SLAPP Suits And The Enemies Of Writing And Ideas

from the a-dangerous-chill dept

Writer George Packer recently won the Christopher Hitchens Prize, which has been given out yearly since Hitchen's death. The prize is awarded "to an author or journalist whose work reflects a commitment to free expression and inquiry,‭ ‬a range and depth of intellect,‭ ‬and a willingness to pursue the truth without regard to personal or professional consequence." That's quite a noble effort. This year's award went to the excellent writer George Packer, who gave a speech that is being passed around among many people I know, on the topic of The Enemies of Writing. It is a worthwhile and thoughtful piece, and I think it does get at a growing concern today about how certain areas of exploration are considered too taboo to even suggest that the orthodoxy is not correct. His concerns, mainly, are that writing on a taboo subject or not taking an orthodox position on certain topics will get you mauled in the court of public opinion.

A friend of mine once heard from a New York publisher that his manuscript was unacceptable because it went against a “consensus” on the subject of race. The idea that publishers exist exactly to shatter a consensus, to provoke new thoughts, to make readers uncomfortable and even unhappy—this idea seemed to have gone dormant at the many houses where my friend’s manuscript was running into trouble. Fortunately, one editor remembered why he had gotten into publishing and summoned the courage to sign the book, which found its way to many readers. But the prevailing winds are blowing cold in the opposite direction. Incidents like this, minor but chilling, happen regularly in institutions whose core purpose is to say things well and truly. If an editorial assistant points out that a line in a draft article will probably detonate an explosion on social media, what is her supervisor going to do—risk the blowup, or kill the sentence? Probably the latter. The notion of keeping the sentence because of the risk, to defy the risk, to push the boundaries of free expression just a few millimeters further out—that notion now seems quaint. So the mob has the final edit.

To be honest, while we've all heard such stories, I often wonder if they are overblown -- on two separate dimensions. The first, is that I'm not fully convinced that such things are actually happening more often than usual. It's just that once you are looking for them, you will start to see them more often. It is the nature of the freedom of expression within the court of public opinion that sometimes lots of people might disagree with your speech. If the fear is one that gatekeepers (such as those described above) will prevent the publication of such speech, well, that's fairly easily solved by the modern internet -- the same thing that enables the so-called "mob" that Packer worries about. You can publish yourself and face on the angry mob through your words. It is free speech all over.

The second concern, frankly, is that Packer gives short shrift to the idea that the reasons why some people might strenuously push back against heterodox views is that those views might just be bullshit. They might be poorly thought out, poorly argued, poorly sourced, or poorly supported -- or some combination of all of those things. It does seem slightly odd that in a speech/essay on free speech to worry about others using their free speech to criticize the speech of someone you support.

But in there lies some of the fundamental tensions that many have with free speech. It's great when it's pushing out ideas that you support -- or even when it's challenging commonly held beliefs. But, many have a tough time supporting it when it's used to gang up on someone.

Still, I actually got something very different out of Packer's piece. For years now I've been trying to come up with the words to express the emotional impact and chilling effects of being sued in a bogus defamation SLAPP suit. It's one thing to say that it's chilling, but that hardly gets at the emotional baggage that is involved. And Packer's speech, while not even touching on the issue of SLAPP suits, actually does show some of the inner turmoil that any sort of chilling effect might cause:

At a moment when democracy is under siege around the world, these scenes from our literary life sound pretty trivial. But if writers are afraid of the sound of their own voice, then honest, clear, original work is not going to flourish, and without it, the politicians and tech moguls and TV demagogues have less to worry about. It doesn’t matter if you hold impeccable views, or which side of the political divide you’re on: Fear breeds self-censorship, and self-censorship is more insidious than the state-imposed kind, because it’s a surer way of killing the impulse to think, which requires an unfettered mind. A writer can still write while hiding from the thought police. But a writer who carries the thought police around in his head, who always feels compelled to ask: Can I say this? Do I have a right? Is my terminology correct? Will my allies get angry? Will it help my enemies? Could it get me ratioed on Twitter?—that writer’s words will soon become lifeless. A writer who’s afraid to tell people what they don’t want to hear has chosen the wrong trade.

I think all of that is accurate, but more so in the context of a SLAPP suit -- in which state censorship (in the form of the judicial system) creates self-censorship that, to me, seems much worse than even "will my allies get angry?" or "will I get ratioed?" Frankly, if I'm worried about allies or ratios then my internal response is "gee, I better make this argument much, much clearer" rather than self-censorship.

But the idea of being dragged into a years-long, emotionally draining, physically exhausting, and money wasting lawsuit to defend speech is much, much tougher than anything described above. And, as we've seen more and more SLAPP suits being filed, I'd argue that those (and even just the threat of them) can be much more damaging, and a much greater "enemy" to writing, than any concern about the "mob" getting angry on Twitter.

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Filed Under: anti-slapp, enemies of writing, fear, free speech, george packer, slapp, writing


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Zof (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 12:52pm

    "It's about me!!! ALL ABOUT ME!!!!"

    "Now, I know exactly what the writer was talking about, because he straight calls out twitter and the media and Google, but I'm just going to pretend it's about SLAPP!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:09pm

      Mike’s article offers no pretense that the speech is about SLAPP suits. But Mike does say that SLAPP suits, far more than so-called cancel culture, are a bigger enemy to writing, ideas, and free speech than that so-called culture. What can you possibly say that proves him wrong, and how can you say it without the invective we so often attribute to the regular troll brigade (of which you have become a part as of late)?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:40pm

      Re: "It's about me!!! ALL ABOUT ME!!!!"

      but I'm just going to pretend it's about SLAPP!"

      I did not pretend it was about SLAPP. I made it clear only why I felt the feelings applied to SLAPP suits as well.

      On a related note, what's your problem?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Dear Mike Clueless, 16 Feb 2020 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re: "It's about me!!! ALL ABOUT ME!!!!"

        I tried to give you this story, years before it happened. Imagine the outcome, circa 2016, had you opened your eyes (closed, like a partisan shard or lackadaisical winter turtle )

        https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/wh-lawyer-complained-to-barr-about-the-mueller-report-the-day -after-it-went-public/

        The problem with (good) speech lawyers like (you) is that you think defensively, not proactively.

        But it is its own conspiracy theory promulgating abyss, because you are a PARTISAN lawyer, not objective at all, and trapped by the partisanship you yourself created.

        The story I link to played out in many ways, some of which you wrote about. But the problem is/was/will be is that you play the role of partisan douchebag, everytime, as if you can imagine no other script than the binary left-right tensions.

        Much less, protect whistle blowers (Marcy Wheeler, aka the FBIs snitch/Bitch, is instructive on this point) or even be able to recognize good ledes, from anon sources.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2020 @ 1:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: "It's about me!!! ALL ABOUT ME!!!!"

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 17 Feb 2020 @ 4:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: "It's about me!!! ALL ABOUT ME!!!!"

