from the performance-art? dept
Kurt Schaake of Lawrence, Kansas, appears to have filed the Dishwasher User Instruction manual for a Whirlpool dishwasher as his comment.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jul 18th 2014 2:21pm
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jul 15th 2014 10:04am
Thu, Jul 10th 2014 8:36pm
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jun 24th 2014 12:16pm
by Tim Cushing
Mon, Jun 23rd 2014 10:05am
Not necessarily a sign of widespread social media surveillance, but you still have to wonder how the state of Delaware's Attorney General's office managed to come across a comment referring to some St. Patrick's Day-related NSFWing, much less pursue one unlucky commenter who made a joke about one of the participants being his "sister."
Here's a link to the photo which kicked off the unlikely chain of events. It depicts two green-clad people, presumably of consenting age, expressing their love in a physical manner. Needless to say, probably, very definitely NSFW.
Redditor un1cornbl00d received notice from Reddit that the Delaware DOJ had served a subpoena demanding the platform turn over his personal information, along with "all posts, responses and their content" related to the original submission. (Found here, with comments now deleted).
*DO NOT NOTIFY CUSTOMER*Well, if you seriously believe an investigation might be "impeded" or "obstructed," you might want to put with more legal weight than a caps lock key behind it. Most court orders don't say "please," and most court orders point out the legal reasons for the demand. This subpoena tries to demand compliance with shouty typing.
PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE OR NOTIFY THE USER OF THE ISSUANCE OF THIS SUBPOENA.
DISCLOSURE TO THE USER COULD IMPEDE AN INVESTIGATION OR OBSTRUCT JUSTICE.
*SUBSCRIBER IS NOT TO BE NOTIFIED OR MADE AWARE OF THIS INVESTIGATION*Seeing as the subpoena was posted by the page being investigated, Facebook also has little respect for slightly larger letters with no legal weight behind them.
[T]he police are investigating the pair on suspicion of lewd conduct. A Newark Police spokesman said the couple was "engaging in sexual intercourse in public in plain view of numerous passersby."Why the hell the state is so interested in punishing people for consensual acts performed in the past is beyond me, other than that pervasive belief that the word "justice" means no one getting away with anything ever. I would think whatever nearly-nonexistent tarnishing of state pride would pale in comparison to the state now being viewed as overreaching busybodies after sending subpoenas to track down an internet commenter and targeting people engaged in First Amendment activities. The latter subpoena is vastly more concerning, as it shows the state attempting to sniff out people with anti-government sentiments. Sure, the page may contain the word "riot," but the full title of the group is "Peaceful Rioters For Wilmington, Delaware."
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jun 17th 2014 12:08pm
I am contacting you in regards to the comments in the above URL by Bill Silverstein (#6, #31) and Mike Masnick's quote (#26). The comments refer to a lawsuit which has been settled with Mr Silverstein. Part of the settlement offer, the Platiniff (Bill Silverstein) is supposed to remove all information about the lawsuit. Having the fault infromation and false claims listed on your site is causing great deal of reputational problFirst off, we have no way of confirming if the settlement happened or if that's in the settlement if it did. He provides no further information, case name, or anything. As far as I can tell, there is this lawsuit, which the defendants removed from California state courts to the federal court, but which was quickly sent back to the state courts, where it's much trickier to track down the records. And, either way, it shouldn't matter.
"8. Silverstein to Remove Materials from Websites and Refrain from Future Publication. Within ten (10) calendar days of the confirmation that all payments have been completed, Silverstein shall remove from the Websites and all other media under his control and/or ownership, any reference to the Lawsuit, the Dev8 Defendants and/or Affiliated Entities, including but not limited to any personally identifying information regarding the Dev8 Defendants and/or Affiliated Entities. As of the Effective Date, Silverstein agrees not to publish or cause to be published, in any form of media heretofore known and/or subsequently invented, devised, or discovered any reference to the Lawsuit, the Dev8 Defendants and/or Affiliated Entities, including but not limited to any personally identifying information regarding the Dev8 Defendants and/or Affiliated Entities. Silverstein acknowledges that should he violate this Section it shall constitute a material breach of this Agreement. He further acknowledges and agrees that it will be difficult to determine the resulting damages to the Dev8 Defendants and/or Affiliated Entities, and, in addition to any other remedies the Dev8 Defendants and/or Affiliated Entities may have, they shall be entitled to temporary injunctive relief without being required to post a bond and to permanent injunctive relief without the necessity of proving actual damage. The Dev8 Defendants’ and/or Affiliated Entities’ failure to seek any or all remedies with respect to any given breach of this Section does not restrict them from seeking any remedies with respect to any other breach, and shall not constitute a waiver of rights."
