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Comment Re:Amateur Hobbyists (Score 2) 93

They should have considered the Pinboard.in method. Charge a couple bucks for the first guy and then increase each additional user's price by one penny (I think pinboard is now over $10). Or even just open registrations a chunk at a time and charge users $6/yr. Fifty cents a month is certainly worth it for an avid RSS user and for as many users as they likely got (and would continue to have acquired), it probably would have given them the incentive and resources to continue maintaining the service.

Comment Re:Why is twitter involved? (Score 4, Insightful) 421

Because they don't want someone to have to go to the courts and actually prove that anything happened or was intended. They want to be able to hit a little button on a message and force businesses to supersede the process and make determinations themselves about the content and intent of conversation.

If someone makes a threat on your life that you have reasonable and plausible cause to fear as legitimate, then go to the police. It's already a crime. I don't like the idea of Twitter stepping in and taking on that role any more than I liked the idea of Youtube replacing the court system to deal with DMCA legal complaints by facilitating copyright complaints *themselves* (think, someone wrongly claiming rights to content in your video and being granted the right to put ads on your videos and receive money from them without Youtube giving you the opportunity to address the situation in court, as per the DMCA process).

Everyone cares about free speech and nobody honestly thinks anyone should have to put up with _serious_ actual threats (note, this is different from harassment or "verbal abuse") . . . but how do you properly deal with one while not overstepping onto the other? And do you trust a business and a couple people clicking a "I don't like this comment you guise!" button to make the call?

Comment Re:Ignoring the censorship stuff... (Score -1, Troll) 421

I always find shit like this to be highly suspect. There have been incidents where people who have claimed to be the victims of "threats of violence and rape by evil male internet trolls on the intarwebs" turned out to actually be the ones writing those threats under fake accounts to themselves.

People also need to stop acting like the very few trolls out there who *will say anything to anyone in any situation online where they believe it will upset someone or get them some attention* are somehow representative of actual people's actual thoughts. I'm sure there are a few shitty people out there, but how is it we just stop acknowledging that most of those people saying this shit are just social-rejects who use saying vile shit on the internet to get a response? These same idiots "threatening" the woman this article is about are also likely the same idiots who spend their time hurling slurs around on XBOX Live all evening or posting "atheists should be killed so they can go to the afterlife and see what hell is like and find out how wrong they were" on religion-related articles that Drudge links to from his site.

Taking these people at face value is a lot like taking a toddler at face value and we would do well not to mistake their ridiculous spewings on the internet as actual opinions and thoughts held by actual people (even the hideous ones) in actual life.

Comment Re:What's the big deal (Score 2) 421

Funny, because I think the whole gender thing is completely irrelevant, also. The issue is about censorship and when something crosses the line into illegality. Especially online, where something written may not have the same context or implications of something physically written in real life. I mean, seriously, who among us has not been insulted or even threatened many times on the internet in the last couple of decades? It doesn't matter what your skin color, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, or anything else is. I'm a middle aged white male and I've been threatened for my lack of religion. I've been threatened for banning someone from my website. I've had people show up at my fucking DOORSTEP. So what?

Even the trolls you're talking about have little to do with gender. The majority of those trolls troll wherever there is trolling to be done. It isn't like they have some specific agenda to go out there and talk shit to or about just women (and it seems weird calling it "trolls" once you're talking about something worth dealing with criminally -- trolls are people who talk shit and give you a hard time and piss you off; not wage serious and legitimate threats against your life).

The problem is, everyone is going to get so bogged down in "sexism durpy durp!" that the censorship implications will go by the wayside. (And no, I'm not saying that you should have the right to seriously threaten someone's life with a real and plausible threat of harm -- I'm talking about the censorship implications when things are so broadly applied with little intelligence or consideration).

Comment Re:What's the big deal (Score 1) 421

I don't know that I agree. Initially, it may seem like that, but I think it is more about tradition. Sure, there will always be some people upset any time consideration is given to someone who is black or female or gay or something, but I think the majority of people upset about things like this are angry over a thing simply being changed *period*.

At any rate, the "women, amiright?!" aspect of this isn't relevant.

