tech companies with a Neutral Point of View will likely have clear policies, and will be incentivized to only censor for clear cut cases.

      Ah, yes, the “view from nowhere”. Tell me, how does that work when one side believes gay people have the right to live in society with complete access to the same civil rights as straight people, and the other side believes gay people should stay out of society and possibly be jailed for daring to be openly gay in public or private? What’s the “neutral point of view” in that argument, hmm?

      because a lot of bias is now entrenched in the current batch of social media monopolies, they're starting to sweat at the prospect of accountability

      Yes or no: Will you ask Congress to hold Gab and Parler accountable for their biases, just as you’re hoping Congress will hold Twitter and Facebook accountable for theirs?

      SJW

      Three things.

      1. “Social justice warrior” is not the derogatory term you think it is, if you take the term literally.

      2. “Social justice warrior”, when not taken literally, is a meaningless phrase used as an insult towards anyone who acts personally considerate towards people — and especially towards those people you don’t believe deserve that consideration.

      3. By using “SJW” in that context, you’ve outed yourself as a personally inconsiderate asshole, and I’m left to wonder who you think doesn’t deserve your consideration.

      Also, I still have One Simple Question for you that you have yet to answer. Yes or no, Koby: Do you believe the government should have the right to force privately owned interactive web services into hosting all legally protected speech, even if the admins of those services don’t want to host certain kinds of speech?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 11:57am

        Re:

        Yes or no: Will you ask Congress to hold Gab and Parler accountable for their biases, just as you’re hoping Congress will hold Twitter and Facebook accountable for theirs?

        Well, obviously not. The rabid right isn't interested in neutrality or unbiased moderation. They just want to be able to spew their bile in relevant forums and be heard by all. Parker and Gab aren't relevant. End of story.

        The basic problem isn't bias, it's that extremists (of either wing, but the right currently has a plethora of them) don't understand, or don't want to acknowledge that "freedom of speach" doesn't imply a "right to be heard".

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 6:06am

          Re: Re:

          "The basic problem isn't bias, it's that extremists (of either wing, but the right currently has a plethora of them) don't understand, or don't want to acknowledge that "freedom of speach" doesn't imply a "right to be heard"."

          It is, perhaps, ironic that as a european I may be one of the few interested in the issue which has even seen an actual left-wing extremist who was open about it. And that, even in Sweden, was years ago. Extremism currently comes in mainly two flavors; extreme right-wing and/or religion.

          And in the US today there is no nice anymore for extreme leftists given how alt-right morons such as Koby and Baghdad Bob keep insisting that where social platforms are concerned the state should appropriate the means of production and abolish property ownership.

          Because that's their whole argument in the end; That because a platform is popular the owners of that platform should not own the right to set the rules. The bar owner should not be allowed to evict those patrons the other patrons find disruptive.

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

    • identicon
      Rocky, 29 Oct 2020 @ 11:21am

      Re: Path to Litigation

      One of the things that big tech companies enjoy the most about section 230 protection is that it offers a mechanism to avoid court cases while still engaging in bias.

      Avoid court cases for engaging in bias? Can you prove this bias? And for what legal reason should ANY company be dragged into court for (political) bias? Should ALL companies be totally neutral? Or just a select few that you don't agree with?

      I think you should reflect on how broken your argument is and shut the fuck up because, seriously, you are frigging idiot Koby for the simple reason that you are incapable of learning new things if it doesn't fit your beliefs.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 12:07pm

        Re: Re: Path to Litigation

        I mostly agree, but please don't try to shut Koby up. He serves a some useful purposes here. He is obviously outside his bubble, so the discussion has a chance of widening his viewpoints. That is useful. If he is constantly hit with a wall of "shut up and go away" he may well do so, which would be a shame for his sake.

        He also goes a little way towards preventing this forum from becoming a leftist bubble chamber/lynch mod (the tendencies are here, easy to see if you look for them). If you want to seem one in full bloom, go look at the Baen books fora (Baen's bar), particularly the "politics" forum. After you've seen some of that at work, ask yourself if you really want Techdirt to become so self absorbed, self righteous and dysfunctional?

