Reason Roundup

Free Speech on the Internet Continues to Confuse Everyone

Plus: 8chan called before Congress, data privacy bill hits a snag, and more...

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There's a lot of weird and bad information these days about the federal law known as Section 230. The New York Times even put out an op-ed trying to fight the common myth that social media companies are "platforms" that lose legal protections provided by Section 230 if they start making editorial decisions like "publishers." (In reality, the law makes no distinction and requires no such neutrality.) Nonetheless, the Times has started spreading its own extremely misguided analysis of the law. So misguided that the paper was forced to issue a correction, after running a headline on the front page of Tuesday's business section claiming that Section 230 legalized hate speech and was why "hate speech on the internet is a never-ending problem."

On Tuesday afternoon, Times writer 

Tech lawyers and others have been deservedly dragging the paper:

But correcting blatantly wrong (and suspiciously bad faith) tech analysis is like playing whack-a-mole these days. Today, The Wall Street Journal lets Dennis Prager do his own misrepresentations of Section 230:

Meanwhile, 8chan is the latest tech company to have its creator summoned to testify before Congress.


FREE MINDS

A "data privacy" bill before Congress is being held up over different priorities between Republicans and Democrats. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D–Wash.) was circulating "a privacy framework that would allow consumers to sue companies for mishandling their data. That 'private right of action' is a non-starter for industry and Republicans," reports The Hill. More:

Other prominent sticking points in the negotiations have included the Republican push to include preemption, which would allow the federal law to override state laws. Preemption has been a top priority for the tech industry, which has warned against a "patchwork" of state laws, but Democrats insist they won't approve any law that is weaker than the California one. 

"We believe that having one standard is important," Sen. John Thune (R–S.D.), a member of the Senate privacy working group and GOP majority whip, told The Hill. "And of course, the Democrats have their priorities in this as well.


FREE MARKETS

The makers of Arizona Iced Tea are getting into weed. From The Wall Street Journal:

Arizona Beverage Co. has reached a licensing deal with Dixie Brands Inc., a Denver-based cannabis company that makes and sells weed vaporizers, candies, drinks, tinctures and topical creams in five U.S. states. Under the agreement, Dixie will manufacture the products and sell them through licensed dispensaries. The deal, which is subject to approval by Dixie's board, also gives Arizona the right to buy a stake of up to $10 million in the cannabis company.

Plans for the Arizona line are in the early stages. It is likely to start with vape pens and gummies, followed by a variety of beverages that could include tea, lemonade, soda, coffee or seltzer, officials said. Dixie intends to launch the line in the U.S., then expand it to Canada and Latin America.


ELECTION 2020

Mike Gravel has dropped out of the 2020 race:

Meanwhile, Trump is at war with Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke:

And some reassessments of the 2020 Democrats after their last debate:



QUICK HITS

  • An 18-week abortion ban in Arkansas has been temporarily blocked. The judge "specifically addressed the 18-week ban, implying that she would ultimately rule in favor of the abortion rights advocates on the grounds that it is unconstitutional," reports CNN.
  • The governor of Florida ordered an investigation into the state's previous handling of Jeffrey Epstein.
  • After 15 years in prison, Cyntoia Brown has been freed on parole. Brown has been incarcerated since she was 16 and killed a man trying to pay her for sex. She was granted clemency after activists, including celebrities Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna, lobbied for her release.
  • Uh oh:

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  1. A “data privacy” bill before Congress is being held up over different priorities between Republicans and Democrats.

    Held up over scare quotes, hopefully.

    1. Perhaps held up over whether to cite this.

    2. Hello.

      The age of sophistry is upon us.

  2. The makers of Arizona Iced Tea are getting into weed.

    Blazing Arizona.

    1. *golf clap*

  3. Fist!

    1. Not fist!

      1. It was wide open for yesterday’s annual Day without Fist of Etiquette.

        1. Odds bodkins.

          In that case, hello.

        2. “Day without Fist of Etiquette”

          Hm… I’m not convinced that it wasn’t just Alzheimer’s and someone had to hold up an iPad with reason pulled up, to remind Fist of Etiquette who is supposed to be First.

  4. Conservatism Has a Violence Problem
    ‘The numbers don’t lie.’

    Last year, 39 of the 50 killings committed by political extremists, according to the Anti-Defamation League, were carried out by white supremacists. Another eight were committed by killers with anti-government views. Over the past 10 years, right-wing extremists were responsible for more than 70 percent of extremist-related killings. “Right-wing extremist violence is our biggest threat,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the A.D.L., has written. “The numbers don’t lie.”

    The latest example came on Saturday in El Paso when a 21-year-old white man apparently killed 20 people, after having first announced in a manifesto that his attack was a response to “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” His language mimicked the language that Trump has used.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/opinion/el-paso-shooting-republicans-trump.html

    1. Not as bad as your child porn problem

    2. The latest example came on Saturday in El Paso…

      Isn’t Dayton the latest example?

      1. Dayton wasn’t a terrorist (politically motivated) attack. El Paso was.

        Likewise this killing of four last night was not terrorism:

        https://www.ajc.com/news/crime–law/breaking-dekalb-shooting-ends-with-dead-including-suspect-police-say/p5S24tCXLkQkDd0BUOVWQJ/

        “them niggas just got shot”

        1. Yes it was. And the guy in El Paso was a radical environmentalist. Stop lying you piece of garbage.

          1. You’re so full of shit. You and your violent right wing terrorist brethren suck Trump’s tiny racist dick.

            1. Go die in a fire, then at least you’d be keeping someone warm.

              1. You Trump ass-wipes don’t even pretend to be libertarian anymore. You have ditched the NAP in support of violent racist attacks because TRUMP!

                1. Stop lying you worthless piece of garbage. You were banned from this site for posting instructions to access child porn. Why are you still here?

            2. Stop lying.

              he American lifestyle affords our citizens an incredible quality of life. However, our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country,” the El Paso manifesto notes, adding, “Everything I have seen and heard in my short life has led me to believe that the average American isn’t willing to change their lifestyle, even if the changes only cause a slight inconvenience. … So the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources.” For the attacker, nonwhite immigrants are not the cause of resource depletion, but their demise en masse is the solution.

              http://theintercept.com/2019/08/05/el-paso-shooting-eco-fascism-migration/

              You are just garbage.

            3. He wasn’t a radical environmentalist? That’s your argument?

              1. The primary definition of “right wing” is preference for a race, class, or ethnic group and exclusion/genocide of another.

                Shooter was classic right wing.

                1. I don’t think that’s the common definition.

                2. Nazis are Left-Wing Socialists, so your claim about “Right-Wing” is garbage.

                  Right-Wingers are super conservative. As in Monarchs, Religious conservatives, and groups that don’t like change.

                  Racists can be Left-Wing (Democrats and Party of slavery) and Right-Wing (Imperialists).

                  1. Although the right-wing originated with traditional conservatives, monarchists, and reactionaries, the term extreme right-wing has also been applied to movements including fascism, Nazism, and racial supremacy.[21

                    The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics,

                    shut up, you fucking moron

                    1. So Stalin and Mao were right wing? Is North Korea right wing?

                      God you are a fucking moron.

                    2. Do you know what the term “”also” means dumbass? It doesn’t mean primarily. the dictionary stopped just short of calling you a dumbass for using it as an excess epitaph

                    3. Aw, poor Pedo buttplugger.

                      Cite a link, dipshit.

                      Because Monarchs sure are “reactionaries”.

                    4. “extreme right-wing has also been applied to”

                      As with the term fascist, which has been applied to almost everyone, being “applied”does not mean accurately applied.

                3. “The primary definition of “right wing” is preference for a race, class, or ethnic group and exclusion/genocide of another.