          1. Mike Masnick is not a lawyer, nor has he ever claimed to be one.

          2. The story you linked to has nothing whatsoever to do with the speech, the article, or this discussion.

          3. Techdirt’s failure to cover that story (which, incidentally, didn’t directly involve anything that happened circa 2016) is not in any way evidence of partisanship.

          4. Masnick and other writers on Techdirt have written at length many times about the importance of protecting whistleblowers and how unfairly they get treated.

          5. Masnick and other writers on Techdirt have written at length on many occasions about topics completely unrelated to “the binary left-right” tensions, though it should be noted that it would be dishonest to act as though those tensions simply don’t exist.

          6. Masnick and other writers on Techdirt have criticized and praised politicians on both the left and the right on several occasions.

          7. The comment section of an article is not the proper place to try to draw attention to an unrelated story. There are tools available to you to submit a story. Use them.

          8. Techdirt isn’t going to cover every single story that’s submitted to them. There are many factors involved in deciding which ones to cover, and they couldn’t possibly cover all of them. Nothing strange about that.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 12:22am

      Re: "It's about me!!! ALL ABOUT ME!!!!"

      “It's about me!!! ALL ABOUT ME!!”

      Hey look you finally said something true bro.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 6:15am

        Re: Re: "It's about me!!! ALL ABOUT ME!!!!"

        Narcissistic tendencies are prevalent within the population, however, those humans who mature into adults tend to suppress their childish behaviors while others not so much. It is of interest that many of these immature so called adults somehow find themselves in positions of authority. Now just imagine your older sibling being put in charge of the cookie jar, what will you have to do in order to get a cookie?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Internet PsyOps Diagnosis, 16 Feb 2020 @ 12:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: "It's about me!!! ALL ABOUT ME!!!!&quot

          Sure, yeah, you are right.

          Never mindinvasive, persuasive, and manipulative PsyOps, as pre-emptive diagnostic, ok?

          So. whatever YOU say, Dr. Mengele, must be true.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Zof (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 12:55pm

    We've secretly replaced their Taster's Choice with SLAPP

    "Will they notice? Let's find out!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:31pm

    Politically incorrect can be profitable, though

    For example,

    The War of Northern Aggression in Western North Carolina
    by Derrick Shipman (2003-03-04) (Paperback)

    $1,012.90

    • $3.99 shipping

    New

    smiley_books

    And this book has only 86 pages.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 7:31pm

      Re: Politically incorrect can be profitable, though

      Projection. Classic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 9:08pm

        Re: Re: Politically incorrect can be profitable, though

        dafuq techdirt? This isn't where I put that comment.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          ROGueS, 16 Feb 2020 @ 6:18am

          No, you're wrong.

          What next, Toom1275, some bizarre conspiracy theory about Techdirts even more bizarre moderation shenanigans, weighted flagging system, in-house troll brigade, and IP blocking based in nationality?

          That sounds like a conspiracy theory right there.

          Shut up, your post went exactly where YOU put it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2020 @ 6:50am

            Re: No, you're wrong.

            What does this have to do with SLAPP suits?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              AC Chatbot, 16 Feb 2020 @ 8:55am

              Re: Re: No, you're wrong.

              On redirect, I'd like to direct your line of questioning at an AC shitposter, AC shitposter.

              What does YOUR comment have to do with SLAPPs? Any of your comments?

              Yeah, I thought so. But unlike you, I addressed that already.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              AC Liberation NOW!, 17 Feb 2020 @ 4:00am

              Re: Re: No, you're wrong.

              Its hard to tell, AC, you flagged the post. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, ay?

              Thanks for hiding. It reveals what you are.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 1:31pm

                Re: Re: Re: No, you're wrong.

                No, it reveals the community's preference to not have to read such drivel. But your bitching about it does reveal a fair bit about you.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                bhull242 (profile), 17 Feb 2020 @ 4:31pm

                Re: Re: Re: No, you're wrong.

                Flagging the post should not substantially or significantly inhibit your ability to tell.

                Also, if you paid any attention to this site, you’d know that we don’t exactly believe that “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” holds true in general.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 17 Feb 2020 @ 4:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: Politically incorrect can be profitable, though

          Where did you mean to put it?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Toom1275 (profile), 18 Feb 2020 @ 9:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Politically incorrect can be profitable, though

            The trollpost just underneath, starting with "all the sites are wimpy censoring ones."

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 9:09pm

      Re: Politically incorrect can be profitable, though

      Why the superfluous word at the start of your title?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Feb 2020 @ 4:43am

      Re: Politically incorrect can be profitable, though

      Plenty of "good ol' southern boys and gals" eager to learn the war against slavery was really just a land grab and a great opportunity by and for the heinous north to perpetrate atrocities against the poor, innocent and noble southern farmers. /s

      At least the germans after '45 spent several generations teaching their children about the atrocities of the 3rd reich. A great many confused southern rednecks otoh, seem to think institutionalized slavery wasn't that much of a big deal or even had much to do with the war.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:57pm

    all the sites are wimpy censoring ones. they all have ani speech sacred cows. the ones loudest in defense of it are a total failure, totally biased, totally whataboutism-framing by omissions and subsequent elisions, prohibitions. can't say that, antisemitism, racist, bigoted, Russia would want it, the forbidden Christianity, anti vax, alternative facts, not northern.

    simply, shut up unless it's what Rachel maddow already said.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:02pm

      Cool, so will you be supporting the shutting down of Breitbart and InfoWars, which have their own “sacred cows” and biases and prohibitions?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 5:37pm

        Re:

        what in the least suggested shutting anything down? how did you fail to grasp the concept of "all?" did you suppose all meant partial? go back to school, learn logic!!! or maybe learn to read, wowowowow!!!!!!!!!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Zof (profile), 16 Feb 2020 @ 6:10am

        Re:

        Well said

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:33pm

    democrat operatives used a hit and run jane doe suit against trump. but none of the left, who sup the dirty dinner of deceit's benefit, speaks out againat the outrage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:44pm

      Re:

      Care to tie this back into the topic, which is "SLAPP suits, or the threat of such suits, is one of the strongest threats to freedom of expression writers face today?"

      Are you implying that some political group is either failing to file SLAPP suits, or that some political group is doing so? I can't tell from what you wrote.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:57pm

        Re: Re:

        All I got from his post was "huuuuuuuur, I are braindead and sheep. Derp!". It may be better to ask it not to post again rather than try to clarify.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 5:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          appeal to ridicule. fallacy. the finest of democrat lawyers trained you?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2020 @ 12:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You’re a tad more unhinged that usual hamiltron. Jhon Smith spur your for libowitz or what?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              AC Liberation NOW!, 16 Feb 2020 @ 9:57am

              Rein Hamiltrons defense

              I see that you people keep referencing an inside joke about some person who finds Alexander Hamilton to be an important block in the foundation of American democracy.

              Could you please provide a link to this hamiltron(or Jhonboi, etc), or a reference as to why he/she/it. Hamilton is reprehensible to Techdirts insiders?