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 12:21pm

          the discussion has a chance of widening his viewpoints

          Koby has been told, time and time again, that his viewpoints are wrong — and has had explained, time and time again, how his viewpoints are wrong. He hasn’t yet changed his mind about his objectively incorrect beliefs; I’ve no reason to believe he’ll do so in the future.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 1:18pm

            Re:

            Yes, he has been repeatedly told he is wrong, and often with reasons that at the least deserve rebuttal if he disagrees (which rarely appears, if ever, and I can't recall seeing a case myself). Unfortunately, very few of us - regardless of political persuasion - are able to change our minds once we make them up, faced only with disagreement and facts.

            At the very least, it would be an interesting (and very tough) challenge to find a way to change his mind.

            I have read that a far more effective way to change minds is to take a neutral position - simply ask the other person what they mean, why they believe it and what objective evidence they have to support their views. I'm not sure how that could be employed here with so many so ready to confront Koby when he gets on this ridiculous "bias" kick of his/his ilk, but it would be interesting to observe.

            Also, I have definitely seen useful contributions from Koby when he isn't crying in his beer over said "unfair" bias. Not as many as the braindead recitation of Trumpist complaints admittedly, but still there on occasion.

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

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 3:13pm

              Re: Re:

              I have read that a far more effective way to change minds is to take a neutral position - simply ask the other person what they mean, why they believe it and what objective evidence they have to support their views.

              Thing is that's been tried, Stephen has been trying to get Koby to answer a single question to clarify his position for weeks if not months now, and yet he keeps refusing to do so, pretending the question doesn't even exist.

              Also, I have definitely seen useful contributions from Koby when he isn't crying in his beer over said "unfair" bias

              On subjects not related to social media he can offer worthwhile comments, but when it comes to social media he's basically a slightly more well spoken version of TD's #1 fan(atic) Woody.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 5:29pm

              ask the other person what they mean, why they believe it and what objective evidence they have to support their views

              I’ve tried that. Every time I ask Koby that One Simple Question — a simple, easy-to-understand yes-or-no question about his beliefs vis-á-vis compelled hosting of speech — he avoids answering it. What Koby likely understands is that his refusal to answer a refusal to own the answer he’s refusing to give. If the answer is “no”, he’d likely say so. If the answer is “yes”, on the other hand, he knows Techdirt commenters will hold that answer against him. So he waffles and says “I don’t want to give an answer” — knowing that no one with any goddamn sense would take that as a “neutral” stance.

              Koby supports, even if only by implication, the idea that the government should have the right to compel an interactive web service into hosting of all legally protected speech regardless of whether the service admins want that speech on their service. That he has consistently refused to explicitly say he supports the idea — and refused to even imply that he opposes the idea — sends a clear message: “I’m for the idea, but I don’t want to own that.”

              If I’m wrong? Well, Koby can prove it himself. Alls he needs to do is answer One Simple Question.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 30 Oct 2020 @ 12:34am

              Re: Re:

              "I have read that a far more effective way to change minds is to take a neutral position"

              There is no effective neutral position here. He's lying his ass off, and deluded enough to believe that any action he demands won't also destroy speech he does agree with. Any concession would involve accepting his lies, which is not a good position.

              "Also, I have definitely seen useful contributions from Koby when he isn't crying in his beer over said "unfair" bias."

              He seems capable of intelligent and even insightful thought on other subjects. On this, he's not only completely wrong, but aggressively lying. The fact that he can be right elsewhere should not give him a free ride when he acts this way on this subject.

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

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 6:19am

              Re: Re:

              "I have read that a far more effective way to change minds is to take a neutral position..."

              That's a tough call, though, because any neutral position requires both parties to have good faith in the debate.

              Here, an example;

              "Koby"; "Social platforms are biased. They should be forced to not be biased!"

              Everyone on TD; "Platforms are private property, not government. You realize that what you advocate is to abolish property ownership, free speech, or both?"

              "Koby"; <abandons thread>
              "Koby", next thread; "Social platforms are biased. They should be forced to not be biased!"

              See the problem? There can be no neutral viewpoint because Koby solidly refuses to hold any actual exchange of count and counterpoint. It's like having a "neutral position" to the thug screaming in your face, not toward the person who tries to actually discuss politics with you.