                  Shooter was classic right wing.”

                  Mao was right wing? Pol Pot was right wing? They weren’t fond of foreigners by any stretch and Asians believing their people are the best is not an unheard of thing.

                  Hey, it’s not me using terrible definitions for words.

                  And, again, he WASN’T a radical environmentalist?

                4. So everyone who isn’t poyl/bi/pansexual is “right wing?”

                5. No. It really is not the primary or even a very good secondary definition. Especially in the context of US politics. Unless, Margaret Sanger, for one example, was right wing.

          2. John, why do you embarrass yourself by saying “the guy in El Paso was a radical environmentalist”?

            1. Because he was.

              he American lifestyle affords our citizens an incredible quality of life. However, our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country,” the El Paso manifesto notes, adding, “Everything I have seen and heard in my short life has led me to believe that the average American isn’t willing to change their lifestyle, even if the changes only cause a slight inconvenience. … So the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources.” For the attacker, nonwhite immigrants are not the cause of resource depletion, but their demise en masse is the solution.

              http://theintercept.com/2019/08/05/el-paso-shooting-eco-fascism-migration/

              Why don’t you stop embarrassing yourself by pretending everyone else is as dumb and misinformed as you are.

              1. Of course. The guy devotes 10% of his manifesto to concerns about the environment, and that’s enough for John to declare – “welp – the guy was an environmentalist nutcase, time to declare him a left-wing shooter! The other 90%? No need to go there, case closed!”

                1. Lying again huh Jeffrey.

                2. Are you really so stupid that you think you can judge a document by counting words or do you think everyone else is that stupid?

                  1. I think one can judge the intent of an author by evaluating the emphasis he/she places on certain arguments over others, yes.

                    Otherwise, I suppose Romeo and Juliet is a story about botany, because the author mentioned roses at one point. Right?

                    1. “I think one can judge the intent of an author by evaluating the emphasis he/she places on certain arguments over others, yes.”

                      But you’re a fucking idiot. That’s what you don’t seem to understand. Even if it were true what you say, and it isn’t, you’re so fucking stupid you wouldn’t discern the proper intent anyway.

                3. Which part of

                  Everything I have seen and heard in my short life has led me to believe that the average American isn’t willing to change their lifestyle, even if the changes only cause a slight inconvenience. … So the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources.”

                  Are you having trouble understanding? Do you not understand that “reduce the number of people in America” means ending immigration? What is it that you can’t understand? You are not bright but make up for it by being wildly dishonest. Maybe this time I can help you over come that.

            2. Why do you embarass yourself by implying that he wasn’t?

              1. I’ve actually read the manifesto. Someone must clones my name because their arguments are so pathetic they’ve resulted to me living in their heads.

                Palin is the type who redefines words to win arguments. it is part of a pattern to allow SPLC, ADL. and other biased left wing groups to define the argument. It’s pretty pathetic from an argument standpoint.

                1. They just lie and lie and lie until they win by shear determination and volume. The shreek franchise can best be described as demonic in its lying. Nothing they say is ever the truth and is nearly always the exact opposite of the truth.

                  1. They just lie and lie and lie until they win by shear determination and volume.

                    Which is what you are doing when you continue to spread RADICAL ENVIRONMENTALIST!!!!!! the whole time.

                    1. What a stupid fucking hill for you to die on, because the guy obviously shares your political. You’d be the first motherfucker to throw him under the bus if his politics weren’t aligned with yours.

                    2. Pedo Jeffey is so dumb, he throws himself under the bus.

            3. Hi sqrsly.

              1. It’s so fucking sad that you pissed him off so much that he spoofs you.

      2. Dayton was done by a Warren supporter. You’re supposed to wipe this event from your memory.

        1. Fuck the Squaw. She would be worse than Trump.

          Listen, you rightwing meathead – Terrorism is a political act.

          1. So is supporting Warren.

            1. Which is stupid but perfectly legal.

              1. Yes it is. IT is the murdering people in that cause that is the problem dipshit.

    3. Oh, turd cites NYT as a source regarding “conservatives”!
      Turd once again tries to prove how stupid someone can be.

      1. My father watches cnn 17 hours a day. During my visits I’ve observed that about 50% of their “coverage” is making up stuff they claim conservatives believe.
        Suppose Trump tweeted “I was just bitten by a dog! Sad!” cnn would immediately cover it with “Trump: puppy-hater!”, “Potential Republican responses to dog-bites-Trump include euthanizing all of America’s dogs!”, and “Experts predict conservatives will develop phobia of dogs, probably fire nukes at North Korea, since they may have dogs!”
        Trump is a buffoon, but Christ, cnn is pathetic.

    4. Well, you have to remember that all Republicans are right-wing extremists and there is no such thing as a left-wing extremist so it’s kind of like pointing out that most members of the NFL Hall of Fame have never won an NBA championship.

      1. No one said “all Republicans”. Look, all Muslims aren’t terrorists but we know plenty of them are. Enough to profile them in my humble opinion.

        1. Sarah Palin’s Buttplug
          August.7.2019 at 10:02 am
          The primary definition of “right wing” is preference for a race, class, or ethnic group and exclusion/genocide of another.

          Sounds like someone is a right winger

      2. Pedo Buttplugger has really been upset these last few days.

        I for one remember when the great Monarchy uprising of England left the British people wondering why the King and Queen demanded immediate social change. REVOLUTION!

        Queen Elizabeth was a big pusher of shorts and bikinis.

        1. Unfortunately for Lefties like buttplugger, revolutions and minority social change come from Lefties.

          The Propaganda turds that they throw at people to see what sticks is not sticking anymore. And it drives Lefties insane with rage.

  5. The governor of Florida ordered an investigation into the state’s previous handling of Jeffrey Epstein.

    I look forward to a future governor looking into this investigation.

    1. Wait, what? They’re looking into how Epstein was handled by others? I thought the whole flap was over others being handled by Epstein.

      1. Yes, it’s a classic circle jerk.

  6. Nothing about Julian Castro’s bother doxing white ( he withheld the name of the Hispanic donors) Trump donors in his district. Radly Balko is all over Twitter defending it and saying doxing any political donor is a good thing. Balko has gone full fascist.

    1. He is? I know Balko is a fucking moron but I didn’t think he was an evil fucking moron.

      And I’m not stunned Reason isn’t concerned about politicians doxxing their own represented citizens. The usual eggs and omelettes thing here.

      “It wasn’t a call to action” — but a billboard calling politicians idiots is a call for assassination to some.

      1. Check his twitter feed.

        1. Wonder if Trump decided to tweet the name and all of Dem financial backers in, say, SC or AL — would Balko think that is OK?

          How about just a Congressperson? What if Graham outed Dem backers in SC? Would that be acceptable?

          Democrats and the media (I know, I repeat myself) are, by and large, JUSTIFYING this. This is ANOTHER increase in the aggression.

          1. But the information is not private. Julian Castro (AFAIK) is not revealing the identities of anonymous people. Neither would Trump or Graham be doing so in your hypothetical instances.

            Is it “aggression” to publish publicly available material? By what standard?

            Is it your position that donations to candidates should be anonymous? Okay, that’s a perfectly defensible position, but that carries with it some other negative consequences. Are you willing to live with those?

            I get it that what Julian Castro is doing looks unseemly. He’s trying to publicly shame people into not supporting Trump. Maybe in an ideal world, individuals could support candidates publicly and no one would try to use public shame to try to get others to change their minds. If I were in charge of Castro’s campaign, I would have advised against pulling a stunt like this. But at the end of the day, I can’t say the tactic is illegitimate or an “aggression”.

            1. This is the kind of thing that inspires violent people to act. If even a single person from that list experiences harassment, Castro should be charged as an accessory.