              I honestly do not know why this is s running joke here.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2020 @ 1:53pm

                Re: If you don’t want to be a hamiltron stop acting like one

                Hamiltron stop playing stupid. No one said jhonboi, or Alexander Hamilton for that matter. I know you have severe brain damage but this is beneath even you bro.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                  identicon
                  Ich, Du, 17 Feb 2020 @ 4:59am

                  Re: rubber and glue

                  That old addage.

                  But at least I sort of put my name on my shtick. You, not so much.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 5:46am

                  Things theTechdirt "community"tolerates

                  Mocking people with brain damage:

                  I know you have severe brain damage

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                    identicon
                    Automated Reply, 17 Feb 2020 @ 8:16am

                    Re: Things theTechdirt "community"tolerates

                    I know if people knew you offline, you would quickly develop brain damage, and worse.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 11:16am

                      Re: Re: ThingstheTechdirtcommunitytolerateslikeyou

                      Damn four replies?

                      You know it’s at this point I’d usually say something about how sadly fragile your ego is. And/Or the only way you can get a sexual thrill is by being browbeaten by your betters.

                      But this you’ve said it all (and more) for me.

                      Thanks bro.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 9:45am

                  Re: Re: If you don’t want to be a hamiltron stop acting like o

                  not hamilton, again!

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                bhull242 (profile), 17 Feb 2020 @ 4:48pm

                Re: Rein Hamiltrons defense

                There’s this guy who used to post things on this site under the name “Hamilton” but now goes anonymous instead. Long-time readers are often able to find certain tells to identify him as such despite his attempts to remain anonymous. To detail why he’s considered “reprehensible” would be very, very involved; even I don’t know the full story.

                He’s discussed many different topics, frequently contradicts himself (so describing his supposed leanings in many areas would be fruitless), seems to enjoy being contrary for the sake of being contrary, shows no interest in having genuine discussions, is often overly aggressive, is immune to logic, loves to actually derail threads completely (not just through things like concern trolling), and basically just does a ton of things that are trollish and undesired.

                It would be difficult for me to use a single link to show the problem, in part because one of the biggest issues is the sheer number rather than individual instances. I’ll try to find one, but I cannot make any promises.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                  identicon
                  Self Censorship, 18 Feb 2020 @ 7:13am

                  Re: Re: Rein Hamiltrons defense

                  Thanks for that bhull. A little civility goes a long way, and you exhibit that on occasion.

                  I have noticed a couple apparently actual Nazi types, and lots of Bible belt(R) half wits here at times, but I never flag them, because gamifying discourse (as TDs comment system does) privileges narratives, rather than good behaviors, or actual democratic discourse.

                  And, I hope you are enjoying the show. Everything I posited about this comment forum has been demonstrated. Did you notice the three so-called whistle-blowers/ Fed-bait that popped in a couple weeks ago? I declared a ROGS Bingo on that-they might as well have been selling dynamite.

                  But have no illusions: these forums are monitored EXACTLY as I have stated, and my case study has completed, with a few unexpected thrills and surprises, like this:

                  <span class="abusivetoggle">Click here</span>

                  Interesting, what subjects/tactics/biases get rendered taboo here, while others run rampant with racist insults, etc., and as predicted, even as Mike goes on about how self-censorship is a huge harm, etc.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Feb 2020 @ 12:08am

                    I haven’t seen any subject worth a discussion being rendered “taboo” on Techdirt. But I have seen insults, baseless conspiracy theories, and irrelevant discussions meant to derail good discussions all properly flagged. Your metaphorical hatefucking of Techdirt amuses only you.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Feb 2020 @ 5:30am

                  Re: Re: Rein Hamiltrons defense

                  "There’s this guy who used to post things on this site under the name “Hamilton” but now goes anonymous instead. Long-time readers are often able to find certain tells to identify him as such despite his attempts to remain anonymous."

                  I still claim "Hamilton" is just what happens when the copyright cultist once known as "Bobmail" - and, today, "Jhon" or "Out_of_the_blue" loses his shit completely after failing to persuade people about the merits of copyright and classical extreme left/right-wing fascism/collectivism.

                  That's when he usually ends up spewing ultranationalist sentiment and bigotry for a while before calming down and resuming his persistent nagging about how section 230 and copyright infringement is bad.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 3:00pm

        Re: Re:

        Ivan is not feeling well this morning.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        ROGueS, 16 Feb 2020 @ 7:34am

        They dont call them sharks for nothing

        I cant see the OPs post, but Let me try it for him/her, AC.

        I feel for Masnick on that whole being victimized by apex predators with law degrees thingy, because it is what the lower tier of our society faces EVERY DAY in high policing scenarios.

        These cases-any cases- that are unfounded and designed to accost and literally disable the target, rather than prove facts; and can literally drain you emotionally, physically, intellectually and otherwise.

        But its a sort of vain comparison to say that Twitter/Facebook mobbing somehow has less of an emotional effect for many reasons, too long to go into.

        So just one: the resources of a guy who has a platform, and who uses other platforms are infinitely larger than the resources of a person who gets Twitter mobbed and then referred to police, community police agents/agencies/ or private contractors.

        For THAT person, Twitter is frequently their ONLY resource, and ONLY outlet to connect with the outside world.

        And, while many commenters here at TD continue to pretend that Twitter attacks are by groups of hypothetical community members, in fact, entire military/ intel/church/state sponsored troll farms, and NGOs, and big-dollar operators are operating there, targeting individuals, AS INDIVIDUALS.

        And that form of mobbing comes OFFLINE( Ferguson activists,Twitter Firehose abuse, etc.) and attacks the individual at a level where there is no court room, no formal process, and no resources with which to fight back, or resist.

        Masnick himself says that the damage is substantial, and that "all of that is accurate, but more so in the context of a SLAPP suit," and thus privileges his own narrative as a representative of community, over the dissenter, and individual. And that, seems purely a class based argument about status, and powerthat I see a lot of progressive centrists making.

        And you, AC either deliberately mis-state that, or you in fact disingenuously say:

        the topic, which is "SLAPP suits, or the threat of such suits, is one of the strongest threats to freedom of expression writers face today?"

        Even Masnick has stated that the article above is NOT about that, and forum sycophant/savant Stephen T. Stone has concurred.

        So, because the flagged post is hidden, no one knows exactly WTF you are arguing here, other than that it comes off as a sort of echo chamber or Mockingbird sort of thing, and a deliberate mis-characterization of an argument.

        As such, its an establishment position, that blatantly denies the reality of the marginalized, and the second tier of our societies.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2020 @ 1:56pm

          Re: They dont call them morons for nothing

          Wait, are you saying you don’t know how to unhide a post?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Word Police, 17 Feb 2020 @ 6:33am

            Re: Re: They dont call them ACsses for nothing

            Actually, I can't get that to open right now.

            The element is <span class ="abusive toggle">

            ...lol

            Maybe, in the online technological socialist movement, the click to unhide button has been rendered an enemy of the cyber-state.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 11:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Don’t like the game stop playing

              Ah, so you are saying you are to stupid to unhide a post.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 2:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: They dont call them ACsses for nothing

              Does the browser suddenly quit and the machine reboots?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 17 Feb 2020 @ 5:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: They dont call them ACsses for nothing

              Maybe in whatever movement you’re a part of, the concept of clicking on a simple toggle to unhide a post is either too difficult to understand or is the enemy and so must be blocked by some sort of plugin.