              "...simply ask the other person what they mean, why they believe it and what objective evidence they have to support their views."

              I mean...we have done this. Plenty of times. See the provided example for what happens. Any time Koby faces the issue of having to explain what he means he simply leaves the thread and tries to push the emotive-only one-liner elsewhere.

              Stephen T. Stone asks this exact question in this regard every time Koby pulls his "bias" garbage; "Yes or no, Koby: Do you believe the government should have the right to force privately owned interactive web services into hosting all legally protected speech, even if the admins of those services don’t want to host certain kinds of speech?"

              Koby never responds, answers, or tries to expound. And yet that question is literally the most basic position to determine, even if the answer Koby means is quite apparently "Yes, but if I say that I've just demolished my whole case".

              You can't argue with Koby about free speech because from the start he does not bring arguments. He brings a bullhorn and running shoes.

              "Also, I have definitely seen useful contributions from Koby when he isn't crying in his beer over said "unfair" bias."

              Yeah, and I'm still wondering whether that's just for him to establish credibility or if he's truly in full doublethink mode since a lot of those useful contributions rely on logic which decidedly sink many of the exclamations he makes about section 230.

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

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 6:35am

                Re: Re: Re:

                [Addendum]:

                Also...about this;

                "...He also goes a little way towards preventing this forum from becoming a leftist bubble chamber/lynch mod (the tendencies are here, easy to see if you look for them)."

                No. Just no. I realize you are coming in on this from a US perspective but you need to realize a few things about that;

                1) The US is almost to a ridiculous extent extreme right-wing. Bernie Sanders would be considered centrist-right everywhere except the US.

                2) The reason this is so is because since the 80's the republican party has kept sliding ever more to the right while the democrats and liberals have had to follow in lockstep just to manage to start a bipartisan debate.

                Take a good look at republican politics in the 70's. Notice how many debates they hold which would be considered firebrand left-wing rhetoric today? Hell, listen to some of Eisenhower's old speeches.

                The full range of US politics - from "left-wing democrat" to hard-right GOP - is all squeezed in firmly to the right of the center - with only one notable exception.
                And that is that lately alt-right spokespeople and GOP politicians alike are pushing for a reform of property rights straight out of the communist manifesto as long as the property in question is part o0f an online platform. That's where you find the sole extreme-left proposals today. In the GOP.

                And that's also where you find the left-wing lynch mob - in the Senate Commerce Committee hearing reviewed in the OP.
                And true to historical form the republicans leads with that demand and with a few abstentions the democrats get suckered into following the republican narrative and begin to bicker over the details in where to draw the new line rather than just standing up and saying "Uh, does no one recognize that here in the US it's not really OK to argue for the nationalization of private property?"

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 12:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

          He is obviously outside his bubble, so the discussion has a chance of widening his viewpoints.

          In the same way that I have a chance of winning the lottery while being struck by lightning perhaps. It would be one thing if he only recently starting making his baseless claims and terrible arguments but he's been doing it for months at this point with no sign of shifting his position in the slightest, so at this point I'd say odds are good it's not going to happen.

          He also goes a little way towards preventing this forum from becoming a leftist bubble chamber/lynch mod (the tendencies are here, easy to see if you look for them)

          No, no he really does not. It would be one thing if he was arguing in good faith and people has to defend their positions and/or rebut his, as that could lead to open discussions and conversations on people's positions, but when he just makes the same debunked and/or garbage arguments over and over while that may provide an opportunity for more patient people to fine-turn their arguments it's not really doing much beyond that.

          As for the 'leftist bubble chamber/lynch mob' going to need a [Citation Needed] for that one.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Koby (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 2:10pm

        Re: Re: Path to Litigation

        And for what legal reason should ANY company be dragged into court for (political) bias? Should ALL companies be totally neutral? Or just a select few that you don't agree with?

        The danger to free speech is allowing monopolistic corporations to build the internet version of the town hall, and then ban viewpoints with which they disagree. I say that companies should be forced to choose whether they are an open or closed platform. Open platforms ought to maintain neutrality. Closed platforms can choose whatever it is that they want to publish, but are held responsible as the publisher.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 2:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

          Those choices reduce to 8 chan or letters to the editor. Neither of which are particularly useful for public conversations. Besides which so long as you have an outlet to which you can refer people to, you have an opportunity to contribute to a public conversation.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 2:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

          The danger to free speech is allowing monopolistic corporations to build the internet version of the town hall

          Why do you keep coming back to this schtick? I mean seriously, this has been explained to you many times before.