            2. “But the information is not private. Julian Castro (AFAIK) is not revealing the identities of anonymous people. Neither would Trump or Graham be doing so in your hypothetical instances.”

              Again, ALL doxxing is based on that. All of it. Either it’s bad or it’s not.

              “Is it your position that donations to candidates should be anonymous? Okay, that’s a perfectly defensible position, but that carries with it some other negative consequences. Are you willing to live with those?”

              Provide a justification for making the info more public. Just one.

              Again, as things escalate, just remember…this shit leads to worse.

              1. Also, as a curiosity…how is Twitter keeping his account active?

                I thought doxxing was a big no-no for them. Can anybody who was banned for it now protest the decision? Should they go to court due to violation of TOS in terms of non-preferential treatment (since they didn’t say, upfront, we treat people differently based on their politics)?

              2. I would make a qualitative difference between compiling together already public information, and violating someone’s anonymity by making public information that an individual tried to keep secret. I think the latter is far worse than the former. If you wish to call both of these “doxxing”, then so be it, but I don’t think they are equivalent forms of “doxxing”.

                I am not saying I necessarily approve of what he’s doing. But he is disclosing already public information, and that is my point.

                1. But me disclosing the address of somebody I don’t like is different…how?

                  1. I’ve thought on this a while. He’s not disclosing addresses, phone numbers, or anything that isn’t already in federal government files, information that you have to provide (or at least have to be asked for, dunno if they’ve changed that since I last looked) just to make the donation. Now, a good argument would be about whether it is a violation of rights for the federal government to demand that information in the first place. But right now, they do it, and right now it is public information. This is no different than when some newspapers published the names AND ADDRESSES of carry permit holders, in states where this was collected and considered public information. They were scumbags for doing it, and the state were scumbags for making it public information, but it was not illegal.

    2. I’m only seeing 2 articles on that, you’d think there’d be more of an uproar…

      1. Needless to say, if an R had done that ….

    3. Did Julian Castro’s brother use a publicly available database, such as from the FEC? If so, it hardly seems like “doxing” then.

      But, let’s have the argument of whether there is a right to anonymous speech – to the extent that campaign donations can be construed as speech in favor of a candidate.

      If there is a right to anonymous speech in the form of campaign donations, then what it means in practice is – first, tearing up most campaign finance laws (undoubtedly a good thing), but it also means that there would be no essential limit to who or where donations could come from. If the Chinese or the Russians wanted to finance an American candidate’s campaign, there would be only trivial barriers to prevent it. I can’t say I entirely support this idea.

      But if there is not a right to anonymous speech, then there is nothing untoward in principle with “doxing” people who donate to candidates that you don’t like. Which also has its drawbacks.

      Personally I am not sure where I stand on this issue. I can see both sides.

      1. “Did Julian Castro’s brother use a publicly available database, such as from the FEC? If so, it hardly seems like “doxing” then”

        You stupid fuck that is the DEFINTION of doxing. You assemble and disseminate publicly available information. Of course, this is where yi by the chat me because you don’t know how to use a dictionary.

        Jesus Christ why do you shoot off your dicksucker so much when you’re so god damned stupid.

      2. “Did Julian Castro’s brother use a publicly available database, such as from the FEC? If so, it hardly seems like “doxing” then.”

        That’s the case with basically ALL “doxxing” you realize. The doxxers aren’t private investigators. Can you cite a reason for doing so?

        “If there is a right to anonymous speech in the form of campaign donations, then what it means in practice is – first, tearing up most campaign finance laws (undoubtedly a good thing), but it also means that there would be no essential limit to who or where donations could come from. If the Chinese or the Russians wanted to finance an American candidate’s campaign, there would be only trivial barriers to prevent it. I can’t say I entirely support this idea.”

        Provided you don’t disable zip code verification of payments…you know, like Obama did with both of his campaigns…foreign donations becomes more of an unlikelihood. Ditto not fundraising at temples with Buddhist monks who took a vow of poverty…you know, like Clinton did.

        Funny how neither was viewed as foreign interference, huh?

        1. I thought “doxxing” was the revelation of otherwise private information on individuals who wished to remain anonymous. For better or for worse, the law requires contributions to candidates to not be anonymous, so accessing the FEC database hardly seems like revealing some sort of secret information.

          But whatevs.

          “Provided you don’t disable zip code verification blah blah blah”

          Sigh. Can you discuss the issue without bringing up Obama or Clinton or Trump or Bush or any specific individual? Perhaps, you know, try to argue the issue in the abstract? Is that too much to ask?

          1. “I thought “doxxing” was the revelation of otherwise private information on individuals who wished to remain anonymous.”

            Addresses are public information. So…no. Ditto their real names. Hell, ditto their jobs and employers.

            “Sigh. Can you discuss the issue without bringing up Obama or Clinton or Trump or Bush or any specific individual?”

            Can I use vague generalities without specific citations? Sure. If I was a hack like you.

            1. If, say, Tucker Carlson tweeted out, say, Rachel Maddow’s home address….would that be OK?

              What if Trump tweeted out Acosta’s?

              What if McConnell tweeted out any member of the Squad’s home address?

              That ALL OK?

              1. So you believe Julian Castro tweeted that info in order to intimidate Trump supporters and sic a mob on them?

            2. Believe it or not, damikesc, some people are capable of discussing issues in the abstract without just shilling for a narrow cause.

              1. I know WE can.

                YOU cannot.

                So we have to deal with you as best as we can.

                1. I know WE can.

                  “WE”?

                  I suppose you think ever word I utter is some type of shilling for “The Left”, or something. It’s not, and it wouldn’t kill you to simply accept my arguments as they are, instead of trying to imagine some tribalist nonsense within them.

                  1. It is difficult work to take your writing and build it up to the level of BEING an argument.

      3. Not a surprise that chemjeff acts as an apologist for the left-wing son of a Hispanic ethno nationalist, then tries to deflect at the end with his typical “both sides!”ism.

        1. I’m not saying “both sides do it”. I’m not apologizing for anything. I’m not denying that he did what John claims that he did. Can you even read? Did you miss the part at the end where I say “I’m not sure where I stand on this issue”? I’m trying to offer a constructive discussion on the issue and all you can do is bring tribalist bullshit into it.

          Sheesh. Genuine discussions around here are becoming next to impossible, between Tulpa’s trolling, Shithead’s calls for murder, and all the Trump boot-lickers who have to try to turn everything into a Team Red vs. Team Blue affair.

    4. Can you link to what Balko said? I’m having trouble finding it.

        1. Wow! He has really gone full TDS.

  7. She was granted clemency after activists, including celebrities Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna, lobbied for her release.

    INVALID

    1. Isn’t it funny that Kardashian and West have done more to clean up unfair prosecutions than BLM has done in its entire existence?

      Almost makes one think BLM doesn’t want to fix the problems…

      1. “up unfair prosecutions “
        I suppose that depends on whether you see, executing a shady john, stealing his money, firearms, and vehicle in order to “escape an abusive pimp” (which she freely admits to) as a good, or bad thing. Time will tell, but I hope she makes the most of this opportunity.

      2. I think BLM just wants to heighten the contradictions.

      3. Trump said that he welcomes people advocating for prisoners to get a pardon and/or clemency.

        Trump has put his money where his mouth is on this issue. Its making an impact in the Black American community. Hence the desire of Democrats to get as many illegals voting as quick as possible.

        1. It’s very disconcerting when a politician actually does what he says he would like to do.

          1. Its definitely one of the things sending Lefties scrambling in all directions.

    1. Many LOL’s were had by all..

    2. A male-to-female transgender preying on girls? There must be some mistake–that’s impossible!

      1. I think the word is ‘unpossible’.

  8. FBI Agents Association calls on Congress to make “domestic terrorism” a federal crime.

    Running out of work?

