Techdirt's think tank, the Copia Institute, is working with the Trust & Safety Professional Association and its sister organization, the Trust & Safety Foundation, to produce an ongoing series of case studies about content moderation decisions. These case studies are presented in a neutral fashion, not aiming to criticize or applaud any particular decision, but to highlight the many different challenges that content moderators face and the tradeoffs they result in. Find more case studies here on Techdirt and on the TSF website.

Content Moderation Case Study: Understanding Cultural Context To Detect Satire (2020)

from the she's-a-witch,-burn-her dept

Summary: During the somewhat controversial Senate confirmation hearings for the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, there were a few moments that gained extra attention, including a confrontation between Senator Mazie Hirono and the nominee concerning statements regarding LGBTQ rights that Barrett had made in the past. Hirono, who had separately called the hearings themselves illegitimate, was then criticized by traditionally right-leaning media for what they felt was overly aggressive questioning.

The satirical site The Babylon Bee, which frequently targets Democrats for satirization, published a piece roughly parodying a famous Monty Python sketch in which villagers in a medieval town try to determine if someone is a witch, including by weighing them to see if they weigh the same as a duck. The Babylon Bee took that sketch’s premise and ran a satirical article claiming that Hirono demanded that Barrett be weighed against a duck.

Facebook had the article removed, saying that it was “inciting violence.” The Babylon Bee appealed the decision, only to be told that upon a further “manual” review, Facebook had decided that its original analysis stood, and that the article “incites violence.”

Decisions to be made by Facebook:

  • How do you handle moderation that requires understanding both current political controversies and historical cultural references?
  • How do you distinguish actual satire from that which only pretends to be satire?
  • How do you determine what is actually likely to incite violence?
Questions and policy implications to consider:
  • How can rules against “inciting violence” be written to take into account satire and cultural references?
  • Is it reasonable to expect that content moderators will understand cultural references as satirical?
  • How much should a platform be expected to take into account the target audience of a particular website?
Resolution: As the tweet from The Babylon Bee’s CEO started to go viral, leading to another round of news coverage in traditionally right-wing focused publications, Facebook eventually apologized and said that the moderation decision (and the manual review) were a mistake.

"This was a mistake and we apologize that it happened. Satire can be difficult for our systems to identify, but we've restored the article and their ability to monetize," a Facebook spokesperson told Fox News.

As often happens in these situations, the CEO of the Babylon Bee insisted that this response was implausible, apparently believing that everyone would recognize the cultural references his site’s article was making use of for satire.

"Why did it have to take getting the media involved to fix this? And why did it happen in the first place?" Dillon asked in response to Facebook. "This was not just an algorithm flagging an article in error. Yes, that happened. But then a manual review took place and the ruling to penalize us was upheld. I notice they left that part out."

Originally posted to the Trust & Safety Foundation website.

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Filed Under: amy coney barrett, content moderation, mazie hirono, monty python, satire
Companies: babylon bee, facebook


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2020 @ 3:40pm

    Being fair here

    The Onion had these issues.
    It's hard to understand satire when you are behind a keyboard, that's a downside.

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

  2. identicon
    Pixelation, 30 Dec 2020 @ 6:31pm

    What our representatives will say...

    Burn her anyway!

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

  3. identicon
    Pixelation, 30 Dec 2020 @ 6:58pm

    And another thing

    Senator Hirono probably should not have set alight the grail shaped beacon!

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

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Buck Lockdowns, 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:03pm

    Why do you not POINT UP that the manual review failed?

    But then a manual review took place and the ruling to penalize us was upheld. I notice they left that part out."

    The KEY point is that Facebook's appeal mechanism is indifferent at best, takes major exposure by well-known site to get obvious stupidity reversed.

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

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Buck Lockdowns, 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Why do you not POINT UP that the manual review failed?

    What protection does an ordinary user have from this mega-corporation, then? Have any advice on legislation that would force Facebook to do tune their automatic system and do obvious corrections? Or do you simply leave all users at whim of mega-corporations? -- *I ask because if you ever again get the attention of a legislator, they'll want something more than a sketch of events.

    Your "Case Study" is useless without how to correct, mere filler for your tiny waning site.

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

  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Buck Lockdowns, 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:04pm

    List all your work experience relevant to advising these pieces.

    That's one word: ZERO!

    Your only known employment was at a doomed start-up that hired an Ivy League "economist" before it even had a product.

    You have hinted at "coworkers", but that would first require "work". All you do visibly is a little writing, mostly re-writes, and you're not doing that for a "living", didn't care when Adsense dropped you, never do anything to increase readership, so it's just your hobby.

