Morning Ed: Media {2018.02.19.M}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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214 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Me1: Strikes me as (should it stand) a contraction of fair use.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      I’m a little confused by this… doesn’t the person who takes the photo ultimately have say in its use? And if he didn’t approve its use by those outlets, why should they be able to use it?Report

      • Avatar Nevermoor says:

        Well, the issue there is whether his release of the photograph into the wild (on Snapchat, at least) is a waiver of his copyright claim. That issue is still live.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          Maybe I’m being naive here, but I don’t see why someone hanging a framed print in their gallery should get special treatment that someone posting on Snapchat shouldn’t get… unless there are other differences between those two actions (e.g., the former taking steps to secure his rights). It doesn’t seem like where you publish your work should matter.

          I mean, most art gets released into the wild one way or another and yet comes with ownership claims attached.Report

          • Avatar Maribou says:

            @kazzy The issue at hand is whether embedding (which is a form of linking, or so it has been assumed) is reproduction/display, or not. Or one of the issues, anyway. Burt has a pretty good summary below of what else is still on the table.

            Another way to look at it is that if you post something on a site that allows/expects/provides code for embedding, and don’t take action to block that, is it fair to assume you are ok with it being done. Once all the issues have been weighed out, that’s what the case is really asking.

            (The gallery, most likely, has posted signage etc forbidding photos – but at the same time they shouldn’t have to declare that since they aren’t actively encouraging it.)Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              Thanks, @maribou . It would seem that “embedding” would be a form of crediting, especially if you are discussing the photo/tweet in question. That seems more akin to quoting someone. “Joe had this to say, ‘Blah blah blah.'” “Joe had this to Tweet, ‘Tweet tweet tweet.'”

              And I did wonder if these platforms themselves had any TOSs regarding.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

      I am not a lawyer. But fair use entails use of a small excerpt that is used for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching or research. They didn’t use a small excerpt, they used the whole thing. Was the purpose “news reporting” or simple human interest? That’s something for a court or jury to decide.

      Hundreds of things that are similar get taken down with a DMCA notice at YouTube every day. So maybe the Internet will change a bit less than @will-truman thinks.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Sending a takedown notice to YouTube is entirely normal, and I’m surprised it doesn’t happen with Twitter more often.

        Going after places that embed YouTube and Twitter content, though, is new and potentially a game-changer.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine says:

          The picture was first posted on Snapchat then elsewhere.

          I guess I’m wondering when it turns from a piece of IP to a flyer I’ve stapled to the wall.Report

          • Avatar Nevermoor says:

            That, of course, is a complex question in a digital age.

            It also was not resolved either way on this motion, which expressly answered only one question: can you “display” a copyrighted image without maintaining a physical copy on your own servers.Report

        • Avatar Nevermoor says:

          I’m not sure how true this really is.

          Isn’t it the case that this photograph was intentionally chosen and embedded in the stories (rather than showing up as a “related” tweet through some automated search program or in a tweet display like this website has)?

          That’s how I understand the opinion–having not been following the case–and that leads to the conclusion that each news agency was using the existence of the image on twitter to generate revenue (i.e. at least page views) by showing that image, specifically, to the public, and doing so seamlessly. I actually think this is likely the correct outcome, as I suspect we would be unhappy if a Chinese company could simply scrape copyrighted images, make them hotlinkable, hide from direct lawsuit, and thereby permit companies like the NYT to hotlink copyrighted images for free with full immunity.

          I would feel differently if no human being ever directly chose to display an image, but it was rather a fleeting result of an advertising or other product.

          The takeaway, of course, is that if you want an image in your story you should secure the rights necessary to display it.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            We choose to embed things all the time, though, and not through related stories. We have a YouTube video embedded on the front page at all times, in fact. We do not attest to the intellectual property of that music video. I embed tweets once or twice a week into Morning Eds, and again they may contain an image.

            We take measures so that the feature images and accompanying images on our posts are not copyrighted. Those are uploaded to our servers and we are therefore responsible. And we exert control over who can upload those images.

            For embedding posts on Twitter, videos from YouTube, and so on, however? If we become responsible for that, that would represent a huge shift. We would probably stop sharing that content altogether, just to be sure.Report

            • Avatar Nevermoor says:

              I think it would be a very different question whether this site is responsible for a rotating YouTube video the editors did not select (or an image showing up on the side-widget of tweets) than an embedded image specifically selected to complement a story.

              The issue here is whether you can embed a tweet with a copyrighted image in, say, a daily link dump. This Court is saying “not with 100% safety,” though it is easy to imagine situations where you could feel pretty confident about a fair use defense, among others.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                In this case, we select the video. Sometimes to compliment a story, but go to the front page right now and you will see a video on the right hand column. That is selected primarily on the basis of whether it is of interest or not.

                I doubt any Fair Use claim can be made.

                Now, could be the case that we should have to secure the copyright status of every video we select. But if that is the expectation, it is a sufficiently new one. Like I said, we take measures when it comes to the images we use, but despite having had lawyers on our editorial staff since before I was a part of it, there had not been any real concern there.

                The expectation has been that if there is a copyright claim, it is taken up with YouTube. YouTube will then take down the video, and it won’t work anymore.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:


                “I doubt any Fair Use claim can be made.”

                IANAL but, having made an extensive study of fair use, I would disagree with this and I suspect Burt would.

                Otherwise, I’m mostly 100 percent with you. this is stressful, new, and concerning.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                You think? I can see it when it’s included in a post with relevant content (depending). But on the front, or in a post where the video is the only meaningful content, I would be pretty uncomfortable if it weren’t embedded.

                Either way, we even avoid using pictures where we think we might have a Fair Use claim. So if this held, we would probably move towards using embedded content very sparingly.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @will-truman I’ll be curious to see how things fall out with the rest of the case. But denying a summary judgment is very different from not finding fair use overall. As Burt says, it’s clear that fair use, implied permission, and the provisions of the DMCA are all still very much on the table.

                Fair use is a defense OF infringement, not a defense that disproves infringement. So it’d be something like “yes, this infringes display right, but acceptably so for the following reasons based on the four fair use factors….”
                It is, for example, relevant (not determinative) that we are not making any money from the website. When it comes to embedding content that is put on Youtube with embedding permissions by its legal owners, there’s definitely a no-negative-effect-on-the-market claim. And the factors are not additive, they’re combinatory in a weird and special ass way… But I could see making a clear and sincere fair use argument.

                I could also see becoming paranoid enough about risk (for good reasons!) to do exactly as you say.

                But as I said, before attempting to construct or let go of such a defense, I’d have to see where the rest of this case goes. And then (to a lesser degree) where the appeals go….Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor says:

                This undersells the significance.

                Right now it’s one ruling in one district court (that may well be appealed, as this reads like a decision that could result in a Section 1292 certification, though the Court doesn’t invite that outcome). But it is a partial judgment in the plaintiff’s favor that muddies a bright-line defense.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                I’m not sure what “this is stressful, new, and concerning.” undersells… I mean, I already linked to the EFF amicus brief in the case. If I’m underselling something, it’s my own desire to shout “BUT IT’S JUST LINKING WHAT ARE THEY DOING AAAAAAAAAAAA,” from the rooftops.

                And a fair use defense, pretty much by definition, is never going to be a “bright line” defense. As one of my copyright profs liked to hammer into us, “the person who decides if something is fair use is … THE JUDGE.” (and or the multiple judges involved in appeals.)

                doesn’t mean we shouldn’t lean on it, but.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor says:

                That’s why I didn’t say your stressful/new/concerning comment undersold anything. I said it about your next one.

                If, for argument’s sake, we assume this decision holds up in a SCOTUS opinion then the server test is gone, even though it was just a partial summary judgment order. If the server test is the only bright-line rule protecting a website, and they then have to rely upon fact-intensive defenses to any subsequent copyright claim, we are in for a hot mess. If, however, there are other bright-line defenses available (e.g. DMCA defenses), then this is of less import.

                Either way, one district court judge is unlikely to trigger a wave of litigation so big it reaches every corner of the internet.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @nevermoor I feel like that’s more or less what I said, taken as a whole.

                This particular comment was addressing whether or not I’d be willing to make a fair use defense of embedding on this website. Answering Will’s specific question of “You think?”

                Which I would be.

                I construct sincere and sturdy fair use defenses all the time, as part of my job, and I believe in fair use a lot. (I also believe in reduced damages for folks that are operating from a sincere conviction that what they are doing is a fair use.) I don’t think *this* website would be in for a hot mess, necessarily, if we had to rely on fact-intensive defenses for how we do things. We’re not Breitbart, we do things differently than they do and on a much different scale.

                Doesn’t mean the server test isn’t important, even critical, just that isn’t what I was talking about right then.

                My “it’s just a partial summary judgment order” stance was in reference to fair use not being off the table (yet?), when Will was concerned it would be.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor says:

                I think our disagreement here comes from me reading Will as saying he doesn’t care whether he might (ultimately) win on fair use because the fight itself would be a loss.

                Which seems reasonable.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @nevermoor See, my interpretation was that him asking me, who works with fair use every week and also proofs almost all the website’s content, whether I thought there was a fair use defense for the website’s embedded content, wasn’t rhetorical. (Particularly given that I was one of the louder voices leading to the seeds of our current image policy, proxied through Jaybird as “Maribou says you may want to look at,” back in the day …)

                So I felt like you were criticizing me for no particular reason when all I was doing was answering the question he asked me.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor says:

                Well that explains it. (I had no idea about any of that, and was reading the comment through an entirely different lens.)