  9. Mike Gravel has dropped out of the 2020 race…

    Why? Did Twitter suspend his account?

    1. He ran put or rocks to throw into lakes.

  10. Mike Gravel has dropped out of the 2020 race

    in a last-ditch attempt to gain name recognition.

    1. Mike Gravel has dropped out of the 2020 race

      Who?

  11. FBI Agents Association calls on Congress to make “domestic terrorism” a federal crime.

    What about its gateway crimes, “domestic disturbance” and “domestic dispute”?

    1. 5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
      (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
      (B) appear to be intended—
      (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
      (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
      (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
      (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States;

      http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2331

      1. So, Antifa?

    2. don’t forget “visting a disfavored website”

  12. http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13539

    A New York professor is calling for the abolition of grades. He claims they are not only unfair to students, but that they are a means of propping up capitalism, and as such, academia would be better off doing away with grading entirely.

    “Grading takes up much of my time that could be better spent on teaching or otherwise directly interacting with students,” New School professor Richard Wolff wrote in a Monday op-ed entitled “Grades Are Capitalism in Action. Let’s Get Them Out of Our Schools.” He claims the practice of administering grades to students has “little educational payoff” and “disrespects [students] as thinking people.”

    1. The professor argues that grades do a disservice to education because to administer a grade is effectively “insisting on one answer as right and alternatives as wrong.”

      Do they not teach mathematics/physics/chemistry/engineering at this school?

    2. We spend a lot of money on higher education.

      Shouldn’t we be asking “why?”

    3. A teacher wants get rid of any measurement of how effective their work is?

      Yeah, it is because grading is waste of time he could spend better in instruction. He is also offering the Brooklyn Bridge for sale.

    4. I’ve read some good arguments for abolishing grades. This isn’t one of them.

      1. I would be okay with abolishing grades and replacing them with a single passing standard. I am not sure I like that but it is at least rational.

      2. what Chinny Chin Chin said

      3. There are no good arguments for getting rid of objective measurements.

        1. Too often, grades create the illusion of an objective assessment. That is part of the problem.

          1. If your area of learning has no objective measure of learning or knowledge then maybe it should stay as a hobby instead of a degree.

        2. Even the national multiple-guess tests like SATs are lousy at objectively measuring a student’s aptitude. When the situation is an English teacher grading an essay or poem, objectivity goes out the window.

          Our public schools were originally conceived with the idea that students are widgets to be manufactured. It’s a terrible idea that unfortunately still dominates.

          1. “multiple-guess”

            I always laugh at that phrasing, because it doesn’t actually apply and the person saying it is usually an imbecile.

          2. A lot of grad schools are ditching the GRE. Maybe the SAT and ACT are next.

          3. Kids are going to be graded and rated in life, so they might as well get used to it.

    5. that they are a means of propping up capitalism, and as such, academia would be better off doing away with grading payroll entirely.

      So, this Richard Wolff works for free a deep sense of pride and accomplishment.. and ration cards? What a hero..

      1. He’s halfway to a socialist paradise: “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.”

    6. There is an argument in favor of reforming how grading works in education generally.

      “Because they prop up capitalism” isn’t one of them.

      1. No there isnt. With grade inflation already rampant it is becoming harder and harder to figure out which students actually learned anything in college.

        But please fly in an airplane built by someone you have no measurement of in their engineering skills. Makes total sense. Let that doctor who would normally have failed put of med school perform that open heart surgery for you.

        Its pathetic. That you’re so scared of failure that you want to remove any measurement between you and others.

        1. I am not arguing in favor of abolishing grades. I am not arguing in favor of abolishing all objective standards whatsoever. Please put those strawman arguments away.

          Here is an illustration of part of the problem. Suppose a student takes a class that assesses different skills – such as, writing ability, mathematical ability, logical reasoning, technical skills, all in the same class. That student, however, will get *one* single grade that is supposed to cover all of those various areas of assessment. How in the world can a single letter grade cover competency in all of those diverse areas? And if a student is proficient in some of those areas, but not all, how can a single letter grade reflect that result?

          1. It is not as if the overall grade is not made up of grades from the individual classes. The teacher apparently does not want to do the work of grading the discrete work that goes into the overall grade.

            The result being, no ones knows anything about what the student has mastered or failed to master

      2. How would we identify Top.Men? Oh, that’s right, look on the ballot in the Dem column. All of them are qualified to tell you (at gunpoint) how to live your life.

  13. FBI Agents Association calls on Congress to make “domestic terrorism” a federal crime.

    What the fuck is the FBI Agents Association, and can they please go fuck themseves?

  14. China confirms it is suspending agricultural product purchases in response to Trump’s new tariffs

    I can’t wait to see weeks and weeks of Boehm’s nonsensical articles about trade.

    I thought China was #1 agriculture purchaser but MEXICO is. Followed by Canada, then Japan.

    If this is China’s big response along with devaluing their currency, China is clearly going to be in trouble when Trump is reelected in 2020.

    The lengths China will go to steal US technology and have super high trade restrictions.

    1. Why don’t we just rule that if a tech firm gives their IP to China, then their trademark is nullified here?

      1. I mean, they can choose to appease the Chinese market or us.

      2. That’s a really good idea.

        The Constitution enumerates the power to regulate IP ownership to Congress.

        Nice idea!

      3. Um…not trademark, patent protection is nullified.

        Interesting idea, but really hard to prove.

  15. some reassessments of the 2020 Democrats after their last debate

    Phony polling! Everybody knows Williamson won!

  16. “California’s largest recycling business closes all 284 centers, lays off 750”
    […]
    “RePlanet closed all 284 of its centers, and company president David Lawrence said the decision was driven by increased business costs and falling prices of recycled aluminum and PET plastic, the San Jose Mercury News reported.”
    https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/replanet-closures-bay-area-locations-sf-14283863.php

    Pretty sure there never was a ‘market’ for recycling which wasn’t supported by the government.

    1. I cannot wait for reason to cover this story and the underlying story that plastic recycling as a self-sustaining enterprise was utter bullshit.

      Which makes sense since most Lefty plans are utter bullshit.

      I know a few metal recyclers who are holding metals for periods of time until the price of recycled metals goes way up.

    2. Anheuser-Busch funds recycling aluminum to be extremely profitable. And they have done it for years with no involvement with the government.

      See also auto parts recycling wherein usable parts are striped from junk cars and resold while the hulks are then sold as scrap to feed steel mills. In fact most steel making processes need to have refined steel added to the mix and scrap is the most common source of said steel.

      OTOH, what you say about recycling is generally true for most other materials, plastic. glass etc.

      1. “funds” should read “finds”

  17. Of course, this was not a “campaign” in the strict sense: we never wanted to win, and always made that clear.

    LOL

    1. Gravel’s campaign was the Cleveland Browns of presidential politics.

  18. You know the old saying. “One man’s Hate Speech is another man’s Fake News”. But still, I’d say calling somebody a racist and a Nazi and a white supremacist and saying he’s responsible for murdering innocent people and claiming that anybody that supports him is also a racist and a Nazi and a white supremacist and also responsible for murdering innocents, well, that sounds pretty damn hateful to me. But what do I know? I’m a racist Nazi white supremacist murderer myself.

    1. Perhaps you’ll “enjoy” this.

      Trigger Warning: It’s from Infowars.

      1. I would say at least a 1/4 of liberals would support that and the others would go along and rationalize it even though they think it was a shame. And when the tragedy was over, it would be “things just got out of hand but something had to be done.”

        1. Absolutely they would!

          Lefties already did it under FDR. As for the claims that all those Lefties are dead and the Democrat Party has changed, Democrats support keeping immigrants in detention centers longer than necessary to achieve political goals. These immigrant detention centers are supposed to be for processing illegals, giving them a hearing, and then coordinate the deportation of illegal aliens based on removal orders.

