This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is a reminder that cliches exist for a reason, with Stephen T. Stone offering up the simplest apt response to the claim that “stronger copyright law will help, not harm, revenue”:
In second place, it’s bt responding to Attorney General William Barr calling for more executive power:
The Worst Part is…
That guys like Barr, spouting their doctrine of the Unitary Executive and unlimited Executive Powers, only seem to show up when there is a Republican President. John Yoo also comes to mind, he of the torture papers; there are many others.
Who all seem to disappear into the woodwork as soon as the other Party is in The White House. Then’s it’s back to the separation of powers, checks and balances, constant hugging of the sacred Constitution, and constant criticism of executive overreach. Suddenly using Gmail or lying about a blowjob is totally disqualifying and certainly impeachable.
Such complete and total intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy gives the game away completely. If they didn’t have Fox News and all the rest of them salting the earth it wouldn’t work at all.
The shorter story: when a Republican President does it, it’s always legal. This goes back to at least Nixon in Watergate. When a Democrat President does it, it’s always Treason.
For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we’ve got a pair of anonymous responses to Mike’s post about his Impossibility Theorem regarding content moderation. First, it’s a simple reply to the proposal that a “notice of harm” system that invokes liability for platforms would solve things:
That is a form of moderation that would be abused by scammers, spammers, politicians and others who want to make their fictional view of things the truth.
Next, it’s a thoughtful proposal that content moderation should be seen as a more flexible optimization problem:
I like to think of people’s online behavior as being defined by two levels: the level of incivility they are willing to accept from others and the level of incivility they act at.
If the overall tone of a community becomes worse than what a user will accept, they eventually leave.
If the tone of a community is enforced to stay above a certain level, most users who act worse than that will be driven away, perhaps even by force (ban).
A highly tolerant and civil user will fit in anywhere.
Most people will have a much narrower band where they will both fit in and want to stay.
Moderation is what you do to keep bad behavior from making to many people leave, without also forcing away too many users. It’s an optimization problem, not an absolute.
There is no “perfect” moderation. Not even at smaller scales. You get the behavior you allow.
A highly tolerant and toxic user will be able to drive others away, without anyone being able to do the opposite. Those are the people you need to moderate. A community of only people like that is the end result of having no moderation.
And then there are the people who repeatedly act worse than what they accept (or at least what they silently accept) from others, usually arguing that in this particular case their own behavior was called for and rational, but the other people are just being unnecessarily rude and touchy. That’s where the drama is 😉.
Over on the funny side, our first place winner is an anonymous response to the claim that strong copyright is the only way to prevent freeloaders from destroying the market:
Bro that excuse is so old and busted that it’s in the public domain under current copyright laws.
There goes Masnick again! Pushing another reasonable take on a current technology battle. Acknowledging that there are multiple viewpoints to an issue with no simple solutions. Sheesh, when will someone subscribe to the ‘Silence Techdirt’ level of support so we don’t have to hear his centrist schlock anymore. (/s for those who need it.)
For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with a response to a music collection society’s claims that its booming revenues prove the need for even stronger copyright law:
“People still have money that we’re not getting.” – Jean-Michel Jarre, CISAC President
That’s all for this week, folks!