                And, of course, nothing I’ve said in this discussion is advice for how this website should run its image policy, or anything else.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @nevermoor Of course.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor says:

                For a content box embedding a music video hosted by YouTube, that only plays if requested by a user, I would also look pretty carefully at DMCA immunities ( before altering the site’s design. This order says nothing about those.Report

              • @maribou

                IANAL but, having made an extensive study of fair use, I would disagree with this and I suspect Burt would.

                How does what Will describe meet the “it should be transformative” prong of the fair use test? I guess it could if it complements something that’s written, but freestanding video would, to my mind, not meet that prong.

                But I probably don’t work with fair use nearly as much as you.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @gabriel-conroy “it should be transformative” is a *type* of fair use test, not the only kind of fair use test. It’s not entirely a prong, not one of the four classic factors in the law, and not the be-all and end-all of fair use.

                It’s also the case that something can deeply fail to meet 1 or more of those factors (4 classic + transformativeness), but still be a fair use. Copy-sharing ILL, for example, while governed by some mutually agreed upon guidelines set in the 70s, is basically fair-use-based, without being transformative at all (at least not unless you get SUUUUUPER creative about it.)

                Transformativity is actually more fragile b/c newer than the body of precedent that predates it, IMO.

                Like I said, I’m not going to make an in-depth analysis of this particular thing until I see what the district court does with it beyond this point. I”m just not willing to rule out making a fair use case either. And my gut is that it would be fairly easy to do so, and what I would end up thinking were I to look into it in depth.Report

              • Thanks, @maribou . I somehow got it into my head that “transforamtiveness” was the most important prong, and it’s not even a prong. (I confess that I doubted you (sorry) but I double checked with a site that a coworker manages and while the person mentions transformativeness, that person doesn’t mention it as a test or a “prong.”)Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @gabriel-conroy It’s definitely gotten the most media hype and attention in recent years, to the point where I wouldn’t just completely ignore it, but it’s just not the be-all and end-all that it gets hyped as. (I even worry that people will end up thinking that because something IS transformative, it must be fair use, when actually it would fall into the ‘derivative work’ basket in front of whatever actual judge, and they’d be in more trouble not less…. the whole thing is a big tangle ATM.)

                If you’re interested in learning more, a good place to start might be this book, er, once the 2nd edition comes out in April anyway (the first edition is from 2011 thus pretty out of date now):

                These authors do a particularly good job of balancing the importance of transformative considerations with the importance of not limiting oneself to them. They’ve also had a lot of practical success helping various communities to implement consensual best practices, which I think is important.Report

              • Thanks, Maribou, for the reference. That’s something I and some others I know need to be more fully aware of, especially the (apparently) mistaken assumption about “transformative” being ipso facto “fair.”Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @gabriel-conroy Not to pile on the reading (and you might already be familiar with these!), but I’d also recommend the ARL’s code of Best Practices for Academic and Research Libraries (you can find the PDF here), and the Copyright Crash Course offered by the U of T libraries.Report

    • Avatar Nevermoor says:

      It is certainly not that. Fair use was not at issue on this motion.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Then I don’t understand the issue. Can anyone give a better explainer than the linked article?Report

        • Avatar Nevermoor says:

          Here’s a shot:

          During civil litigation, like this, there are a number of steps. This one–summary judgment–asks the Court to conclude, based upon undisputed facts, whether a claim is sufficiently clear (or whether, by contrast, we need a jury to decide the disputed facts).

          The journalists here though that essentially one undisputed fact (that they didn’t have a copy of the image on their servers) meant they were not liable no matter what any other facts would show. The Court answered only that question in the negative, because its view was that intentionally embedding an image hosted by twitter is still displaying it. That doesn’t mean that Plaintiffs win (here, the odds are high it means an appeal), it just means that the Court has found that specific defense fails.Report

        • Avatar Maribou says:

          @oscar-gordon Fair use is at issue in the case, not necessarily in the particular question of that motion. (I’d argue that it is, in the general sense, but that the judges may still pull out a fair use defense for embedding/linking later on in the case.)

          Burt’s rough sketch below is pretty good.

          But if you’d like to know more about the server test, specifically, the best,
          as in easiest to parse and most thorough (though obviously v biased) explainer I’ve seen is from the EFF last fall – their amicus brief on behalf of the defendants.

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          So, if I have this right, the issue isn’t the linking to the content, but the displaying of the linked content without permission, regardless of attribution?Report

          • Avatar Maribou says:

            @oscar-gordon More or less yes. That’s a totally reasonable interpretation of the issue.

            Although I think the question is partly whether embedding is displaying, or linking, really. Also whether posting on a site that encourages/enables embedding constitutes defacto permission. Also whether … etc. (To me, for eg it is highly relevant but not necessarily determinative whether the tweet was itself illegal… that has bearing on about a million other use cases….)

            Most of this stuff has been ruled more by common sense than by precedents for the last 30 years, so a new case is always rather over-compelling to anyone concerned with such things. (You might already be well aware of that part.)Report

            • Avatar Nevermoor says:

              Right. This legal question was basically “Assume we would be in trouble if we downloaded the image to our system and put it in our articles. Are we off the hook because the image was only ever on Twitter’s servers (but we did everything else)?”Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Me9: Number 9 are two piece of shit essays. There is an implicit belief in both that only people on the left need their assumptions challenged. Meanwhile old school reactionaries who only get their news from Fox and Talk Radio are completely okay in maintaining their bubble and safe spaces.

    The friendly Neo Nazi next door was not a good story. The author and editors admitted that they lost the thread and reason for it. What it did was normalize a person with horrible beliefs and made Nazism seem acceptable. The only reason the story got published was a “Golly gee we spent so much money already” attitude.

    Quinn Norton is not a brave and dangerous truth teller just because she used the slurs of 4chan and friended Weev. This is more about a desire to piss of liberals.

    But lots of people seem to confuse making liberals angry with bold truth telling. I doubt Schaffer uses 4chan slurs in tweets but the knee jerk need to defend the worst aspects of 4chan from pushback is revealing.Report

    • Avatar LTL FTC says:

      “The other guys are worse,” is not a great way to measure the quality of your chose not media. A notch better than Fox and Limbaugh isn’t what the Times should be aiming for.

      I was taken aback by the reaction to that Neo-Nazi piece. There’s a strain of thought in the American left that argues against “normalization” of abhorrent opinions, as if NYT, WaPo and the three networks have been able to keep a lid on the crazies for at least a generation. There’s a second strain, often coming from the exact same people at different times, that says we need to fear the legions of regular white people who agree with this guy and need to be brought to heel.

      I thought the piece was the latter – a “Neo-Nazis are under your bed” type number.

      In terms of whether they are normal or normalizeable, American Nazis are a rounding error in the American polity. They are only in the news because they fit into the narrative of what to fear today. Nazis are the shark attacks of 2018 politics and to get worked up into a huff about their coverage is a waste of time.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Nazis strictly defined, as in people who refer to themselves as Nazis, might be a rounding era. White Americans racists covert or overt are not a rounding era though. They are a mighty force in American politics. I think that many American liberals are going for a more European approach to free speech these days. They believe that hate speech should not be allowed and seen as beyond the pale and that certain views should be marginalized for the good of the body politic.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        Nazis are the shark attacks of 2018 politics and to get worked up into a huff about their coverage is a waste of time.

        A Nazi just murdered 14 people in Florida.

        That’s some shark attack.Report

        • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

          What if the best way to stop young men from engaging in spree killings is to engage with them, even when they are difficult and hostile, and clothe themselves in ideologies that amplify their hostility and difficultness? What is all that hostility intended to mask? I contend it is a deep sense of humiliation, of worthlessness.

          This is an age where things like schizophrenia emerge. It is an age where they are easily exploited by a promise of “manhood”. Where out groups are scapegoated and blamed for those feelings of humiliation.

          They are probably the most difficult people in our culture to care for. But they do need care.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            Those are all good questions, but I don’t see how the Times uncritically re-broadcasting Holocaust denial and boosting Nazi propaganda efforts to portray themselves as perfectly ordinary totebagger types is going to help with any of that.

            Indeed, it seems distinctly counterproductive along every axis.Report

            • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

              I’ve been aware of Quinn Norton for several years, and I think she is carrying out a program aligned with the questions I’m asking. It appears we are not yet ready as a culture to embrace that program. That makes me sad.

              It doesn’t have to start at the NY Times. Really, I care very little for the Times, and I read it as little as possible. Call it West Coast Reverse Chauvinism, if you will.

              I just want to point to something we aren’t doing, and we have a really hard time even coming to grips with.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Quinn Norton ended her recent bout with notoriety by saying that I have a moral obligation to befriend people who want to murder me, my family, and most of the other people I care about:

                For those of you honestly concerned. I don't support weev, that's not given in how I define friendship. I believe white folks should engage with the racists in their life: and I believe all people are redeemable, and "all people" is all people.— Well that was fun. (@quinnnorton) February 14, 2018

                Any question I had about whether she was an appropriate hire for the Times were dispelled when she decided to self-righteously forget that even a lot of white people are going to be, you know, Jewish.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


            This is putting a really heavy burden on minorities. You are saying that minorities have a moral responsibility to put their mental health, physical well-being, and possibly their lives on the lines in order to reach out to young and violent men who wish to do harm to people for being minority.

