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Posted on Techdirt Podcast - 17 September 2019 @ 1:30pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 225: Does Dynamic Pricing Deserve The Hate?

from the market-questions dept

"Dynamic pricing" is an idea that sounds efficient and effective in economic theory, but often collapses under the weight of customer anger when put into practice. But while that is true of some of the most egregious approaches, other forms of dynamic pricing are ubiquitous and largely accepted — in part because of how the systems work, and in part because of how they present themselves to customers. This week, we're joined by Perfect Price CEO Alex Shartsis to discuss the many facets of dynamic pricing, and whether it deserves the hate it gets.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 15 September 2019 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the 'twas-written dept

Our first place winner on the insightful side this week is That One Guy with a response to our post about the Houston police officer who is facing felony murder charges over a botched raid:

'What do you mean it didn't work this time?!'

Gerald Goines, the ex-Houston police officer who led the controversial no-knock raid on Harding Street, has been charged with two counts of felony murder, as KHOU 11 Investigates reporter Jeremy Rogalski first reported.

His attorney, Nicole DeBorde, said Goines was surprised by the charges.

Given how often a badge acts as a 'get out of personal responsibility'-free card for actions up to and including murder I bet they were surprised that they were actually facing potential consequences for their actions. Now, if the jury/judge will follow through and rightly nail them to the wall for killing two people that'll make things all the better.

However, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo believes it's not a department wide problem.

"We've been looking at a lot of cases and we have yet to see it again, any evidence of any systemic issues," Acevedo said.

The only way I could see that possibly being true is if they are looking at literal cases, since last I checked most containers are lacking in the intelligence to commit crimes.

You do not get two cops falsifying reports based upon bogus reports by fictitious informants and supported by drugs that were pulled from a cop's car unless things are really rotten and they are very sure that they'll get away with it. If they were willing to do something that brazen it is almost literally impossible to believe that the rest of the department is squeaky clean, especially given what outside investigators have found and the fact that the department has had to be threatened with legal action to release information relating to the killer and his partner.

Given all that as the article notes if he's not finding anything he's not actually looking.

In second place, we've got Anonymous Anonymous Coward with some thoughts on the nature of property:

Yet another analogy...

I see property, and by that I mean real property (not limited to real estate) as having form, substance, and possibly function. Real property can be damaged by natural events such as hurricanes, fire, flood, hail, tornadoes, lightning, etc... Your copy of a book, sheet music, recording would be real property, the concepts expressed in those are not.

On the other hand, imaginary property cannot be damaged by natural events, like the song 'borrowed (I thought 'stolen' as a bit strong) by Wilma above', there was no actual loss to Betty, with the possible exception of attribution. The song itself is a bit ethereal, as it floats through the air, or even if it is written down or recorded. That is until we get to the monetization of imaginary property, which has since lead us to control, which then lead us to excessive control, and the mischaracterization of imaginary property as real property.

It is the monetization that brings us to the over protection, and lengthening protections, and rabid control, and the spread of such protections worldwide for the benefit of corporations rather than creators of imaginary property. The concept of having an idea and then living off it forever, or even getting rich off it is anathema to the original conception of imaginary property, at least in the United States...

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

Which only allows Congress to do something about imaginary property, but does not require it to do so.

I like the reforms mentioned in the article above, but would add some. Imaginary property cannot be transferred from the creator, but may be licensed, loaned, or contracted to another entity for some limited times for some consideration. By limited times we should look to the copyright clause that is in the Constitution and quoted above for guidance. If the purpose is truly to promote creativity, then any protection dies with the creator, and not just limitations created by law, which should also be short enough to encourage creators to continue creating.

For example the original 14 years for copyright (too long in my mind, seven would be better) with a purchased extension for another 14 (or7) years if it is considered economically feasible.

And for patents, the current ten year limit is OK, but new patents should not be issued for small tweaks to existing patents creating the concept of 'evergreening'. If a new idea is added to an existing patent, and that idea is worth it, it should be able to stand on its own without the underlying patent and be patentable by itself. Nor should patents be issued to anyone that is not in the process of bringing a product to market, and if, within a reasonable time, no product is produced the patent expires. The fact of not being able to transfer a patent should also help with the non-practicing entities (those without a product asserting imaginary patent rights).

These ideas should be taken into consideration along with those reforms mentioned in the article, and no, I am not claiming any imaginary rights to these ideas.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with bhull242 responding to the oft-repeated claim about gun violence that the solution lies in targeting the "few" mentally ill people:

“Few”? Those with diagnosed mental problems may be a minority, but they’re not that rare. Pretty much everyone in America has personally encountered someone with a mental illness.

Plus, there’s the question of where making 2A rights reasonable conflicts with 4A rights.

Also, please define “people who are known mentally unstable [sic]”. Not all mental illnesses are connected to violent behavior at all.

Then there’s the fact that statistics show that there is no significant correlation between mental illness and either gun violence in general or mass shootings specifically. One could argue that, by definition, anyone willing to kill a bunch of people must be mentally ill, but even setting aside that that would make every soldier who has been in active combat mentally ill, that doesn’t make them diagnosibly mentally ill, and it’s an entirely ad hoc definition which cannot be used to diagnose someone with a mental illness before a mass shooting, which makes it effectively worthless in this debate.

Finally, show me where Techdirt writers, specifically (not commenters), have been for “denying 2A rights for millions”. I’ve seen them questioning the scope and limitations of the 2A, recognizing the consequences that result, and being highly critical of many of the talking points used by pro-2A advocates—like blaming mental health issues, movies, and/or video games while completely ignoring any attempts at putting reasonable restrictions on gun ownership, like ammo limits, restrictions on the types of firearms permitted, better data on shooting incidents and who is restricted from possessing a firearm that are readily available to anyone who sells firearms or works for the government, restrictions on private sales, or banning certain accessories that make a firearm more deadly to larger numbers of people—whenever a mass shooting or talk of gun control pops up. I fail to see how any of that is denying 2A rights to anyone without reasonable due process.