Comment Problem is always the same. (Score 5, Insightful) 421

The inherent problem with things like this are always with making sure that you don't infringe upon free speech -- hyperbole, sarcasm, irony, humor, and rudeness -- and only get involved in situations where realistic threats are legitimately intended and made. I understand this is in the UK, but do people really want a "zero-tolerance"/TSA style "everything ever uttered is suspicious and must be investigated and vetted" approach? Further, there are already relevant laws in most places to deal with things like this, so . . . how about we leave it at that instead of a business and a mob of users superseding it?

I often feel people simply aren't prepared to handle the internet. As if most of us haven't been on the receiving end of "abuse" online? Haven't been "attacked" or even threatened? Or told that they should be killed? Ever read youtube comments? How about the comment section on any news article that Matt Drudge links to? How about if someone "feels threatened" (or simply offended) by something? We see a lot of that in the real world, as it is. People being punished for something, not because of what they said or the intentions behind it, but how some busy-body "received it"? Does it apply across the board? Is it, as the article's commentary seems to imply, only an issue for "women"?

Hell, have I crossed the line, simply for having the wrong genitalia and not simply jumping on the bandwagon of support for this? (Because, yes, my concerns about people's freedom of speech and people not taking everything seriously and as a threat or offense totally means that I'm in favor of people being threatened and stalked and physically abused... right?).

This all goes back to that whole thing with the MySpace girl that was tricked/harassed (verbally) by neighbors (including adults) until she committed suicide. Or that Youtube girl who committed suicide after her escapades with a grown man brought judgement and insults from people at school both before and after she committed suicide. Yeah, it was harassment and bullying, but we also acknowledge that words don't directly force you to harm yourself. We all hate that bitch and her family for what she did to that poor girl and the consensus seems to be that most of the world wished harm on her. . . but that is distinct from using the law to determine when and why to make exceptions. That being a meany-head is suddenly a crime. That free speech isn't so free, any more. That my thin-skin or lack of a support-group around me is your fault. And those events caused a lot of frustration on Slashdot, too -- because people found themselves so angry at what happened and the idea of someone "getting way with it" . . . . yet opposed to infringing on people's rights to express thoughts. Even shitty ones.

In other words, here too, people need to back the fuck up from "wow, that's shitty -- of course we should do something about it!" and take the time to consider the greater impact of some institutionalized response.

Comment Re:Headdesk (Score 1) 281

The idea that a true democracy would improve the situation is terrifying. Aren't we actually *glad* that we don't have slaves anymore and that gay people are on their way to being treated like -- you know -- citizens? You're not going to get that with true actual mob-rule. You barely have that, even with our republic.

And you are completely right - anyone can promise whatever the fuck they want, but they're still going to violate and infringe on individuals and principles at their whim. The complacency of the population and media and most politicians even immediately following the revelations of the past two months ago pretty much seems to be a confirmation that they should carry on as they've always carried on.

Comment Re:Headdesk (Score 1) 281

Not only do people not understand the three branches of government (were they just missing that week in civics class?), but when any of the branches do their job (especially judicial), they bitch and moan about it. "Activist judges, durp durp". So you end up with mandatory sentences applied without any intelligence applied to context and circumstances. You end up with people equating any actions upholding the rights of the individual with "judges trying to dictate".

Worse, we haven't had (in practice) three branches of government for quite a few years, now. Judicial and Legislative on both sides have decided to be little more than yes-men nodding their heads to the whims of the executive branch (for the last four terms, at least).

It's refreshing, when we occasionally see the SCOTUS, for example, reiterating the obvious freedoms of people. Unfortunately, people have recently finally started to see beyond all of this, to realize that it's all just a play put on for them and that there is an additional layer beyond and above all this. The black projects, the off-the-books budgets, and the organizations and activities that exist and will continue to exist, no matter what any branch of government says and regardless of what promises they spew to the public.

I hate to sound fatalistic, but I don't see how any of us can expect anything to change or improve. It was bad enough when people understood how difficult it was to forum the three branches (full of selfish and corrupt individuals) into doing something worthwhile and not acting against the people. When they understood that you somehow, as collective citizens, had to hold people accountable to make anything change or improve. Now that everyone sees that there is a layer of government entirely out of the reach of anyone who can be held accountable by the public even those they elect . . . why even carry on with the charade? We might as well change our stated form of government and give up any pretense of purported rights and principles.

On the other hand, I'll be dead in a few decades (at best), so who gives a shit.

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