State Censorship

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nosimpleway
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Re: State Censorship

Postby nosimpleway » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:17 pm

...actual children...

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TA
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Re: State Censorship

Postby TA » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:04 pm

Plus, as we all know, the losing party in a case is the best source for interpretations of the ruling.
のほも is such a good word?? the concept is kind of hard to fully get across in translation, but basically it means a feeling of pure, deep, platonic affection, and i think thats beautiful

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sei
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Re: State Censorship

Postby sei » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:05 am

Thad wrote:Other things that could potentially be used for child pornography: cameras, film, photo paper, printer paper, photocopiers, computers, phones, various body parts...


...pencils & paper...

...sticks & dirt...
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Re: State Censorship

Postby Thad » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:05 am

Well, I didn't go down that rabbit hole because it opens up the question of whether drawings can be child pornography. That's largely down to context and the laws of a given jurisdiction.

But yeah, sometimes.

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Re: State Censorship

Postby Thad » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:21 pm

Wired wrote:The recent European Union ruling that granted citizens the “right to be forgotten” from Google’s search results is morphing into a nightmare for the web giant.

British news organizations are reporting that Google is now removing links to some of their articles, including stories that involve the disgraceful actions of powerful people.


Well jeepers, who could have ever predicted that limiting speech could have a downside?

The BBC’s Preston writes that the removal of his post could be an example of clumsiness on Google’s part in the still-early days of its effort to comply with the EU’s judgment. “Maybe I am a victim of teething problems,” he writes. “It is only a few days since the ruling has been implemented—and Google tells me that since then it has received a staggering 50,000 requests for articles to be removed from European searches.” That means things may get less censorious. But in the meantime, the fiasco is chipping away at the gleaming edges of Google’s brand.

The removal of links to one article may be a blip, but the steady accumulation of removed links—especially to quality journalism written in a clear spirit of public interest—starts to erode trust in the reliability of Google search results. Now, anyone who does a Google search even just for the article mentioned above will have to wonder whether they’re getting the whole story. And anything that suggests compromise, lack of transparency, or incompleteness in search results plants a seed that starts to undermine the idea of what Google is supposed to be.

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Re: State Censorship

Postby Thad » Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:08 pm


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Re: State Censorship

Postby Thad » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:44 pm

Eugene Volokh and Ken White both discuss the recent ruling in Bible Believers v. Wayne County.

The gist: Bible Believers are a bunch of assholes who showed up at the Arab International Festival to hold an anti-Muslim protest. Some Muslim teens got angry and threw some things at them. The police told Bible Believers they had to leave, under threat of arrest for disorderly conduct.

Bible Believers sued, and the Sixth Circuit just ruled in their favor.

Volokh's article mostly excerpts the opinions (both majority and dissenting) at some length, while White picks the majority opinion apart a bit, focusing on why Bible Believers' conduct doesn't qualify as incitement or fighting words.

We've had this conversation before, of course. (Cripes, has it really been almost 8 years since the Worst Forum Sever?) The gist is the same as it's always been: people have the right to say disgusting, hateful shit; they do not have the right to physically attack people for saying disgusting, hateful shit. The police behaved incorrectly in this incident; their duty was to stop the people throwing bottles, not the people making them angry.

White praises the thoroughness and detail of the ruling, and believes it will set precedent to help clarify often-murky interpretations of First Amendment protections.

So, this is just a circuit case, not a Supreme Court case. How important is it?

Very important. Across the country, people in heckler's veto situations will be citing this, and it will draw other courts to agree or disagree. It may even reach the Supreme Court.

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Re: State Censorship

Postby Sharkey » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:37 pm

It'll be interesting to see how far this goes, though I wouldn't actually expect any surprises. I think it'd take a pretty liberal interpretation of fighting words to come to any other conclusion. Kind of a shame it comes down in favor of a pack of complete assholes, but yeah, we've totally been down this road before (National Socialist White People's Party v. Blues, 1980.)
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Re: State Censorship

Postby Thad » Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:19 am

Well, courts make bad rulings all the time, but yeah, as White points out the fighting words doctrine is all but vestigial at this point.

He also notes that the court ruled that the police have an affirmative duty to protect the protesters, not just that they weren't supposed to remove them, and that's apparently farther than the courts really go. Surprising though that sounds.