            The high school where the murders happened was 40 percent Jewish. This is a large plurality by American standards. The murderer harbored lots of anti-Semitic thoughts and a good number of the victims appear to be Jews or minority members. Nicholas Cruz was not cured of his racial hatred despite going to a school with large numbers of minorities.Report

            • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

              Nope. I’m not doing that. Do whatever you want. Whatever your conscience says is right. I’m no moral authority. I am not the judge of you.

              This is a call, not a mandate. I call for people to engage, I don’t demand it. I think there might well be value, for you, in engaging. I suggest that in pain, there is also value. That is, I think it might directly enrich your life. But I don’t know that, I can’t answer that. You’ll only find that value if you take on this journey of your own volition, though.

              Many black people have taken the attitude of “why should I study the Civil War? Lincoln was a racist, and we were still oppressed afterwards. Why does it even matter?” But then Ta-Nehisi Coates took it up with famous results.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            You realize that these young men who “are difficult and hostile, and clothe themselves in ideologies that amplify their hostility and difficultness” are exactly what we read about ISIS volunteers, or suicide bombers?

            I don’t disagree with your analysis of them, just noting how differently we regard these men when they wear polo shirts and khakis versus robes and headdress.Report

        • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

          Without making light of it, 14 is a rounding error in the number of American’s murdered with a firearm per annum.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        This seems like pure semantics. The guy clearly identified as a White Nationalist/Supremacists who sees Jews, People of Color, and other minorities as inferior and deserving of pain and prosecution. The article did nothing to challenge him on his more odious beliefs because that would be gauche or something close.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    FWIW there is probably some good value in exposing yourself to opposite viewpoints. The big issue I have is that the Me9s of the world place the entire burden on the left. When are we going to see Jack Schaffer or John Haidt talk about how right-wingers and libertarians need to read Michelle Goldberg, Jessica Valenti, Paul Krugman, Shaun King, etc?

    There is also the question of how extreme do you need to go to expose yourself to opposing viewpoints. Jason K and James Hanley have changed some of my opinions on economics but surely as a Jewish person, I am not morally required to read someone who thinks Jews are an evil race that controls the world economy. Surely I have a right to self-health not to read idiots that think Nazis were leftists and go through convoluted mental gymnastics to try and prove it. Or someone who thinks being offensive and mean for the sake of being offensive and mean is good.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      I think why publications like the New York Times or the Atlantic have more conservatives working for them than say Fox News or the National Review is that the former do not see their job as spreading liberalism while the latter most definitely want to spread conservatism. Liberal media outlets with a more missionary aim like Slate or Vox aren’t going to have conservative voices or even liberal dissident voices.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      The issue, at least for me, isn’t that the crybabies on the left are being snowflakes and blah blah blah. It’s not about what alternative viewpoints they get. It’s about the possible proprietary attitudes they take towards news outlets that have up to this point been some degree a part of the commons in a way that the New York Times hasn’t been. The rest of us rely on the NYT and similar papers in a way that we don’t rely on Fox. So if the left goes even a “not as bad as Fox but half as bad as Fox” route, that matters a great deal.

      That they are demanding a safe space is secondary to the fact that the New York Times might become that safe space. And not just the New York Times, but the news commons in most places. As Fox et al siphon off rightward readers, and considering where most major news outlets are located, their audiences veer left. If the left leverages that, the rest of us potentially lose a lot of news sources.

      I mean, liberals canceling their subscriptions because of Bret Stephens (who I don’t even like) is a funny story or maybe an eye-rolling on, but that doesn’t bother me too much because the WSJ manages an iron wall between their news pages and opinion pages and I am just not dependent on the NYT opinion page the same way that I am their news pages. The parts that I find alarming are those about “fixing headlines” and what articles to cover and how they should be framed. What that potentially means for the rest of us is that we can’t trust them all that much, and what that potentially means for you is that you can’t point to the NYT and expect us to treat it as independently authoritative.

      Liberal openness to alternative views are secondary. Indeed, liberalism itself is secondary. Not primarily about them.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        When Liberalism stops being somewhat Liberal, there’s going to be one hell of a “both sides” thing that starts happening among the Swing Voters.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        I’d find this line of argument if the bulk of the outrage [1] weren’t being directed at a lot of stuff that’s actually bad, whether it’s the facile contrarianism of idiots like Brett Stephens, soft-focus human interest stories about Panera-loving Nazis [2], or the completely amateurish handling of the Quinn Norton hiring and firing.

        Perhaps the problem here is that the editors and publisher at the Times simply aren’t up to the task of being that sort of authoritative commons.

        [1] According to these two pieces.

        [2] I mean the way the story was “framed” included leaving the relatively subtle lies that holocaust deniers use to seem reasonable go unchallenged, and those lies actually work pretty well when they are left unchallenged.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          When discussing Nazis, I often like to imagine replacing “Nazi” with “Pedophile” and see how it plays.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          I think some of the criticisms of the NYT are better than others, but what is standing out at me is not the specific cases they point to as much as the increasing allusions I am seeing to the debt NYT owes to its liberal readers. Some of that is implicit in the boycotts and increasingly regular subscription cancellations and threats, and more than once I’ve seen it explicitly stated.

          If it’s the New York Times’ job to please it’s liberal readership, that’s going to have consequences. Even if right now we were to agree that all of the criticisms were reasonable, self-validation is a hell of a drug and it won’t stay that way. If the left believes that it’s the job of the NYT to please them, and have the power to make that happen, it’s going to have consequences.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            So what are liberals supposed to do when the Times publishes hot garbage?

            Because the only option left seems to be, “Quietly accept it.”Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              Not necessarily quietly. I do think there might be space in between quiet acceptance and trying to throw your economic weight around via boycotts. But to some degree, if you believe the criticisms of the NYT from the left are all or almost all valid, then it is what it is.

              Along those lines, there is a strong argument that this is more of a straight economic issue than a Liberals Behaving Badly one. There is a market in trying to please the right. There may be a market in trying to please the left. And a more limited market in trying to please across the divide.

              As the editor-in-chief of Ordinary Times, I actually understand that better than most!Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I think one problem is that the Times really has a tendency to dig in on the most justifiable criticisms. At a certain point, I gotta wonder if the problem is less that it’s impossible to please liberals and work across the divide, and more that the Times just sucks at it.

                It would suck a lot less if it just fired its shitty columnists, especially when their shittiness manifests in ways that (not entirely without justification) make liberals suspect that there isn’t the kind of firewall between editorial and reporting sections that the WSJ has going on.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Or to put it another way, I don’t think you have to be an entitled liberal to think this take on yoga pants is rancid trash that shouldn’t have been published anywhere, much less an outlet with pretensions of being a sort of nationwide Commons.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                Tangential, but I enjoyed Phoebe Malz’s take on the yoga article.

                More generally, though, I will tell you what I tell conservatives: for all of its faults the New York Times is one of top three or so newspapers in the country. I mean, that doesn’t mean you can’t criticize them – I certainly to – but I am unimpressed with loud boycotts and threats thereof.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                The Trump supporting guy isn’t wrong re the base. Nixon had about 27 percent of the Country think he was set up and the resignation was because of those dastardly Democrats.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                I agree with you. I think the NY Times is one of the best papers in the United States for shoe-leather reporting. I even get fed up with Gawker/LGM hate reads of things like the Sunday Styles and Weddings section because those are easy to ignore.

                But to quote from the comic books, “With great power comes great responsibility” and the NY Times is arguably among the most power newspapers in the country if not the world. When they say someone deserves a spot on their limited space op-ed page or editorial board, they are saying that this is a voice worth broadcasting.

                The problem is that they often think they are being “brave truthtellers” by being contrarian to their base readership instead of just wondering “Maybe being contrarian for being contrarian is being an asshole and a dipshit.”

                This is a good essay on the Norton affair:

                Norton, like so many champions of internet freedom, is a staunch advocate of free speech. That was certainly the view that allowed so much of the internet freedom and hacker community to overlook Weev’s ardent anti-Semitism when he was on trial for breaking into AT&T’s computers. The thinking is that this is what comes with defending people’s civil liberties: Sometimes you’re going to defend a massive racist. That’s true for both internet activists and the ACLU. It’s also totally possible to defend someone’s right to say awful things and not become their “friend,” however you define the term. But that’s something Quinn didn’t do. And it’s something that many of Weev’s defenders didn’t do, either.

                When civil liberties are defended without adjacent calls for social and economic justice, the values that undergird calls for, say, free speech or protection from government search and seizure can collapse. This is why neo-Nazis feel emboldened to hold “free speech” rallies across the country. It is why racist online communities are able to rail against the monopolistic power of companies like Facebook and Google when they get booted off their platforms. Countless activists, engineers, and others have agitated for decades for an open web—but in the process they’ve too often neglected to fight for social and economic justice at the same time. They’ve defended free speech above all else, which encouraged platforms to allow racists and bigots and sexists and anti-Semites to gather there without much issue.

                Defending free speech is critically important. But free speech doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It exists in relation to social and economic realities that shape our lives with equal force.


              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                Responsibility for what and most important to whom, I think, are the most pertinent questions.

                I thought the hiring of Norton was dumb (at best a failure to do due diligence) and I don’t like Stephens, but at the moment (and such things are always subject to change) I see a future where the next Douthat doesn’t get hired, either. Maybe this is a fever that breaks (some of it is certainly exacerbated by circumstance), or maybe once the ball gets rolling on this and the left realizes the power it has, it won’t.