    Most relevant, right here every day at Techdirt, I'M "moderated" by having my comments "hidden", adding an Editorial warning and requiring a click to see them. You allege that's not of your doing, but by "the community" with a "voting system" activated by an unstated number of "flag" clicks out of an unstated number of readers, but which a minion has admitted are no upvotes even possible, no appeal process, and are no commenting guidelines which I could follow!

    Dozens of questions like this over course of years trying to get one more word about your own alleged system have gone unanswered.

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

  7. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Buck Lockdowns, 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:04pm

    You're an academic full of advice without ever having DONE.

    So tell me, Maz, what experience at "moderation" do you have which qualifies you to advise anyone?

    You avoid responsibility for the censoring here so cannot count these 20 years!

    I conclude that the "hiding" is not done as you claim, but by someone with Administrator privileges soon as recognize my deliberately distinctive style (perhaps alerted by a "flag" click but not necessarily); also, my browser sessions are often blocked after one comment, and you won't dispute it a bit! You won't of late even admit that Techdirt has an Administrator! (Though I do recall remarks you made long ago...)

    That's because any additional specific you give will reveal that the little you have previously stated is TOTAL BALONEY. -- Another fact or two admitted would reveal that you've lied directly and tacitly about it for years.

    There's an Administrator making decisions to "hide" my comments, therefore it's viewpoint discrimination. Period.

    Therefore any actual advice you have is unwanted by bigger sites because your own actions are illegal!

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

  8. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Buck Lockdowns, 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:05pm

    And my comments here are not in vain!

    But especially on these pieces point up why everyone reasonable long since LEFT Techdirt.

    Now to time how long before censored. -- That's sarcasm for you, Maz, and on-topic as I always am.

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

  9. icon
    Flakbait (profile), 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:14pm

    Re: What our representatives will say...

    It’s a fair cop

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:16pm

    Re:

    Your owl impersonations are on topic? Yeah, you're not fooling anyone.

    DMCA voted.

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

  11. icon
    Flakbait (profile), 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:19pm

    “... these pieces point up why everyone reasonable long since LEFT Techdirt.”

    Hmmm...you’re here. Interesting way to point out that you are unreasonable.

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

  12. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:21pm

    What protection does an ordinary user have from this mega-corporation, then?

    Going to a different platform and reposting the exact same speech they posted on Facebook ought to do it.

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

  13. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:28pm

    Please cite the law, statute, or “common law” court ruling that says you have an absolute, inalienable, untouchable legal right to force any person, group of persons, corporation, or other private institution into displaying or even hosting your speech on their private property. Please note that neither the First Amendment nor 47 U.S.C. § 230 gives you that “right”.

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

  14. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:29pm

    “Fair cop” — now there’s an oxymoron if I ever saw one.

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

  15. identicon
    Rocky, 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:33pm

    Re: List all your work experience relevant to advising these pie

    It's very simple: don't be an asshole, don't spam and be somewhat on topic.

    You have consistently failed to follow those three simple rules for years on end and that behavior can only ascribed to abject stupidity. You are incapable of learning it seems, all you can do is come here and shit-post all the while displaying your idiotic persecution complex and disdain for education. You are a man-child throwing impotent tantrums.

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

  16. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:42pm

    The Babylon B- exists to prove that humor is not a requirement for satire.

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

  17. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 30 Dec 2020 @ 7:52pm

    Re:

    Well that's not reasonable at all, what next, telling someone that if a local bar kicks them out for swearing at the staff and loudly using racial slurs they should just find a place that welcomes that sort of behavior or stop being an asshole when everyone knows the proper response is to pass a law forcing bars to host all speech and behavior whether they want to or not, in the interest of protecting the (non-existent) rights of people to be assholes?

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

  18. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 30 Dec 2020 @ 10:27pm

    Re: You're an academic full of advice without ever having DONE.

    Every assumption you make about our comment system is wrong.

    Every assumption you make about me is wrong. Every assumption you make about Techdirt is wrong.

    You have an amazing track record of wrongness.

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

  19. icon
    Ben (profile), 31 Dec 2020 @ 1:59am

    I see the CEO of Babylon Bee likes to assume that just because they know a particular cultural reference and can use it in satire, that everyone else in the world should also know that reference, and be able to recognise it as satire.
    It's almost like they think there's a panacea for content moderation that knows all and can determine all cases with 100% accuracy. How's that working in for them?