          But since you're back at it, answer some simple questions to defend your stance.

          • How is Twitter a monopolistic corporation when I can choose to not use Twitter but instead use Parlor?
          • What criteria is required to turn from a private business into a public town hall?
          • Why should it only pertain to social media companies and not news companies, say like Fox news?
          • Who makes this choice as to what private company is now a public town hall?

          I mean I could go on and on, but try answering those to begin with. If you have any good-faith arguments, please share them with us. Otherwise maybe learn to quit using this whole "town hall" thing.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 3:05pm

          Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

          The danger to free speech is allowing monopolistic corporations to build the internet version of the town hall, and then ban viewpoints with which they disagree

          Not just wrong but dead wrong. Free speech is not in any way threatened by private property owners being able to set rules and enforce who they allow on their property. If a bar tells an unruly drunk to get lost after harassing the staff the idiot in question has not in any way had his free speech impacted, as he's still free to be a drunken ass, just not on someone else's private property without their consent, and this would not change even if it was the most popular bar in town where everyone met to talk.

          Also for fuck's sake drop the pathetic 'platforms are banning people because they disagree when them' shtick already and just own that you're defending bigots and other assholes who are kicked off for being bigots and/or other assholes, you're not fooling anyone by trying to frame it as 'disagreement'.

          I say that companies should be forced to choose whether they are an open or closed platform

          Your most recent statement showing contempt towards free speech and property rights has been noted.

          The fact that a company might open up their property in part does not and should not bar them from setting rules on acceptable behavior or content, and to argue otherwise is essentially giving free reign to the assholes of the world to trash any platform or store as the owners would have no right to stop them.

          Open platforms ought to maintain neutrality.

          Cool story bro, so, when are you going to be bitching about the likes of Parler and Gab who very clearly are not, because i distinctly remember you defending Parler when they decided to apply that 'lack of neutrality'.

          Closed platforms can choose whatever it is that they want to publish, but are held responsible as the publisher.

          See, lines like this are part of the reason why I've taken to flagging any of your comment related to social media, because you would gut the ability of countless people to freely communicate online by forcing platforms to carefully vet each and every comment(likely blocking most of them) or turn every platform into an utter cesspit filled with assholes simply because you don't like the fact that more civilized people keep telling you and yours to fuck off and stop pissing in the pool of public discourse on their platforms, and I find it ever so fitting to give someone with that mindset a taste of what they'd foist on others even if I'm limited in just flagging your comments rather than the flat out blocks you'd impose on others.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 4:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

          The town, in your chosen, if inaccurate, metaphor, has voted. They like their town hall. They don't need your jackbooted thugs taking it over.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 6:11pm

          The danger to free speech is allowing monopolistic corporations to build the internet version of the town hall, and then ban viewpoints with which they disagree.

          I’m loathe to start going ad hom and lobbing insults, but in your case?

          Koby, you braindead lump of coal, how do you keep getting this shit wrong.

          A town hall, public square, or whatever you want to call it is government-owned property. Twitter, Facebook, and other such services are privately owned property. For those privately owned services to be truly public services, either the government would need to own them or they would have to constitute such a specific “natural monopoly” that they should be regulated as public utilities. Neither situation is the case with Twitter.

          I’ve no right to use Twitter, and Twitter has no legal obligation to host my speech. I’ve no right to make people listen to my speech, and Twitter has no legal obligation to do the same. And if I lose my spot on Twitter (or give it up voluntarily), the fact that everyone I followed on Twitter may not be on/move to whatever service I set up shop on next is not, has never been, and will never be a reason to call Twitter “public property” or a “public utility”. For fuck’s sake, Koby I can buy web space with a hosting company and start my own Mastodon instance; should the fact that I can literally run my own smaller version of Twitter subject me to compelled hosting of speech for the sake of “neutrality”?

          Open platforms ought to maintain neutrality.

