Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the the-discourse dept

This week, both our winners on the insightful side come in response to our post about OnlyFans and its announcement that it would no longer host sexually explicit content. In first place, it's James Burkhardt with some thoughts:

A huge angle I think worth exploring

OF is seeking to limit sexually explicit content to gain INVESTORS.

Why is this meaningful? OF's amazing income, which is the attraction for investors, is built on this content. Just like Tumblr's value plummeted from Verizon's acquisition to Verizon's sale of OF, from 1 billion to 20 million. Nearly Two full orders of magnitude. The major loss seems to be from Tumblr's user exodus in the wake of a no-sexual-content policy that also killed off large Trans and Neurodivergent communities supporting each other, including my discussing unique challenges romantic and sexual relationships faced in these communities. A huge reason some communities left is the lack of clarity for what was allowed (text was supposed to be okay, then it wasn't).

Its the curated audience problem. OF has a giant audience looking for sexually explicit material. When it cuts off that audience, like a minecraft or fortnite youtuber shifting to a new game, that audience, and the income, goes away.

Any investor looking to invest in OF at a valuation based on the last 2 years growth is a fool, and the attempt to cash out the owner at the expense of those who built the platform's value deserves to tank the entire endevor.

In second place, it's Samuel Abram both quoting and seeking input from another commenter:

Considering what Stephen T. Stone said…

The difference between "Moderation" and "Censorship" is that:
-"Moderation" is "You can't do that here." Whereas,
-"Censorship" is "You can't do that anywhere."

Considering that it's likely FOSTA and SESTA is creating such a chilling effect, I think what OnlyFans is doing is more along the lines of "Censorship". What says Stephen T. Stone?

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with James Burkhardt's other comment about the OnlyFans news, this time responding to a commenter drawing a parallel to the shutdown of gambling sites and alleging that the real issue is performers not paying taxes:

You are wrong. Betting websites were shut down in 2011 for violating state level gambling as well as money laundering and wire fraud by manipulating transaction data on payouts to appear as something other than income from gambling. While not stated in the case, they likely did not report gambling winnings to the IRS, as required by law.

A corp like OF, looking for investors, is absolutely reporting its income to the IRS and would, like patreon, report 1099-NEC income earned on its platform to the government. I know, for a fact, Only fans requires tax info to pay out more than $600 in a calender year to comply with reporting requirements. You don't report that thousands of content creators are earning over 50K to investors if you aren't reporting that income.

It was a huge MRA talking point that cam girls weren't paying taxes a few years back. This was not based in anything solid. The basis was that at the same time those workers were getting hit by the IRS. But the idea these were people trying to hide income is, generally bunk. It wasn't a widespread issue and those hit were hit because because the sites (chaturbate, MFC) were reporting income to the IRS and the actual issue was many of these young girls were unaware of the special tax situtaion an independent contractor is in (i.e. you need to pay taxes quarterly, not just at the end of the year). The people "not paying taxes" were, and reporting requirements caught those doing it wrong. Which is why it didn't make headline news about MFC not reporting income and being indicted.

The content is legal. It isn't about "not paying taxes". Its about Onlyfans trying to cash out its founder, and finding no one other than a porn mogel wants to invest in a site known for porn thanks to our entire history of law enforcement and anything sex related online.

Next, it's Stephen T. Stone responding piece-by-piece to another comment on our post about how you can't regulate Facebook as if it were the entire internet:

"Facebook isn't the entire internet, but it has a near monopoly in its sector."

Twitter, the Fediverse, Discord, and a multitude of other social media/communication services say otherwise. Popularity alone does not make a monopoly.

"Rather than trying to create a set of rules that applies to everything, it is probably more useful to target the near monopoly itself."

And that would still require regulations that don’t drag down the entire Internet with Facebook.

"Perhaps by breaking up the company, or declaring it a common carrier would be a better approach."

Breaking up, maybe, but Facebook is not a common carrier. Trying to declare it one only because you hate it is a new low for you.

"Getting censored proves that your opinion is the strongest."

I’m glad to know you support pro-queer and anti-racist ideologies, but your support for pro-terrorism and pro-pedophilia ideologies is…unfortunate.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is an anonymous response to our post about the GOP's obsession with social media, which we referred to as rallying around something small:

But enough about their dear leader's hands...

In second place, it's another anonymous comment, this time replying to one commenter's repeated assertion that "getting censored proves that your opinion is the strongest":

OK so if I say "Koby is a moron" and people flag me so the comment gets hidden, that means I have the strongest opinion, right?

(The comment was, indeeed, flagged and hidden.)

For editor's choice on the funny side, our first place winner is David with a response to the question of why Trump's friends haven't presented their evidence of election fraud in the Dominion lawsuit:

They are protecting their sources.

From being laughed out of court.

Finally, it's Stephen T. Stone with another thought about the Dominion lawsuit:

Damn. I’m on the side of a corporate behemoth in this fight, and all I needed to get there was watching a bunch of right-wing grifters lie about election integrity. How dare those assholes make me side with Dominion.

That's all for this week, folks!

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  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Aug 2021 @ 2:50pm

    #2 most insightful again!

    It feels great being #2 most insightful commenter at techdirt. Thanks for all the votes, fellow techdirtians!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2021 @ 3:15pm

    Fosta creates self censorship in that most websites are afraid to post sexual content or host forums or discussions that could be seen to help sex workers so sex workers are being driven off the Web by a law that was very crudely drafted or maybe it was really designed to target all sex workers even though they said it was an anti trafficking law

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 22 Aug 2021 @ 4:09pm

      Re:

      I see no reason to give the politicians involved any benefit of the doubt, they were told by experts and people in the field that FOSTA would be a disaster and outright dangerous for sex workers and they passed it anyway, at that point malicious indifference('I don't care if they suffer') if not deliberate malice('The suffering is the point') should be the default assumption.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2021 @ 7:16pm

        Re: Re:

        Even cops have spoke publicly about the value a site like Backpage had as an investigate tool and it falls on the deaf ears of people who believe their bullshit constantly. They mix a little truth in and the lawmakers ignore their accurate concern. To members of Congress the only acceptable form of paying for sex is giving hush money to your mistress and paying for an abortion. Bonus points when it's a family values Republican

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

  • identicon
    Glenn, 22 Aug 2021 @ 3:53pm

    OnlyFans... the fact remains that payment processors are trying to establish themselves as judge, jury, and executioner with regard to sites that have any adult content. Their target list will no doubt expand with their ego over time.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 22 Aug 2021 @ 9:44pm

      Re:

      You still have internet access? I thought you were going to boycott payment processors.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2021 @ 12:10pm

      Re:

      The plot thickens. OF says Mastercard demanded the ban, while Mastercard denies any involvement. Obviously one is lying, but your guess is as good as mine which one.

      In the end, whether or not they did so in this case, the mere fact that the cartel monopoly of credit card companies could do it is deeply problematic.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2021 @ 9:00pm

    Never listen to what politicians say, look instead to what they do. That is always the final reckoning in what was meant by the law.

    In this case, over FOSTA they were told what would happen, so they knew before hand. This is how they meant it to be.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    goautodial (profile), 23 Aug 2021 @ 4:24am

    Never listen to what politicians say, look instead to what they do. That is always the final reckoning in what was meant by the law.

    It feels great being most insightful commenter at techdirt. Thanks for all the votes, fellow techdirtians!

    thanks,

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


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