    2. I mean, have you been listening to how social conservatives talk about gay folk over the decades? Calling us evil child rapists who are bringing about the downfall of civilization, responsible for everything from tornadoes and hurricanes to 9/11, is pretty normal for them.

  19. There is no liability in the US for carrying hate speech

    Is that so?

    8chan is the latest tech company to have its creator summoned to testify before Congress.

    1. There is no liability in the US for carrying hate speech

      I’m sure there are plenty of plaintiffs’ lawyers, judges, and juries who would beg to differ.

    2. 8chan is a company? Whu?

  20. “A quarter of humanity faces looming water crises”
    […]
    “From India to Iran to Botswana, 17 countries are currently under extremely high water stress, meaning they are using almost all the water they have, according to World Resources Institute data published Tuesday.”
    [and then…]
    “Water is a local problem and it needs local solutions,” said Priyanka Jamwal, a fellow at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment in Bangalore.”
    https://www.phillytrib.com/news/a-quarter-of-humanity-faces-looming-water-crises/article_0572c9ad-7218-5ca1-a707-910698b54888.html

    Somebody made a mistake and blew the whole ‘world’s-gonna-end’ narrative right out the window.
    CA, for instance, does not have a water problem, it has a storage problem, courtesy of moon-beam.

  21. “Meanwhile, 8chan is the latest tech company to have its creator summoned to testify before Congress.”

    Meanwhile, 8chan is being shunned out of existence.

    “When Cloudflare finally had enough of 8chan and fired it, the site—notoriously a haven for mass shooters and their fans—immediately jumped ship for BitMitigate, the same CDN that hosts far-right white nationalist site The Daily Stormer. The site also changed DNS and Web hosting to Epik, which is the parent company to BitMitigate and the host of far-right social media platform Gab.

    Alex Stamos, cybersecurity expert at Stanford University and former CSO of Facebook, observed that BitMitigate seemed itself to be almost entirely made of equipment and network infrastructure leased from a company called Voxility. This public and pointed observation prompted Voxility to fire BitMitigate and Epik, leaving both 8chan and The Daily Stormer dead in the water.”

    —-Ars Technica

    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/08/8chan-is-all-the-way-down-its-dns-its-always-dns/

    I see three obvious lessons from this:

    1) Politicians will never become so ashamed of addressing a problem whose solution is already in place and doesn’t require their input that they won’t hold a public hearing to show everyone just how stupid they are.

    2) Even services that notoriously don’t log DNS requests (like Cloudflare) don’t need the government to tell them when providing services to a customer is so unpopular that it would behoove them to terminate their relationship with that customer.

    3) Freedom of association isn’t all about not baking gay wedding cakes for civil rights activists. Imagine how unpopular the First Amendment might become if companies like Cloudflare and Voxility didn’t have the right to terminate their associations. Imagine how stupid social justice warriors would look if those companies had to keep 8chan and The Daily Stormer up on their services because they had no freedom of association.

    1. 2) Even services that notoriously don’t log DNS requests (like Cloudflare) don’t need the government to tell them when providing services to a customer is so unpopular that it would behoove them to terminate their relationship with that customer.

      If it is that unpopular for Cloudflare, wouldn’t it be just as unpopular for anyone? And if it is, then aren’t you saying that a society where unpopular views get no hearing or platform is okay? How is depriving unpopular views, whatever they are, of all platform or hearing consistent with a free and open society?

      1. And if it is, then aren’t you saying that a society where unpopular views get no hearing or platform is okay?

        Unpopular views don’t get a MAINSTREAM platform. That’s right. If the views were more popular, they would be more accepted by the mainstream.

        1. Unpopular views don’t get a MAINSTREAM platform. That’s right. If the views were more popular, they would be more accepted by the mainstream.

          So we let the mob determine what can be said and what cannot be said. It is nice of you to identify yourself as a totalitarian fascist. We all knew it, but it is nice of you to make that clear. I will be sure and bookmark this statement for future reference.

          1. So we let the mob determine what can be said and what cannot be said.

            No, we let the mob determine what is mainstream and what is not.

            “not mainstream views” =/= “forbidden views”

            It is nice of you to identify yourself as a totalitarian fascist.

            I wasn’t aware that having standards made one a totalitarian fascist.

            Honestly you’re starting to sound like a brain-dead hippie on this subject. “All views are equal, none are worse than others, don’t be so judgey!”

            1. Wow, your stupid censorious fascist ass completely missed his point.

      2. If a notorious serial child murderer can’t find anyone to hire him when he gets out of prison, no, I don’t think that’s an excellent reason for the government to get involved and require companies to hire notorious serial child murderers.

        If you don’t want people to refuse to associate with you because your behavior is so bad, that’s an excellent reason not to engage in that behavior. Incidentally, this is why public broadcasters don’t need to be censored. The broadcasters are more worried about offending their audience than the censors ever could be–because they’re the ones that have to suffer the consequences of their bad behavior.

        This is why most regulation of restaurants is generally unnecessary. Somebody passes along hepatitis from a fast food franchise, and chances are, that location won’t survive long enough for the health department to close it down. Didn’t it cost Chipotle hundreds of millions if not billion in sales when some of their customers came down with an E coli infection? No, I don’t think it’s necessary for the government to compel customers to eat at Chipotle because not enough people will.

        If they want to distribute their content, they need to either find a willing partner, do it all with private property, or find some other way to distribute their content. Because no one in the world will associate with your of their own free will is not a good reason for the government to compel association.

        1. If a notorious serial child murderer can’t find anyone to hire him when he gets out of prison, no, I don’t think that’s an excellent reason for the government to get involved and require companies to hire notorious serial child murderers.

          You are just engaging in the reductio ad absurdum fallacy. We are not talking about child murderers. We are talking about people who hold political views that the corporate powers that be or the vocal mob do not like. That is entirely different.

          The bottom line here is that you fail to realize a society is only as free as it wants to be. If you have a repressive society where the mob rules and anyone who dissents gets crushed, you are not free.

          Ken you are a typical Libertarian in that you assume everyone is just like you and that the only harm worth worrying about is that caused by the government. You are incorrect in both assumptions.

          1. “We are not talking about child murderers. We are talking about people who hold political views that the corporate powers that be or the vocal mob do not like. That is entirely different.”

            We’re talking about companies that don’t want the notoriety or headaches associated with hosting a site that’s become a magnet for mass shooters to post their manifestos before going on a rampage.

            1. We’re talking about companies that don’t want the notoriety or headaches associated with hosting a site that’s become a magnet for mass shooters to post their manifestos before going on a rampage.

              So one time makes it a “magnet”? Bullshit.

              1. 8chan has been linked to three recent mass shootings:

                1) Christchurch, New Zealand

                2) Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, CA

                3) El Paso shooting

                https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/04/business/el-paso-shooting-8chan-biz/index.html

                  1. Three–in a year?!

                    That’s probably more than just a trend, especially for a fairly rare event. For a rare event, that’s on its way becoming a tradition.

                    1. Ken, I bet 8chan has thousands of Manifestos posted and the people never do anything to other people.

                      reason has all sorts of Lefties post their homicidal garbage and so far not a single reason staff troll has violently hurt other people.

                1. “Chans” are not linked to anything. They’re anonymous imageboards. Psychos post things there. If it didn’t exist they would just make a sock FB acct and stream it there. That already happened in one of the three cases.

              2. “So one time makes it a “magnet”? Bullshit.”

