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The threat facing online comments
FinancialTimes ^ | 23 May 2014 | John Sunyer

Posted on 05/24/2014 6:54:45 AM PDT by shove_it

In the early days of the internet, there was much talk of how the web would connect us all, thereby furthering knowledge and fostering community. Yet for all its advocates’ and early adopters’ optimism about its potential to enable us to organise, think and influence one another, freed from institutional supervision or what the newcomers frequently described as “mainstream media bias”, one thing has remained consistently problematic: comments posted under articles or blogs (or “below the line” in internet-speak).

~snip~

One of the great questions for the future of the net is: to what extent this extraordinary freedom will be allowed to remain in the hands of the people, and to what extent will it be limited and regulated? If a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights is anything to go by, perhaps we should expect more of the latter...

(Excerpt) Read more at ft.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: censorship; freerepublic; freespeech; internet; internetcomments; onlinecomments; powergrabcensorship; socialmedia
Coming to a Free Republic near you?
1 posted on 05/24/2014 6:54:45 AM PDT by shove_it
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To: shove_it

Haha!...
I’ve long imagined standing before the bench in a TwightlightZone-esque court room as my FreeRepublic posts are read aloud to an obscured jury of my overlords.
I try therefore, to make some of them humorous so that I might have brief periods of levity in an otherwise dower situation.

Hi Overlords!
-Ouch


2 posted on 05/24/2014 7:01:11 AM PDT by Ouchthatonehurt ("When you're going through hell, keep going." - Sir Winston Churchill)
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To: shove_it

democrats hate freedom of speech

democrats don’t want the truth getting out

many news paper sites are already censoring “climate deniers” comments.

they will use the government to censor the internet


3 posted on 05/24/2014 7:07:08 AM PDT by Democrat_media (Obama ordered IRS to rig 2012 election and must resign)
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To: shove_it

Anne Bernhardt and I use our real names. For her its a gutsy decision. For me not so much.


4 posted on 05/24/2014 7:10:33 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: shove_it
"...one thing has remained consistently problematic: comments posted under articles or blogs (or “below the line” in internet-speak)..."

Well. We now acknowledge THAT is a problem, while we are on that slippery slope, we could re-word that to get to the heart of the matter:

"...one thing has remained consistently problematic: comments spoken or thought by people in discourse with others..."

Or to boil it down further:

"...one thing has remained consistently problematic: the private thoughts one is thinking, or is suspected of thinking..."

5 posted on 05/24/2014 7:26:31 AM PDT by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

Obsolete! Obsolete!


6 posted on 05/24/2014 7:33:33 AM PDT by HartleyMBaldwin
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To: rlmorel

Orwell’s 1984 was required reading in Lit 101 in the 1950s. It’s probably banned from the library now.

http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/153313-nineteen-eighty-four


7 posted on 05/24/2014 7:41:36 AM PDT by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us of Obama's America)
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To: shove_it

Oceania needs more doubleplus ungood crimethinkers!

Only a tidal wave of crimethought can sweep away Ingsoc.

Down with duckspeak!


8 posted on 05/24/2014 7:53:15 AM PDT by headsonpikes (Mass murder and cannibalism are the twin sacraments of socialism - "Who-whom?"-Lenin)
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To: HartleyMBaldwin

Exactly


9 posted on 05/24/2014 7:57:47 AM PDT by Ouchthatonehurt ("When you're going through hell, keep going." - Sir Winston Churchill)
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To: shove_it

People can only be cowed, if they are not of the mind to stand up for what they believe.

The uncowed, will always have attempts to make them look dangerous, insane, and not to be listened to. It has been done in the past, it is being attempted, even by those that have been elected to represent all the Americans in their respective districts.

On this weekend, we have to remember that Americans DIED so that WE THE LIVING can go on living as free men, in the greatest country on the face of the Earth!!!


10 posted on 05/24/2014 7:59:53 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: shove_it
Maybe it's time for some maturity in the Interwebs - why not behave as a regular dead tree publisher would (as in, letters to the Editor), and be held reponsible for libel just as they would? Yes, it would be called "chilling" etc., and yes, it would be challenging technically, but then again, do we need everyone, everywhere being able to publish every one of their knee-jerk responses to anything, anytime?