                And if that’s the case, I don’t see how the Times doesn’t accede. And where the Times goes, so too will the others.

                (And again, I don’t care about the op-ed page per se. I consider it more of an indicator.)Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                I personally consider Ross D to be a pompous ass without doing any real thinking that doesn’t confirm his priors. Remember in the fall when their was an article about young Japanese people opting out of romantic relationships in a British paper? Ross D tweeted that we should ban porn because the article confirmed his priors. He did not seem to think too hard about whether there was a truth problem to the article considering the main source was a Japanese comedian and not someone respected like a sociologist. The whole methodology of the study also seemed suspect but filled with Orientalism.

                That being said, I suspect that LGM is not the average NY Times reader. The average NY Times reader is probably someone more like my mom. She would rather die than vote Republican because she likes David Brooks and Maureen Dowd because she is a boomer. She can read a Dowd column and tell me it is sticking it to the Republicans. I can then go check out LGM and read how the same column is really a GOP propaganda piece.

                She likes Brooks I suspect because he seems like a Rockefeller Republican of the kind she used to know.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                Not a Dowd fan, but the LGM response to her is oblivious to how playful she’s usually being.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I think that article is very perceptive, to the point it may cause me to re-evaluate my view towards Slate.

                What stands out for me is the concept that “free speech” isn’t actually content-neutral.

                That is, freedom of speech is premised on the idea that everyone is equally deserving of conscience and speaking their mind.

                If someone can’t accept the idea of everyone being equally deserving, then they really aren’t in favor of free speech at all.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                I think it’s a mistake to view the NYT’s editorial decisions (at least, the ones of this sort) as a freedom of speech issues to begin with. They are, at most, viewpoint diversity issues. Which viewpoints should be represented, and which ones shouldn’t. There is almost always going to be parameters of some sort.

                Do you want those parameters wider or narrower? That’s not a trick question, as “wider” is often not the better answer, depending on what we’re looking at. It’s almost always stacked against some competing value, like unity, civility, or a minimum of common ground.Report

              • Avatar Pillsy says:

                The diversity of viewpoints is appropriate. The problem IMO is the diversity of quality.

                I’d much rather keep Ross Douthat and ditch Maureen Dowd than the other way around.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Remember Mencken’s quote?

                “The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”

                Looking back, you can’t help but wonder why he was so interested in defending scoundrels.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                Damn, I loves me some Mencken.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                @jaybird @burt-likko

                Considering how much he hated Jews, Mencken was a scoundrel himselfReport

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                One of the mid-20th century Supreme Court justices similarly noted that the cause of liberty tends to be advanced by unpleasant people. I think this is true across the political spectrum. Hugh Hefner was most likely an unpleasant person but he did a lot of to put real sex in mainstream media. Most of the early LGBT advocates would come across to many people today as unpleasant people, especially the ones into ideological wackiness, but they pushed the LGBT cause into the limelight.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @leeesq I’d question your “most” but otherwise agree with you. The thing of it is that the people who do come across that way are much more *noticeable* than the ones who don’t, so they can be a small minority and they still loom far larger in the public consciousness. It also depends on what you mean by “early”…. 19th century? 1980s?Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                Mid-20th century is where I think the modern LGBT movement really starts. There were inklings before that but the real push to be out in the open, at least in the United States, came when many LGBT civil servants began loosing their jobs because they were seen as susceptible to being blackmailed by the Soviet Union.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @leeesq That’s fair, and in that case my dubiousness about “most” still applies.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @leeesq — Can you name some of these “unpleasant” LGBT advocates?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                @leeesq @jaybird
                You know who else was an unpleasant person, a real scoundrel?
                I’m sort of kidding, sort of not.

                I’m trying to think out out the difficulties of a liberal society trying to grapple with those who use liberal tools to advance illiberal ends.

                I don’t think this question can be answered by abstractions and absolutism, of the Menken or Voltaire quotation variety.

                Speech and how free it is or isn’t is governed by a lot of variables, from outright government bans to simply being denied a prime column on the NYT opinion page.

                I think the rules for how we define the boundaries, and how we collectively enforce those boundaries need to be flexible and conditional.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                A cynic to the core, and if anything, he probably wasn’t cynical enough.Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                I thought both articles were funny and silly. I don’t go to a regular gym, so I typically see yoga pants on women doing grocery shopping, or watching folks roll with “no gui” in jujitsu.

                Hey, if a woman wants to wear a skin tight piece of clothing that shows off ever dimple, knock yourself out. I’ll be discreetly doing side eyes. Just saying.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor says:

                If that’s true, it’s because there isn’t a ton of competition among paper-of-records.

                The Post, for example, has been cleaning the NYT’s clock on political coverage for two solid years.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      And the twitters just pointed me to this story:

      People with left-wing/liberal views are more likely to block or unfriend their ideological counterparts than those with right-wing/conservative views

      If they’re trying to get me to stop comparing modern wokeness with the cloistered Evangelical Christianity of my childhood, they’re messing up.

      Note: the conclusion of the piece finishes with “Of course, it might simply be that people with left-wing/liberal views are more willing to admit to disengaging from their ideological opponents.

      So it might be that too.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        Or it might be that “ideological opponents” of people with “left-wing/liberal views” are disproportionately likely to include Kekistani fucks who like to tell hilarious jokes about pushing Jews into ovens.

        Just sayin’.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          So you’re either on the left/liberal or you’re a Kekistanista?

          Contradictions are certainly being heightened.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            That’s not even close to what I wrote. Read it again.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              So the fellow-travelers of right-wingers are Kekistanistas and the Kekistanistas have no analogue on the left? (Like, even if they exist, which we haven’t established, the liberal left is good at distancing themselves from them?)

              I’d put the nuttiest members of the Intersectionally Woke (think the links from “Everyday Feminism” that would get the linkers accused of nutpicking, for example) as a pretty straightforward reflection of the Kekistanistas.

              Is the left better at distancing themselves from the IW (I need another ‘W’!) than the righties are from the Kekistanistas?Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Is the left better at distancing themselves from the IW (I need another ‘W’!) than the righties are from the Kekistanistas?


              • Avatar dragonfrog says:

                There is also a difference in how objectionable those groups are.

                The IWW thinks sex workers are deserving of collective bargaining power.

                The kekistanis think non whites are deserving of extrajudicial murder.

                I can disagree with both those opinions, but I’m going to have an easier time being on friendly terms with one of those people than the other. I think that’s more about the opinions themselves than it is about my inability to tolerate a diversity of opinions in my social circles.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The kekistanis think non whites are deserving of extrajudicial murder.

                I am quickly coming to the realization that we might be talking about different groups of people when we talk about Kekistanis.

                You seem to be using the term to be co-extensive with neo-nazis. That’s not how I’m using the term.Report

              • Avatar dragonfrog says:

                Neonazis believe that all black people collectively deserve extrajudicial murder, and that it should be carried out at scale.

                Kek trolls believe that each black person whom police officers have extrajudicially murdered, individually deserved it, for reasons that shift from one case to the next, potentially blaming one victim for failing to do exactly what they blamed a previous victim for doing.

                I don’t care much whether a person is standing for industrial or artisanal racial murder.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Golly. That’s a horrible thing about Kek trolls that I didn’t know before today.Report

              • Avatar dragonfrog says:

                Perhaps I am mistaxonomizing the various assholes of the political right.

                I think you can look past that and still understand my point.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Kekistanis aren’t uniformly neo-Nazis.

                But a lot of them like to crack jokes that make them sound like neo-Nazis. And said jokes usually betray a strong-if-not-necessarily genocidal animus towards various minority groups.Report

              • Avatar trumwill says:

                Sometimes one group is at least partially distinct from another group though I need an argument that it’s worth my time to try to determine where one ends and the other begins.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @trumwill — This, so much.

                I’m supposed to distinguish “ironic nazis” who “joke” that I’m human garbage from those who say the same things, but who are personally violent enough to back up their claims.

                Yeah, they’re different, but they are toxic little monsters all the same. After all, most of these “lone gunman” types are not actual white power militia members. Instead, they seem to be lonely -chan troll types who got their hands on a gun.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It wasn’t *THAT* long ago that we were debating the whole issues of punching Nazis in these very pages.

                One of the issues I had back then was that I didn’t trust the ability of people to calibrate their ability to tell who was and who was *NOT* a Nazi and that they’d end up with a lot of false positives.

                Yeah. I’ve still got that issue.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                How much consideration should we offer to discriminating between actual Nazis and Nazi adjacent folk and ironic Nazis when all involved give very little consideration to the dignity and value of those they actively denigrate?

                “I’m not a Nazi; I’m a white nationalist.”
                “I’m not a Nazi; I just know the truth about Jews.”
                “I’m not a Nazi; but swastikas are lulz!”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                “I’m not a Nazi; I just think that there are serious biological differences between the two genders.”

                “I’m not a Nazi; I just think that Social Justice Warriors are ruining comic books.”

                “I’m not a Nazi; I just want to send my kids to a school that is mostly White/Asian.” (Whoops, somehow I hit a lot of San Francisco with that one!)Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I’ll go out on a limb and say that the stakes are not nearly so high when we’re talking about blocking or unfollowing someone on social media.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I have absolutely no problem with that sort of thing when those are the stakes. Heck! Group more people in with Nazis at that point. We can even go back to comparing all of the Republican candidates with Nazis at that point.

                If all talking about is just unfollowing them on social media.