                You honestly believe that the media, and the baying mobs of keyboard SJW’s minions would let cloudflare go about their business in peace, regarding 8chan? There’s blood in the water. I don’t particularly care for 8chan, and I don’t like the spineless, weak knee’d response from cloudflare, but I understand why they did it.. it’s not their crusade. In this day and age, you choose carefully which hill you’re gonna die on.

                1. Cloudflare’s DNS is the bomb.

                  My understanding is that they’re independently audited to show that they don’t log DNS requests.

                  As the alternative to Google, they could hardly be better. If Google shared its DNS information with the NSA, it would be like the NSA sifting through the metadata in our email.

                  If the online world remains free of interference from government, it’ll be in no small part because of companies like Cloudflare.

                  1. In other words, the SJWs would love to see the government go after Cloudflare. Getting rid of anonymity is probably more effective for their purposes than going after hate speech. They should want the haters to reveal themselves. And they should want employers, background checks, etc. to search through things like the information they can find through your DNS requests. They want to make hate speech more than socially unacceptable. They want your freedom, job prospects, etc. to depend on what you say and where you say it.

                  2. Yes, Cloudflare’s position on DNS transfers/logging is commendable. I simply do not like their response to this issue, especially considering that we are not absolutely certain if this manifesto is authentic, or certain it originated in the 8chin boards (it is now alleged that it was copy/pasted from 3rd party site). but, alas.. This is my moral position, and not theirs. 8chin is a hot potato right now, (and a small fish/large pond) because of this current alleged manifesto, and several others “linked” to it in the past, and like any other entity, the reserve the right to refuse service (to my understanding). I hope for their sake that this move doesn’t shake the confidence of other organizations which retain their services in the future as a result of this choice.

                    1. I see it as an act of self-defense and a decision based on a cost/benefit analysis.

                      The SJWs would love to use the excuse that companies like Cloudflare should be forced to log things like DNS requests–because they’re bad actors who hosts racist websites that provides a haven for would-be mass shooters to post their sick manifestos.

                      I want these decisions to be made by service providers like Cloudflare rather than have these decisions made by Liz Warren and the SJWs, and sometimes making the right decision to preserve that freedom within the context of a particularly bad storm is the best way to go about that.

                      Now, Cloudflare (and services like that) live to fight another day.

            2. I have been following a real time documentary series on YouTube on WWII. They do report on what happened in the current week. Right now they are in 1940. They had one of their videos on the Battle of France taken down last week for some unspecified “hate speech” violation. The content is factual and certainly not pro Axis. The only thing that could be considered hateful are possibly quoting some of the historical figures and the fact that the Nazis were winning at that moment.

              This is not just being directed at marginal groups with radical views. There are decent people’s work being shunned with little explanation of the process or the reasoning.

              1. Because I disagree with how other people use their property rights is an insufficient reason to violate other people’s property rights. It’s the same thing with freedom of association. It’s the same thing with freedom of speech.

                If I only support property rights, free speech rights, and association rights when people use them the way I like, then I don’t really support them at all.

                1. It does mean their inscrutable, apparently irrational, ever changing policies are ripe fr or criticism and even legal action.

        2. If a notorious serial child murderer can’t find anyone to hire him when he gets out of prison

          Why would a notorious serial child murderer get out of prison?

      3. “a society where unpopular views get no hearing or platform is okay?”

        Would you advocate using force to give them a hearing? Of course not.

      4. Freedom of Speech is not Entitlement to Platform.

        If you literally cannot find someone who will rent you a stage or billboard†, that does not mean your Freedom of Speech is being impinged, it just means people don’t like you.

        If you really think that a platform that all people can speak on, regardless of popularity or money, is important? Then that needs to be a public forum of some sort, not a private enterprise.
        ________
        †which isn’t happening here anyway.

    2. 1) Politicians will never become so ashamed of addressing a problem whose solution is already in place and doesn’t require their input that they won’t hold a public hearing to show everyone just how stupid they are.

      Has an insurance salesman ever been stopped when someone says, “No thanks, I already have insurance”?

      1. In an election year, especially, when politicians find someone the voters hate more than they hate politicians, the compulsion to whip people into a frenzy over it just becomes irresistible.

        Middle aged men look more appealing when a beautiful woman is standing beside him, looking at him like he’s desirable.

        Middle aged politicians look more appealing when they’re beating the shit out of something that everyone hates, too. If my representative hates a haven for white supremacists and mass shooters, then he can’t be all bad!

  22. Hong Kong faces worst crisis in 20 years, senior Chinese official says

    The MSM seems to be #MemoryHoling Hong Kong uprising lately. Once that Narrative shifted to gun control, the fact that people of Hong Kong have no gun rights and cannot easily fight a Chinese Military crackdown will never be discussed by the Propagandists.

  23. “Disclosure: We are correcting this story and headline because it incorrectly suggests that Section 230 protects hate speech. The first amendment already does that.”

    A story rooted in a false premise? How do you correct that other than by removing it in its entirety?

    1. “We hereby invite the reader to enjoy the story anew as a work of speculative fiction.”

  24. Does the Section 230 law say anything about it being a rationale to void contract obligations platforms may have incurred to their content creators? Because it seems to be used for that.

    I wonder what the Reason staff is going to do when libertarianism is deemed unacceptably far right?

    1. Blame the far right for forcing the tech companies to get out of hand.

    2. Because it seems to be used for that.

      Where?

      That’s a specific legal claim you’re making. So what case was that rationale used in (successfully or otherwise)?

      Even Laura Loomer, who is currently suing Facebook for her ban, isn’t suing for contract violations, but for defamation.

      I’m skeptical that’s a legal argument anyone is actually making.

  25. Imagine you made your final house payment yesterday, and when you wake up in the morning and look outside your window, you see that during the night, people have come along and put a bunch of signs in your front yard.

    One of them reads, “Up with people”. Another one reads, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”. You decide you like those signs, and you decide to leave them in place.

    Other signs say things you don’t like. There’s one that reads, “I hate LGBTQI+” and another sign that reads, “I hate Mexican immigrants and black people!” You don’t like those signs, and, what’s more, you don’t want people to think you’re a homophobe, a xenophobe, or a racist–so you take those signs down.

    There’s another sign that reads, “My next door neighbor Hank is a convicted rapist!”. You know Hank. You don’t know whether that sign is true, and you don’t want trouble with Hank. Unfortunately, you didn’t notice that sign, so you fail to take it down.

    Rights are the obligation to respect someone’s choices, and property owners are no different in that respect. If I’m the one that owns a piece of property, it means that I’m the one who gets to choose who uses that property, if it’s used, how it’s used, etc., and everyone else is obligated to respect my choices in that regard–so long as I don’t use my property to violate someone else’s rights.

    Property owners have the right to take down signs they don’t like and leave up signs they do. Property owners should not be subject to necessarily frivolous lawsuits based on the content of signs they did not create. The fact that they let some signs stay up and take others down is evidence of nothing more than their rights as a property owner. To the extent that Section 230 protects the right of property owners against necessarily frivolous lawsuits, it’s a great thing–especially in a capitalist society, where, by definition, property ownership and the choices it confers are held in private hands.

    1. If I was running my front yard as a billboard farm to the local highway and those people were paying me, I would not be surprised at all.

      Can you at least try and come up with an appropriate analogy Ken?

      1. “If I was running my front yard as a billboard farm to the local highway and those people were paying me, I would not be surprised at all.”

        Why would that change anything about it?

        1. If I am taking their money, they are not trespassing.

          1. Right, then we’d be talking about contract law–which is (or should be) beyond the purview of Section 230.

            You’re not knocking Section 230 for cases that aren’t within its purview, are you?

            1. Ken, we ARE talking about contract law.

              ALL of this is contract law. People who are, and have been abiding by the ToS, who have made the companies huge amounts of money, are being shut down in violation of the contracts entered into at the behest of the screeching internet mobs.

              230 is just one of the venues they’re looking to for relief.

              1. Section 230 doesn’t prevent folks from making further contracts.

                So if Facebook banning people for their content is a violation of their contracts with those people, then by all means, sue them on those grounds.

                But that doesn’t say anything about Section 230.

    2. To the extent that Section 230 protects the right of property owners against necessarily frivolous lawsuits, it’s a great thing–especially in a capitalist society, where, by definition, property ownership and the choices it confers are held in private hands.

      So, why does Google get special protection from such frivolities that you and Hank do not? Because interwebs?

      Also, you lithely glide over other issues like collusion/anti-trust, public-private partnership, and trespass to chattels. Not to mention a lot of nuance that could readily distinguish negligence in removing a sign from willful or selective message crafting.

      1. “So, why does Google get special protection from such frivolities that you and Hank do not?”

        We’ve got a serious conceptual problem here.

        My question is why Google (or Cloudflare) shouldn’t get the same protections from frivolous lawsuits as the rest of us property owners?

        You are not subject to defamation suits for things that other people say on your property. Why should that be any different for Google?

        1. We’ve got a serious conceptual problem here.

          No, we don’t. It’s pretty obvious that you’re dodging a straightforward question. Even if I agreed that Google needed some sort of special protection, Section 230 as passed by Congress would be a clear violation of Congress making no law governing free speech and would still factually represent an inequality before the law.

          My question is why Google (or Cloudflare) shouldn’t get the same protections from frivolous lawsuits as the rest of us property owners?

          Please detail the *legal* protections that prevent you from being sued frivolously. My personal protections don’t include Section 230. Google’s list of protections does.

          1. “Section 230 as passed by Congress would be a clear violation of Congress making no law governing free speech and would still factually represent an inequality before the law.”

            You’re stealing some bases, here, Buddy-ro!

            Point 1)

            “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”

            Section 230 does nothing to abridge the freedom of speech or of the press. To the contrary!

            Point 2)

            I’ve already pointed out that we’re not talking about any inequality before the law.

            Section 230 simply extends the same logic into the digital world that rules other media, and there are no rights in it that aren’t enjoyed by everyone alike.

            If someone defames you, you have to go after the person who actually defamed you. This was always the standard, and Section 230 only confirms it. In the 1970s, if someone defamed you in an interview with the New York Times, then, so long as the New York Times was printing what someone else said, you couldn’t go after the New York Times. They were just reporting on what was said–not making the claim themselves. Nothing changed. Meanwhile, if you want to start a blog with comments tomorrow, no one should go after you for what other people say on your website–you should an do enjoy the same consideration under Section 230 as Facebook and Google.

            1. Ken, I generally like and respect what you post, but you’re dead wrong here and the tap dancing bullshit is getting tedious.

              The question is straightforward: “Why does Google get special protection from such frivolities that you and Hank do not?”

              Section 230 simply extends the same logic into the digital world that rules other media, and there are no rights in it that aren’t enjoyed by everyone alike.

              Show me where the prior law and logic specifically exempts digital technology. The digital world and speech existed well before 1996.

              In the 1970s, if someone defamed you in an interview with the New York Times, then, so long as the New York Times was printing what someone else said, you couldn’t go after the New York Times.

              At this point, I’m beginning to think you’ve been hacked or sock puppetted. You can’t be this dumb. You absolutely could/can/did sue the NYT for defamation, NYT v. Sullivan 1964.

              1. “The question is straightforward: “Why does Google get special protection from such frivolities that you and Hank do not?”

                The answer has also been straightforward. Google isn’t getting any special protection in Section 230 that everyone else online isn’t getting. They aren’t getting any special protection for being online that older forms of media haven’t also enjoyed since forever. There’s no tap dancing. You’re just ignoring what I wrote.

              2. Of course the NYT can be sued for defamation if it’s over something they knew or should have known was defamatory–and they chose to print it and printed it. I might argue about whether advertising by third parties is something they should be responsible for, in terms of its accuracy; regardless, we’re still talking about something they chose to print and printed. Who is the court saying either knew about the inaccuracies or should have known about the inaccuracies? The court is saying that the NYT should have to face a trial because the NYT printed the inaccuracies of their own free will.

                That is still fundamentally different from them quoting what someone else said in an interview. If they sued the NYT because of what MLK said in an interview, it’s likely the judge would have thrown it out and directed the plaintiff to go after MLK. That is also still fundamentally different from MLK writing a comment on the NYT’s website. Again, in that case, if you want to go after someone for defaming you in the comments section of the NYT, you should go after the one who defamed you–not the NYT.

                You keep trying to stretch this into making people responsible for things that they didn’t do. Even in cases of negligence, you generally need to show that the person willfully disregarded someone’s rights. In these cases, where the defamatory statements are made by third parties, you can’t even establish that. Again, it’s like you’re trying to sue me for slander because someone slandered you while standing on my property. That has never been a legitimate basis for a suit–regardless of whether someone was allowed to sue the NYT for what they printed by their own choice.

        2. You are not subject to defamation suits for things that other people say on your property.

          What makes you think you are immune from defamation lawsuits? What makes you think that if you leave a sign up in your front yard that libels your neighbor, a court will not hold you partly responsible for the libel?

          You most are certainly legally responsible for other negative impacts your private property has on others, even if you don’t know about them. For some reason, you hold the absurd belief that it is different for speech, and then use that absurd belief to justify an analogous exemption for Google online.

      2. Mad.casual,

        I agree with Ken 100% on this one. Section 230 is not the issue. But on this:

        collusion/anti-trust, public-private partnership, and trespass to chattels.

        I think there are cases for either class-action or individual torts against some of these companies for very narrow violations.

        However, barring that, I do believe that if one allows signs in his front yard, then he’s also going to have to get used to receiving all the public criticism that’s going to go along when the property owner chooses what signs to take down and which to leave up.

        1. Go on publicly criticizing.

          But demanding that Reason be legally liable for the libel committed by commentators is far beyond publicly criticizing.

    3. Except the property owner in this case said from the start “my yard is an open forum”, excepting things that were outright illegal, not someone who did not ask for property to be used that but did not mind certain things.

      That is a substantial difference in kind.

      1. If the property owner declared “my yard is an open forum” but then acted otherwise, that would make the owner a hypocrite, but it shouldn’t change at all the owner’s legal liability or his ability to use his property rights as he sees fit.

        1. And if he’s relying on public infrastructure?

          It’s like you idiots forget that part of 230.

        2. but then acted otherwise, that would make the owner a hypocrite, but it shouldn’t change at all the owner’s legal liability or his ability to use his property rights as he sees fit.

          It could. The Terms of Service is a contract. If there’s an implicit understanding of revenue sharing based on things going on the property, and the property owner bans you from the property in a way that you can show violates the terms of service, there might be a tort action here.

          Everyone is thinking of this a little too narrowly: Facebook, Instagram etc. It’s good to remember there are platforms in which money essentially changes hands, and that Terms of Service is going to carry more weight when a person’s livelihood is on the line.

          For instance, there are Twitch Streamers who have had their “Partnership” status revoked on purely vindictive grounds when monies are still owed to them via their subscriber donations. Same with Patreon. Even if there’s no outstanding monies owed, the expectation that a stream of money will continue as long as you abide by the Terms of Service is, IMHO a reasonable expectation. If that’s suddenly cut off due to a vindictive moderator who simply doesn’t like you, the consequences can be severe. They’re especially severe when the creator finds themselves in a Kafkaesque situation where the platform won’t respond to his requests for clarification, and won’t detail where the Terms of Service was even violated.

          I believe that the real reform in this current internet spat should be how users and companies view the TOS.

