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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is an anonymous commenter offering up a hands-on perspective on Mark Warner’s proposed internet platform regulation:

We’ve run a community news site for over 15 years. We deal with any requests from users within minutes.

Black and white issues are easy. It’s the gray areas, the ones that requires human thinking to assess whether an insult is defamation, that cause the headaches.

Is a local politician a public figure? Sort of, but not quite in a small town.

An observation – the worst offenders always quote our policies back at us pointing out the loopholes they’ve found to support their damage. No one else notices policies.

And finally, Section 230 saved us when one organization’s board member wrote truthful embarrassing things on our site, and another board member sued us all. We had NO WAY to know the truth of what someone was posting to our platform until after the lawsuit. We weren’t there when the alleged, (and ultimately true and newsworthy) activities took place.

In second place, we’ve got a reply from That One Guy to the somewhat strange criticism that Karl shouldn’t call cable companies “ISPs”:

Still, Karl Bode insists on calling them ISPs.

Because it is a factually correct statement that if they’re offering internet service they are an Internet Service Provider by definition. That they also do other stuff is irrelevant, they still fall into the category of ISPs.

Readers: Next time you think “ISP” don’t think “bad guy”, think “good guy”. Next time you see “cable company” or “telephone company” think “bad guy”.

So don’t broadbrush ISP’s, but do broadbrush cable and/or telephone companies, got it.

If you’re going to complain about one person doing something, it might help if you didn’t turn around and do the very same thing in turn.

If the distinction is confusing, you’re with Karl. If it’s pretty simple and you get it, Karl is on his own planet.

Alternatively, to those that can understand context(like say the fact that ‘ISP’ is mentioned once in the article, and in a way and with a link such that it’s really clear who’s being referred to), there’s no confusion at all.

Seriously, stop assuming your potential and/or current customers are idiots, there’s already more than enough of that on display by other companies.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start with a comment from Ryunosuke about the recent mass hysteria over Twitter’s supposed “shadowbans”:

Wedding cakes: “Companies have the right to refuse service to anyone!”

Twitter Shadowbanning (even though it isn’t): “THIS IS DISCRIMINATION!”

Next, we’ve got a comment from aerinai pointing out the danger of hastily regulating specific technological innovations:

Deepfake today — Dynamic Video Option Tomorrow

The thing I am upset about this deepfake controversy is how a couple bad actors did some bad things with it and now everyone is in a moral uproar over it. This is a new technology that has a lot of potential LEGITIMATE uses. For example:

– A movie where you can cast yourself and friends in a role
– Recast a movie with specific actors/actresses (who doesn’t want to see Christopher Walken as Han Solo!)
– Shooting pilots and pitching ideas using cheap talent and augmenting your preferred candidates instead
– Instead of reshooting scenes after an actor either dies/does something stupid and gets fired, just use this technology in its place

TECHNICALLY… as it is worded any of the above would be for failure to take down deep fake or other manipulated audio/video content.”

Quit demonizing a SPECIFIC technology just because a few people did something bad with it…

Over on the funny side, our first place winner comes after Mike pointed out to one of our regular and vocal critics that, without Section 230 protections, Techdirt wouldn’t be able to allow him to freely comment. Thad (who has created an account since that comment!) considered this point carefully:

But there’d also be a downside.

In second place, it’s Stephen T. Stone composing some creepypasta about the Slender Man copyright fight:

With sincere respect to the Holders Series…

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself into. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit someone who calls himself “The Holder of the Master Copy”. The worker will stand, then point to a door at the far end of the nearest hallway. As you walk toward the door, you will hear the sound of people talking to themselves echoing through the hall. You will not understand the language, but you will feel an unimaginable fear deep in your soul.

Should the talking stop at any time, stop and quickly say aloud, “I need clarification on Fair Use.” If you still hear silence, run out of the building as fast as you can and do not stop for anything; do not go home, do not stay at a hotel—just keep moving and sleep where your body drops. You will know in the morning if you have escaped.

If the voice in the hall comes back after you utter those words, continue on. Upon reaching the door, you find that it is unlocked. Enter the windowless room and all you will see is a person in the corner, speaking an unknown language and cradling something. The person will only respond to one question. “How do we fix copyright?”

The person will stare into your eyes and answer your question in horrifying detail. Many go mad in that room. Some disappear soon after the meeting; a few end their lives. But most do the worst thing: They look upon the object that the person is holding. You will want to as well. Be warned that if you do, the rest of your life will be filled with cruelty and unrelenting horror.

Your life will be forfeit to lawsuits that will never end, even after you die.

That object is 70 of 1998. The being known as “The Mouse” already has many others. They must never come together.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out on our post about Universal sending a takedown notice over a video of some Prince fans singing Purple Rain. DOlz understood that they simply had no choice but to stop such a dangerous video:

After seeing that video I no longer felt the need to buy any more of Prince’s music. After all I’d just gotten it all for free in that short clip.

And finally, we’ve got Anonymous Hero with a response to our assertion that “you would think that a Congressional Representative, preparing to take legal action against a company, would at least take the time to understand what happened”:

Why would I think this? Is there a historical precedent of which I am unaware?

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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