                It’s just when, later on, when we find ourselves discussing whether it’s okay to punch Nazis (“that would never happen!” isn’t really a good defense at this point) that someone pipes up that they’re not certain that people are *THAT* skilled at Nazi Taxonomy, don’t be surprised to have it pointed out that a lot of people kinda humblebragged about how they don’t bother to make distinctions after a certain point.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Well, yeah, but the original conversation started because we were speculating why unfollowing was not equally distributed between the left and the right. And a distinct, loud, and maybe not vanishingly small number of right-wing dillholes who do weird frog Nazi roleplaying on line is a solid explanation.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                And, fair enough. You shouldn’t have to defend unfollowing anybody at all.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @jaybird —

                I have absolutely no problem with that sort of thing when those are the stakes.

                I don’t support punching random chan-trolls. How would I? They don’t leave the house. Overt white power dudes, otoh, those who step up and physically intimidate, yeah I’m fine if they take one on the jaw now and again.

                Anyhow, the topic here was whether it is okay to block the fuckers. I take it you support that? It seems like this conversation was about making we on the left feel bad that we block assholes.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Allow me to say clearly:

                Follow whomever you want. Block whomever you want. It’s your freakin’ feed.

                If you want to curate your online experiences and make sure that you are surrounded by things that you only actively like and only things that actively make you feel at home, then that’s your prerogative.

                But if you feel bad because I see that sort of thing as analogous to the cloistered upbringing that I enjoyed, I guess I’m going to say that that’s not on me?Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                Too many people live in those self imposed bubbles nowadays. It will only end badlyReport

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @jaybird — I don’t feel bad. Why are we discussing this?

                Again, you’re coming across as snide and disingenuous.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It seems like this conversation was about making we on the left feel bad that we block assholes.

                I am doing my best to respond to the words that you’re using.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @jaybird — You seem to be suggesting that I live as a “cloistered” Christian, given that I’d rather not hear from my social media friends the same hateful rhetoric that I am fucking drenched in day in day out. Maybe you can see why that is a blinkered position.Report

              • Avatar Maribou, Moderator says:

                @veronica-d A note that there is nothing wrong with this comment, whatsoever, I was complaining about previous remarks, not this one.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Again: you should be able to curate and tailor your feed however the heck you want. Doing so is your prerogative.

                I’d even go so far as to say that the people who argue that you shouldn’t do that are butting into areas where they have no right to do so.Report

              • Avatar Maribou, Moderator says:

                @veronica-d @pillsy It’s very hard for me not to see a connection between y’all communicating that you see this conversation as being about shaming people on the left for blocking racist trolls, and your discussion of having an extreme sensitivity to rejection / shaming, in the other thread.

                Believe it or not, I try to moderate people *less* when Jaybird is involved, because I know I’m biased.

                That said, my perspective on this thread is quite different from yours. And @veronica-d , at the point where you assert that people are trying to make you feel a certain way and then when they say “this is what I’m trying to do, if it makes you feel that way, I see that as on you,” and then you say that response is “snide and disingenuous” –

                You are seriously pushing the boundaries of the comment policy. As in, you’re on the wrong side of it.

                Please reconsider how you are choosing to express yourself, and disengage if need be.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @maribou — This is the root problem in this argument:

                If they’re trying to get me to stop comparing modern wokeness with the cloistered Evangelical Christianity of my childhood, they’re messing up.

                You can see the difference between a trans person wanting to curate her feed and being a “cloistered” Christian? Yes?

                @jaybird loves to play his “awww shucks” routine when he says shit like this, but I read it as tweaking our noses, as he is no doubt aware, evangelicals (the politically active core of that movement) want to kill me.

                And weaponizing my mental illness against me is waaaaay out of bounds. Seriously, think about what you just wrote.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                evangelicals (the politically active core of that movement) want to kill me.

                As someone raised within the evangelical church, let me assure you that they don’t want to kill you.

                They were pretty much against killing people pretty much in general. There was some wiggle room for stuff like the death penalty.

                But when it came to killing other people? No. Evangelicals didn’t want to kill people.Report

              • Avatar Maribou, Moderator says:

                @veronica-d I’m not weaponizing it. I’m telling you that if you literally say that you are hypersensitive to feeling rejected or picked on AND that you are feeling rejected or picked on, where I don’t see you being rejected or picked on, it’s hard for me not to see those two things as connected. Did I not have that information, I would merely conclude that you were being unreasonable and take some sort of action, like censoring or suspending you, for so thoroughly insisting on throwing direct insults out at Jaybird and making all kinds of assumptions about his character every time he says something you don’t like. So if anything I’m *mitigating* and trying to get you to take a step back. That’s not a weapon.

                Much like sometimes when I’m depressed and/or anxious (medically speaking), and I think I’m worthless, and everyone must hate me, it is not “weaponizing my mental illness” for someone to point out that one of the symptoms of my depression is that I tend to filter my experience such that only the things that suggest I am worthless, and that everyone must hate me, stick out.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Since I’m tagged in this mod post, have I been doing something that pushes the boundaries here?Report

              • Avatar Maribou, Moderator says:

                @pillsy Oh, jeez, that is my ridiculous mistake and I apologize very much for it. Explanation follows:

                No, sorry. I started writing a more personal post that blurred the lines between moderator and personal opinion more, which I did mean to include you on, and then I realized I was mixing the two and making it hard for people to parse which was which, when I said I would try not to do that so much, and so I rewrote that post (probably insufficently) to focus just on the moderator part and went to a whole separate post for the personal part and I forgot to take out your name.

                Literally a complete error on my part, that ended up doing the opposite of what I intended, and I apologize.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                OK, no problem. Thanks for clarifying.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                But if you feel bad because I see that sort of thing as analogous to the cloistered upbringing that I enjoyed, I guess I’m going to say that that’s not on me?

                Well, what should we make of the analogy, then?

                What’s the intent behind sharing it?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, like any analogy, you should first check to see if it actually maps at all.

                If it doesn’t, no problem!

                If it does, then you’ve got a fresh look at either yourself or at your ideological opponents and you can then pick between using the ruler on them that you use on yourself or picking up and using the rule on yourself that you’d been using on them.

                Or, I suppose, hammering out that, no, your circumstances are extraordinary and any superficial similarity is only superficial.Report

              • @jaybird As a statement of intent, that’s … not really a direct answer to the question you’re answering. I can still see that it’s *an* answer, but if I read it that way, then the last paragraph borders on being an insult, and definitely makes plenty of unjustified assumptions about pillsy’s motivations.

                I know it’s frustrating when you’re in a thread where you’re being fussed at from all sides and called names, in part for giving direct answer to direct quetsions, and it must be hard not to react like “if no one appreciates me being civil why should I have to worry so much about being civil?” – but if you can’t answer a question charitably, you do have the option not to answer it at all. Or even to say something like, “I’m not really in the mood to answer that after being insulted by another poster on this thread, given that the question feels like a continuation of the pile-on.”Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


            I needed to google Kekistani and it is a t cut book example of white supremacy whether meant as shit posting or not. Sincerely or not.

            How the hell are you defining it?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              I think that “Know Your Meme” provides as good a definition as any.

              I’m not sure that it’s a “textbook” example of White Supremacy.

              It’s a textbook example of the “Alt-Right”, I suppose. But I don’t see those two things as co-extensive. (Though I will certainly agree that there is overlap on the Venn Diagram at points.)Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                If a person is fornicating with goats, but ironically…Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                Jay, what @kolohe said.

                You are protesting too much.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Please don’t ask me a question and, then when I answer it, accuse me of “protesting” when I give you an answer.

                That sort of thing drives me up the freaking wall.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Of anyone here (besides you, maybe) I would have given the most benefit of the doubt to the alt-right at the begining due to a preference on my part to scale back our interventionist foreign policy.

                They have long since zeroed that out with taking on the moniker deplorable as a badge of honor. And, to max litote, the whole Charlottesville thing.

                (And the FP continum keeps on trucking)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Oh, sure. I can totally see why the Kekistanis would count as deplorable.

                But the White Supremacists who showed up at Charlottesville and the Kekistanistas are two different categories in my head.

                For one thing, I’m not sure that “leaving the house, going somewhere else” is really in the wheelhouse of the Kekistanistas, as I understand them.

                But deplorable they are. I can’t argue with that.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                “But the White Supremacists who showed up at Charlottesville and the Kekistanistas are two different categories in my head.”

                Perhaps you need to change this. At least make them a distinction without a difference.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:


                For me there is a difference. I know a few people (literally less than 6) in real life who are … at least Kekistani-adjacent on the internet. (No, they don’t all know each other.) I think that’s super wrongheaded of them and their sense of humor has run away with their sense of proportion and perspective, in a way that I would agree is shameful in the limited sense that I sometimes – frequently – shame them for it. And I don’t read that stuff when they share it, or if they share it where I see it, I tell them they’re being stupid. They literally do not believe ANY of the shitposting they do, though.
                Often they don’t even DO much shitposting, they just joke among themselves about Kek and etc. Honestly it’s a not-even-right-wing form of epater les bourgeois, in that not a single one of them voted for Trump in the last election … one of them even (admittedly with a very cranky rant about having to do it) voted for Hillary.