I know, this puts me in the old farts league, but what's wrong with putting the brakes on the world once in a while?

Regarding Freedom of Speech, remember please that the best defense in libel action is truth, and the opinions (NOT statements of fact) are free and always have been.

11 posted on 05/24/2014 8:09:38 AM PDT by Riflema
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To: Riflema

Okay, I hereby appoint myself to be in charge of reviewing your speech.

Don’t worry, I’ll be fair. I’ll get a bunch of my friends of the same political persuasion to form a committee, and we’ll boo vote democratically on what you can say, what you can’t say, and what should be done to you for violating the fairness, justice and social responsibilities we deem necessary to keep you from being a public menace to a free society.

Now first things first - you got your license to participate in offering your opinion for our review yet?


12 posted on 05/24/2014 8:19:50 AM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Riflema

Never mind libel, if you tell nothing but the truth online, you’re probably being profiled by how you tell it.

Right now, being profiled as a G-d fearing conservative heterosexual 2nd Amendment supporter might not provoke the NSA into sending the Thought Police to your doorstep, but when the order is given, all that changes.


13 posted on 05/24/2014 8:30:31 AM PDT by elcid1970 ("In the modern world, Muslims are living fossils.")
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To: Talisker

Oops, bit upset eh?. Please think for at least a moment about the difference between opinion, which is free, and statements of fact, which are actionable. There’s long been a bright line between the two in traditional media. Why should this medium be any different?


14 posted on 05/24/2014 8:32:47 AM PDT by Riflema
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To: shove_it

“one thing has remained consistently problematic: comments posted under articles or blogs (or “below the line” in internet-speak).”

Problematic, just like the concept of secret ballots...


15 posted on 05/24/2014 9:00:03 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic warfare against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: shove_it

Obama is covered by giving the UN the keys to tge internet. He will stand back shrugging his shoulders, “it isn’t my fault.”

Besides if you oppose anonymity you hate children and are racist.


16 posted on 05/24/2014 9:23:49 AM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: All

I have a few rules for myself that I try to stick to, don’t always succeed, but I try.
1. Try not to be an Internet rumor -monger. When you see on Twitter that somebody has died, for example, try to verify before tweeting and retweeting “RIP so-and-so”.

2. Be prepared to back up your assertions, at least with anectdotal evidence.

3. Be extremely careful before accusing anybody of bad stuff, especially felonies.

4. Be careful of jokes. I have seen humorous tweets that I would like to retweet, but they are too dirty, or occasionally objectionable for some other reason. Sometimes I will reply to the person, “That’s funny but too dirty for me to retweet.” People in my timeline can locate it if they want to.

5. No drunk tweeting.

6. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. This really applies to letters and comments in online newspapers and that kind of thing. When I was young I wanted to write a letter to the paper(don’t remember what about) but my mother wouldn’t let me because she was afraid people would launch on me. Now I’m an adult I do it and people usually engage with me civilly, because of these rules, no doubt.
But you have to be prepared for angry, disagreeing people if you are talking about controversial things, especially. For example if you are asking taxpayers to fund your birth control, you may be opening yourself up. No whining.
7. Try to keep it clean and civil. I use bad words sometimes, but generally try to remember the old notion that those words are generally for people who haven’t learned better ways of expressing themselves. And if you don’t use them very often they pack a bigger punch when you do.

8. Be willing to admit when you’re wrong. If you flow these rules, it won’t be often.

9. Be aware of bait, tricks, traps and people who aren’t what they claim to be.

10. Give others credit for content you get from them.


17 posted on 05/24/2014 9:34:10 AM PDT by crazycatlady
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To: Talisker

Talisker asked:
“Now first things first - you got your license to participate in offering your opinion for our review yet?”

Here’s my license:
3 years Viet vet
10 Years Cold War vet
My Oath which is without terms
2nd Amendment
I need none other.


18 posted on 05/24/2014 9:39:49 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: Riflema

Are you sure that Freerepublic is the place for you? You have seen what can happen to even billionaires (Sterling sound familiar?) when he speaks unfiltered what he thinks in his own castle. Employers and activists are already searching Facebook and social media sites on witchhunts for people. What do you think it will be like when every web comment is public, no matter how reasonable or well-thought out? How do you like to be denied a job, contract, or place to live based on what you commented on the Internet. It comments are made public then only the popular or government approved opinions will be expressed - end of story.