Furthermore, as a resident of the European Union and per the above Settlement order, I am asking in reference to "European Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46EC)" aka Right to be Forgotten, to have the aforementioned comments and/or quoted replies removed from your site.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jun 3rd 2014 3:34am
We’ve been experiencing technical difficulties with our comment system due to heavy traffic. We’re working to resolve these issues quickly.— The FCC (@FCC) June 2, 2014
We’re still experiencing technical difficulties with our comment system. Thanks for your patience as we work to resolve the issues.— The FCC (@FCC) June 2, 2014
.@FCC can I haz priority access?— Falk Steiner (@flueke) June 2, 2014
@FCC Don't worry. If you pay $8M more to Comcast you might get a better connection. They might even throw in a $4M/m server lease agreement.— Richard Risner (@Kowder) June 2, 2014
@FCC Maybe because you servers are running on the "slow lane" internet? Since when do you read comments that dont include cash bribes?— Mark Rodgers ツ (@KC8GRQ) June 2, 2014
by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 28th 2014 7:39am
In addressing this question, the Court first examined the context of the comments. Although the Court acknowledged that the news article itself was balanced and addressed a matter of public interest, it considered that Delfi “could have realised that it might cause negative reactions against the shipping company and its managers”. It also considered that there was “a higher-than-average risk that the negative comments could go beyond the boundaries of acceptable criticism and reach the level of gratuitous insult or hate speech.” Accordingly, the Court concluded that Delfi should have exercised particular caution in order to avoid liability.Even more troubling for those of us who believe in the importance and value of unregistered and anonymous commenting, the court found those features to be particularly problematic:
Next, the Court examined the steps taken by Delfi to deal with readers’ comments. In particular, the Court noted that Delfi had put in place a notice-and-takedown system and an automatic filter based on certain ‘vulgar’ words. The Court concluded that the filter, in particular, was “insufficient for preventing harm being cause to third parties’. Although the notice-and-takedown system was easy to use - it did not require anything more than clicking on a reporting button – and the comments had been removed immediately notice had been received, the comments had been accessible to the public for six weeks.
The Court considered that the applicant company “was in a position to know about an article to be published, to predict the nature of the possible comments prompted by it and, above all, to take technical or manual measures to prevent defamatory statements from being made public”.
By allowing comments to be made by non-registered users, Delfi had assumed a certain responsibility for them. The Court further noted that “the spread of the Internet and the possibility – or for some purposes the danger – that information once made public will remain public and circulate forever, calls for caution”. In the Court’s view, it was a daunting task at the best of times – including for the applicant - to identify and remove defamatory comments. It would be even more onerous for a potentially injured person, “who would be less likely to possess resources for continual monitoring of the Internet”.The reason that we're bringing this up now is because plenty of folks, quite rightly, freaked out about this ruling, and asked the European Court of Human Rights to reconsider. And that's now going to happen in early July. The Financial Times has a long and quite interesting look at the case and related issues, including a discussion at the beginning about the nature of online comments. For many years we've talked up the value of anonymous comments and how wonderful they've been for our community here. We've always taken an exceptionally light touch to moderation, allowing anyone to comment, and just trying to weed out the spam. And it's worked well for us. A ruling like the one above doesn't directly impact us, seeing as we're an American company with all our servers here, but it's immensely troubling in general and could create widespread chilling effects on any site that relies on user generated content. But it goes beyond that:
For Eric Barendt, Goodman Professor of Media Law at University College London from 1990 until 2010, the ruling doesn’t adequately balance freedom of speech against an individual’s right to protect his or her reputation. “I wouldn’t stick my neck out to say the ECtHR’s judgment was ridiculous,” he tells me, “but I know many people who would. How bizarre that this case could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”On July 9th, the Court will reconsider its original ruling, and for the sake of free speech online, we hope it reverses its earlier ruling. Between this and the recent right to be forgotten ruling in the EU Court of Justice, Europe is quickly becoming a dangerous free speech nightmare. While these rulings may have the best of intentions, the wider impact of both can do an astounding job in stifling public participation and comment.
