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Comment Re:Mandatory xkcd (Score 1) 152

I've seen ones where the sound controls are hidden, and others where the choices are "full volume" and "mute" (because for an auto-playing video, those are clearly the only logical choices), and non-standard volume controls.

And for god's sake, you'd think that a lot of these sites (especially the ones that have "user controls") would have options for default volume and/or autoplay.

But noooooooo

Comment I'm shocked (Score 1) 183

Considering that probably 50% of the stuff I post on my timeline is politicians behaving badly (either party) or stupidly (lately, heavily Republican, but let's be fair, most of that is Trump), and another fair chunk of stuff I post is pro-LGBTQ, I would honestly be more surprised if Facebook couldn't figure out I was liberal.

I mean, we're not exactly talking a tough determination in my case.

Comment Re:Freedom of speech (Score 2, Informative) 132

The First Amendment guarantees that the government will not abridge your freedom of speech. (Certain limitations, among them threatening public officials, still apply.)

It says nothing about private entities, such as corporations, being prohibited from abridging your speech.

Look at it like this. Freedom of speech does not guarantee you a venue. It guarantees you a voice. No one has to listen, and no one is obligated to provide you a microphone.

You can say what you want, but Twitter still has the option under their Terms of Service to ban you. You can still say the same things; you just can't say them on their service.

Comment Re:Free Speech Must Be Stopped!!! (Score 2) 465

You'll forgive me if I don't cry because you called me a name.

Freedom of speech means that you can get the good sort of speech along with the bad sort of speech. I'll give you an example.

Some years back, the American Nazi Party (or a branch thereof, I'm not quite sure), came to town to protest. They did their thing on statehouse grounds, in front of the Confederate flag, which was still flying on the north side of the statehouse at the time. (Careful readers will note that I have thus identified the state this occurs in as South Carolina.)

Now, I disagree with pretty much everything the American Nazi party stands for. But, inasmuch as I find them distasteful, and would not miss them if they were gone, they had the right to speak their mind. I forget what topic it was supposed to be on, but it very quickly descended into the racist claptrap that one expects from Nazis.

Likewise, I had the right to heckle them. Which I did. I'd like to think that I did so quite well, but lack of planning meant I didn't have a megaphone, so there was only so much volume I could project.

Now, if the Nazis had gone from speech to action, say, trying to thump me upside the head for heckling them, the cops (of which there were many present) would have gotten involved, because while free exercise of speech is protected, assault is not speech.

I digress.

Freedom of speech does not mean that all of the speech you or I are exposed to is going to be speech we agree with. It might be. It might not be. We might not give a shit about what the speaker is saying, and are waiting for the announcement that the bar is now open.

But no privately owned venue or forum is required to give you a platform on which to speak. If I owned a comedy club, and I decided I didn't want a particular comedian to play at my club, it does not matter how often he trots out the idea of freedom of speech. I am not restricting his right to do his act anywhere else. Just at my club. It's privately owned. I can do that. (Note: I don't actually own a comedy club. It's just an example.)

Likewise, Twitter can choose to ban someone, or not ban them, under their terms of service. They can allow certain people to speak at their venue, or decide that they don't want them there any more and ban them. They are free to do so, because Twitter is not owned by the government.

Furthermore, as I have already said, freedom of speech does not make you immune from the consequences of said speech. If, to return to the comedy club example, a comedian at my club says all kinds of stupid/racist things while doing his act, and I decide I don't want him to perform at my club any more, I can ban him. I am, once again, not curtailing his freedom of speech. He is perfectly free to do that act anywhere that will allow him. But I have shown him the door.

And finally, you'll notice I disagreed with you, but didn't call for you to be banned.

Comment Re:Free Speech Must Be Stopped!!! (Score 1) 465

Bull. Shit.

Slashdot, or Twitter, or the comments section of Huffington Post, or wherever else doesn't have to let you say whatever you want. Most of those sites have rules or terms of service that you agree to when you create an account there. If you violate those terms of service, they are free to turf you. Freedom of speech doesn't mean you get a free venue to be an asshole. It means you can talk. It doesn't mean anyone has to listen, and it doesn't mean anyone has to give you a forum to spout your views from.

Yeah, free speech doesn't have to be nice, and it isn't always nice. But it isn't a blank check to say whatever you want, wherever you want, without any consequences.