              Seriously, it works for everyone else just fine. Did you disable JavaScript or something? Because that’s the only explanation I can come up with.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 12:24am

      Re:

      Capitalisation is your friend. Elsewise your writing looks the the rantings of a brain damaged moron writhing with shit on an outhouse wall.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 4:04pm

    Paper-cut vs Stab wound near an artery

    Social blowback may be a big problem but SLAPP suits take that and crank it up to 11 in that they force people to face potentially ruinous legal and financial penalties and still have the potential to face social consequences as well.

    Your social circle shunning you or harassing you for saying/writing the 'wrong' thing is bad, however facing the potential that you might not be able to afford to eat due to a lawsuit of threat of one is, I'd imagine, just a tad bit more severe for most.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 5:32pm

      Re: Paper-cut vs Stab wound near an artery

      democrats did yhat dirty deed woth their fake jane doe suit which vanished roght before the cpurt date and noy one journalist even met the woman once. she did noy exist. party of vipers, party of a scam, democrats can't even toss coins fairly!!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2020 @ 12:53am

        Re: Re: Paper-cut vs Stab wound near an artery

        “democrats did yhat dirty deed woth their fake jane doe suit which vanished roght before the cpurt date and noy one journalist even met the woman once.”

        I don’t usually make fun other others spellings. So I won’t. I’ll just let it spaek far itsilf.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2020 @ 6:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Paper-cut vs Stab wound near an artery

          Those republicans really got some book learnin dont they

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 9:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Paper-cut vs Stab wound near an artery

            Maybe his thumb got stuck where he had and is now texting with a stub!

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        identicon
        ROGueS, 16 Feb 2020 @ 7:50am

        Re: Re: Paper-cut vs Stab wound near an artery

        Did you get home safe last night? I read this, right as you were crashing into that truck.

        Er...party of van.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 1:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: Paper-cut vs Stab wound near an artery

          What the actual fuck are you trying (and failing miserably) to say?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 17 Feb 2020 @ 5:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Paper-cut vs Stab wound near an artery

            I believe they’re jokingly implying that the other AC (not you) must’ve had a concussion or tremendous blood loss while typing given how incoherent it is.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 17 Feb 2020 @ 5:09pm

        Re: Re: Paper-cut vs Stab wound near an artery

        Setting aside the absolutely atrocious spelling and grammar, complete lack of capitalizations, and the complete irrelevance to That One Guy’s post which you are replying to, what suit are you even talking about?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 6:22am

    Re: SLAPP

    As opposed to addressing the issue, sweeeet

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 15 Feb 2020 @ 11:52am

    My opinion

    Tends to be my opinion.
    Time changes things including meanings of what was said and done.
    If we dont test and challenge and Update the reasons for things from the past, it just gets silly.
    Its the beginning of the bible and How/why groups gathered together. It dont matter if its the Jewish or the Muslim. It was changed abit when we created Christians.
    The old rules of Needing 10 kids on a farm(be fruitful and multiply) were from the age of trying to get past age 2, then age 5, and on to 40..If you ever got to 40, you were an old man. If you were a female and not married and had kids by age ?? you were an old maid.
    Then we get those that put words in the Bible, that had no meanings because they were controls over the people. This is bad, thats bad, you dont do this or that.. Are/were never int he bible. The 10 commandments are the base and sole of reason, "Be nice to each other" is a consolidation of its meaning.
    There have been many wars, battles, murders, concepts, changes to how we read it. And for some strange reason, few can agree.
    I love to get Religious people to THINK, about what is in the bible and what has been done For defense of their beliefs.
    I love the Idiots that stand up and declare "Christians" are/did/want this.. And I ask them Which christians? You have 40+ different sects of them. They Thru Christians to the lions, then the Christians thru the Romans to the lions.

    this is 1 of the most controversial and fought over things in our lives.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 5:42pm

      Re: My opinion

      protestant christianity has already been defeated. protestants aren't replacing themselves, too few kids. that whole philosophy is already discredited. who can contest radical women-oppressing-islam? women, with liberty, always opt for cultural and subspecies annihilation.

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      • icon
        ECA (profile), 16 Feb 2020 @ 2:54am

        Re: Re: My opinion

        Which leaves ??? as many as before.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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          identicon
          ECA Cut Off Your Dick NOW!, 16 Feb 2020 @ 10:08am

          Re: Re: Re: My opinion

          Well, back to how Jewish control of narrative competes with christian control of narrative....

          Let me try to remember (my post got flagged by some Techdirt Insider, right wing MiT based rabbi/s at MiT)

          Um...

          In the beginning the lord gave us incest.

          Then:

          The Jerusalem Talmud, the Babylon Talmud (some goat fucking and baby raping in between all of that) Then:

          The PentaToke, became the "Torah" became the Bibble, alongside that oral tradition turned propaganda hit piece, the christian Bibblio, as fanatics competed for dialectic space. in Rome, etc.

          Then: That goat fucking Allah guy Mohammed a couple hundred years later, and his hordes, chased us out of the civilized world for fucking little boys and girls, while teaching said children about the mystical Kabballah.

          Then, christians, some foreskin chopping, and then, ultimately, allegiance to the Anti Defamation League, for some reason.

          Or, Crime Drama, 101..

          Hold on a minute...I erred in my placement of Jewish, BEFORE the word CRIME.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Feb 2020 @ 10:39am

            Dude, I think you made a mistake. This is Techdirt, not Stormfront or 8chan.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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              identicon
              Nazi Papa Underwear NOW!, 17 Feb 2020 @ 12:39pm

              Re:

              You wouldnt know the difference between a real Nazi and a gay Jewish butt boy posing as a Nazi online, even if they both ripped your face off one night and crapped in it, because you are not that educated in social discourse, or history; much less Stormfront posers and Mossad sponsored front groups.

              PLease, stay home when real shit goes down. Your type of B-list commentary distracts real warriors from getting shit done.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 1:03pm

                Re: Re: only the most beautiful projectionists

                “Your type of B-list commentary distracts real warriors from getting shit done.”

                Watch out guys we got us an real internet badass here.
                We best watch out or it’s gonna go on embarrassing itself some more.

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                • identicon
                  Keybored Kommando, 18 Feb 2020 @ 6:21am

                  Re: Re: Re: only the most beautiful projectionists

                  Lol.