It is possible to have a country with democracy, violent movies, violent video games, mentally ill people, and private gun ownership without mass shootings occurring multiple times a year. At least one developed nation does. We should look towards other developed nations that don’t have so many mass shootings but are considered democratic for ideas to fix our gun-violence problem. Not every idea is good, nor will every idea work here, but it’s worth looking into.

Next, we've got an anonymous comment about Australia's efforts to censor all footage of the Christchurch shooting:

Remember when we jeered at China

... over censoring anything related to Tianeman Square and the protests there some 30 years ago? How it was akin to "harmful sensation", "just letting people view this harms our society"?

It's taken 30 years, but Australia has finally stepped up to the challenge. Well done, Free World. Well done.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is Toom1275 commenting on a post that sparked a lot of debate:

Where's the button to flag the article for trolling?

In second place, it's blademan9999 taking note of the rather broad language in a college's rules restricting students' freedom of expression:

"Any student parade, serenade, demonstration, rally, and/or other meeting or gathering for any purpose "

So if I'm understanding this right, you need 3 days notice to do things like go on a date, return a borrowed item or help someone else study, WTF!

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start with David neatly noting perhaps the most absurd result of Mississippi's rules about labeling vegan and vegetarian food:

So to make this clear:

With the previous law in action, you were only allowed to call something a "veggie burger" if it contained beef. Because of consumer confusion.

And finally, we've got a handy anonymous one-liner in response to the Federal Courts computer system losing months of job applications in a power outage:

nothing like having a good back up system and this is nothing like having a good back up system!

That's all for this week, folks!

15 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 14 September 2019 @ 12:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: September 8th - 14th

from the stifled dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, popular websites across the web participated in Internet Slowdown Day to demand net neutrality from the FCC — driving 1,000 calls per minute to Congress at some points, for a total of 300,000 calls plus 2-million emails and 700,000 FCC comments. It also spurred the big cable companies to waste their money on ads misleadingly pretending to support net neutrality themselves.

Also this week in 2014, a court ruling gave a big win for fair use and against "hot news", one cab company was extra-angry about Uber and labeled it a cyber-terrorist group, and newly released memos justifying warrantless wiretapping showed crazy levels of executive branch authority.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, Hollywood was continuing its zealous war against Redbox by fearmongering about kids renting R-rated movies, the recording industry in Japan was working with the government on a plan to disable phones that are used to listen to pirated music, yet another DVD release of a classic TV show had to replace its music with new generic stuff due to licensing headaches, some ridiculous exaggeration was exposed in the UK's oft-repeated figure of 7-million file sharers, we got a look at the RIAA's copyright propaganda for schools, and there was yet another attempt to turn content into physical property with universal DRM. After all this, it was nice to read a judge eloquently explaining why copyright is not property... all the way back in 1773.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, the war against spam continued as WiFi spammers got caught and a major spam ISP finally kicked off 148 spammers — but so did the counterattacks, with a lawsuit against the spam blacklist headed to court and everyone bracing for the incoming deluge of election spam, though there was hope that might not be as bad as expected. One strategy that definitely didn't make sense was combating spam by turning email into a walled garden.

Meanwhile, a university was trying to ban independent wifi networks with questionable authority, congress was moving forward with a draconian plan to criminalize file-sharing, and we saw the terrible appeals court ruling in Bridgeport v. Dimension that eliminated the de minimis defense for music sampling (even when the sample is completely unrecognizable) and issued the absurd edict "Get a license or do not sample. We do not see this as stifling creativity in any significant way."

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Posted on Techdirt Podcast - 10 September 2019 @ 1:55pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 224: Trying To Be Optimistic About The Internet

from the and-sometimes-succeeding dept

The future of the internet is... uncertain. We've always been optimistic about what technology and innovation can achieve, and that hasn't changed, but right now it often feels like we're facing more new challenges and more reactions to them (including dangerous ones) than ever, and pessimism about the internet seems to be at an all-time high. This week we're joined by EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn, who recently wrote an essay (pdf link) about internet pioneer John Perry Barlow and how his famous tech optimism was more complex — and more aware of challenges — than it is often portrayed, to discuss a positive future for the internet, and how we get there.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 8 September 2019 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the it-was-written dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is an anonymous commenter offering a simple opinion on the government's actions to prevent mass shootings:

But if refuses to tackle the deep social problems created by a few people owning most of the resources, which is a deep reason for those event, even if the criminal blames the wrong parties for the problems in society.

In second place, we've got Stephen T. Stone with a long response to the argument that it's wrong to call the detention facilities on the southern border "concentration camps":

The first Nazi concentration camps, which were technically defined as contained areas in which people whom the Nazis considered “undesirables” (e.g., refugees, persecuted minorities, political prisoners) were held and either forced to work or wait to be executed, were established in 1933. (The official beginning of the slaughter we know as the Holocaust, marked by the Wansee Conference, happened in 1942.) Conditions for camp detainees included the separation of families, the removal children from their parents, and inadequate food and shelter for many (if not all) detainees.

I wonder why, then, that the American detention centers for immigrants and refugees where families have been separated and numerous detainees have reported inadequate living conditions have drawn comparisons to the concentration camps used by the Nazis.

"There are no similarities between the detention centers and/or the act of detaining individuals who enter the country illegally and the concentration camps (death camps) of Nazi Germany."

The death camps started as concentration camps. They weren’t the beginning of the process — they were the end result.

"your 'due process' comment is misplaced because those people in ICE detention centers are awaiting a hearing by an immigration judge. The problem is that those are overworked because supply is lower than demand for them."

Which means that they’re being held indefinitely without due process. If the Trump administration refuses to staff the immigration system with lawyers and judges, that is the administration’s issue; the people in those camps shouldn’t suffer for the administration’s refusal to give a shit.

