Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is a very simple anonymous response to a lengthy complaint about Section 230:

Freedom of Speech is more important than your feelings. Period.

In second place, we’ve got a comment from an exchange on our post about the recent end of our long-running legal dispute. One commenter asserted that we were shown to be “de facto wrong on defamation law”, to which Adam Steinbaugh pointed out the district court ruling saying otherwise. The original commenter claimed that because it cost money to mount that defense and achieve that initial ruling dismissing the case, that still somehow means we were wrong about the law, leading Matthew Cline to put forth a rebuttal:

If you defend yourself against a lawsuit and win, the fact that winning cost money doesn’t make you wrong.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment from Stephen T. Stone taking on the now-tired complaints about social media companies violating free speech:

Using a service such as Facebook is a societal privilege, not a legal right. If someone could legally sue that service over a ban — and have a court overturn that ban — it would upend the First Amendment’s protections for association. As for “true diversity” and ideologies and such in yuor last paragraph: (A) Prove that multiple platforms are collaborating with one another to deny specific ideologies a place on those platforms, and (B) recognize that true neutrality/“diversity” would burden a platform with hosting speech and speakers that the administrators of said platform have already chosen not to host.

Next, we’ve got a thorough response from James Burkhardt to the claim that disclosure of classified material is treason:

Disclosure of Classified material is not, by the constitutional definition, sufficient for the charge of Treason. For instance, a non-citizen (someone who does not owe allegiance to the US) could disclose classified material and can not, by definition, be charged with treason.

Moreover, while disclosure of classified material might fit the definition of treason, there are a number of other requirements and restrictions within the consitution and the law established by congress:

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason…

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Disclosure of classified material could be considered adhering to the enemies of the US, however proving that requires a showing of intent, and whom you disclose the information to can significantly change that analysis. Which is why we have the crime of espionage, which Courts have barred from allowing an intent analysis.

Moreover, International law (these were extraterritorial murders, after all) and the UCMJ explicitly do not allow “I was just following orders” as a defense against the killing of non-combatants and that such orders should be disobeyed. Under this principle, disobeying the commands of higher ups and exposing the continued killing of non-combatants would appear to be the right action to take. Courts do seem to have disagreed, but that ruling was not in place when the events in question occurred.

Over on the funny side, we’ve got a double-winner in Stephen T. Stone. In first place, it’s a summary of the general desire some folks have to make platforms responsible for everything, and get anything they don’t like taken down:

Ah yes, the Defamatory Intent Prevention and Sequestration of Harmful Internet Topics Act.

In second place, it’s a response to the Miami plastic surgeon who sued patients for negative reviews:

It’s all in how you say it.

He went from “It’s the Boob God!” to “it’s the boob, God…” with one lawsuit.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with That One Guy expressing a general sentiment about the week:

Journalist admits mistake on 230 and corrects original article…

USPTO is actually right for once…

Alright, who turned on Hell’s air conditioner?

And last but not least, we’ve got CSI: Houston with a response to the critical question of whether apathy is better or worse than corruption and/or incompetence:

I don’t know and I don’t care.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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