The judgment will not only affect whistleblowers, says Aidan Eardley, a London-based barrister specialising in data protection and media-related human rights law. “It’s also bad news for people who want to comment about sensitive personal issues such as domestic abuse, sexual identity, religious persecution, etc.”
As Sarah Laitner, the FT’s communities editor, says: “It’s important to remove any hurdles a reader may face to participation. Some people feel that they are able to comment more freely if they can use a pseudonym.”
by Glyn Moody
Tue, Apr 1st 2014 4:08pm
One of the defining characteristics of online journalism is the possibility for readers to respond immediately, and to debate with each other in the comments -- something that was much harder and slower in pre-digital days. Generally, that has been regarded as welcome, since it means that authors can engage more easily with their readers, and the latter become active participants rather than simply passive recipients.
However, some research in the field of science journalism suggests that there might be a serious downside to this ability of the readers to express their views freely:
about 2,000 people were asked to read a balanced news report about nanotechnology followed by a group of invented comments. All saw the same report but some read a group of comments that were uncivil, including name-calling. Others saw more civil comments.
Although the research was about science articles, it would be reasonable to assume a similar effect occurs for most kinds of online journalism, with "uncivil" comments leading to skewed perceptions of the matter being discussed. Good thing Techdirt readers never resort to name calling...
"Disturbingly, readers' interpretations of potential risks associated with the technology described in the news article differed significantly depending only on the tone of the manipulated reader comments posted with the story," wrote authors Dominique Brossard and Dietram A. Scheufele.
"In other words, just the tone of the comments . . . can significantly alter how audiences think about the technology itself."
by Karl Bode
Mon, Mar 10th 2014 2:19pm
"Can mods give clarification on how we're to discuss this? Normally adblock threads are instantly closed with participants warned and if there's to even be a comments section for this video they'll have to be some sort of exception."On page six, Escapist staff member "Kross" tries to explain the website's thinking on banning the very mention of an incredibly common Internet tool:
"...in order to save our very overworked moderators from having to deal with constant sophistry on what does or does not constitute discussion, we've added the line that says don't talk about it at all. Very little of use was lost (people on a non-advertising forum that isn't read by anyone who makes such decisions can no longer talk about a topic that only causes more work for moderators), but threads like this can open the discussion in a more controlled manner."I've moderated a significantly larger Internet forum (DSLReports.com) driven almost solely by ads for almost fifteen years now. I can't even imagine the epic shitstorm we would face if I started blaming our users for failures in our business model, then started banning everyone who talked about a common technology I just happened to dislike. I do know such a position would be an utterly ingenious way to drive our userbase away. Kross proceeds to explain to users that life as an Internet website is hard, effectively admitting that massive annoying ads tend to show up more on the website because they pay so much:
"AS FAR AS OBNOXIOUS ADS are concerned, they come from two directions. One is from an advertiser saying "hey we know this is obnoxious, but we'll pay you SEVERAL TIMES MORE per view for this because it is so obnoxious. The other is from "filler ads" that bring in a whole network. When we can't run targeted ads (due to nobody wanting to buy that space or not being selected for the ad lottery that month and getting no real ads) we run filler ads, which are a network that we tell "give us X categories of ads". These networks allow us to retro-actively block certain ads, but we mostly rely on them to block "bad" ads from getting through."Obviously it's the Escapist's forum and it's certainly their prerogative to do anything they see fit, including banning the discussion of waffles, aardvarks, acrylic painting and recombination gene technology. Still, I don't see the logic in being this adversarial with your userbase, then expecting it to help drive up site revenues when you're the one fracturing and annoying the community with horrible ad choices and bans (hyperbole + blame + censorship surely = profit!). If it's your obnoxious ad choices that are driving users to Adblock in the first place, then fix your obnoxious ad choices. That's not on users, it's on you. Don't beat your users about the head and face with censorship and public shaming because you can't adapt to a new market reality you just happen to dislike.
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