Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the as-it's-said dept

This week, all four of our winning comments come from our post about a ridiculous column arguing that fact checking is an assault on free speech. In first place on the insightful side, it's an anonymous response to the question of whether we needed fact checking to help turn people against slavery:

Yes, we did.

There were hundreds of "scientific" theories of racism which have been used to support the "natural" inferiority of various races in support of slavery. Physical anthropology, craniometry, anthropometry... dating at least back to the polygenism of the enlightenment (though to be fair, polygenism was a legitimate query at the time). And as each of these was eventually "fact checked" and found wanting, more were created to replace them.

In 1840, the US census reported that free blacks had a higher rate of mental illness than enslaved blacks, to the joy of the pro-slavery advocates. In 1844, Edward Jarvis published a report demonstrating that the results of the census were in error. You might even say he "fact checked" them...

In second place, it's Insufficient Cringe noting the full implications of the argument:

It is more than just fact checkers that should keep quiet. He allows that "Every person should conduct his or her own research to determine whether something someone says appears to be true", but then they cannot not tell anybody else, because that would that would make them a fact checker.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with one more comment from that post, this time from That One Guy with some more thoughts on the anti-fact-checking backlash:

'How dare you not want to host deadly lies?!'

Ah fact checkers, like a pro-active version of [Citation Needed] which is itself the bane of liars and trolls everywhere. If you don't like those meanie fact-checkers calling you out for being wrong or outright lying stop lying, prepare to support your claims with credible citations or find somewhere else to speak that won't call you out when you fail to do either of those.

The crusade against fact checking would seem to be the latest version of the belief that certain groups deserve not just the right to speak(which they already have), or even that and the right to a platform of their choice to speak from(which they have no right to), but protection against any and all consequences for that speech including prohibitions against others responding to them(which has never been part of free speech).

To call that mindset childish, self-centered and grossly self-entitled would be a massive understatement and it only gets worse when you realize their hypocrisy of wanting only some speech protected, theirs or the speech of those they support.

Next, it's Thad with a response to the question of why the supposedly-fiscally-conservative GOP is willing to throw money away fighting for unconstitutional laws:

It's not that hard to understand.

They're liars.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is David with another response to our post about fact checking:

Tut tut

You were not supposed to check what he was saying.

In second place, it's Stephen T. Stone with a quote:

“I may not like what you say, sir, but I will defend to the death your right to say it…unless you fact-check the source of this quote, in which case fuck you.” — Voltaire

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with a comment from Rico R. about the satire website that CC'd Barbara Streisand in its response to a ridiculous legal threat letter from a baseball team:

Yet another incorrect movie quote:

Are you issuing baseless legal threats? There's no issuing baseless legal threats in baseball!

— A League of Their Own

Finally, it's Ninja with a comment about PETA's latest lawsuit:

Well, at least they aren't fighting for the copyrights of a macaque monkey named after a famous anime show (or vice-versa?).

I'll show myself the door. Sorry.

That's all for this week, folks!

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


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    David, 19 Sep 2021 @ 12:19pm

    Indeed

    While I am proud to have made first place in "Funny", I'd like to point out that this week's first place in "Insightful" is a cut way above the usual crop here. It's not one of the kind where you nod appreciatingly and think "what I thought, but well said" but more of the "damn, how comes so few others including myself can think of that when the topic keeps coming up all the time?" kind.

    It would certainly raise the bar for that discussion if enough people were distinctly aware of it.

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

  2. icon
    sumgai (profile), 19 Sep 2021 @ 1:07pm

    ... [do their own research,] then they cannot not tell anybody else, because that would that would make them a fact checker.

    Carried to its logical conclusion, this would wipe out any news reporting organization, and all reporters. After all, they "did research", and are now reporting on the facts as they understand them. All that would be left would be the opinion writers.... and Gawd help them if they include any facts.

    Sigh. If we ever get around to modifying the genetic makeup of humankind, then the first thing that needs "a tune up" should be to make ignorance painful.

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

  3. icon
    sumgai (profile), 19 Sep 2021 @ 1:13pm

    [W]hy the supposedly-fiscally-conservative GOP is willing to throw money away fighting for unconstitutional laws:

    It's not that hard to understand.

    They're liars.

    No, they are fucking liars. Unless they're in Texas, then they no longer get to fuck, but they'll lie even hard to make up for it.

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

  4. identicon
    David, 19 Sep 2021 @ 1:30pm

    Re:

    No, they are fucking liars. Unless they're in Texas, then they no longer get to fuck, but they'll lie even hard to make up for it.

    Why would they no longer get to fuck? They explicitly passed a law disallowing abortion after rape and incest. Where would be the point in passing that kind of population maintaining measure if they did not intend to continue utilising it?