          Tell that to tech.lgbt. Oh, you don’t know that one? It’s a Mastodon instance with several hundred registered users, open sign-ups, and a code of conduct that says (among other things) the following: “The following types of content will be removed from the public timeline, and may result in account suspension and revocation of access to the service: … Discrimination against gender and sexual minorities, or advocation thereof[.]”

          Or how about Gab? Its terms of service has the User agree to not use the site to (and this is a direct quote) transmit, or procure the sending of, any unwanted advertising or promotional material, including any “junk mail,” “chain letter,” “spam,” tagging random users in posts on your timeline, follower spam, or any other similar solicitation. Since “spam” is legally protected speech, Gab’s terms of service document literally says the service will block legally protected speech from the platform.

          You said it yourself, Koby: “Open platforms ought to maintain neutrality.” Those two platforms are open. So how far should the government go to ensure those “open platforms … maintain neutrality”? You wanted to endorse that position, to the point where it’s literally in a comment we can now link to and quote — so now you get to fucking own it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 1:27pm

      Re: Path to Litigation

      One of the things that big tech companies enjoy the most about section 230 protection is that it offers a mechanism to avoid court cases while still engaging in bias.

      It has been pointed out before that what section 230 does is short-circuit litigation, allowing defendants to avoid spending large amounts of money on court cases simply to arrive at the same result. Section 230 isn't protecting anyone from losing a court case, because the constitution of the United States of America and plentiful caselaw already does that. If section 230 disappeared, the courts wouldn't force facebook or twitter or any other large corporation to change their moderation policies, because they could afford to find a lawsuit to the end and would inevitably win (they may choose to do so anyway, but they could not be forced to do so).

      Removing section 230 protections would only make it easier to abuse the law to censor smaller websites who can't afford to fight endless harassment lawsuits. If you think this is a good result, remember that the same tactic could be used against smaller websites with a republican leaning.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 6:48am

        Re: Re: Path to Litigation

        "Section 230 isn't protecting anyone from losing a court case, because the constitution of the United States of America and plentiful caselaw already does that. If section 230 disappeared, the courts wouldn't force facebook or twitter or any other large corporation to change their moderation policies, because they could afford to find a lawsuit to the end and would inevitably win..."

        And then comes the next step in the republican playbook, for which they need a majority in congress and senate; Rewriting the first amendment to "better fit the modern online community".

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

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 3 Nov 2020 @ 1:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

          Also a supermajority of state legislators.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Nov 2020 @ 4:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

            "Also a supermajority of state legislators."

            ...Or, push comes to shove, law enforcement agencies and a crowd of thugs willing to break law and heads alike for der führer. All you really need is a small minority willing to perpetrate sufficient violence, a majority disinclined to effectively defend itself, and a sufficiently spineless politician in the wrong seat and it'll be a done deal.

            And I'm not sure the US of today - or the last twenty years - has even a small chance of pushing back against that.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 4:20pm

      Re: Path to Litigation

      What do we get to do about your bias?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2020 @ 6:52am

        Re: Re: Path to Litigation

        I declare Koby to be a public square and therefore I am allowed, via my first amendment rights, to post my speech upon koby and there is nothing he can do about it because I will sue his ass off - Whooo-Hooooo.

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

    • icon
      TKnarr (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 8:34pm

      Re: Path to Litigation

      Why am I prohibited from being biased in what I will and won't put up with in my home? And yes, that's the correct pronoun. Facebook deciding what they will and won't carry as far as content is exactly identical to my deciding what signs I will and won't allow to be put up in my front yard. Even if they're political campaign signs. I don't get to dictate to my neighbors, or control what goes up on city property, but if I decide I want to allow signs for Democratic candidates and refuse signs for Republican candidates why should I be prohibited from doing that?

      And don't give me that Facebook is a social media platform and I'm not. My yard and Facebook are both displaying content to the public, the only difference is the size and that's not relevant to the issue.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2020 @ 6:58am

        Re: Re: Path to Litigation

        Facebook and your front yard are both private property, with different owners who may have different points of view. Joe Blow down the street can not tell either what they can or cannot put upon said property.

        If you want to be able to force your speech upon others private property, that can be considered the government taking over private property for the "good" of the masses ...... isn't that the dreaded commie socialism type stuff that makes some folk go absolutely insane?