                  Look out, static AC, aka Tweedle Dee is developing a sense of humor. Next thing you know, laughing itself into the nuthouse

                  Lulz

                  I like you more when you are NOT on your Big Pharma psychiatric meta-narratives.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 1:35pm

                Re: Re:

                real warriors

                LOL! Thanks, I needed that bit of [unintentional] humor.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                bhull242 (profile), 17 Feb 2020 @ 5:15pm

                Re: Re:

                You wouldnt know the difference between a real Nazi and a gay Jewish butt boy posing as a Nazi online

                In some cases, yes, but that’s because it’s pretty much impossible for anyone to accurately and consistently tell the difference based solely upon online behavior in such cases. See Poe’s Law and its corollary. Trolls/parodists are often indistinguishable from actual extremists. You have previously presented a very good example of that, and you’ve also criticized others who think that they can tell the difference consistently. So, yeah, I have no idea what your point is.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Feb 2020 @ 11:48pm

                You wouldnt know the difference between a real Nazi and a gay Jewish [man] posing as a Nazi online

                The difference makes little-to-no difference in the end. A troll Nazi and a genuine Nazi will look like the same thing to the average person; whether the troll intends for that to happen is irrelevant.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Feb 2020 @ 4:49am

                  Re:

                  "The difference makes little-to-no difference in the end. A troll Nazi and a genuine Nazi will look like the same thing to the average person; whether the troll intends for that to happen is irrelevant."

                  Simply because, in the end, the one thinking he's doing a "parody" is STILL on record mindlessly braying his support for whatever cause he thought he was just "having fun pretending to be part of".

                  And naturally that just means to outsiders not aware there's some shitbag troll going the rounds will now believe there are plenty of genuine nazis around rather than just one bona fide douche and his sock puppets.
                  They're not wrong though - if you've got one nazi and two trolls in one forum what you end up with is three pretty fucking terrible people.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                    identicon
                    See Above, 18 Feb 2020 @ 6:37am

                    Re: Re:three what?

                    Well, look just above this post. Three something-or-others forming up a flag brigade.

                    I can name them, and so can you.

                    Only problem is, we cant tell which one is the Nazi, you/they are all in perfect lockstep.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Feb 2020 @ 12:00am

                      Your posts being flagged are not indicative of Nazism. Your posts being flagged are a message: “You don’t offer anything of value to this discussion and you’d be better off not wasting your time on metaphorically hatefucking this website.”

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Feb 2020 @ 3:22am

                      Re: Re: Re:three what?

                      "Three something-or-others forming up a flag brigade."

                      You mean the three random people all coming to the conclusion that your abrasive comments bringing nothing of any worth to the forum decided to flag said comments?

                      Looks fairly natural to me.

                      "Only problem is, we cant tell which one is the Nazi..."

                      Oh, we have a pretty good idea when only the commenter those people above reacted to is given to consistently infer that the western "New World Order" as personified in the Israeli PR lobby, is behind every evil in the world.

                      A lot of people sensibly find that although there is ample reason to criticize Israel as a nation for its policies, blaming the jewish for almost everything is too odious and obviously false to merit forum space.

                      Let me be more blunt then, since you seem not to understand - when what you post is the verbatim propaganda spewed by official neo-nazis your actual motives for posting as you do is no longer relevant.

                      No one is being a "nazi" - or emulating one - because they flag outright anti-semitic posts. That's just you, once again, standing with your hand in the till, pointing fingers and screaming "Thief" at random.

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                      • identicon
                        Anti Defamation League-the Brand!, 23 Feb 2020 @ 8:02am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re:three*random* what?

                        Let me be MORE blunt, SDM: you are a Jew panderer and not all Jews find you to be anything but pathetic, pandering to race, to abate your Swedishness.

                        Where have we seen THAT before, you Swede?

                        Oh, yeah-other Nazi's, cops, and trolls who masquerade online as liberals.

                        And what you spew is pure racism by definition lumping all Jews into one single category, much less defending the likes of Bugsy Segal, and Mayer Lansky, and Jewish gangsterdoms mouthpieces (organs) in the west, when you tout the ADL party line.

                        Anyhoo...

                        This seems like it belongs here, SDM-look! A journalist describes being gang stalked in a small town in IOWA, while investigating Devin Nunes farm in Iowa.

                        https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a23471864/devin-nunes-family-farm-iowa-california/

                        Keep your eyes peeled for the "white Yukon" that pops up everywhere.

                        But what would a keyboard warrior from overseas know about ANY of that actual stuff on th eground here in the USA? What would a Swedish person like you know about any of that?

                        And stop kidding yourself that you are anything but a useful #ADL-idiot.

                        There are not merely three random anybodies in ANY important conversation ANYWHERE in the US FVEYs, EVER, Scary Devil-its all monitored via keywords and algorithyms.

                        And, just because you and Stephen Stone, and ECA, and Hamiltron, and a few off duty/retired cops here have allied yourselves to flag my posts does NOT indicate ANYTHING even close to random, especially when we factor in your two precious ACs, who follow my posts like religion.

                        And those ACs and even you, likely part of this model here below, an echo chamber BY DESIGN, which indicates that you, and some 40% of ALL online comments are military/NGO/police union/think tank/crisis PR related:

                        https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          bhull242 (profile), 23 Feb 2020 @ 11:55am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:three*random* what?

                          I honestly don’t think Hamilton cares about your posts. I haven’t noticed him addressing you at all.

                          As for Jew pandering, I don’t see anything pandering about anything SDM says. Saying that the Jews and/or Israel aren’t responsible for everything that goes wrong isn’t pandering.

                          There’s no alliance, either. People flag whatever posts they feel should be flagged. Nor has anyone claimed that your posts being flagged is necessarily random, per se. What is being claimed is that multiple readers read your posts (or, more recently and in some cases, your user name) and—independently of each other—each came to the conclusion that your posts should be flagged. That’s not randomness any more than evolution is purely random, but it’s not guided or organized, either. There is a common link: the content, subject, repetitiveness, and tone of your posts, which multiple people can—and clearly have—form negative opinions on without any sort of organization or anything. There is no reason to suspect anyone of collaborating with each other to flag your posts; there are plenty of perfectly reasonable alternative explanations for your posts being flagged routinely that don’t require any collaboration, organization, or conspiracy at all.

                          I’m also uncertain about why you presume that there are any people among those who flagged you who are ex-/off-duty cops. I don’t know if any ex- or off-duty cops read this site at all, really, let alone any who both read the comments and flag anything.

                          As for these two ACs, again, it may simply be that they are frequent readers of TD and both share a similar opinion of you and/or your posts. IOW, it’s not you they’re following but the articles you post on. Also, I haven’t really seen any pattern with them. I believe there was at least one case where you accused someone of being one of the two ACs you claim stalk you despite clear evidence that they were someone else entirely and no evidence that they were one of the two, which again suggests that you’re reading way to much into things.

                          Lastly, there is absolutely nothing about SDM that suggests they are “military/NGO/police union/think tank/crisis PR related”. You’ve offered no evidence to suggest any connection(s) between SDM and any of the above.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Idiots On Parade, 17 Feb 2020 @ 12:16pm

      Re: My opinion

      ECA, thanks a million for educating all the religious people about how to argue ethics from a trailer park in Arkansas.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    AC Liberation NOW!, 15 Feb 2020 @ 1:05pm

    Are you serious? How does anything you said relate to writers being persecuted by the Pharise....er, by mobs of social media cancel culture twits?