"If [your assertion that the administration is racist/white supremacist] is true, why would illegal immigrants flock there massively?"

The administration may be…well, is racist, but that doesn’t make the whole country racist. It also doesn’t mean the opportunities people seek in the United States, and the American ideals of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, are racist. People come here seeking a better life. If they seek it legally, who are we to deny the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to be free?

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start with a comment from That One Guy about the EU copyright industries' attempt to demonize internet companies further, and especially the complaint that they care more about profit than freedom of speech:

'Unless it's OUR profits of course...'

Not OK, that profits are more important than freedom of speech and the press.

Which of course is why they fought tooth and nail against copyright filters being required, as such filters will have a serious impact on massive amounts of free speech(including reporting) thanks to filters having a terrible track record and pesky things like 'fair use' being attacked left and right such that it's much safer for sites to take down content if it even might be infringing.

No? They did the exact opposite of that, pushing a law that would require filters on sites large and small? I guess the profits of some groups are considered to be 'more important than freedom of speech and the press'.

Next, it's a similar point from an anonymous commenter about who has really benefited speech the most:

Funny, but the Internet giants are doing much more to enable people to get the words published and found, and make money from their efforts, than the legacy industry. The legacy industry are very much in the game of deciding winners and losers, and keeping as much of the income generated by the winners to themselves as they can.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is Bloof with, of course, a well-deserved jab at Bret Stephens:

He's right you know, history is littered with totalitarian regimes that began with obscure college professors saying mean things about newspaper opinion writers.

It's like the famed poem says:

'First they said mean things about the opinion columnists, and I did not speak out because I don't have the NYT to use as a platform for my personal grievances...'

In second place, it's Thad doing the duty of brushing off an obvious troll in the comments:

When I want an accurate assessment of who is or isn't contributing to white nationalism, I'm definitely interested in hearing from a guy named BTWDeportThemAll.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with Rekrul, who was inspired by our story about DMCA agent registration with an illustration of infuriating password systems:

Please enter a password: pyramid

[Error: Password must be at least 10 characters in length]

Please enter a password: mypyramids

[Error: Password must contain at least one upper case letter]

Please enter a password: Mypyramids

[Error: Password must contain at least one number]

Please enter a password: Mypyramids2

[Error: Password must contain at least one non-letter/number character]

Please enter a password: GiveMeAF*ckingBreak!

[Password accepted!]

And finally, since this absurd story is hopefully not going to escalate further, it's only fitting that we end with one more (anonymous) response to Bret Stephens:

As the spokesbug for the International Society of Bedbugs I have been charged to say that Brett Stephens has been blacklisted as a source of food worldwide. Even we have standards and are offended.

That's all for this week, folks!

7 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 7 September 2019 @ 1:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: September 1st - 7th

from the back-then dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, police in the UK were threatening domain registrars and abusing anti-terror laws to snoop on journalists (while keeping mum about just how often they do so), while the Culture Secretary was demanding that search engines magically stop piracy. Artist deadmau5 was embroiled in two crazy IP battles — one in which Ferarri was trying to block the sale of his decorated car, and another in which Disney was trying to block his attempt to trademark his logo (even as he discovered the company had been pirating his music). In Australia, a movie studio was comparing piracy to pedophilia and terrorism while ISPs were getting sued for wanting court orders before blocking websites. And the IFPI issued an especially bogus takedown notice demanding Kim Dotcom take his own album down from his own website.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, the Canadian recording industry was mobilizing in Toronto to push bad copyright ideas, the especially bad idea of a music tax was rearing its head yet again, Hollywood was making another attempt to start using selectable output control to block DVRs, and the UK IP Minister was defending kicking people off the internet. Both the new USPTO head and the Commerce Secretary were calling for more patents, approved faster — I guess like the insane one they granted saying that you can patent the idea of using precisely three knowledge bases to diagnose medical diagnostic decisions — while we got another example of the US's pressure on China to adopt a patent system turning around and biting it. But one of the worst ideas came from Microsoft's patent boss, who was calling for globalization of the patent system.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, outgoing MPAA boss Jack Valenti was continuing to misunderstand and misrepresent the digital word right up to the wire of retirement, while his incoming replacement Dan Glickman got off to a worrying start with a speech praising and defending Valenti's words and the export of the DMCA to Australia. Over at the RIAA, Mitch Glazier was still pushing the "sue everyone" angle, the INDUCE Act got a mostly-cosmetic update, and the downloadable music store market was still a mess. We did get one very important ruling though, with the Court of Appeals upholding the decision that it's not a DMCA violation to create third-party garage door openers, though the precedent it set was murky and not as clear-cut as one might have hoped.

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Posted on Techdirt Podcast - 4 September 2019 @ 1:30pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 223: Bedbugs & Beyond, With David Karpf

from the what-a-week dept

By now, you likely all know the story of David Karpf's mild "bedbugs" joke that drew the personal, professional and journalistic ire of the New York Times' Bret Stephens. As it turned out, Karpf — a professor with expertise in media and political communication — was more than capable of responding to Stephens and talking about what was happening in a variety of media outlets, with far more insight than the Pulitzer-winning columnist himself, turning what started as a very silly incident into an exploration of very serious topics. So this week, David Karpf joins us on the podcast to talk about his experience, and what we can all learn from it.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 1 September 2019 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the yakkety-yak dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is That One Guy summing up the awfulness of the government's approach to Backpage:

Key word there: 'Was'

"In effect, everything the company did to enhance protection and legality was twisted into evidence of criminality and moral failure. And, for years, folks have promoted these topsy-turvy explanations."

Bend over backwards and go out of their way to help catch and stop sex traffickers? Thrown to the wolves, prevented from being able to present the evidence of that effort in court because it undermines the prosecutors(seriously, could the judges and prosecutors be any more blatantly corrupt, given they are ordering the destruction of exculpatory evidence?)...