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 7:00am

          Re: Re: Re: Path to Litigation

          "If you want to be able to force your speech upon others private property, that can be considered the government taking over private property for the "good" of the masses ...... isn't that the dreaded commie socialism type stuff that makes some folk go absolutely insane?"

          Emphasis mine. Yep. The fact that the GOP as a whole has chosen to nick core principles right out of the communist manifesto as part of their program should serve to demonstrate just at what point that party is at now; a socialist approach of state superiority over speech to serve nationalist interests rooted in deep-seated bigotry, misogyny and racism.

          Abetted by a pseudomilitary mob of low-educated low-income thugs intent on "monitoring" the elections to prevent black people and liberals from "defrauding" said election by voting more than 0 times.

          We've seen this before. France, right before the revolution. Germany, in the last days of the weimar. Half a dozen other countries in the last century, some of which fell to fascism, and some who managed to pull themselves out of it.

          This is never a good sign, and even if the US survives the attempt this time the writing's on the wall. Either the nation changes until this sort of shit no longer grows there, or eventually the nation falls from inside.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 10:02pm

      Re: Path to Litigation

      Hello! You've Been Referred Here Because You're Wrong About Section 230 Of The Communications Decency Act

      If you said "A site that has political bias is not neutral, and thus loses its Section 230 protections"

      I'm sorry, but you are very, very, very wrong. Perhaps more wrong than anyone saying any of the other things above. First off, there is no "neutrality" requirement at all in Section 230. Seriously. Read it. If anything, it says the opposite. It says that sites can moderate as they see fit and face no liability. This myth is out there and persists because some politicians keep repeating it, but it's wrong and the opposite of truth. Indeed, any requirement of neutrality would likely raise significant 1st Amendment questions, as it would be involving the law in editorial decision making.

      Second, as described earlier, you can't "lose" your Section 230 protections, especially not over your moderation choices (again, the law explicitly says that you cannot face liability for moderation choices, so stop trying to make it happen). If content is produced by someone else, the site is protected from lawsuit, thanks to Section 230. If the content is produced by the site, it is not. Moderating the content is not producing content, and so the mere act of moderation, whether neutral or not, does not make you lose 230 protections. That's just not how it works.

      More facts that don't care about Koby's feelings:

      The Claremont Institute and scores of individual
      commenters have complained that particular websites are not politically neutral, and they demand that Section 230’s protection from liability for content created by others be conditioned on proof that a website is in fact politically neutral in the content that it hosts, and in its moderation decisions.

      There are three points that must be made in reply. The first is that Section 230 does not require political neutrality. Claiming to “interpret” Section 230 to require political neutrality, or to condition its Good Samaritan protections on political neutrality, would erase the law we wrote and substitute a completely different one, with opposite effect. The second is that any governmental attempt to enforce political neutrality on websites would be hopelessly subjective, complicated, burdensome, and unworkable. The third is that any such legislation or regulation intended to override a website’s moderation decisions would amount to compelling speech, in violation of the First Amendment....

      Section 230 itself states the congressional purpose of ensuring that the internet remains “a global forum for a true diversity of political discourse.” In our view as the law’s authors, this requires that government allow a thousand flowers to bloom—not that a single website has to represent every conceivable point of view. The reason that Section 230 does not require political neutrality, and was never intended to do so, is that it would enforce homogeneity: every website would have the same “neutral” point of view. This is the opposite of true diversity.

      To use an obvious example, neither the Democratic National Committee nor the Republican National Committee websites would pass a political neutrality test. Government compelled speech is not the way to ensure diverse viewpoints. Permitting websites to choose their own viewpoints is.

      Many individual commenters complained that their political viewpoints have been “censored” by websites ostensibly implementing their community guidelines, but actually suppressing speech. Several of these commenters have urged the FCC to require that all speech protected by the First Amendment be allowed on any site of sufficient size that it might be deemed an equivalent to the “public square.” In the context of this proceeding, that would mean Section 230 would somehow have to be “interpreted” to require this.

      Comments within this genre share a fundamental misunderstanding of Section 230. The matter is readily clarified by reference to the plain language of the statute. The law provides that a website can moderate content “whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”... Congress would have to repeal this language, and replace it with an explicit speech mandate, in order for the FCC to do what the commenters are urging.