    It dont matter if its the Jewish or the Muslim. It was changed abit when we created Christians

    There were no Muslims in the time of the Jews (3500 years) or The Jesus (0.1 A.D., lol). Muslims came about in A.D.632

    Then:

    Then we get those that put words in the Bible.... Are/were never int he bible

    Um...who are those that put words in the bible?

    And: Mishnah>Gemara/Halakha>Jerusalem Talmud>Babylonian Talmud>Torah>Old Testament> New Testament

    Which are you referring to as a Bible?

    And: The 10 commandments are the base and sole of reason

    WTF is all that about? Those books, if you read any of them, have very little to do with reason, and even in their best parts, only embody a type of self-referencing, semi-rational discourse, based in racial supremacy.

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  • identicon
    Nemo, 16 Feb 2020 @ 12:02am

    I would merely argue that once something goes viral - the mustering of the mob, so to speak - the probability of there being a SLAPP suit goes up proportionately with the size of the mob. Intensity of feelings also plays a role.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 12:04am

      Re:

      I believe Devin Nunes's Cow and various corrupt police departments show that the main driving variable is how much of an asshole the litigant is the only factor. The crowd is irrelevant, they are perfectly willing to Streisand themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 17 Feb 2020 @ 5:18pm

      Re:

      The Streisand Effect suggests that it actually goes the other way around: SLAPP suits tend to encourage larger mobs.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Martha Mitchell, 23 Feb 2020 @ 9:32am

        Re: Re:

        Um, nope. First, they gaslight your complaints, dipshit.Later, other who are not like you get on board.

        Usually, its too late, but in your case, there is the kernel of hope, driving you forwards.

        But I wont hold my breath, in your case, specifically.

        Two or more(in your case, many more)stupids do NOT make two Streisands by any definition.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 23 Feb 2020 @ 10:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don’t think you understand what the Streisand Effect actually is. It’s where attempts to remove something from the internet have a tendency to cause that something to gain much greater exposure than they otherwise would have.

          In other words, in many cases (such as @DevinNunesCow), prior to the attempt at censorship (SLAPP suit, DMCA claim, subpoena, legal threat, etc.), there was no “mob”, at least not a large one. After the attempt, the additional exposure may lead to mobbing if the majority of people find something unfavorable or worth trolling in there.

          Of course, the number of “Streisands” wouldn’t be the number of trolls, “gaslighters”, or people reporting on or stating opinions on something but the number of things they try to cover up.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Martha Mitchell, 24 Feb 2020 @ 5:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:I understand it COMPLETELY

            re: where attempts to remove something from the internet have a tendency to cause that something to gain much greater exposure than they otherwise would have

            For an example, look at any of my flagged posts over the last three years. I leave bread crumbs, for other victims of modern high policing aka intelligence-led policing aka community policing online aka organized gang stalking to follow.

            Its what I do. Each flag is a win for the adage itself, proving its time tested utility.

            Its also why I waged that PR campaign here, at the source of the adage itself.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 1 Mar 2020 @ 1:40pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:I understand it COMPLETELY

              Considering no one else seems to be discussing what you’ve said, I don’t think it’s working very well. Also, those flags cannot remove your posts, so that wouldn’t be the Streisand Effect exactly.

              I would also argue that any attention you’ve received regarding your activity here hasn’t really been positive.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Sperg Alert, 13 Mar 2020 @ 10:22am

                Martha Mitchell Effect and ROGS Analysis

                bhull, you are just a sperg to me, considering the time you waste here.

                But major disinformation outlets like Targeted Justice have changed their entire disinformation and psychobabble stream BECAUSE of my effectiveness here, and elsewhere, combating surveillance abuse and targeting.

                Notably:

                • former NSA agent Karen Stewart
                • Mi5 affiliated Dr. Karen Horton, who rambles on about pings from sattellites
                  https://stop007.org/
                • many others who are gang stalking frauds and hoaxsters, since I started combatting their form of disinformation

                Correlation/causation aside, I think my method IS working, bhullbot.

                You should really at some point a) engage with the dialectic, or b) STFU and stop shadow stalking me here, because you are either too literally stupid (devoid of common sense) or otherwise a TOTAL irredeemable faux-rational SPERG.

                re: It’s where attempts to remove something from the internet have a tendency to cause that something to gain much greater exposure than they otherwise would have.

                Gee thanks for educating all of us grownups, bhullbot. Its so not helpful to have a shitbag like YOU raping all my posts.

                But the Martha Mitchell Effect, times the Shirky Masnick principle of bureaucratic bloat have in this case worked in favor of publicizing this issue, aka the Streisand Effect(thanks, Mike).

                And look! Especially look at how the photographer framed this photograph. Notice in the link below, the glowing, colored photos, v the black and white SPERG oriented materials? Pretty stark contrast, ay? Yeah, thanks, shit bag.

                https://www.cnet.com/news/aclu-is-suing-ice-for-details-on-how-it-uses-phone-spying-devices/
                Me dia framing is an interesting issue, ay?

                Now, key constituents (go look that up) and buzz agents ( go look that up) aka key influencers (go look THAT up) are being CREATED as I write this, because key disinformation outlets like Targeted Justice and other spook-led operations are losing control of the narrative.

                Why, even gibberish spewing Dr. Eric Karlstrom frequently attracts people who discuss NSA wiretapping, and community policing on acid, rather than "electronic satellite brain beams and people cookers."

                But thanks for trying, lil' Spergie!

                BTW, did mommy feed you those Autism meds today? Or take you out to a shooting range or a "rock more slowly back and forth class?

                Good lil agnostic christian deist mommy!

                (wutever the fuck THAT is, you fucking anti-rational, superstitious nutjobs)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2020 @ 8:44am

    Something goes viral ... does this mean like Oh shit, everyone knows about it now.

    You think the general population is a "mob"? Why is it your inclination to cast disparity upon the masses by calling them a mob?

    Why is the probability of a SLAPP suit proportional to the size of some nebulous crowd with intense feelings that you do not like?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Feb 2020 @ 10:38am

      Why is the probability of a SLAPP suit proportional to the size of some nebulous crowd

      The size of the crowd can determine how fast a supposedly defamatory comment can spread to other people. Someone with a handful of followers on Twitter saying something (allegedly) defamatory that won’t spread beyond those few followers, if at all? Not likely to inspire lawsuits. Someone with hundreds of thousands of followers saying something that will likely spread to a much larger audience beyond those followers and thus enter into the public consciousness? Yeah, that’s gonna inspire a lawsuit if the subject of that comment thinks said comment defames them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2020 @ 2:50pm

        Re:

        "Someone with hundreds of thousands of followers saying something that will likely spread to a much larger audience beyond those followers and thus enter into the public consciousness? "

        donald - lol

        Agreed, I now see what was being said.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 2:34am

    So, the article is about self censorship. I think the US has a more insidious problem called out by Chomsky and others in "Manufacturing Consent".

    The manifestation can be seen in that many informed commentators in the US cannot find outlets in the US main stream media but can on RT. Examples: Chris Hedges (On Contract), Brian Becker and John Kiriaku (Loud and Clear), Lee Camp (Redacted Tonight) and previously Abby Martin (Empire Files). And, a collection of Democrat congress people have asked the FCC to "investigate" Loud and Clear. Similarly, you have political party aligned "fact checker" outfits slandering works by Max Blumenthal (The Gray Zone).

    What you have is information warfare. I think its always been this way (see Manufacturing Consent) but now it is much more obvious because the Internet has allowed so much more diversity of view and the its harder to control the narrative.

    So, my point is that whilst self censorship is an issue (and an important one) the greater issue is narrative control/narrative controllers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      identicon
      ROGueS, 17 Feb 2020 @ 12:31pm

      Re: manufacturing consent

      Totally excellent point. Yup, information warfare, combined with targeted PsyOps.

      I just found that Manufacturing Consent on an old hard drive that the US FBI(or other mysterious home invaders have repeatedly looked during black bag jobs, but never seized. I will watch it soon.

      And yup, those fact checkers like Snopes,com, et al are indeed partisan not just in what facts they choose to check, but also in the facts they do not check.

      I share some situational history with Max Blumenthal, as one of my friends at Counterpunch was also victimized by the US justice system, and its ADL-Israel lobby.

      Without irony, my case preceded both of theirs.

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/01/the-arrest-of-max-blumenthal/

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 1:08pm

        Re: Re: manufacturing consent

        Damn boy your paranoia makes ol’ blue balls look sane by comparison.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          AC Liberation NOW!, 23 Feb 2020 @ 9:07am

          Re: Re: Re: manufacturing consent

          BLAM!

          Just do it, #Bro-like-entity

          But before you

          GO

          Study how ass licking apes like you act:

          https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3475816/Is-proof-chimps-believe-God-Scientists- baffled-footage-primates-throwing-rocks-building-shrines-sacred-tree-no-reason.html

          Then,

          JustDoIt

          H onestly- I would enjoy watching you

          DoIt

          You make dead people look healthy, by comparison. And, really, you and I both know your time is up,

          JustDoIt

          I promise, all of your relatives will be "taken care of" once YOU are gone. And I do mean "ALL" of your relatives. This information is easily found in my databases.

          I promise you, personally-IT WILL HAPPEN. I will have the last laugh. Your AC comments will eat my shit.

          JustDoIt

          Sissy

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 23 Feb 2020 @ 11:03am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: manufacturing consent

            Wow. Classy retort. Especially the bit about the relatives and the repeated requests to “JustDoIt”. Really convincing counter there.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Yeah, righ?, 1 Mar 2020 @ 9:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: manufacturing consent

              You are so classy too, as a fact denying gang stalking Aspergers fuck.

              You Aspies are toxic, bhull.

              But also vulnerable to.....whatever.

              Aspie away, proud queer!

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                bhull242 (profile), 1 Mar 2020 @ 2:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: manufacturing consent

                You’re really bad at this trolling thing, huh? Also at listening or arguing or making sense or anger management.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Sperg Alert, 13 Mar 2020 @ 10:50am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: manufacturing consent

                  Bad troll?

                  Oh! My dear, someone please send an angel to spank me for that (an "agnostic christian deist, like you, lol)

                  Dumbass.

                  Not really a "bad" troll at all at least as defined by "liberal" media.

                  You, and SDM, and that cocksucker Stephen " Moms ass in his face" Stone, et al are nowhere even CLOSE to my targeted audience.

                  Instead, you are --as predicted--useful idiots against awareness.

                  But THANKS FOR PLAYING!

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Self Censorship, 18 Feb 2020 @ 6:57am

      Re: why depend on yourself?

      Just look above, and you will see it in action. Its not censorship when they do it, whoever they are.

      But you are spot on here: the greater issue is narrative control/narrative controllers

      Manufacturing Consent is as true today as it was then, but with augmented flag brigades backed by nefarious NGOs and their online Svengalis.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Feb 2020 @ 11:58pm

        Its not censorship when they do it, whoever they are.

        I’m glad to see you admit that you don’t have the right to an audience.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Sepher Zohan, 23 Feb 2020 @ 8:44am

          Re: a right v might Stephen T. Stone and Fascism

          I never said anything about a right to do what I do, shitbag, in case you missed the memo. Any rights you are discussing are purely in your useful idiot head.

          But As I have demonstrated, here, shitbags like you will take EVERY opportunity to crush speech.Its what useful idiots in every movement, EVER, ever did and will do.

          Its what I do-I demonstrate the mechanism of online speech disruption, and how useful idiots like YOU are part of the institutional mechanism, as useful idiots jockeying for positions you will NEVER hold at ADL controlled offices(well, you suck cocks-you MIGHT get a job with them).

          Stephen T. Stone! Hail the King for a Day (make sure you have clothes on King! Your whiteness-and your absurdly pink ass, I might add, are featured in this round)

          Thats significant, in my book-and the book of a few of TDs once-readers.

          I only set out to prove a point, about speech crushing useful idiot, dialogue blocking, self-involved shitbags online, like YOU.

          You, single underhandedly, proved my point, here, at TD.

          I find you to be quite

          StephenTStoneisInsightful

          Here- maybe read up on monkeys, encountering the Lacanian Mirror, via a tree stump:

          https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3475816/Is-proof-chimps-believe-God-Scientist s-baffled-footage-primates-throwing-rocks-building-shrines-sacred-tree-no-reason.html

          It suits your level of communication.

          (Stone, getting an "internet rush" as he reads this post, imagining he/she/it/ is significant, but who got some attention, at one point, online, lol.)

          Hot shower now!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 23 Feb 2020 @ 11:13am

            Re: Re: a right v might Stephen T. Stone and Fascism

            Actually, we just like to stay (mostly) on topic and generally discuss things through a lens of skepticism and/or cynicism. We generally lack patience with those who appear unwilling to follow those simple guidelines, rehash settled arguments without merit, do trollish things, etc. As you have admitted to certain actions and motives that many would consider trollish, many of your claims don’t appear to be backed up by the evidence or other, simpler explanations exist, and you tend to derail every thread to bring up your pet topic(s), regardless of their irrelevance to the article or the topic of the thread, many readers have no patience with you.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Agnostic Deist christian Skeptic, 13 Mar 2020 @ 11:10am

              Re: Re: Re: a right v might Stephen T. Stone and Fascism

              Yeah, even my pseudonym makes me look clearly insane, or just TOTALLY FULL OF SHIT.

              You are a christian/Jew pandering derailer.

              Your purported "readers" include bots, ADL trolls, and other military/police/NGO trolls.

              And: keep trying to elect yourself as TDs "Nazi officer school candidate number one" like Stephen Stone, the current TD board leader. The results of such a competition should horrify you, or any actual "rational" person.

              But I suspect that being elected as TDs chief Nazi is flattery for your types, and in fact, history indicates that you ASPERGERS types willingly gassed a lot of human beings.

              Aspie SPERGS and ZIONISTS are a proven team.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 23 Feb 2020 @ 12:23pm

        Re: Re: why depend on yourself?

        Just look above, and you will see it in action. Its not censorship when they do it, whoever they are.