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2020 @ 2:05am

    Oh, a sarcasm detector, that's a real useful invention.

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

  21. identicon
    Rocky, 31 Dec 2020 @ 4:46am

    Re:

    Mine just went off...

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

  22. icon
    Bloof (profile), 31 Dec 2020 @ 6:48am

    Re:

    Conservative humour reminds me of the cargo cults after World War 2, they saw what people thought was funny decades ago and attempt to replicate it without understanding society has moved on it why people even laughed to begin with. They keep on trying, building those landing strips in the hopes the laughs will come.

    They won't, but they'll keep at it.

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

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2020 @ 7:06am

    Re:

    “Fair cop” — now there’s an oxymoron

    I think this is a british-ism from the original Monty Python movie. When the defendant is found to have weight matching that of the duck, she says that, essentially confessing that she is in fact a witch after all.

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

  24. icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 31 Dec 2020 @ 7:08am

    Re:

    above not intended to be anonymous, it appears that I got logged out somehow

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

  25. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 31 Dec 2020 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re:

    they saw what people thought was [x] and attempt to replicate it without understanding

    I notice reich-wing trolls also do the same after other people point out all the fallacies that underpin their arguments.

    They appear to believe that when rational people point out their numerous ineptitudes, that it's not because it's true, but because accusations of fallacies must be some kind of magic liberal "gotcha" that automatically win any argument.

    And then when the troll, in their incomprehension, scattershots lies like "you're being uncivil!" "You ad hominemed me!" they get frustrated at their own impotence and imagine some hypocricy in the audience that sees right through them.

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

  26. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 31 Dec 2020 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re:

    Inspector Praline: Well why don't you move into more conventional areas of confectionery, like praline or lime cream; a very popular flavor I'm led to understand. (superintendent enters) I mean look at this one, 'cockroach cluster', (superintendent exits) 'anthrax ripple'. What's this one, 'spring surprise'?

    Mr. Milton: Ah - now, that's our specialty - covered with darkest creamy chocolate. When you pop it in your mouth steel bolts spring out and plunge straight through-both cheeks.

    Praline: Well where's the pleasure in that?

    If people place a nice chocky in their mouth, they don't want their cheeks pierced. In any case this is an inadequate description of the sweetmeat. I shall have to ask you to accompany me to the station.

    Milton: (getting up from desk and being led away) It's a fair cop.

    Praline: Stop talking to the camera.

    -Monty Python, Crunchy Frog, excerpt

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

  27. icon
    PaulT (profile), 31 Dec 2020 @ 8:42am

    Re: Being fair here

    I'm very sympathetic to The Onion writers nowadays. It must be very hard coming up with new satire when the satire you came up with 10 years ago is coming directly from the president's mouth.

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

  28. icon
    PaulT (profile), 31 Dec 2020 @ 8:45am

    Re: List all your work experience relevant to advising these pie

    "Dozens of questions like this over course of years trying to get one more word about your own alleged system have gone unanswered."

    They've been answered. You just don't like the fact that "you're having your comments hidden because you're an obnoxious dickhead being told to leave a room where nobody wants you, where the property owner believes enough in free speech to not actually block anyone" is the correct answer.

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

  29. icon
    PaulT (profile), 31 Dec 2020 @ 8:46am

    Re: You're an academic full of advice without ever having DONE.

    "There's an Administrator making decisions to "hide" my comments, therefore it's viewpoint discrimination. Period."

    Even if you were correct about your fantasy - so? Do private property owners not have the right to tell unwelcome guests to leave?

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

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2020 @ 11:05am

    Re: You're an academic full of advice without ever having DONE.

    therefore it's viewpoint discrimination.

    1) Every bucketload of shit does not constitute a "viewpoint".

    2)"Viewpoint discrimination", aka, "We've seen that 'argument', it's stupid, doesn't make sense, and doesn't reflect reality, so we are no longer entertaining it" is perfectly fine and valid.

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

  31. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 31 Dec 2020 @ 1:14pm

    A similar issue arises with what one would call “Christian movies”: The Christians who make movies like God’s Not Dead want the success and mainsteam acknowledgement that “secular” pop culture receives, but they rarely (if ever) manage to reach that level of success — because their movies are never for broader audiences. Everything that makes “Christian movies” appeal specifically to Christians also makes those movies feel less like an attempt to tell an interesting story and more like a sermon intended to placate Christian sensibilities (to wit: the God’s Not Dead series).