19 posted on 05/24/2014 9:43:36 AM PDT by WMarshal (Free citizen, never a subject or a civilian)
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To: shove_it
Thanks S.I....what extent this extraordinary freedom will be allowed to remain....A smoke shop was raided recently and part of the Feds warrant cited the web sites the suspect had visited, indeed how long?
20 posted on 05/24/2014 9:47:00 AM PDT by virgil283 (That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.)
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To: WMarshal
Yes I get that, believe me. But why does no-one understand the huge difference between expression of opinion/beliefs and statements of facts?.

Again, what gives additional protection to a statement of fact published here, as opposed to, say, on a billboard, in a newspaper or book? Is there some law I have not seen that says you can say anything about anyone without recourse?

Regards your concern about social media, please get real: everything you publish or transmit should be considered public. Best not to say anything there you would not want published on the front page next day.

Oh, and by the way, I am free to deny anyone a job interview if they posted crap on DU or HuffPo. So are you

21 posted on 05/24/2014 11:02:39 AM PDT by Riflema
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To: shove_it

Our modern pols HATE the first amendment, and would happily do away with it at the slightest opportunity.

Now, it seems, they have that opportunity.


22 posted on 05/24/2014 11:50:43 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: Terry L Smith

Perhaps I didn’t make clear that I was mocking the idea of needing certification to enjoy free speech. As far as the Constitution is concerned, while I honor your service, being human is qualification enough. Everything on top of that is what you did to ensure that being human is STILL enough.


23 posted on 05/24/2014 2:30:46 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Riflema

Oops, a bit flip, eh? Please think for a moment about the First Amendment right to anonymous speech. There’s a longstanding bright line of protection for it in the courts. Something about the government keeping databases on people - you know, irrational paranoid stuff like that.


24 posted on 05/24/2014 2:40:43 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Louis Foxwell

She goes by the name Ann Barnhardt.


25 posted on 05/24/2014 2:46:16 PM PDT by steve86 ( Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: steve86

Quite so. Thank you for the correction.


26 posted on 05/25/2014 6:33:13 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: Talisker
And, as I keep trying to drum into your head, not all speech, everywhere, is protected by said Amendment#1. You are absolutely able to say whatever you like, if someone is foolish enough to publish it, then people actually harmed by it are also free to go after the publisher. Now. Without any change to net neutrality, web censorship, or any of that stuff.

All I am saying, like the cat lady above, is keep some basic rules of civility and common sense online, as I expect you would in a coffee shop, by a water cooler or wherever. And remember, online is an enduring form of publication, like print, like TV, like radio, like books.

That's the point - a young medium needs to observe the same rules as its fading competitors.

27 posted on 05/25/2014 5:53:57 PM PDT by Riflema
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To: WMarshal
Regarding FR, I thought it was a place for mature adults who can behave as such, and would understand a little unsolicited advice, e.g., do not say foolish things to your mistress' tape recorder; do not publish pix of your privates on any electronic medium; do not libel people in any permanent form.

By all means, express all the opinions you like, but if they're half-@ssed or reflect badly on you, live with the consequences.

I guess, in short, take ink-stained wretch Howie Carr's well worn advice: "don't say anything you wouldn't want to see quoted on the front page next morning".

28 posted on 05/25/2014 6:03:02 PM PDT by Riflema
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To: Riflema
And, as I keep trying to drum into your head... All I am saying ....is keep some basic rules of civility and common sense online,

Shut up, hypocrite.

29 posted on 05/26/2014 2:25:16 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Talisker

Okay you lost me completely there.


30 posted on 05/26/2014 7:45:15 PM PDT by Riflema
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To: shove_it
A simple way around all of this is to file as a candidate for some upcoming election.

Campaign speech can contain pretty much anything, and be considered protected by the courts.

In the 1970s, I remember a candidate who swore in an ad just to get the ad talked about on national TV.

People like Alan Grayson say despicable things in their campaign ads.

Therefore, for a nominal fee in advance of some upcoming local election, file as a candidate and flame away on the internet.

-PJ

31 posted on 05/26/2014 7:51:22 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: Riflema
Okay you lost me completely there.

Sure I did.

32 posted on 05/26/2014 8:05:09 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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