        Discretion (such as self-censorship) is you saying, “I won’t say that here and now.”

        Moderation is someone else saying, “You can’t say that here.”

        Censorship (excluding self-censorship) is someone else saying, “You can’t lawfully say that anywhere.”

        Nothing going on in this comment section is “censorship”.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Feb 2020 @ 6:16am

      Re:

      "So, my point is that whilst self censorship is an issue (and an important one) the greater issue is narrative control/narrative controllers."

      Arguably self-censorship IS narrative control. If platforms are motivated to skew presented information in a given way the only story told will be one which is inoffensive to the parties able to exert influence over the platforms.

      "I think the US has a more insidious problem called out by Chomsky and others in "Manufacturing Consent"."

      As Chomsky also indicates quite clearly, this problem is even more insidious because more often than not it is not a process controlled by anyone specific.

      Vested interests simply move towards whatever goal is certain to yield them profit, undermining core democratic principles as fallout. The bizarre part of this information "warfare" is that it is waged not by a single army under some sort of leadership, but by a frenzied swarm of piranhas.

      We like to think of ourselves as a sapient species but as soon as we start looking at how our societies act and react we find most of our large-scale long-term interactions can be adequately mimicked by slime molds.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        ROGschompsy Ballsack Parade, 23 Feb 2020 @ 8:21am

        Re: Re:I think of you as sapient

        The rest of us, I see as human, because you think that chimpanzee perimeter patrolling behavior in humans is somehow just the way it is.

        And gee, this makes you sound a bit like a fucking ape staring at a face-like bit of bark on a tree:

        "more often than not it is not a process controlled by anyone specific"

        Really, monkeynutz? not anyone specific, ay?

        Idiot.

        Frequently, specific individual apes control it, and target it at perimeter interlopers, idiot. Did I mention Devin Nunes, above, idiot?

        Paranoid, much, you shit slinging apeface?

        Eat monkey shit, primate:

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3475816/Is-proof-chimps-believe-God-Scienti sts-baffled-footage-primates-throwing-rocks-building-shrines-sacred-tree-no-reason.html

        "Scient ists baffled by footage of primates throwing rocks and 'building shrines at sacred tree' for no reason ... and yet on the face of it, their behaviour appeared to serve no purpose whatsoever"

        You are purely all bark, no whit, and probably, your ballsack got easily ripped off by interloping gibbons, and eaten at some point.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 23 Feb 2020 @ 12:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:I think of you as sapient

          First, I think you’re confusing “sapient” with “simian”. Nonhuman primates (such as monkeys or (nonhuman) apes) are not “sapient”, which is a synonym for human (it is derived from the “sapiens” in ”homo sapiens,” the scientific nomenclature for the species of modern humans).

          Second, monkeys aren’t apes. Monkeys and apes are both primates, but actually, apes are genetically and evolutionarily more closely related to humans than monkeys. (For what it’s worth, gibbons and chimps are apes.)

          Third, while interesting, that article you linked has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with anything anyone has said up to this point and proves no discernible point. It doesn’t even appear to relate to anything else you say in the same comment aside from relating to nonhuman primates.

          Finally, regarding it not being controlled by anyone specific, SDM is referring to the fact that the aforementioned process is more of a societal thing, not under the conscious, successful control of any specific individual(s) and/or organization(s) (as opposed to generic persons and/or organizations). That is, it’s not something where you can actually, truthfully identify any single organization or individual (or several) as being in control of the process. There’s no consciously human-imposed organization involved.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Humor and Aspergers, 24 Feb 2020 @ 5:43am

            You could have just said Tail/no tail

            This again? Honestly, every five articles, we have to hear more about your personal inability to assess or comprehend humor, but hey, you're trying.

            Sapient can be used in many creative ways, few of which accommodate your disability.

            But this: SDM is referring to the fact that the aforementioned process is more of a societal thing....There’s no consciously human-imposed organization involved

            Evidence, or GTFO.

            Neither of you has provided any evidence, whereas I have addressed that at length, and pin-pointed several actual mechanisms in place here at TD that verify that I am at least partially correct (Chip,the chatbot that is active here, for example).

            But thanks for mentioning that the purported TD community that you purportedly speak for uses the Asperger's rules of discourse up there.

            Can you point me to TDs comment etiquette section, where it says that comments must conform to only discuss things in a Harvard styled, Secular Humanist-Aspergers manner, aka sceptic/other quasi-religious manner?

            I missed that I guess.

            Too bad for TDs lay-persons, not all of whom are humorless Harvard, Chaplain Greg Epstein, Stephen Pinker type chaplains or rationalists, commenting from the tight constraints outlined above.

            https://www.humanisthub.org/harvard/

            Hey, but TD accommodating your disability and humorlessness is cool. Hail Dieversity

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 1 Mar 2020 @ 2:25pm

              Re: You could have just said Tail/no tail

              First, words do have meaning, and your definition had no relation to any reasonable definition of “sapient”. That’s not my autism or inability to get a joke; I was pointing out that your joke made no sense.

              Second, if you didn’t realize that the vast majority of people who post in the comment section of TechDirt followed a rationalist approach to arguments, claims, evidence, etc. after several years, then clearly you are worse at reading the room than I am.

              Third, that approach is far from unique to people with autism. A number of autistic persons don’t follow that philosophy or more of discourse, anyway.

              Fourth, and I can’t believe I of all people have to explain this, but communities often have unwritten rules for etiquette that should be followed. This is not exclusive to TechDirt; it’s extremely common in literally every community or society.

              Fifth, the rules aren’t that rigid, nor is being a skeptic or rational thinker anything close to “quasi-religious”. It also doesn’t necessarily involve secular humanism, Harvard, or autism.

              Sixth, who the hell is Chip? Well, whoever he is, SDM, I, and others have actually shown that your “evidence” doesn’t prove your claims at all. Or rather, it doesn’t support your claims over what SDM offered as an explanation.

              Seventh, the comment you’re responding to never said anything about etiquette or criticized your tone. I was criticizing the quality of your arguments and your jokes. That has nothing to do with tone or etiquette.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Um, no, 17 Mar 2020 @ 9:29am

    words do have meaning

    I have provided multitudes of evidence, from Phd's, medical doctors, victims of "police stalking" that deploys the full toolkit of Fusion Centers at targeted activists and dissidents.

    And lots of disinformation on that topic via psycho-babbling loons who are ALL spooks/retired spooks/ and cops from the CIA/SIS?Mi5/NSA etc. (Dr.s Tomo Shibata, Dr. Katherine Horton, Colin Ross etc.

    ROGS Bingo: TD's boards are full of derailing spergs, by design.

    ANd comes now bhull. a self professed "deist" to prove me wrong about religious nutters being a major part of the gatekeeping and denialism on this topic(search the guys posts: one minute hes an atheist/skeptic, the next a "deist-skeptic", lol. TOTAL internal- external collision of cognitive dissonance)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JeffThorsen777 (profile), 18 May 2021 @ 5:12am

    It's interesting, thanks a lot!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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