Between FOSTA tying knowing something's going on with liability for it, and Backpage having their own actions used against them good luck getting any site to so much as talk with investigators, and as for sites proactively calling them up to report something a moderator or owner of a site would have to be insane to even try, so that's off the table.

Yet more evidence it would seem that for all the claims about how evil Backpage was and how necessary FOSTA was to 'protect the victims of sex trafficking', it was if anything helping no-one but those engaged in sex trafficking, helping them keep their actions hidden and away from the eyes of those that would stop them.

In second place, we've got a comment from bhull242 responding to our post about Bret Stephens' hypocritical response to a mild joke on Twitter. Of course as many of you probably know, said response has gotten even more insane since then, and we've got a post on Stephens' latest column coming this week, but in the mean time:

The most surprising thing about this…

…isn’t that he took offense, or that he is a free-speech hypocrite, or that this backfired horribly, or that he doubled down, or that he decided to shut down his Twitter account.

It’s the fact that, of all the tweets to be offended over, this was the one he couldn’t take? Seriously? It was a minor insult that few people saw, few people Liked, no one retweeted, and hadn’t been directly sent to him. And it’s not like he was following the guy who posted it. It had to take some effort to find the thing. And why was this so offensive? Knowing Twitter, there had to be better insults than that to get worked up about.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we've got a pair of comments responding to Josh Hawley's latest attack on technology, and his claims that there's no real innovation anymore compared to the feats of the 20th century. First, it's Michael pushing back on the specific claim that cities haven't changed in 50 years:

I'm not sure where this guy lives, but I barely recognize the town I grew up in. It's completely different. Solar panels and energy efficient materials and designs have our cities looking completely different.

How does anyone take this guy seriously?

Next, we've got an incisive point from Thad that will serve as a test of just how much this Republican truly cares about cutting-edge science and technology:

Let's see how long it takes Hawley to vote to cut NASA funding.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner comes from our post offering some praise to the FCC for making a good (if small) decision to give suicide prevention hotlines a three-digit emergency phone number. But it's hard to praise the FCC without wanting to take a swipe at them too, and DannyB was quick to oblige:

How about a 3 digit number to contact the FCC ?

I propose the new FCC number be 666.

For second place, we head back to last week's comments post, where one commenter asked why the order of the Funniest and Most Insightful categories in the post is the oppose of the order in the title, and an anonymous responder had the answer:

To make you shiver with antici...


(The real answer is: I dunno, and I was hoping nobody would ask. But if you think about it, the title would be a syntactic disaster if the terms were switched, while the flow of the post seems generally superior with the funny stuff coming second.)

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with one more response to Josh Hawley, this time from Bloof:

Hawley is right, they should do everything like companies in his state, that hotbed of innovation, Missouri. They could switch to producing soybeans as it's going great for the state of Missouri under republican policies.

And finally, we've got Anonymous Anonymous Coward responding to the company that is suing the Black Hat conference after its pricey sponsorship didn't prevent its product from being mocked:

Just what did BlackHat sell for $115,000.00?

?What do you mean we can't buy respect and dignity?

That's all for this week, folks!

10 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 31 August 2019 @ 12:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: August 25th - 31st

from the where-were-you-when... dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, as the events in Ferguson prompted us to continue scrutinizing the police, we looked at how a federal law ordering the Attorney General to gather data on police use of force had been ignored for 20 years. President Obama ordered a review of the military gear given to police departments, but it didn't sound like it was going to result in any corrective action, even as we learned that cops were getting so much equipment that they were losing track of everything from rifles to Humvees. Some cops were facing felony charges for using government databases to screen potential dates, but when it comes to use of excessive force, the judicial system was a clear enabler.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, a Swedish court got The Pirate Bay taken down by ordering one of its main ISPs to stop serving it, while the judge in the IsoHunt case surprised the MPAA by noting that it actually needed to prove infringement by US residents, and the DOJ — fresh off the appointment of a bunch of top entertainment industry lawyers — announced more funding and a new focus on intellectual property enforcement. Music publishers really kicked their war against lyric websites into high gear, we saw some evidence that copyright holders might be seeding torrents of their own files to find and sue downloaders, and we featured an interview with William Patry about how the copyright debate got so twisted.

But the real moment in Techdirt history this week in 2009 was that... we got hacked. Thankfully, the damage wasn't too severe.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, there was some suggestion that the Justice Department actually wasn't so keen on doing Hollywood's dirty work, though we know now how that ultimately played out. Indeed, the very same week, despite rumblings that the feds were going to announce a major crackdown on spammers, they ended up being more interested in going after file sharers and pirated software, followed by an attempt to make a big splash with a more general anti-cybercrime sweep that was basically just a press release.

Also this week in 2004: our criticism of a journalist for misunderstanding Wikipedia turned into a bit of an ongoing debate, some people began wondering if the war on spam would fuel major AI advancements, and rumors re-emerged about the possibility of a Google browser.

2 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt Podcast - 27 August 2019 @ 1:30pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 222: Bringing Back The Internet's True Promise

from the restoring-what-was dept

We've talked a lot about how many of the controversial, challenging problems that exist online could be addressed by refocusing on making the internet what it was always supposed to be: a network of open protocols, not a cluster of walled gardens. Mike's recent paper on the subject lays out the reasons in detail, and on this week's episode of the podcast we're joined by one of the people working towards that goal: Anil Dash, whose Glitch community aims to bring development back to the masses.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 25 August 2019 @ 1:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the so-i-heard dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is James Burkhardt with a response to a common conspiracy theory about election fraud:

The number, 5,000 voters, is the number of same day voter registrations filed. That much is well documented. However, no evidence has been submitted to prove that all of these registrations were Clinton voters. Given that NC considers out of state College students eligible for voting, thousands of 18 year-olds could have easily moved to NC 2 months earlier and not registered to vote because they did not get a NC ID. Since lots of the "evidence" relates to these people not having NC DL/ID, a lot of the evidence that does exist doesn't actually prove voter fraud, but rather that the republican-instituted voter registration policies are operating as intended.