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Re: State Censorship

Postby Thad » Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:48 pm

This story is about a civil suit. But I'm putting it under State Censorship because when private individuals use the instruments of the state to retaliate against critics, that is state censorship. When a rich person can deter poor people from speaking out against him with the threat of legal action, even though that legal action is completely illegitimate, that's a failure mode of the Bill of Rights.

(For more on why civil suits concerning speech are a First Amendment issue, see Ken White's Hello! You've Been Referred Here Because You're Wrong About The First Amendment, which I've already had to link to once in a conversation about this subject.)

So, okay. There's a gentleman named Shiva Ayyadurai. Mr. Ayyadurai describes himself as "the creator of e-mail". He did in fact invent a program called EMAIL back in the late 1970's, independently of the work of pioneers like Ray Tomlinson.

Ayyadurai's independent creation of an electronic mail system is impressive. But his claim to being the "creator of e-mail" is...I will say "subject to some debate" because I would prefer that he not sue me. Because that is what he does to people who question his claim of being the creator of e-mail.

Because "inventor of e-mail" is, like, his whole thing. He's written books on the subject; he tours as a speaker on the subject. His income is based on his reputation as an authority; his reputation is based on his claim that he invented e-mail. He defends that reputation aggressively.

He sued Gizmodo for criticizing his claims. Like the Hulk Hogan suit, it was bankrolled by Peter Thiel and litigated by Charles Harder. After the Hogan suit bankrupted Gawker, Gizmodo's new owner, Univision, settled the Ayyadurai suit and took down the story.

Mike Masnick of Techdirt has covered this story at length, in articles with titles like Billionaire Backer Of Palantir & Facebook Insists He's Bankrupting Journalists To Protect Your Privacy, Ridiculous: Nick Denton Settles Remaining Charles Harder Lawsuits, Agrees To Delete Perfectly True Stories, and Here's The Truth: Shiva Ayyadurai Didn't Invent Email. And the result is predictable: Ayyadurai has sued Techdirt for defamation.

Techdirt has a post up called Techdirt's First Amendment Fight For Its Life. And here's the complaint.

My not-a-lawyer protected opinion is that Ayyadurai and Harder are in the wrong. Something I said in the TD comments section:

Defamation requires one of:

1. making factual statements that are knowingly false,
2. making factual statements with reckless disregard for whether they're true or false, or
3. expressing opinions that imply 1 or 2.

It's quite clear that Mike did none of those things. The factual statements he made are true, and have the citations to prove it; the opinions he expressed are based on those same cited facts.


The case seems to be attracting a lot of attention, and I suspect that Masnick has some pro bono legal help in store. Which is good, because people with deep pockets shouldn't be able to silence their critics through vexatious litigation.

The suit's been filed in Massachusetts, which has a weak anti-SLAPP statute (it only applies to speech critical of the government). Masnick and Techdirt are located in California, which has a much better anti-SLAPP statute. Some commenters have suggested that it may be possible to use California's statute since that's where the defendant is from; I'm not sure if that's true or not. But either way, I'm confident that if the case goes to court, Masnick will win, and it won't even be a close call. It's getting together enough support to make it through a trial that's the hard part.

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Re: State Censorship

Postby Thad » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:46 am

Ayyadurai v Floor64 dismissed; Ayyadurai vows to appeal.

The ruling is worth a read. The judge declined to use California's anti-SLAPP statute, which is disappointing but further highlights the need for federal anti-SLAPP law. He did, however, dismiss, on the grounds that Ayyadurai did not present a single actionable claim; even if you were to assume every single allegation Ayyadurai made was accurate, that still would mean that Techdirt didn't do anything illegal.

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Re: State Censorship

Postby Thad » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:38 am

Speaking of Techdirt and defamation suits represented by Charles Harder (see the Barefoot and Pregnant thread), Ayyadurai has appealed, as threatened.

Techdirt has cross-appealed the judge's decision not to apply California's anti-SLAPP statute. I hope that the First Circuit decides that the California statute does apply, both because that sets a good precedent and because I would love to see Shiva's appeal totally backfire. If he'd never appealed, he at least could have slunk away without having to pay damages; it's possible that, as a result of this appeal, he'll have to pay damages and get hit with a precedent that discourages him from suing anybody else in California or any other state with good anti-SLAPP protections.

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