Comment Re:Free Speech Must Be Stopped!!! (Score 5, Insightful) 465


Both the left and the right want free speech. The problem is the asshats on both sides.

There are some on the left who think that no-one should ever be offended ever and want safe spaces for everyone, because god forbid someone be exposed to a scary idea. Bunch of bullshit if you ask me.

And there are some on the right who think that they should be able to say whatever they want, consequence free, and if anyone is ever offended, and wants them banned from a forum or whatever, they HATE free speech. Also a bunch of bullshit, if you ask me.

Let's get something straight. In the U.S., freedom of speech stops the government from punishing you for exercising it. (There are certain limitations, though.)

Just the government.

Only the government.

If you post (for example), some racist screed on a private owned forum (such as Slashdot, or Twitter, or wherever), and they decide to ban you, it's not a violation of your first amendment rights, because Twitter isn't run by the government. (Although, going by their track record, Twitter will take a long time to ban you)

You're still free to say what you want. You just can't use that forum to broadcast it if they decide to ban you. You have a right to free speech. You don't have a right to use a private venue to voice those statements if the venue decides they don't want you there.

And you don't have a right to ignore the consequences of your speech. If you want to stand in your front yard and yell offensive things as the neighbors, you're free to do so. Just don't expect that magically, everyone will go "Oh, he's just exercising his freedom of speech." No, they're probably going to think you're an asshole. But the two are not mutually exclusive. It's possible to be exercising free speech AND be an asshole. Just don't be surprised that people don't want you around because you're being an asshole.

Comment Re: Moderators are the opposite of free speech (Score 5, Insightful) 465

Well, first you have to consider that anyone can be a moderator. I don't have mod points right now, but I've had them within the last week, and I don't post that much on here any more.

Second, there is such a thing as meta-moderation. (Or at least there was. Not actually sure it's there any more.)

Third, Slashdot doesn't want their moderators harassed. You don't get to see who modded down your post, because they don't want you going to every post that moderator makes and revenge-modding them, or harassing them.

Fourth, if you are consistently being modded down (presumably under your Slashdot handle, rather than as an AC), then the problem isn't the mods, it's you. It is highly unlikely that one or more mods are specifically looking for your posts and going "HaHa! Time to mod him down again!" while twirling their mustaches. If you're being modded down while posting as an AC, how are the mods supposed to know it's you specifically? Not even mods see who is behind a particular AC post.

Comment Re:no. (Score 2) 465

Uh, no. Clinton's proposed change in that article is to overturn the Citizen's United decision. For the attention impaired, Citizen's United is what is currently allowing big donors to spend enough money to shout down everyone else. Also known as "Money is speech".

It allows deep-pockets donors (billionaires and corporations) to ignore limits that were previously in place to limit the use of money in politics. It wasn't perfect, but it was a damn sight better than letting them buy as much advertising/influence as they wanted under the guise of free speech.

Citizen's United needs to be overturned, and there needs to be serious limits put in place on campaign funding.

Now, I'm not saying Clinton is perfect. Far from it, actually. Honestly, this election cycle is pretty much a shit sandwich regarding the candidates.

If you're looking for someone who wants to screw up the First Amendment for personal reasons, you don't have to look further than Donald Trump, though. He's as much as stated that he wants to make it easier to sue newspapers that say mean things about him, regardless of whether they're true or not. (To note, truth is an absolute defense against libel.)

Comment Re:Shocking! (Score 1) 95

But see, it makes them look like they're doing something.

"We're stopping drug trafficking. Just look at these sites that we've closed! But we need more money to continue to fight drug traffickers, because don't you want your kids to be safe?"

And hell, the RIAA doesn't want all movie piracy to go away. If it did, they'd have no justification for some of the shit that they pull. They just want the 'easy to acquire' piracy to go away.

Comment Re:Arguing for resources is part of the job (Score 1) 239

Or it could have been both. Never discount the idea of the penny-pinching MBA and an incompetent IT staff.

Now, mind you, I'm inclined to side with the IT guys, as I am one myself, and even though I work for a much smaller company, I've seen some bone-headed decisions regarding purchases.

And let's face it, IT, generally speaking, is not in the business of making things harder for themselves. Whereas company execs are often so insulated from the immediate consequences of their actions, that it could years for some decision to be a problem.

It's entirely possible that everyone involved in the decisions involved in a single-site point of failure don't even work for Delta any more.

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