                Because I know these guys OUTSIDE of the internet, I know that they would, in fact, literally put themselves between me (or you) and anybody who was trying to enact anything resembling the Holocaust upon us. I know that they wouldn’t vote for policies like that. I know that they don’t just “have a friend who is black,” or whatever. The majority of them (again, we’re talking 3/5 of the people I know and I’m not saying this is Kekistani-average) are loving parts of actual mixed race families who are to some degree venting about the way that white people who would never actually DATE someone of another race are willing to judge them based just on what they like to make jokes about. I know that they know who I am, without filters, and they accept me, even though the literal Nazis would have put me in a camp, and the neo-Nazis would do the exact same.

                I know that several of them were, for Pete’s sake, involved in *doxxing Charlottesville white supremacists* because when it comes down to it, they hate white supremacists. They just have what I consider to be an extremely stupid way of expressing it with all the stupid-ass jokes that they think are diluting the toxicity of various things rather than just making things worse. In the case of these particular five guys? Their sterling personal qualities and complete NOT-Nazism make it clear to me that being a Kekistani is not coextensive with being a Charlottesville guy, to the point where I have to assume I am not just some freak of nature who attracts the only good people who are also Kekistanis to my orbit.

                Does it infuriate me that they think this is good? Yes, I yell at them about it and sometimes I will unfollow them, or give them a lot of space, if I need some breathing room. I certainly don’t blame anyone for cutting Kekistanis out of their lives, even less so for cutting them out of their social media feeds. I think every single person on this thread who has expressed that that is what they do has good reasons for doing so, reasons that are every bit as good as my reasons for not. Does staying friends with them make me Quinn Norton*? No, it does not.

                Does insisting that if a person doesn’t parse a difference between the two groups, they are sadly and sorely mistaken, as some here have done, strike me as particularly insightful or wise?


                One group is clearly full of people who are recapturable (or maybe already recaptured if you consider their life choices, voting habits, and likelihood of attacking actual neo-Nazis). The other strikes me as full of people who are the opposite of recapturable and whom there is no point in wasting anyone’s time on. I admire people like Pardeep Kaleka for doing their best to prove me wrong about that, but I can definitely see why someone wouldn’t want to make the effort. I sure don’t.

                So, overall, there’s a pretty sharp difference, IMO. At least some members of one group would die to protect me from the other group.

                I don’t mind if you don’t perceive that difference. But I do mind being told it’s a mistake to see what I see. And I mind (speaking just personally, not as a moderator) seeing Jay treated as perverse for also seeing it.


                * I wish everyone would just accept that Aaron Swartz’s death broke something in Quinn Norton, and neither try to put her on the boards of things, nor excoriate her for not being able to bail on even the most awful of people after losing her best beloved to suicide. But that is neither here nor there, I suppose, since I absolutely don’t agree with the choices she’s made about people like weev.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I suspect it’s a lot easier to distinguish between trolly shitposting and actual malice when you have that offline perspective. I don’t have IRL Kekistani acquaintances, and since the primary venues I use for interacting with people online are Twitter and comment sections/fora like this one, most of the people who wind up in my feed, so to speak, are ones who I have no relationship with outside of online interactions.

                I follow a few hundred people on Twitter. Of those, I can count the ones I’ve met offline on the fingers of one hand.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I know those sorts of young people, because at one point in life I probably was one.

                When I was in my late teens and early twenties it wasn’t uncommon in my suburban white male circle of friends to hear people make cruel and stupid jokes at the expense of minorities or gays or women.
                When we laughed, it wasn’t malice, and if 50 something Chip were to confront teenage Chip about it, he would strive to make it clear that he was actually quite enlightened and opposed to bigotry. But hey, lighten up, it was just a joke.

                Except that itself is the sort of textbook white privilege we hear about.
                That sort of callow, callous indifference to the actual experiences and pain that other people suffer is the hallmark of privileged people.
                When we read the experiences of those who suffer, its usually that very same smug indifference that they point to, even above the actual malice as their greatest source of pain.

                I can cut some slack to actual young people who have the excuse of immaturity but once someone gets to the age of voting/ drinking/ signing contracts my expectations of their behavior rises and tolerance for that stuff drops, considerably.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:


                “When we read the experiences of those who suffer, its usually that very same smug indifference that they point to, even above the actual malice as their greatest source of pain.”

                I’ve suffered a whole lot, for the record, and actual malice is infinitely more painful to me than smug indifference is. To the point where I really question your premise. You and I must also be reading different things.

                I would also suggest that what looks to you like smug indifference may, for example in the case of someone who is literally part of a mixed-race household, be something rather different than you think it is.

                That said, I don’t condone those behaviors. I just don’t see them as identical.

                And I find it rather disconcerting that not seeing them as identical has somehow become a character flaw of its own.

                (Edited to remove the totally-irrelevant moderator tag. Sorry y’all, I’m trying to get used to switching the name back and forth, I really am.)

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @chip-daniels @maribou — In the years before my gender transition, I would sometimes hear a black person say they almost preferred dealing with outright racists, rather than the smug “I’m not a racist, I have black friends” types — in other words, MLK’s “white liberals.” At the time I didn’t get it. It seemed obvious that the former were openly hateful and (sometimes) violent, whereas the latter at least tried to be decent.

                After transition I started to get it. First, it’s not literally true. I would in fact rather deal with a “cis liberal” than an openly hostile jerk (never mind intimidation and violence). But still, there is something deeply draining in being surrounded by a morass of people who are pretending to accept me, but who don’t, not all the way.

                And I can tell. Not perfectly. That’s not the point. It’s not about that one person. It’s the combined weight of small social differences. They do add up.

                Regarding trolls, I quite liked this article regarding Marilyn Manson’s role in the modern world:

                But times change, tastes shift, and bad people put on different masks. After the war on Iraq and the tortures at Abu Ghraib, transgression stood for something bigger and more reactionary than the dour musicians of the ’90s could express. Combined with the usual aesthetic wear-and-tear, it was enough to ensure their decline; newer, cheerier acts emerged who barked little and bit less. At this point, outside of rap, it’s become increasingly difficult to frame being an asshole as anything but socially regressive. The leading reactionaries of today aren’t churchgoing prudes who want to censor art; they’re the kind of people who abuse free speech to the fullest extent possible. When Manson, last fall, pointed a fake rifle at a concert audience in San Bernardino, the act was cringeworthy not just because terrorists had massacred 14 people in the same city three years ago, but because it was exactly the same kind of antic one would expect from a second-tier troll.

                In this context, finding out that he doesn’t mind throwing racial slurs around or harassing lots of women sexually just confirms the fact that his grip on reality, and his place within it, is collapsing in ways that he can’t imagine. Aesthetically or politically, disrespect is no guarantee of integrity; it might even predict strongly for its absence. If Manson believes in anything beyond gratifying his own vanity by pissing off everyone around him, he’s free to say so. He has always been free to say so, and more free than most. But there’s not much glory left in crossing lines just to prove you exist, let alone any excellence. When the commander-in-chief is guaranteed to top you in the art and politics of “dishonoring everything,” it might be time to do something else.

                In other words, South Park style nitwittery isn’t shocking anymore. It’s just dreary and regressive.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @veronica-d Oh, I get that feeling, too. (Thing I have actually said to my sister: “If they weren’t just being stupid at least I could FIGHT them.” Other thing I have actually said to my sister: “Sometimes I’d rather deal with a child molester than the person who makes me deal with the child molester because they choose to be too damn fragile…”)

                I just think folks like @chip-daniels are in danger of taking our expressions of that feeling rather too literally. Since the onus is on them rather than us, I try to educate.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        What conclusions we draw from those statistics are revealing, since there wasn’t any evidence presented as to why all this blocking is going on.

        Are liberals blocking because we are cloistered?

        Are liberals blocking because conservatives in the 2016 election behaved like jackasses?

        Are women more likely to block because the voice of conservatism is an angry violent male?

        Do Clinton voters find it difficult to be friends with Trump people, because the Trumpists delighted in the promise to imprison Clinton?

        ETA: What @pillsy said with more brevity and punch.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          Are liberals blocking because conservatives in the 2016 election behaved like jackasses?

          From what I understand, it pre-dates Trump and the numbers in the US and UK are pretty similar or at least run in the same direction. Which, if true, means it’s not a direct product of the particularities of Trump and our Republican Party.

          I haven’t read it yet, but this was what was cited.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            But left unexamined is why.

            Why for example, would liberals even click “friend” in the first place?
            What changed?

            Was the change attributable to behavior on the part of liberals, or behavior by conservatives?

            Once of the things which I know irks liberals is the insistence on Both Sides, that desire to locate objective truth halfway between wherever conservatism and liberalism lie, and the myth that both sides behave with equal ethical weight.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            The “this” link is broken, so I’m sort of guessing what you’re citing, but if it’s this YouGov PDF, it looks like Labour members and Tories have pretty much symmetrical opinions of each other, and it’s members of UKIP that were likely to alienate Labour and Lib Dem voters.

            If that’s the case, I stick by my explanation.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          Anecdotally, I can think of only one friend I’d blocked in that manner. And that was because he’d gone full bore racist.

          Like absolutely seemed to feel that now that Trump was President, he could finally say what he thought about blacks and Mexicans. I mean, technically he never said that white people were superior to all other races, but he was pretty darn clear (using a lot of fun slurs) about what color America should be.

          It wasn’t something I wanted to see regularly on Facebook, which I use mostly to track birthdays.Report

        • Avatar Damon says:

          Based upon a cursory search, there’s about 10-20% of female dating profiles in my area that specifically state “if you’re a Trump supporter” or voted for him, or have non left views, “keep on moving”. So, at least in my area, the vajajay is XXXX blocking itself.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            I am actually super sympathetic to this. It’s one thing to say that you won’t be friends with people who disagree with you politically*, but it’s another to say that you only get one spouse (presumably) and you want a shared worldview with them.

            * – And I’m not saying that this itself is always wrong.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              2 Corinthians 6:14, bay-bay!Report

            • Avatar Damon says:

              What I find curious about it is that I’m in a state that’s VERY LIBERAL where even the “Republicans” are RINOs. You may rest assured that the same people that write this don’t have any non liberal friends–or don’t know that they are non liberals.

              Take it from a guy who “passes” as a liberal.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor says:

                Given that I’m years out of the loop on dating, couldn’t that be Trump-specific, though?

                At least out here, the reliable GOP folks I know still rejected Trump (Trump lost California by nearly 30 points), so to have voted for Trump didn’t just make you a republican, it made you a [something far worse]. I can see where Republicans come from on a lot of issues. I doubt I will ever be able to respect the political views of someone who voted Trump in the republican primaries.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I mean I haven’t had a lot of offline conversations with random Trump supporters who felt at ease and let their metaphorical hair down…

                …but I’ve had enough that I sure wouldn’t fault someone for using “not a Trump supporter” as a dating criterion.

                And this is in a Blue State, too.Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                There are two things:

                First, non Trump right side of the spectrum. I saw quite a bit of “I’m politically liberal and if you’re not, I don’t see that working out long term” type phrases.

                Post Trump announces, I noticed anti Trump phrases and more anti right comments popping up in more of the profiles. Possibly seeing an increase of these phrases after the election too.

                So, the “i don’t date non liberals” was always there to some degree. I think Trump/loss by HRC increased those comments.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor says:

                That certainly makes sense to me.Report

          • Avatar veronica d says:

            @damon — My dating profile says #BLM and “antifa or GTFO.”

            Like seriously, I’m not shy at all it.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Which articles are they blocking Jay Jay? I’m not unfriending someone who posts for Reason. But if someone keeps posting Breitbartian race-bait and other trash and are basically thanking Trump for saying the quiet part loud.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          My view, perhaps overly influenced by Twitter and blogs and the like, is that people on the left generally tend to be too quick to defriend and ostracize social connections over what are often relatively minor differences, while people on the right tend to be way too slow even when a person has thoroughly demonstrated that they have no place in polite company.

          My view is also that this is an ebb-and-flow thing rather than anything intrinsic to the right and left and their respective temperaments and worldviews.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            This sounds pretty much correct.Report

          • Avatar veronica d says:

            @will-truman — I unfriended my (now ex-) brother-in-law after his third Milo Y post. I had been friends with him, before that, for quite a long time, probably twenty years. (I actually met him before I knew my wife. She and I introduced him to her sister.) He was a techno-libertarian gun-enthusiast type. I didn’t mind that. He was smart and cool. With the rise of the “alt right,” however, and fucking Milo — the guy can fuck off. Seriously.

            I disowned my brother because he voted Trump. He’s dead to me. Anyone whose sister is a transgender woman, and who would vote for that hateful human-shaped turd — no seriously, got no time for that.

            (Which is maybe sad, because he is a firefighter in Parkland Florida. I’m kinda curious what he thinks of recent events.)

            Politics is politics. I won’t disown someone cuz of tax policy or whatever. But literal hate — and Trump is exactly what we say he is. The fortunate thing is, he is incompetent at it.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          The article doesn’t say.

          And my calibrations are off because I can’t really imagine blocking someone for posting stuff. I’d be most inclined to block my boomer relatives for posting those damned minion memes with stuff like “you don’t have to be crazy to work here… BUT IT HELPS!” captions.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


            So you are basically saying that if someone on your friends list started talking about how we should repeal the 13th-15th Amendments and reintroduce slavery for blacks; about how the Holocaust was a hoax and a lie and the great tragedy is that Hitler didn’t kill seven million Jews; and/or how we should castrate homosexuals for their deviance, and these were true and sincere beliefs that you would not block them or unfriend them?

            What purpose does friendship (real or internet variant) have with a person like that? Do you think you can convince them otherwise? Or are you such a fanatic for free speech that it exists in a vacuum?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Well, I admit, when it comes to the whole “but what if a friend started saying that we needed to repeal the 13th!”, my appeals to virtue are, indeed, appeals to untried virtue.

              But I got a lot of memetic antibodies as a side effect of my childhood.

              So assume that I’m a fanatic.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                I guess I’m fascinated by all these people on OT who have friends that advocate repealing the 13-15th amendments.

                I mean, by the time our talking points meetings our over, we’ve hardly made it past the 10th.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’m beginning to wonder how many of the people on OT have friends (defined as “I’ve fed them at my house and they have an open invitation to just show up and commandeer the television”) who have voted for Trump.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                By that definition, I’m pretty sure I don’t have friends.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                It has become somewhat less applicable as I’ve gotten older, but my definition has always been “Would take a collect call from you at 3 in the morning and come pick you up from jail without holding it over your head for the rest of your life.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                “I would answer the phone if I knew it was them instead of letting it go to voice mail.”Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                And if we did. There is an assumption here that we would become Trump whisperers? Trump curious?

                Everything the man touches turns into shit and peopLee who voted for him need to reckon with that? You seemed hellbent on kind of defending Trump but also kind of not but anything not to agree with Hilary supporters.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                And if we did. There is an assumption here that we would become Trump whisperers? Trump curious?

                I think that if you had friends who had voted for Trump, you’d see that my assumption would be something like “Trump voters aren’t that bad. Why, some of my best friends voted for Trump.”

                As for needing your friends to reckon with their vote, I gave up on that when I realized that most of the Hillary supporters I know would *NEVER* *EVER* agree that Bernie should have gotten the nomination instead.

                And that’s okay.

                I’m not friends with people because of how they vote.Report

              • Avatar J_A says:


                As for needing your friends to reckon with their vote, I gave up on that when I realized that most of the Hillary supporters I know would *NEVER* *EVER* agree that Bernie should have gotten the nomination instead.

                Since the election, there’s been a certain unspoken idea that, if only Bernie had carried the nomination, he would have won the 100k or so critical voters in PA or WI, and would be our president.

                Implicit in that assumption is that Bernie would have gotten every single vote Hilary got, plus some.

                I find that assumption extremely unlikely.

                1. Hillary is reasonably popular among African Americans. Bernie is quite unpopular in that community, as the primaries showed. Bernie would have depressed the African American turnout in numbers larger than the WWC voters that would have flowed to Bernie.

                2. Being a fairly standard Tory of the UK variety, Hillary did fairly well with upper middle class voters, who would have been totally aghast at the Corbyn-like Bernie, and would have flocked en-masse towards Trump as the lesser evil,

                I doubt Bernie would have even captured the popular vote. And we would be here moaning the fact that Democratic superdelegates trumped (no pun intended) the will of the people by denying Hillary, the primary winner, the nomination.

                In all seriousness, I suspect the meme of “if only Bernie” might be part of a disinformation campaign to create discord in the US body politic (like the [same?] campaign Mueller is investigating)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, it’s not that he would have gotten every single vote that Hillary got, plus some.

                It’s that the places where he lost votes had margins that were cuttable, the places where he’d pick up votes were essential, and he’d actually go to the Midwest to campaign and pick up votes in those states that Clinton was more than happy enough to leave on the table.

                Maybe African-Americans wouldn’t have been energized by Bernie. Hey. Absolutely.

                But there are people who were energized by Trump/Clinton (in Trump’s favor) that wouldn’t have been energized by Trump/Sanders because they would have seen these guys as equally populist.

                And The Blue Wall would have held.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                The problem with hypotheticals is that they can be used to prove any and every prior.

                My general suspicion is that Bernie would have lost the general but I don’t know by what conditions. Trump is such an odious character that I can’t think of a single blue state switching red because Bernie was the candidate.

                I also suspect Bernie would have been better at attacking Trump’s business titan thing.

                But everything you write is true. He would have received fewer minority votes and fewer upper-middle class professional votes. Also we have no idea what opp research on Bernie would be like. We just have an article saying it was a doozy.Report

              • Avatar Jason says:

                I stopped following several friends on FB for excessive memes–usually from ultra-conservative sites. One of them was a dude from high school and fellow jarhead; I stopped following him when he posted a meme with Obama’s face shopped onto a chimpanzee. I blocked many conservative sites (on FB) because of friends liking, sharing, or posting in them (their likes or posts would show up in my feed). One of my friends (we served together in the early ’90’s), would frequently comment about Obama being the worst ever. The memes from these sites, if not outright lies, were filled with rhetrickery. There’s no point in discussion, as the person who says Obama was “the worst ever” doesn’t really care about reality. (I say this as someone who wasn’t an Obama fan because of O’s education policies.)

                Edit: Alan already commented about the Obama/photoshop thing. LOL.Report

          • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

            YES! Instant block.Report

          • Avatar Alan Scott says:

            Jaybird: I’d be most inclined to block my boomer relatives for posting those damned minion memes with stuff like “you don’t have to be crazy to work here… BUT IT HELPS!” captions.

            What you’re not thinking about is how much overlap there is in these two categories.

            Here at OT, we’re pretty smart people who put careful thought into our political opinions. That puts us in a significant minority.