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

  5. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 19 Sep 2021 @ 2:33pm

    Higher rates of mental illness

    When it comes to major depression and ASD in the United States, our sudden surges in cases come from improved understanding of the conditions and our ability to read the symptoms, i.e. detect that people were crazy.

    If mental illness among slaves was based on whether or not they were capable of menial work with sufficient coercion, while mental illness among free Blacks was based on their capability to integrate into society as a citizen, there would definitely be different results.

    Along a similar vein, a significantly higher proportion of millennials and zoomers are coming out as LGBT+ because there is more tolerance for them. People trained that being gay is wrong (a sin or even a crime) are going to be reluctant to even admit to themselves they have associated attractions. It's a common experience in intolerant communities for gays, transgender persons (bisexuals and enbies) to even consider the possibility they're attracted to the same sex.

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

  6. identicon
    Bobvious, 19 Sep 2021 @ 3:00pm

    1840 slavery

    And a mere 180 years later, some of the morons who stormed the Capitol demonstrated that they would be more than willing to overturn the Emancipation Proclamation and return to the good old days.

    Fortunately, the Minneapolis Police have shown that they will provide a friendly guard of honour and free passage for BLM protests.

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

  7. icon
    sumgai (profile), 19 Sep 2021 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re:

    Women, man, women. They are on the warpath, and they'll get their way by simply saying "No" to the asshats who passed this turd of a law, and to all of the supporters of same.

    Aborting a child from a rape or incest may now be a crime (temporarily), but both are still crimes, even in Texas.

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

  8. identicon
    David, 19 Sep 2021 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So? If a woman dares to tell on a (possibly in-family) rapist, she loses any chance of getting an out-of-state abortion secretly without the whole town suing her for $10000 per asshole (including the rapist himself). There is no such thing as "double jeopardy" for civil suits since every plaintiff has the same "damages" from being forced to live in the same state as that woman.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2021 @ 6:10pm

    then the first thing that needs "a tune up" should be to make ignorance painful.

    We tried that. Unfortunately, the fix only made ignorance painful for everyone but the ignorant.
    -- the God Committee

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2021 @ 6:27pm

    Re:

    Exactly. No facts! Only opinions. Which are sacrosanct. And all equal. And there are only two possible opinions on any one thing.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2021 @ 7:21am

    Re: Higher rates of mental illness

    Just so you know, Bisexuals aren't a part of the transgender community. Bisexuals are people who like their gender and other genders. Maybe you were thinking of bigender or genderfluid?

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2021 @ 9:26am

    A bit of pedantry.
    The quote is not by Voltaire.
    One of his biographers summed up his attitude towards speech with that quote but Voltaire himself never said/wrote that.

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

  13. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Sep 2021 @ 11:23am

    Bisexuals aren't (necessarily) transgender.

    Yeah, I split my examples weirdly. Bisexuals part of the sexual orientation spectrum. Enbies (Non-binaries) are part of the transgender spectrum.

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

  14. icon
    ECA (profile), 20 Sep 2021 @ 12:13pm

    "supposedly-fiscally-conservative GOP"

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-gop-money/2021/03/27/fa413606-82a4-11eb-bb5a-ad9a91faa 4ef_story.html

    Trump helped the GOP raise $2 billion. Now former aides and allies are jockeying to tap into his fundraising power.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2021/07/31/trump-out-raised-other-republicans-on line-in-first-half-with-over-56-million/?sh=3f6ee65758d3

    Trump Out-Raised Other Republicans Online In First Half With Over $56 Million

    https://fortune.com/2021/08/10/trump-donations-2022-midterm-fundraising-democrats-vs-republi cans/

    Ignore Trump’s war chest: Democrats are soaring past Republicans in fundraising

    When I was young they told me, "never believe what you read int he news paper"(in the 1960's)
    Then it was, "Never believe what you hear in the news" (1970's)(loved 60 minutes).

    The Old news, there are Awards for NEWS Edward R. Murrow, is one of those awards.
    https://www.rtdna.org/content/2021_national_edward_r_murrow_award_winners
    See anything interesting this year? PBS/NPR

    Anyone heard of Walter Cronkite?

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

  15. icon
    ECA (profile), 20 Sep 2021 @ 12:17pm

    Re: "supposedly-fiscally-conservative GOP"

    Until the logic of it can hit the Most simple of people.
    "how much money do you need for a public office? Whose paying you?"

    We will not have a good government.
    Consider it a loan, and for the things You do for them, they take a portion off of the loan.

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


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.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • 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.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Advertisment

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Loading...
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.