Despite repeated calls and promises of an investigation, there has been no evidence presented that any significant amount of these registrations were fake. No evidence was found or presented of bussing or other widespread voter fraud.

In second place, we've got Thad doing the perennial duty of smacking down a certain terrible source:

If your primary source for a claim is Project Veritas, it's a good sign that your claim is bullshit. The National Enquirer has a better track record.

I wouldn't believe James O'Keefe if he told me it was sunny and hot outside. And I live in Phoenix.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with wshuff proposing a translation of David Boies' hypocrisy about the free press:

What Boies is saying is that it's a travesty some firm other than his own was paid to kill stories.

Next, we've got an anonymous response to the proposal that it would be better to ignore senators like Josh Hawley when they say crazy things:

I disagree. Lest you forget, these senators have been given the power to create legislation that can and will affect every American citizen, most of whom, not living in Missouri, never even voted for him.

So I am very much for pointing out each and every time an idiot congress person makes an idiotic statement as it brings that much more attention to the fact that we have idiots running our government and they should be voted out.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is ryuugami with an excellent response to Ohio State University's attempt to trademark "THE":

What [censored] fuck.

In second place, we've got a little ditty from Stephen T. Stone about Gizmodo's new owners telling reporters they can't use encrypted email:

They can check out any time they like, but their emails can never leave.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with a clever anonymous quip in response to our first place insightful winner:

I dearly hope that your college student theory is true, because then it means that Trump could say: "And I would have won the election too if not for those meddling kids!"

And finally, we've got a response from Beefcake to David Boies which surely nobody could be expected to resist:

Oh well, you know what they say

Boies will be Boies.

That's all for this week, folks!

4 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 24 August 2019 @ 12:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: August 18th - 24th

from the yesterdays dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, all eyes were on the protests in Ferguson, Missouri where police were threatening and arresting reporters even after, it turned out, they signed a court agreement promising not to. It was a stark example of the broader problem of police militarization, a trend promoted by defense contractors thanks to which police in the suburbs sometimes have more powerful weapons than Marines in Afghanistan, and of course the routine use of tear gas which is a banned chemical weapon except for domestic use thanks to... an exception lobbied for by the US.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, we wondered if there could be any such thing as a fair trial about file sharing given the proliferation and normalization of biased language about "piracy" and "property". Courts were busy insanely slicing and dicing the Superman copyright, the IFPI was insisting that the Pirate Party shouldn't be allowed to hold the positions it does, music publishers were waging their war against lyrics websites, the Associated Press was still utterly failing to explain its plan to DRM the news, and we saw the kickoff of a new copyright maximalist push in the UK after Lord Peter Mandelson spent the weekend with David Geffen. We also took a look at a murky and possibly-apocryphal, but nevertheless interesting, story about what might have been the first-ever copyright trial in 6th century Ireland.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, after all the hype, the Google IPO... was delayed by the SEC. Then the company admitted it had been a bit overly optimistic by lowering the IPO range and cutting the number of shares, before finally actually going public and only hitting the bottom price of the reduced range.

Also this week in 2004: music labels were continuing to bet the farm on ringtones being more than a trend, Real was hoping its battle with Apple would spark some good customer responses but apparently forgot it still wasn't a super-popular company, and an appeals court upheld the all-important Grokster decision.

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Posted on Techdirt Podcast - 20 August 2019 @ 1:30pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 221: What's Really In The FTC's Facebook Settlement, Part Two

from the digging-further dept

Last week, we featured part one of our discussion with lawyer Joshua de Larios-Heiman, about the details of the FCC's Facebook settlement, beyond the headline-grabbing fine. It was a long conversation that we cut off right in the middle, so be sure to listen to part one first and then come back for part two, in which we finish picking apart the settlement item by item.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 18 August 2019 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the said-and-done dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is HegemonicDistortion with a response to the FBI's latest encryption fearmongering:

From thehill article:

The cost of encryption is “ultimately measured in a mounting number of victims — men, women and children who are the victims of crimes, crimes that could have been prevented if law enforcement had been given lawful access to encrypted evidence," Barr said during a speech at a cybersecurity conference.

How exactly would the lack of encryption have helped Barr prevent this shooting? This is pure fearmongering.

In second place, we've got Thad making the important point that just because a company still has avid customers doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be critiqued:

The vast majority of Nintendo customers aren't even aware of stories like this. People who pay attention to things like news about copyright takedown notices are a pretty tiny minority of Nintendo's customer base.

Of course, the sort of person who dedicates a channel to Nintendo music, or seeks out channels dedicated to Nintendo music, is probably a particularly dedicated type of Nintendo fan, and likely a much more profitable individual customer than average. But Nintendo's got enough volume that it doesn't seem to worry about whether it's alienating that sort of fan.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we've got a pair of comments from Bloof about supposed social media bias. First up, it's a point that has been made many times but bears repeating:

Has anyone ever been kicked off social media for supporting lower taxes, smaller government, looser labour laws, deregulation, privatisation and corporate subsidies? No?

It's not conservatives being kicked off social media for being conservatives, it's bigots being kicked off for being bigots who then turn around and cry out about bias because they enjoy being victims and they're incapable of any sort of introspection. It can't be their fault, it has to be the fault of the people they persecute somehow or some other enemy.

Next, it's a more specific response to the censorship whining of Dennis Prager:

I wish I were as censored and mistreated by Google and the universe as conservatives like Prager U. I'd be thrilled to be given $10 million a year by conservative billionaires to spend my time alternating between peddling misinformation and whinging in the press because I can't peddle misinformation as easily as I'd like.

Our first place winner on the funny side is an anonymous response to the question of who you can trust when porn producers behave like Malibu Media:

That’s why you should only enjoy locally produced, sustainable, fair trade, shade grown, carbon neutral, eco friendly, organic, GMO free, hardcore pornography.

In second place, it's Bloof again with a perfect retort to a Fox News commentator complaining about big tech:

Juan, Juan, if you want to kill a social media platform, why not just ask your boss Rupert Murdoch to buy them? He did a hell of a job euthanising Myspace.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with an anonymous commenter offering up a solid blanket response to people who cite Project Veritas:

"Where's smoke, there's usually Veritas with a smoke machine and fan", as the saying goes.

And finally, we've got Stephen T. Stone appreciating a line from the dismissal of Joe Arpaio's lawsuit against the NY Times:

"Plaintiff offers no facts in his Complaint to support this proposition."

Can we make this the new [citation needed]?

That's all for this week, folks!

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Posted on Techdirt - 17 August 2019 @ 12:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: August 11th - 17th

from the if-i-remember-correctly dept

Five Years Ago

The fight for government transparency continued this week in 2014, with a judge giving the DOJ until the end of the month to submit a declassified FISA court opinion explaining the justifications for Section 215, the exposure of regular fraud and abuse by patent examiners that the USPTO tried to hide from the Inspector General, and new revelations from Ed Snowden including the fact that Syria's 2012 internet outage was the result of an NSA hack gone wrong, and that the agency abused its internet metadata program just like every other program. But the biggest battle was for the CIA torture report, which the intelligence community began warning would "inflame anti-US passions" in the Middle East if it was released.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, there was an earlier story of USPTO misbehavior in the form of bilking people out of money. The Encyclopedia Britannica yet again lost in an attempt to abuse a patent that it claimed covered basic GPS functionality, one judge blocked sales of Microsoft Word over patent infringement (in a ruling that had no hope of sticking) while another banned Real from selling RealDVD (sadly not so simple), and yet another overturned the ruling that allowed DVD jukeboxes. While the DOJ was defending the $80,000/song award in the Jammie Thomas lawsuit, a poet who tried to sue Oprah Winfrey for the even-more-insane sum of a trillion dollars saw his lawsuit thrown out — while another author was trying a similar approach to cash in on the success of Twilight.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, the number one culprit on the EFF's list of bogus patents was being wielded against universities and just about everyone else who streamed any kind of content online, while Microsoft was keeping the wheel turning with a newly granted patent on storing then automatically uploading data, and we talked about how innovation and IP hoarding don't mix. Meanwhile, Google was ramping up for its IPO (after giving some stock to Yahoo to settle outstanding legal disputes) and worrying its emails might be filtered as spam, while smaller investors tried to figure out if they could get in on the action and other companies quietly delayed their own IPOs to avoid getting lost in the Google hype.

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Posted on Techdirt Podcast - 13 August 2019 @ 1:30pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 220: What's Really In The FTC's Facebook Settlement, Part One

from the digging-in dept

Ever since the FCC announced its proposed settlement with Facebook, the headlines have focused on the largest-ever privacy fine that came with it — but few people paid attention to the many, many important details. This week, we've got the first half of a two-part podcast with lawyer Joshua de Larios-Heiman, who helps us go through the entire settlement from start to finish, and pick apart what it means.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 11 August 2019 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the whispernet dept

Our first place winner on the insightful side this week is an anonymous commenter who provided a thorough, piece-by-piece reply to a comment about alternatives to Section 230:

I don't think 230 is so much a panacea. In it's absence something else (a technical solution) would have evolved

No technical solution can provide you legal liability protections from hosting someone else's content. Without it, you could punish an innocent person for the actions of someone else. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

perhaps something like syndicated self hosting on distributed/shared p2p resources, with embedded remote social content via something like magnet links...In such a case- we'd all be "our own" hosts, and responsible for "our own" speech, AND what we wanted censored from "ourselves".

As you state, this would require people to run their own hosts/servers. This would mean that all internet connected users would have to run their own server and make sure it was constantly online or the content would disappear. The level of technical knowledge required to do this would exclude the vast majority of internet users. So much so as to make it absolutely worthless. Only people in IT or those with a tech hobby would even attempt it. And even then, they may not have proper ISP service to do it, since broadband coverage sucks and by the TOS, you can't use residential broadband services to host a server.

Anonymous speech could be handled as it's own category... People could be free to make and share all the tribal lists of undesirables they wanted to exclude in there preferred filter bubbles.

This makes absolutely zero sense. Since it's all self hosted, there is NO anonymous speech.

Or free to just deal with the toxic mess that is a small/loud/ugly part of reality;

This is the current state of affairs with social media platforms.

with the comforting knowledge that neither gov, corp, partizan, or religious agendas where controlling their view and ability to engage with alleged commentary.

This is disingenuous. The only important part of that statement is the government. The government is the only one that should be barred from interfering in online speech. Everything else is protected as its own free speech. Currently you are free to do just that. 8chan is still online if you are so inclined to go there.

This would be much more inline with the ideals of the first amendment

No it would not since the First Amendment ONLY applies to the government. Corporations, religious groups, individuals, etc... are free to block or allow whatever content they want on the platforms they own/control.

it would avoid consolidation of power

By making the entire system useless.

I think it would also somewhat alleviate the pressure of hate speech- a part of which is founded on the concern of being manipulated and controlled through censorship

As far as I know, the only pressure on hate speech is to NOT say it. That hasn't stopped anyone so far who really wanted to say hateful things. Nor would your solution prevent that either. Your assertion (the concern of being manipulated and controlled through censorship breeds hate speech) does not engender more speech (hate or otherwise), it reduces speech over all. You only have to look at countries that severely punish their citizens for saying something that goes against approved speech rules to see massive reductions in their speech.

Hate speech is a symptom of a much deeper problem


trying to cure it through censorship; is like curing an ingrown toenail with amputation

No one is trying to cure it by cutting these people off of the internet (except maybe politicians but we already know they are delusional). What we are trying to do is make the internet a nice place where people can come and not have to see disgusting and offensive views.