    Also: Conservative humor doesn’t rely on punching up. At best, it relies on punching sideways; at worst, it’s about demonizing, marginalizing, and humiliating the Repugnant Cultural Other. Conservative humor is like a joke about immigrants that makes immigrants the butt of those jokes: It’s not about poking fun at powerful people or making life seem more relatable through humor, but about displaying cruelty to “the lesser” and inviting other people to laugh along with that cruelty. And conservative humor rarely (if ever) dips into the kind of self-deprication that makes actually entertaining humorists more relatable and thus more entertaining. And there’s really no better example of this than one of the only two anti-trans jokes in existence.

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2020 @ 1:45pm

    Re: You're an academic full of advice without ever having DONE.

    "viewpoint discrimination"

    Ok, so I looked this up ... the top return talks about the term being used by the SCOTUS to identify government things that favor or disfavor stuff. It says nothing about websites.

    I gotta ask, how are you using the phrase?

    Just for fun I also looked up viewpoint discrimination in Urban Dictionary. There was no entry for viewpoint discrimination but I did find something of interest:

    Hack fart
    Predictable viewpoint espoused dogmatically by uninformed trolls seeking attention.
    "Why would I care about that guy's hack farts?"

    hackfarts

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

  33. icon
    PaulT (profile), 1 Jan 2021 @ 1:00am

    Re:

    " because their movies are never for broader audiences"

    I've never actually watched the movies, as I prefer the propaganda combined with a bit of snark from The Cinema Snob on YouTube, but it seems to go further than that. My understanding of the God's Not Dead series is that the first two are just a collection of idiotic strawman internet arguments strung together as if they have a real point. The third one was a much more subtle and realistic character study with some actually Christian messaging, so it flopped.

    "Also: Conservative humor doesn’t rely on punching up. At best, it relies on punching sideways; at worst, it’s about demonizing, marginalizing, and humiliating the Repugnant Cultural Other."

    Mostly. In my experience, they also reuse age old memes in ways that completely miss the point of the original, but are presented in ways that suggest that the poster think they're hilariously insightful. Also, Ben Garrison type cartoons that fetishise Trump to an uncomfortable degree and merely demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of their perceived opponents' positions.

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

  34. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 1 Jan 2021 @ 10:14pm

    Re: Re: You're an academic full of advice without ever having DO

    Also, every assumption they make about the law is wrong.

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

  35. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 2 Jan 2021 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Why do you not POINT UP that the manual review failed?

    What protection does an ordinary user have from this mega-corporation, then?

    Just go to another platform. There is no right to use someone else’s privately owned platform.

    Have any advice on legislation that would force Facebook to […] tune their automatic system and do obvious corrections?

    You’re asking for the impossible. Humans are bad enough at detecting satire and parody, and computers simply don’t understand context. No amount of tuning and/or corrections will fix that, no matter the legislation.

    It’s also not the case that legislation is needed to persuade Facebook to try to improve. Facebook continually tries to adjust its algorithms to improve. The problem is that the success rate will never be close to 100% perfect, lacking in false positives or false negatives. Humans can’t do it that well, and we’re a lot better than computers at detecting such things. Given the sheer number of posts made every day on Facebook, it’s statistically inevitable that you’ll get some false positives every now and then even after manual review.

    Or do you simply leave all users at whim of mega-corporations?

    When you agree to the terms of service that all users of Facebook have to agree to in order to use it, you agreed to allow Facebook to do what it wants with that speech within the four corners of their platform. The only recourse is simple: use a different service. There are a number of them. You could also create your own. Again, you are not owed the right to use Facebook, specifically. The size of the corporation that owns the platform is irrelevant.

    I ask because if you ever again get the attention of a legislator, they'll want something more than a sketch of events.

    Your "Case Study" is useless without how to correct, mere filler for your tiny waning site.

    You misunderstand how a case study works. When you present a case study, the presentation does not include recommendations for handling any issues. It merely presents the facts and data. It’s up to the readers to decide what to do with that information. A case study is not meant to persuade anyone of anything. It’s just data.

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

  36. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 2 Jan 2021 @ 11:13am

    Re: List all your work experience relevant to advising these pie

    List all your work experience relevant to advising these pieces.

    That's one word: ZERO!

    If you’d bother to read the blurb at the top, you’d know that the contents of these “Case Study” articles are not written or edited by anyone who works for Techdirt but by the Copia Institute, a well-known think-tank that presumably has employees or connections with people who do have relevant work experience.

    Though, again, a case study doesn’t advise; it merely presents the facts of a specific instance as they are. “Relevant work experience” isn’t usually necessary to do a decent job at writing a case study.