      2. I don’t believe there’s anything about Section 230 that precludes contractual obligations between parties or makes them unenforceable. If the property owner has a contractual obligation to keep up the signs of the people who put them there, then that’s a different subject. And unilateral contracts are as legitimate as any.

        I know that clauses in contracts that say one party can change the terms of the contract at any time are ignored by the courts–because if one party can change the terms at any time, then there is no contract.

        1. Except at least one court has found that section 230 does render contract disputes moot. It may not be written that way, but apparently penumbras and emanations have been found.

          1. I’m not familiar with that case, and I don’t know what to do about bad interpretations of the law. I suppose some judges hate Facebook and Google so much that they’re willing to twist what the law says for what they see as the public’s interest. I’ve seen cases that do that on other issues, and my first guess would be that this is what happened here. Like I said, I’m not familiar with the case, but when I read Section 230, I don’t see anything that justifies that kind of verdict.

            1. I suppose some judges hate Facebook and Google so much that they’re willing to twist what the law says for what they see as the public’s interest.

              Who are you and what have you done with the real Ken Schultz?

              1. I despise Facebook and Google so much that I’ve done pretty much everything I can to encourage friends, family, and business associates to avoid using their products.

                There are only a few things I hate more than Facebook and Google, but authoritarian socialism is one of them. They can’t trick me into hating Facebook and Google so much that I’ll let President Liz Warren regulate content (free speech and association rights) online. That’s authoritarian. They can’t trick me into hating Facebook and Google so much, that I’ll support watering down our property rights. Capitalism is all about the means of production being in private hands and prices set by property owners making choices within the context of markets. If Mark Zuckerberg comes down with terminal testicular cancer tomorrow, I might throw a house party just to celebrate, but I won’t give an inch on property rights–not to hurt Facebook and Google or anyone else I hate.

      3. Except the property owner in this case said from the start “my yard is an open forum”, excepting things that were outright illegal, not someone who did not ask for property to be used that but did not mind certain things.

        This is artificially clear cut and underplays the special privilege granted by Section 230. The property owner doesn’t just say “my yard is an open forum” but up front reserves the right to claim ownership, in part or in whole, of any sign or signs at any time.

        Even if Hank has a rock solid defamation case against the signmaker who put up the “Hank is a rapist.” sign and wins, it’s not clear from the contract that the signmaker can take down the sign a priori. The (vagueness of the) contract makes it (not so) clear that the property owner is the responsible party for removing the sign. And any libertarian worth his salt would loathe such a shitty intractable contractual mess.

      4. No it isn’t.

        Wherever you live, look around. You’ll find that there are public billboards in places. Maybe a library, maybe a board in the grocery store, maybe outside a gas station. People walk up and pin things to it, with or without permission from whoever owns it. And whoever owns it is free to take some things down and leave others up. The owner making the choice on what and when to prune doesn’t make them liable for what other people pin to it.

      5. Except the property owner in this case said from the start “my yard is an open forum”

        It’s irrelevant what the property owner says. If the condition of his property causes damage to neighbors, the property owner is usually liable. I don’t see why that should be any different for libelous yard signs than it is for poorly maintained retaining walls.

    4. AMEN, Ken. Spot on. I could not agree with you more.

      1. Which is funny since you’re both obviously wrong.

      2. And this, Ken–

        chemjeff radical individualist
        August.7.2019 at 10:54 am

        AMEN, Ken. Spot on. I could not agree with you more.

        Should tell you that you’ve taken a serious wrong turn.

    5. Property owners have the right to take down signs they don’t like and leave up signs they do.

      The issue isn’t whether you have a right to put up or remove signs as you please (you may or may not have that). The issue is whether you are legally liable for the condition your property has on other properties and other people, and you unequivocally are. “I didn’t know” does not exempt you from liability, whether it’s a libelous sign or a poorly maintained retaining wall.

      So, if we apply the rules for regular, small time property owners to Google and Facebook, then Section 230 creates an exemption from liability that nobody else enjoys.

  26. Imagine how stupid social justice warriors would look if those companies had to keep 8chan and The Daily Stormer up on their services because they had no freedom of association.

    What? Why would hypocrisy and double standards make them look stupid? They’re already pretty damn explicit about the fact that “offending behavior” only applies to the behavior of others that offends us and not to our behavior that offends others. Your speech is violence, our violence is speech.

    1. The United States Congress NRA is a right wing, corrupted, killer organization that does not care about the loss of somebody else’s children and families. All they care about is money, power, & holding fear over the heads of this entire country. The Congress NRA must be disbanded!

      FTFY, OBL!

  27. “Supercentenarians and the oldest-old are concentrated into regions with no birth certificates and short lifespans.”

    Breaking News: (A lack of) Evidence suggests that news stories about supercentenarians may be fake.

  28. I’d like to read that Dennis Prager article but it’s behind a paywall.

    It starts as thus:

    governing big technology companies as a result of their hostility to conservative voices. These conservatives, citing the fundamental American belief in limited government, argue that whatever the big tech companies do, they are not the government. Constitutional guarantees of free speech do not apply to private companies.

    This is correct.

    Is Dennis Prager discussing censorship as the broad concept of shutting down or blocking speech that occurs outside of first amendment grounds?

    I’d like to read Prager’s article before I jump to my usual conclusions.

  29. Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke

    WHO?!

    1. Some Iri-spanic guy who survived Texas, but not the polls..

  30. The liberal fascist pigs in Big Tech can censor their sites because they own them.
    But once, just once, I’d like for them to clearly define what “hate speech” is besides something they don’t agree with.

    1. Technically these Big Tech companies all have contracts with the federal government. By federal law they are prohibited from discriminatory employer practices, this includes political affiliations.

      The music will stop soon and these Big tech companies will not have a chair to sit in.

      1. Whatcha talkin’ ’bout Willis?

        Political affiliations and actions aren’t protected at the federal level, either for federal employees, federal organizations, or contractors with the federal government.

        A few states include such provisions in their state laws and policies, but no federal ones do.

        1. Tie political affiliations into protected classes like race, religion, sex, and disabilities.

          The government contractors love to hire “double-whammy” affirmative action hires, so harassing them about their politics always ties political affiliation with a protected status.

          Use the laws these Lefties wanted against them.

          It’s a win-win-win.
          Lefties hate that non-Lefties are winning- Lefties lose- Lefties might decide that more laws is not working for them

  31. But correcting blatantly wrong (and suspiciously bad faith) tech analysis is like playing whack-a-mole these days.

    Well yeah. Y’all haven’t even been able to convince your own readers.

  32. I was going to log out and then I saw this gem:

    ‘Let them go!’: Largest US immigration raids in a decade net 680 arrests

    I guess ICE learned their lesson to no announce ICE raids.

    Haha. See ya later illegals. Valla Con Dios

  33. There’s a lot of weird and bad information these days about the federal law known as Section 230.

    Yes, like, for example, Reason’s endless attempts to justify regulatory capture by Facebook and Google.

    There is no justification for Section 230; strike it.

  34. 8chan is the new age of /b/. I thought Trump winning was a good enough prank but congressional testimony is a new high.

  35. Some people may be confused because they don’t understand the situation.

    The internet is like the Wild West. It’s not protected as private and it’s not recognized as public. It’s so confusing.

    Where is the Wild West today? Gone because it just didn’t work. All land is either public or private. It works.

    So what’s so confusing?

    If you value free speech, you’ll want the internet to be a public place where all your rights apply.

  36. Don’t link readers to Twitter without big red letters saying “THIS LINK GOES TO TWITTER”

  37. Well, I’m glad the Famed Constitutional Scholar Elizabeth Nolan-Brown is here to explain it to us! Where would we peons be if we could persist in our confused ways without the guidance of superior intellects like ENB!

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