Effective censorship requires absolute control

Something that is currently impossible with the internet.

something both the gov and mega corps would love to have

Government? Yes. Mega corps? I think you'd find they don't, at least not generally. In specific areas maybe, but not over the entire internet. That would be a nightmare for them.

that will almost certainly destroy freedom of speech.

Well it's a good thing then that the internet was created as a decentralized network so that no one person or entity can take control of it. This will never come to pass so long as the internet remains decentralized. And changing that is nearly impossible.

Censorship can be a slippery slope in either direction, why not leave it to the individual to decide?

Exactly. Which is how it functions currently, including corporations' rights to block or allow whatever content they wish and they have decided to not allow this content. They are run by individuals as well after all and those individuals have the same rights as the rest of us. The First Amendment and censorship only applies to the government. It does not apply to any other individual or entity.

At least we'd be responsible for "our own" filter bubbles, or lack there of,

We still are. There is nothing preventing anyone from reading something from a person or site that does not align with their views/beliefs.

rather then some proprietary profit-driven black box AI system

This doesn't exist in any form today.

or an arbitrary and subjective set of new laws that people would quickly learn to subvert and dog-whistle around, only to have them ratchet up until Whinne the Pooh was banned, like in china.

Which is why the government should not pass any new laws dictating what social media platforms should or should not allow on their sites. You claim to want zero government interference in online speech, yet in the exact same breath you want the government to force speech restrictions on people online, namely that they can't speak out against speech they don't agree with, or ban it from their site.

In second place, we've got DB with some thoughts on Nielsen's struggle in the face of cord-cutting:

We can be pretty certain they have not been oblivious to their own demise.

The phrase "the company is saddled with debt" means that the upper management and board of directors has already decided to cash out of the business. The net income is likely just barely enough to service the debt, making the company's net worth close to zero. Perhaps even less. Anyone group buying should expect losses, and have profit elsewhere that it needs to offset. Or expect to be really efficient at running the business and extracting all value from the reputation (which usually involves destroying it).

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with an anonymous commenter sharing some justified frustration with Elsevier:

Elsevier has a lot of nerve to charge the authors of the articles it publishes to have the articles appear as "open access." It isn't enough that the publisher gets the authors' institutions to subscribe to their journals at their outlandish prices without actually supporting the research necessary behind the articles' creation? Their annual price increases exceed inflation many times over. Their paper warehouse storage and shipping costs have dropped dramatically with the creation of electronic journal publishing but Elsevier's prices have not. Their economic moral and ethical practices rival Donald Trump's. I think it's time for ALL libraries to boycott Elsevier.

Next, it's Thad with a thoughtful response to the common reaction to mass shootings in which some people are quick to label the shooter as "mentally ill":

Psychology Today: Mass Shooting and the Myth of the Violent Mentally Ill

While certainly some shooters are mentally ill, taking it as axiomatic that all mass shooters are mentally ill reinforces negative stereotypes about mental illness. The vast majority of mentally ill people are not violent, and indeed they're far likelier to be victims of violence than perpetrators.

Clearly there's something wrong with anyone who would commit such a heinous deed, and I can understand the desire to label that "something wrong" as mental illness. But it's not, at least, not by the clinical definitions of mental illnesses used by psychologists, and the trouble with making that sort of generalization is that it stigmatizes mental illness.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is another anonymous commenter with a shorter, sweeter take on Nielsen:

Perhaps they can merge with a buggy whip manufacturer?

In second place, we've got That One Guy with a copy editor's note on our post about the White House's draft executive order on social media bias:

After having read the article I have to wonder: Was that supposed to read 'draft' or 'daft'?

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with Bloof and one more well-deserved jab at Nielsen:

Oh no! Without Nielsen who will sign the deathwarrants for the rare few shows on American mainstream TV that actually attempt to be creative? Who will keep the vaseline porridge of crime/military/medical dramas/comedies featuring people who 'play by their own rules, damnit!' appropriately lukewarm? What will become of middle of the road actors like Ted Danson and Scott Bakula who aren't quite handsome enough for Hollywood? Who will think of the advertisers how will they know what shows to run ads during? They might have to gamble on shows with genuine buzz! The horror1

Won't someone please think of the mediocre and save them?!

And last but not least, we've got an anonymous commenter capping off a thread about living by copyright and, thus, dying by copyright:

You can't copyright dying. You have to patent it. You can only copyright a particular expression of dying.

So I have copyrighted dying by shooting yourself in the foot. RIAA can pay up as soon as they're dead.

That's all for this week, folks!

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Posted on Techdirt - 10 August 2019 @ 12:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: August 4th - 10th

from the back-in-the-day dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, while President Obama was defending the CIA's increasingly exposed use of torture on the basis that they had a "tough job", James Clapper was defending the redactions in the torture report and calling them "minimal" — but Senators were calling it "incomprehensible", because even 15% redaction can hide all the critical details.

Meanwhile, comic artist Randy Queen was giving a crash course in DMCA abuse, using takedowns to censor blogs that were critical of his work, then claiming that posts criticizing this were defamatory, then doubling down yet again by trying to DMCA the posts about his DMCA abuse.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, a Washington Post writer started an online journalism dust-up when he complained about Gawker "ripping off" his reporting with a blog post discussing and heavily linking to one of his articles. Other bloggers quickly pointed out that, in fact, the mainstream press "rips off" bloggers constantly, spurring more people to dig in and illustrate the entitlement mentality driving big media's complaints about blogs, and finally the suggestion that perhaps they should run their own blogs about their own reporting if they are so upset. Amidst this, the Associated Press was still digging in on their plan to DRM the news, with their text licensing calculator that would gladly charge you for any text whether it came from the AP or not, and ironically leveraging Creative Commons licensing language for their ill-fated DRM tech. We suggested the agency would be better off finding other services to offer newspapers, while competitor Reuters stepped up defended linking, excerpting and sharing.