    You have hinted at "coworkers", but that would first require "work". All you do visibly is a little writing, mostly re-writes, and you're not doing that for a "living", didn't care when Adsense dropped you, never do anything to increase readership, so it's just your hobby.

    He writes articles, does research for said articles, runs the site, cleans out the filters, and gets paid through AdSense and through direct contributions from readers. Even if it’s only a part-time job or side job to his regular employment—and we have no evidence that it’s less than a full-time job—that’s still more than a hobby.

    Most relevant, right here every day at Techdirt, I'M "moderated" by having my comments "hidden", adding an Editorial warning and requiring a click to see them.

    Indeed you are. Note that people can still read them if they want to with little effort.

    You allege that's not of your doing, but by "the community" with a "voting system" activated by an unstated number of "flag" clicks out of an unstated number of readers, but which a minion has admitted are no upvotes even possible, no appeal process, and are no commenting guidelines which I could follow!

    All of which are true, except that there is sort of an upvote process through the “insightful”, “funny”, “first word”, and “last word” buttons; it just doesn’t counter the flag button at all. And of course there are no community guidelines since it’s the community that decides what to flag.

    Dozens of questions like this over course of years trying to get one more word about your own alleged system have gone unanswered.

    It sounds like you have most of your answers already: when enough people flag a comment, it gets hidden; there is no way to “appeal” such a thing, which doesn’t make much sense to me why it’d be necessary given the minimal effect hiding comments actually has. The community guidelines can best be summed up as “don’t be a jerk”. The rest is just minor details that don’t make much of a difference.

    You’ve had your questions answered already; you just refuse to accept the answers or want details that, frankly, don’t matter unless you want to subvert the system.

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

  37. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 2 Jan 2021 @ 11:53am

    Re: You're an academic full of advice without ever having DONE.

    So tell me, Maz, what experience at "moderation" do you have which qualifies you to advise anyone?

    Again, this article was written by the Copia Institute, and all it does is state facts and testimony; it doesn’t advise anyone to do anything in particular. Thus, your question is both misdirected and irrelevant.

    You avoid responsibility for the censoring here so cannot count these 20 years!

    Well, he actually does take responsibility for setting up the system used to hide flagged comments, the spam filter, and the removal of obvious commercial spam. That much of it is hands-off is irrelevant when most sites use some sort of automation for their moderation, too.

    I conclude that the "hiding" is not done as you claim, but by someone with Administrator privileges soon as recognize my deliberately distinctive style (perhaps alerted by a "flag" click but not necessarily)

    You have offered absolutely zero reasons to seriously entertain that as a possibility, let alone a reason to conclude that that’s actually the case. You’ve offered absolutely no reason to conclude that it’s anything other than the stated method of comments being hidden automatically after receiving a sufficient number of flags from users. You simply assert your conclusion without presenting any evidence or reasoning behind it whatsoever. As such, this claim and any derived from it can be dismissed as speculative wishful thinking without any basis in logic or fact.

    also, my browser sessions are often blocked after one comment, and you won't dispute it a bit!

    That your browser acts up isn’t disputed is because we simply don’t know. We only know that you are the only one who has claimed to have this problem at all, let alone consistently, which suggests that either your device, your browser, a plugin, or your internet connection is faulty somehow, especially since you’ve given us nothing else to work from. As such, that this website or the people running it are somehow blocking you has been disputed repeatedly, especially since nothing in the code suggests that that’s anywhere close to a plausible theory, especially compared to the other ones.

    You won't of late even admit that Techdirt has an Administrator! (Though I do recall remarks you made long ago...)

    That hasn’t even really come up. Also, literally every site has an admin, not just the ones that accept user-generated content. The one(s) on this site is/are pretty much completely hands-off outside of removing commercial spam, and—again—you’ve offered no reason to believe otherwise.

    That's because any additional specific you give will reveal that the little you have previously stated is TOTAL BALONEY. -- Another fact or two admitted would reveal that you've lied directly and tacitly about it for years.

    Actually, it’s entirely plausible that, like on many other sites that depend on user feedback to perform moderation, the number of flags and number of users are dependent on a number of variables that makes it too complicated to be worth explain it to some random guy on the internet already believed to be operating in bad faith, which is supported by your clearly stated assumptions about this site and the fact that you keep demanding answers already given to you while also claiming that you’ve received none despite clear evidence to the contrary.

    Those are the only specifics that have not been given to you, and since there’s an entirely plausible innocent explanation behind that, there’s no reason to suspect anything else.

