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Comment Re: Actually you can (Score 4, Interesting) 332

I would wager pretty good money that most of the far-right renditions of pepe are not digital copies but instead new artwork.

It doesn't matter if someone is making their own copy of Pepe the Frog. It's still Pepe the Frog and is not theirs to copy. This is why you don't see Tony the Tiger on your local store brand of frosted cornflakes; you might see a generic cartoon tiger, if that store brand is particularly small and feeling exceptionally lucky.

Who is providing the funding behind this legal action? Pepe was never a particularly successful commercial endeavor. The artist musst have backing from somebody with a political axe to grind.

Pepe is Matt Furie's creation. It doesn't matter if he hasn't earned a single penny from it; it's still his creation do do with as he pleases.

Matt Furie is getting pro bono legal support from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. Pro bono means "for free".

As it turns out, there are lots of people who believe very strongly that the alt right is an active threat to civil society and antithetical to American values. Many of these people will happily donate their time, energy and money to shutting the alt-right down through legal action, political advocacy, and public outreach. There's nothing nefarious, illegal, or immoral about that in America. It's a free country.

Comment Toxo is intriguing (Score 2) 209

This is *really* cool science, but "paradigm shifting" may be a touch over the top--this isn't the first paper or study to come to the conclusion that Toxo plays a role in neurological disorders, and there are labs around the globe that have been working on this topic for years. (Full disclosure: my wife was a postdoc in a lab that studied Toxo and its role in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I'm no expert myself and will happily defer to real researchers on this, but I picked up a lot over the years from her.)

Fun Toxo tidbit: this is dredged from the depths of my memory, but as I recall that they've found a correlation between Toxo rates and automobile accident rates across several countries in Europe. The underlying theory is that Toxo causes very slight impairments in both risk assessment and motor control in its victims--not enough to really notice in an individual, but enough to track across a population...

Comment Re:Good Job (Score 5, Insightful) 337

Now we can't mock the posts, debate the facts, or keep tabs on the threat.

Mocking racists and Nazis online is little more than entertainment, and it's the lowest of hanging fruits, at that. Debating facts is moot; when the premise of the debate is "our race is superior to all others and should lead the world," you're already playing chess with a pigeon. As for keeping tabs on the threat--a concern of consequence--I can only imagine that the people who do this for a living are already pretty well-versed in tracking people on the Dark Web.

Nothing will get better; rather, these vile sentiments will fester, and we'll have a tougher time anticipating the next Charlotsville, since it won't be so widely publicized.

These vile sentiments will fester regardless, but that very lack of publicity will also keep the numbers of people doing this low. You lose visibility, you lose the lightweights and hangers-on. You lose numbers. You lose clout. You lose efficacy. That is worth a great deal.

Comment Re:Perhaps he can recover some dignity... (Score 4, Informative) 543

Nazgûl

All right, what were you trying to write and why are you too stupid to use the Preview button?

Exactly what I wrote: Nazgûl. If there's an issue with special characters displaying fine in my browser but getting munged across browsers/platforms, that's hardly my fault, yeah?

Also, Slashdot doesn't let people post without previewing, but I suspect you knew that.

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