Also this week in 2009, we published a long rebuttal to the RIAA's factually-challenged boasts about the Joel Tenenbaum verdict.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, long before Joel Tenenbaum, we were wondering why the RIAA gets to hold parents responsible for their kids' downloading. The US was using trade negotiations to export the DMCA and software patents to Australia, as it likes to do, Hollywood succeeded in driving a DVD backup software company out of business, and for no particular reason the FCC happily voted that VoIP systems should be required to have wiretap backdoors for law enforcement — a fitting week for Tim Wu to write a post exploring how different regulatory schemes create a "copyright gap" that impacts the telephony and content industries in vastly different ways. We also got an important appeals court ruling that found websites devoted to criticizing companies are not commercial speech and thus do not constitute trademark infringement.

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Posted on Techdirt Podcast - 6 August 2019 @ 1:30pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 219: A Policy Bootcamp For Technologists

from the crash-course dept

There's a new but growing desire, both within the tech industry and among onlookers, for more technologists to get involved in public policy and doing work to serve the public interest. Various plans to help make this happen are starting to appear, and an especially interesting one is the Aspen Tech Policy Hub, which aims to help establish a new generation of tech policy entrepreneurs using an incubator model in the vein of Y Combinator. This week, Mike is joined by director Betsy Cooper to discuss the Hub's inaugural cohort of technologists, and what comes next.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 4 August 2019 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the says-you dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is TKnarr responding to the idea that the dismissal of the Covington teen's lawsuit against the Washington Post was a premature decision:

The evidence was adduced in the Post article itself. Phillips stated what he felt at that time, and it's not within the court's purview to say he didn't really feel that way. Whether his feelings were reasonable might be something the court could rule on, but for defamation that's irrelevant. If your feeling is completely irrational and unreasonable you're still entitled to say you felt that way and your statement of how you felt can't be defamatory to the other party.

Note that saying how you felt is something different from falsely saying the other party did some specific thing to make you feel that way, but Sandmann couldn't point to anything Phillips said he did that he didn't clearly do.

In second place, it's Thad with a further response to the same question, and specifically the point that a dismissal means there's no evidence to review:

Or no accusation of anything illegal.

If I sue you for putting a funny hat on your dog, my suit is going to be dismissed. Even if I have 100% ironclad proof that you put a funny hat on your dog. Because putting funny hats on dogs is not actually illegal. The evidence doesn't matter if the thing I am accusing you of is not illegal. I can refer to putting a funny hat on your dog as "arson" if I want, but that's not the legal definition of arson.

Similarly, if I were to say "Nick Sandmann is a big stupid doodoo head," and Nick Sandmann were to sue me for defamation, that suit would be dismissed. Because even if I did say that about him, calling someone a big stupid doodoo head is not defamatory.

Which is more or less what happened here. The judge determined that even if 100% of the accusations in the lawsuit were 100% true, none of them broke any laws.

There's no need to make any determinations about evidence if the plaintiff is accusing the defendant of doing things that are legal. The judge doesn't need to go to trial and put my photos of you putting a funny hat on your dog before a jury, so they can evaluate whether or not you really put that funny hat on your dog, thereby committing arson. The judge can just say "that's not what 'arson' means" and dismiss the case. At that point, whether or not I can prove you put a funny hat on your dog is irrelevant.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment from Anonymous Anonymous Coward in response to the refusal of qualified immunity for a SWAT team that hurled a flashbang in the direction of a child:

The disparity between the various appeals courts has me baffled. Here they denied qualified immunity for irresponsible behavior. On the other hand a different court suggested that shooting at a dog that wasn't attacking any police and hitting a child was reasonable.

Does this suggest that the courts themselves aren't reasonable? Or is it just ideological differences between different circuits? Isn't there some agreement somewhere as to what reasonable means?

Next, we've got a comment from Stephen T. Stone responding to some pieces of a comment from last Sunday's post, talking about left-wing/anti-fascist violence:

"this guy was OK to toss firebombs and try to blow up propane tanks with a long rifle because.. HE HATES TRUMP!"

I don’t condone the actions of Willem Van Spronsen. But I do understand his intent. It was less about “hating Trump” and more about “shut down the concentration camps on American soil”.

"Who’s a terrorist?"

Depends on who you ask. Ask the government, and they’ll likely tell you that anyone who criticizes and insults the government could possibly become a terrorist — if they aren’t one already. (Ask the FBI, and they’ll tell you to wait five days so they can arrest one…that they likely made themselves.)

We’re just responding to ACTUAL THREATS!

In fairness to Van Spronsen, American concentration camps exist and are holding Repugnant Cultural Others (according to Trump, anyway) in isolation away from the rest of the population. That is an actual threat to Americans, especially since ICE is now arresting and detaining American citizens based primarily, or possibly only, on their ethnicity.

Stephen was tearing up the charts this week, and over on the funny side he took both of the winning spots — though can't quite claim full credit for either. The first place comment is the expected response to an invocation of the Flying Spaghetti Monster:

R’amen. 🙏

In second place, it's the appropriate deployment of an evergreen tweet regarding censorship of conservative views:

Conservative: I have been censored for my conservative views
Me: Holy shit! You were censored for wanting lower taxes?
Con: LOL no…no not those views
Me: So…deregulation?
Con: Haha no not those views either
Me: Which views, exactly?
Con: Oh, you know the ones

(All credit to Twitter user @ndrew_lawrence.)

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with an anonymous commenter with a related take:

This business about anti-liberal or anti-conservative bias is all nonsense, and I am tired of hearing it. In fact, the real bias is pro-vegetarian. And I can prove it: the vast majority of people who get banned are meat-eaters.

Finally, we've got a comment from wereisjessicahyde in response to Josh Hawley's insane bill aiming to ban various social media features and, well, I apologize in advance for this one:

I don't understand the appeal of infinite scroll. I've tried but I just can't get to the bottom of it.

I'll see myself out. That's all for this week, folks!

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