      Government-compelled speech, however, would be a source of further problems. Because the First Amendment not only protects expression but non-expression, any attempt to devise an FCC regulation that forces a website to publish content it otherwise would moderate would almost certainly be unconstitutional. The government may not force websites to publish material that they do not approve. As Chief Justice Roberts unequivocally put it in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (2006), “freedom of speech prohibits the government from telling people what they must say.”...

      The answer to the commenters’ complaints of “censorship” must be twofold. First, many of the comments conflate their frustrations about Section 230 with the First Amendment. As noted, it is the First Amendment, not Section 230, that gives websites the right to choose which viewpoints, if any, to advance. Furthermore, First Amendment speech protections dictate that the government, with a few notable exceptions, may not dictate what speech is acceptable. The First Amendment places no such restrictions on private individuals or companies. Second, the purpose and effect of Section 230 is to make the internet safe for innovation and individual free speech. Without Section 230, complaints about “censorship” by the likes of Google, Facebook, and Twitter would not disappear. Instead, we would be facing a thousandfold more complaints that neither the largest online platforms nor the smallest websites are any longer willing to host material from individual content creators.

      Eroding the law through regulatory revision would seriously jeopardize free speech for everyone. It would be particularly injurious to marginalized viewpoints that aren’t within “the mainstream.” It would present near-insuperable barriers for new entrants attempting to compete with entrenched tech giants in the social media space. Not least of all, it would set a terrible example for the rest of the world if the United States, which created the internet and so much of the vast cyber ecosystem that has enabled it to flourish globally as an informational, cultural, scientific, educational, and economic resource, were to undermine the ability that hundreds of millions of individuals have each day to contribute their content to that result.

      In the absence of Section 230, the First Amendment rights of Americans, and the internet as we know it, would shrivel. Far from authorizing censorship, the law provides the legal certainty and protection from open-ended liability that permits websites large and small to host the free expression of individuals, making it available to a worldwide audience. Section 230 is a bulwark of free speech and civil discourse that is more important now than ever, especially in the current political climate that is increasingly hostile to both.

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 30 Oct 2020 @ 10:20am

      Re: Path to Litigation

      With mandated transparency reports, it risks catching the big tech companies in their lies, potentially opening a new avenue to litigation.

      But because a lot of bias is now entrenched in the current batch of social media monopolies, they're starting to sweat at the prospect of accountability.

      Did you miss the parts of the article that mention that 1) the CEOs of both Facebook and Twitter are in favor of mandated transparency reports (and thus aren’t “starting to sweat” at the idea) and 2) all the big tech companies (including Facebook and Twitter) already release transparency reports (and thus mandating them wouldn’t exactly change anything for those companies)?

      Also, given that these hypothetical mandates would be a condition for immunity from suit over moderation decisions, I fail to see how it would “open[] a new avenue to litigation” for the big companies you’re worried about.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 7:08am

        Re: Re: Path to Litigation

        "...Did you miss the parts of the article that mention that 1) the CEOs of both Facebook and Twitter are in favor of mandated transparency reports (and thus aren’t “starting to sweat” at the idea)..."

        The demand for transparency is either a smokescreen or a very bad call of ignorant republicans. The very LAST thing the GOP wants is full transparency as to what sort of "anti-conservative bias" is run by Facebook and Twitter - it would reveal the exact correlation between anyone defining themselves as "conservative" and outright racism and misogyny.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 29 Oct 2020 @ 11:25am

    Setting mandatory rules on certain actions can make sense when there's only one or a few reasonable ways to do it as in that case you don't really need flexibility, but when it comes to something as nebulous as moderation hard and fast rules are just setting platforms up for failure as some platforms will be able to meet those rules since they match what they already do while others will fail because the method required doesn't fit with how they do things.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 3:30pm

    I think some people do not realize they are playing with a double edged sword. They may be surprised to find out it cuts both ways, of course it will be someone else's fault.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2020 @ 4:22pm

    Mandated "transparency" will lead to anything but. The legislation will be bad, and those companies which can survive such a mandate will provide "transparency" geared to satisfy the letter of the statue, rather than anything better.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.