            I can’t speak for every liberal, but the thing that’s most likely to get you kicked from my facebook feed is *inane* politics, not extreme politics. I’m not unfriending Kekistani trolls (because they were never friended in the first place). I’m unfriending former co-workers in their fifties who forward images of Obama photoshopped to look like a monkey in between their minion memes.Report

            • Avatar Maribou says:

              “What you’re not thinking about is how much overlap there is in these two categories.”

              Perhaps it’s because I’m Canadian, but inane politics in *my* feed is as likely to come from boomer relatives on the left as on the right….Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                I have inane politics from both the left and the right on my Facebook feed. Age range is pretty heavily distributed. Many of the liberal inane politics tends to be of the “everybody is a secret Disney progressive but they just don’t know it yet” variety. Right-leaning inane politics is thankfully not of the genocidal variety but the extreme free market anarcho-capitalism, lets abolish education variety.Report

              • Avatar Alan Scott says:

                Lee, you are definitely underestimating the level of inanity that I’m talking about, since those are odd but coherent political positions.

                I’m talking about something along the lines of a post advocating that everyone on food stamps be drafted into the military, or that global warming is caused by trees.

                (The lefty equivalent is probably a post about how corn syrup is toxic because it’s made from GMO bees)Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                I know at least one person who manages to combine a deep commitment to gun control with skepticism towards Black Lives Matter. He is also a fierce anti-Communist but his parents were refugees from the Eastern Bloc so that makes partial sense.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Also perhaps conservaitves/right-wingers don’t defriend people on the left because they are 4chan trolls who get off on shit posting and shocking the liberals?Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Let’s play a game…

        Which of the following adjectives would you associated with the political tone of the right? And which for the left?

        eye roll worthy

        If you asked me, I’d say offensive, angry, and provocative lean right and the rest lean left. I offer no value judgements on either of these but they do strike me as how each side tends to present itself (though the left has shifted somewhat with The Resistance).

        Now, if I had two friends online and one was offensive, angry, and provocative and the other was silly, eye roll worthy, and whiny, I’d be more inclined to avoid the first one regardless of the content of what he said.

        The right often seems intentionally trying to agitate. Being avoided is a natural consequence of that.

        The left… as precious as we can be sometimes… really think we can get people to listen to us. So we may annoy them but we’re much less likely to drive them away it seems.Report

        • Avatar Maribou says:

          @kazzy My adjective lineups don’t match yours, fwiw.

          They go

          I think some of this may be, physically, regional, as I am rather more leftward than you by most measures.

          (though I’d add another one, “threatening”, and honestly that one does lean right *for me* and is one of the only things I seriously consider blocking people I’m actually (I should say previously) friends with for, if they won’t reconsider, regardless if they’re left or right (though as I said it leans right). I don’t need people in my life who like using implied violence in public discourse.)Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            Mileage likely will vary. And threatening is another important one to note.

            I remember once upon a time someone asking if there was a left-wing Breitbart. I suggested UpWorthy.

            Perhaps a better way of saying it is that the less savory parts of the right seem more harmful on a personal level than the less savory parts of the left.

            I’d much rather be subjected to being told I’m a selfish capitalist pig because I don’t support universal healthcare than be subjected to being told I don’t deserve to live because of how I was born.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


              Now This might be closer to Breitbart than Upworthy but it is rather revealing that the closest thing the left as to Breitbart is more known for mawkish sentimentality than anything else.

              There are magazines like Jacobin but those have small readerships.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                To be clear, I’m not necessarily arguing that mawkish sentimentality is better than whatever it is Breitbart does. But that the tone of Breitbart is one that is more likely to lead people to block it than the tone of Now This or whatever.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @kazzy I am 100 percent arguing that mawkish sentimentality is better than whatever it is Breitbart does. I would also suggest though, that if you think mawkish sentimentality is as bad as the left gets, you’re fairly sheltered from the more objectionable elements of the left.

                (Now, that feeds back into the argument someone else made, that the left is more distanced from its lunatic fringe than the right is from theirs, which on the whole I agree with…. just, mawkish sentimentality is far from the worst I’ve seen.)

                (Edited to remove the totally-irrelevant moderator tag. Sorry y’all, I’m trying to get used to switching the name back and forth, I really am.)

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          To what extent are we including the, erm, “Campus Left” in mind in our discussions of the left?

          Is this one of the things where we’re comparing Bill Kristol and Hillary Clinton on the left to Richard Spencer and 4Chan and that’s the Overton Window?Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            I suppose it depends on whether or not the “campus left” were included in the original study.

            ETA: What is a better comparison for Richard Spencer and 4Chan on the left?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              I dunno. Would “People with left-wing/liberal views” include the Campus Left or not?

              What is a better comparison for Richard Spencer and 4Chan on the left?

              The tankies? The antifa, maybe?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Can you identify a leader and a website? Apples and apples and whatnot.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, when it comes to “leaders”, who are we saying Richard Spenser is the leader of? The kekistanis? It’s not my understanding that he considers himself their leader nor that they consider him to be theirs.

                When it comes to “websites”, can’t we compare “wackos from twitter” to “wackos from twitter”?

                As for /pol/, I know that there are sites with /leftypol/.

                Do they count?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Walking this back actually. No one blocked HRC or Spencer. They blocked the guy from high school.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Me1 – though isn’t this sort of thing why you see people asking (ghoulishly, sometimes) “Hi, this is Mary Schmucketelli from Action 45 News. Can we use this in our newscast with attribution to you?”Report

  5. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    True fact: When I was a young boy I thought that ultimatum meant ultimate tomato.Report

  6. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    As I read Me1, I found myself asking, “Compared to what?”
    The author keeps asserting that subscriptions will cause the editorial voice to change and, without even bothering to refute that, I would ask well, where does the editorial voice come from now, and is it better or worse that it changes?

    We can ask as well, if the dystopian scenario of subscribers demanding an echo chamber is as probable as he imagines.
    Because hasn’t that same critique been made by others, that corporate advertisers inevitably turn the NYT into their preferred mouthpiece?

    So how do publications manage to resist that, but somehow will be unable to resist the same pressure from subscribers?Report

  7. Avatar Will Truman says:

    @kolohe and @kazzy

    The issue here is not that Ordinary Times (for example) could get into trouble for taking someone’s picture, uploading it, and using it. That’s always been the case and is rightfully the case (apart from Fair Use). The issue is that Ordinary Times could get in trouble for simply embedding a tweet. Or sharing a YouTube video. Everything we link to would have to be through the filter of whether something on some content we link to has a copyright violation.

    The degree of indemnity for “As long as it’s somebody else’s server” has up until now been very important.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

      Well, I suspect that if the owner of the tweet contacted you and asked you to take down the image, you would comply, if their bona fides seemed good. I think the newspapers in question pressed the point because they thought they were right and wanted a court ruling that they were right.

      And simply including a tweet probably isn’t enough, the issue was an image embedded in the tweet.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog says:

        If it’s embedded and not copied, the owner of the tweet doesn’t need to ask you anything – they can unpublish it from your site by deleting the tweet.Report

        • Avatar Nevermoor says:

          Except here wasn’t the tweet sharing (perhaps illegally!) the snapchat post?Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            The post or the image (downloaded from snapchat and uploaded to Twitter)? And did the news outlets embed the tweet or hotlink the image? The former matters and you could better make an argument if they were hotlinking (which would demonstrate intentional circumvention).

            If it was downloaded and reuploaded, and fully embedded, as I had thought, then the photographer’s beef skittles be with Twitter, and maybe Twitter needs a DMCA takedown process.

            If it was a hotlink, I would need to think further.

            If it is on the Snapchat server because the photographer put it there, then I think it’s on him (though maybe snapchat needs to give people the ability to prevent embedding).Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain says:

              If it was a hotlink, I would need to think further.

              Myself, I don’t have to think much harder. Show me the slightest sign of server-side CPU cycles being expended to restrict access to the image to those who come through an approved surrounding page, and I’m cool with claims of infringement. Cookies? Special values in hidden input fields? Any other sort of dynamic data? But if the server returns the image in response to a bog-standard static GET request with no added data, then no infringement — it’s indistinguishable from a hundred billion other bits of unprotected content.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      The Court hasn’t yet reached the issues of voluntary release into public domain, implied or explicit licensing, and fair use. FTFO:

      In this case, there are genuine questions about whether plaintiff effectively released his image into the public domain when he posted it to his Snapchat account. Indeed, in many cases there are likely to be factual questions as to licensing and authorization. There is also a very serious and strong fair use defense, a defense under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and limitations on damages from innocent infringement.

      All we’ve got is the court saying that, based on the facts of this case and the murky nature of the law, the “server test” isn’t the appropriate way to establish the plaintiff’s legal route to liability. Where the server hosting the picture is located is irrelevant, in other words; the court is going to look at the holistic dynamics of how the picture gets disseminated. In a sense, I think that’s an intelligent thing to say, one that disincentivizes the geographic and jurisprudential gamesmanship baked in to the server test.

      Public domain strikes me as an intriguing area of jurisprudence here, although it does threaten to chill photojournalism on Twitter — but the chilling effect is not the court’s problem, the Copyright Act is.Report

  8. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    [Me6] PBS is the Most Trusted News Source among Republicans.

    When you strip away all the Salon positioning and graphical misdirection, isn’t that the real shocker from the study?Report

  9. Avatar j r says:


    Trudeau told Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg in November he was concerned the company wasn’t doing enough to stop the spread of misleading information on their platform, a source with direct knowledge of the conversation told the Star.

    Considering how much of his own popularity Trudeau owes to stage managed social media moments, regulating Facebook could have some very funny unintended consequences.Report