    Really, your questions have been answered repeatedly; you just refuse to accept the answers for no apparent reason other than you don’t like them for some unknown reason.

    There's an Administrator making decisions to "hide" my comments, therefore it's viewpoint discrimination. Period.

    First, you still haven’t proven either of those is true, but even if your premise is true, your conclusion doesn’t necessarily follow from that. It would also change nothing other than to help refute your original point (that doesn’t even matter) about Mike’s supposed experience (or lack thereof) in moderation.

    Therefore any actual advice you have is unwanted by bigger sites because your own actions are illegal!

    Again, no advice was actually given in the article, and this article wasn’t even written by anyone working at Techdirt, let alone Mike specifically. You also still haven’t proven anything.

    More importantly, even if your allegations were true prior to this point, it is not illegal for privately owned websites or their owners to engage in viewpoint discrimination or do anything else you accused them of; in fact, doing so is protected by the 1A.

    Once again, your premises wouldn’t support your conclusion even if they were true, and you haven’t done anything to prove your premises true to begin with.

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

  38. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 2 Jan 2021 @ 5:37pm

    Great way to burn a few hours/days

    If you want to get an idea as to what those propaganda movies can be like I can highly recommend checking out God Awful Movies on Youtube and various streaming services, as they give (usually) christian religious movies the MST3K treatment in audio format.

    Fair warning though while some are just badly put together, and others can be laughably bad some of the movies they cover really go above and beyond to earn the label 'god awful' in every sense of the phrase.

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

  39. icon
    PaulT (profile), 3 Jan 2021 @ 12:53am

    Re: Great way to burn a few hours/days

    Yeah, as I mentioned I just get the info from The Cinema Snob, and that's enough for me. I like his run downs on new releases as well as look backs at cult / horror / etc movies, but it's a real car crash viewing experience when he gets on to the religious films. I'm happy for him to simply show me clips while letting me see what's being done here without me having to ensure an entire movie's worth, even if it's just an MST3K type experience.

    Even worse are the political movies, especially the ones with a pro-Trump or "pro-life" slant. Some of those seem like they're made by left-wingers or atheists to mock the religious and alt right, they're so detached from reality.

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

  40. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Jan 2021 @ 1:17am

    Some of those seem like they're made by left-wingers or atheists to mock the religious and alt right

    Possible, but unlikely. You underestimate how sincere (and how single-minded) right-wingers and religious nutjobs are when it comes to preaching to their specific choirs. The first two God’s Not Dead films, for example, are all about reinforcing stereotypes about atheists and making Christians seem like the most morally upstanding people on the planet. How can you parody people who damn near parody themselves in their own cultural works?

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

  41. icon
    PaulT (profile), 3 Jan 2021 @ 2:01am

    Re:

    Oh, that kind of film is one thing, but some of the anti-abortion stuff goes so far into self-parody that you're meant to be rooting for stalkers and terrorists (or even one where you're supposed to be supporting the Saw-style torturer who dooms the one woman who doesn't agree to give birth against her will to a literal hell), while some of the pro-Trump things literally treat him as the messiah.

    The God's Not Dead stuff is way less scary, since all they are is a bunch of half-assed online strawman arguments for people who have never tried to debate issues with real people outside of their online echo chamber. Some of those other things are downright disturbing to think that people actually believe them.

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

  42. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 3 Jan 2021 @ 9:00am

    'Why wouldn't our movie support terrorists, they're on our side'

    Even worse are the political movies, especially the ones with a pro-Trump or "pro-life" slant. Some of those seem like they're made by left-wingers or atheists to mock the religious and alt right, they're so detached from reality.

    I know exactly what you mean as that happens an appalling number of times in GAM episodes, the 'It's your movie, why would you include that?!' moments.

    In 'good' cases it's just a matter of them apparently not realizing how crazy they just made themselves look, but those moments when you replace crazy for flat out evil are really something to behold both for the moment and the understanding that people actually believe that sort of stuff to the point that they see nothing wrong with making it public and boasting about it.

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

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2021 @ 9:59pm

    Who cares?

    We shouldn't care what the Babylon Bee thinks; it's obviously nazi propaganda.

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

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2021 @ 10:02pm

    Re: You're an academic full of advice without ever having DONE.

    Buck, you nazi, Mike has done a lot ! He's brave and stunning, you fascist.

    Here he is showing it's okay for grown men to cry:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBsxGjjnRpk

    (I do mean literally crying, as in weeping.)

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


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