European legal official OKs orders that force Facebook to globally remove insults to politicians like "oaf" and "fascist" (as well as synonyms)

You win the thread immediately

If this took effect we would never be able to even say Christ what assholes again

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You think that guy is dead? Don’t be an oaf.

He is not a boar. A bore, perhaps. But that’s a matter of opinion. The rest is demonstrably true, so no, I have no problem with that.

What I do have a problem with is social media’s fake news problem. Something like drunk Nancy Pelosi. That stuff, even if proven untrue and retracted, stays in people’s minds. We need to solve for that while still maintaining free speech. But perhaps not every aspect of American free speech.

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No, just doing my bit to keep the Streisand Effect functioning properly.

If someone slanders or libels you, the appropriate response is to sue for slander or libel. If you are a politician, then being called names probably shouldn’t count.

The bigger problem being raised, that FB doesn’t seem to think it has any obligation to remove problematic content from its global distribution, is a problem independent of the name-calling stuff. The right solution there is probably to simply dismantle FB, if you can find a way to do that without it applying to, eg, Reuters.


Here’s the problem though; what is name calling? Fascist? Drunk? Pedo?

I agree that there’s a problem, I just don’t agree that this is a solution. For example, if a similar takedown was issues for the original Fake Drunk Pelosi video, and FB took it down immediately, the video would still be racing around and causing problems. The speed of transmission of bullshit is faster than it can possibly be contained. Perhaps if we force social media to operate at 300 baud (or over sneakernet) we could get ahead of the spread of this stuff.


No, the EU cannot regulate speech in the US (or any other non-EU country) by non-EU citizens. Period. It’s quite literally against our Constitution, in re: the US, and there’s that whole “jurisdiction” thing, to boot.

Never give an order you know will not (or can not) be followed.

The problem is that Facebook does business in both the EU and the USA. This means that they have the following options, should the EU direct this impossibility:

  • Eliminate the service in the EU.
  • Split the service in two; so USA people aren’t filtered, but can’t see EU people. EU people are filtered and can’t see USA people.
  • When someone registers as being in the EU or has an EU IP address, filter on the fly all content to ensure that any “illegal” content doesn’t go to the EU.
  • Meet the legal lowest common denominator - the most restrictive law.

Honestly, none of those options are good. I can’t imagine Facebook leaving the EU, nor can I imagine splitting into Facebook.USA and Facebook.EU. Meeting the most restrictive law would be unpopular but it is the easiest solution because filtering everything means that they don’t have to either chunk users or remove content on the fly.

tl;dr: Facebook could just meet the most restrictive laws for the countries that it is wanting to stay in because it’s easier. Freedom of speech laws don’t apply because private company.

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But the EU explicitly ordered global suppression; there’s no allowance for a “filter”.

Freedom of speech laws certainly*apply; the EU IS NOT a private entity; that’s who’s ordering the suppression ^^’.

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Snowflakes more like. (Guess that term will soon be banned too.)

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Ah, a technical solution to the problem “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”

I agree that this is not the solution, but I think it’s still a problem that needs to be solved and I’m suggesting that maybe our affinity for free speech is a little too dear. Speech is like capitalism; best if regulated, in moderation.

Even if you make it illegal to call someone names, social media has a tendency to come up with less explicit ways to express things; pictures of milk cartons and nested brackets have subtext now, and that’s much tougher to legislate against. The internet routes around people being told what they can’t do.

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I have mixed feelings about this. When speech does get regulated it seems impossible to create rules that don’t favor the rich and powerful.


Why Neanderthal? Is that an insult, a racial slur?
It appears our larger-brained cousins were the victims of a very successful genocide.
“Neanderthal” appears to be particularly unsuitable to lend itself as a slur for fascist oafs.


Facefuckbook is not at issue here, but our freedom to call fascists fascists is.

(A case in which a fascist oaf calls a green politician a fascist oaf who then proceeded to prove the fascist oaf right.)

Nah, the austrian greens are mostly pretty left-wing. Glawischnig was a mostly non-controversial leader, though she did at least keep the party together somewhat. The weirdest thing about her is only that now she’s working for one of the large gambling companies (Novomatic), which seems like a weird career choice.

The “fascist” thing mostly gets thrown around by the right wing, because they want to take away our guns and cigarettes and diesels and whatnot. So not unlike calling Obama the second coming of Hitler.


I guess every cloud has a silver lining.


No, he’s accepted that she’s a fascist based on the fact that she used the government and the legal system to try to stop people from calling her an oaf.


Or even a boor.


And that is as good a time as any to refer people to this: