Twitter Censorship Dictionary: Safe Spaces, Bullying, and Harassment

By | Internet Lawyer | No Comments
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Here’s a Twitter Censorship Dictionary – 1984 Edition

It’s time for a Twitter censorship dictionary.

Why?

Ripping a page from George Orwell’s 1984, Twitter censorship goes The Full Monty with the establishment of Miniluv (the Ministry of Love). Misleadingly designated as the “Twitter Trust & Safety Council,” the Thought Police plan to enforce politically correct orthodoxy through public shaming, unverification, suspension, or expulsion.

In Newspeak, Patricia Cartes (@Cartes), Twitter Head of Global Policy Outreach explains that MiniLuv is “a new and foundational part of our strategy to ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter.”

That statement omits the part where the only people who can feel safe expressing themselves are those who tweet groupthink propaganda.

Depending upon the severity of your politically incorrect offense, you may get off with a mere public shaming with progressive discipline for further sins. However, the arbitrary nature of emotionally-based safe spaces means that a single tweet that offends Big Brother can lead to a permanent ban.

This is a natural extension of Twitter’s ongoing harassment of dissenting views, such as those of libertine (and libertarian) Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

Although social media trends left, Twitter is marching so far in that direction that what one sees is the goose stepping of national socialism where opposing views are not tolerated on issues of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or even which politicians one can support for President.

Feel the Bern for Bernie Sanders? Miniluv will shower you with love.

Are you a Trumpeter for Donald Trump? Don’t tweet about your support or risk punishment.

To help you not run afoul of the Thought Police, here are a few unofficial Miniluv definitions (pending approval by Minitrue).

Bullying – any tweet that offends a member of an approved victim class. See Harassment.

Free Speech – Twitter censorship

Global Policy Outreach – Corporatespeak for a Twitter department that should be eliminated as bloat.

Harassment – anything that offends a member of an approved victim class. See Bullying.

Hierarchy of Victims – If both parties self-identify as a victim, a politically correct hierarchy is used to determine who is the true victim and who is the aggressor. This hierarchy is flexible and depends upon factors such as the parties’ race, gender orientation, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, and political views.

NitTwit – See Patricia Cartes (@Cartes).

Safe Space – A social media platform that stifles dissenting views on the grounds that such censorship protects self-identified victims. See Twitter.

Thought Police – The Trust & Safety Council’s enforcers of approved Newspeak.

Trust & Safety Council – See Ministry of Love (Miniluv) in George Orwell’s 1984.

Twitter – A social media platform that’s jumped the shark with doublethink.

Victim – A self-identified victim of bullying or harassment. Such victims often identify as a social justice warrior (SJW).

How should you handle Twitter censorship?

Be yourself.

If punished for speaking truth to power by the Tweet Police, walk away with pride that you didn’t sacrifice who you are on the altar of political correctness.

Just because Twitter censorship exists doesn’t mean you have to comply if you’re willing to walk away and play in one of the other social media ballparks that doesn’t act like Big Brother.

Internet Law News: Copyright Law Versus First Amendment

By | Intellectual Property | No Comments
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Can copyright law gag Internet free speech?

Can a city’s mayor silence his critics on the Internet using copyright law? That’s the dispute apparently brewing because of voiceover criticisms made against the mayor on YouTube clips of city council meetings.

Are the opinions expressed protected by the First Amendment as fair use or do the videos constitute copyright infringement?

Hat tip to Mike Masnick at Techdirt.com. See City Of Inglewood Allotted $50,000 To Hire A Lawyer Flagrantly Abuse Copyright Law To Try To Silence A Citizen.

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Burqanet: Iran to create own version of Internet

By | Internet Lawyer | No Comments

Tired of Internet free speech?

Believe the 12th Imam is just hanging out in a cave somewhere waiting to help you wipe Israel and the United States from the planet?

Looking forward to building a Grand Caliphate?

Iran’s got just the “new” thing for you — the country is building its own internal version of the Internet for its citizens. What better way to spy on those nonconformists than to ensure their online experience comes complete with Sharia law compliance and penalties.

Call it a tech craze for crazies…and a further step backwards to the 7th Century.

Let’s skip the moral relativism. Iran’s Burqanet is being designed to hinder the free flow of information and suppress dissent.

Are Cartoons Cyberstalking, Internet Defamation, or Free Speech?

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cyberstalking - internet stalking

Are police cyberstalking victims of a cartoonist?

Internet cartoons equal cyberstalking?

The Renton, WA police department sought to prosecute an internet user who posted an insulting video about the police department under the screen name Mr. Fiddlesticks. The alleged crime? Cyberstalking.

To assist them in their pursuit of the internet user, the Renton police department recently obtained a search warrant that orders Google to turn over the real name and identity of Mr. Fiddlesticks. Officers in the department expect to treat Mr. Fiddlesticks as someone who had illegally committed ‘cyberstalking’ through the posting of information on the internet with the intention of harassing or embarrassing individuals.

Public uproar and ridicule were key factors in the police department backing down on the criminal investigation.

What does the Renton, WA police department believe the cartoons are cyberstalking?

Using an internet video creation website, Mr. Fiddlesticks created videos which depicted the Renton police department in a fairly negative way. For example, Mr. Fiddlesticks implied that members of Renton’s police department committed sex acts while on duty, and that some of the officers received promotions without meeting the necessary prerequisites. In general, the nine videos Mr. Fiddlesticks created generally depicted the Renton police department as a corrupt and incompetent institution.

Officers within the department claim the videos to caused them emotional distress and that Mr. Fiddlesticks should promptly be identified and prosecuted. The officers argue that the videos all constitute ‘cyberstalking’ by their sheer offensive nature which was posted online, they argue, with the intent of doing reputational or emotional damage to the officers. Some officers suspect that the video must have been posted by someone within the department, such as a police officer or some other personnel, given the specific knowledge the videos display about the Renton police department.

Is there a legal justification for prosecuting Internet cartoons as cyberstalking?

Upon hearing about the situation, law professors and legal experts throughout the United States have voiced their opinions about whether or not the Renton police should be able to prosecute Mr. Fiddlestick for his online remarks. Though inarguably provocative enough to have caused the Renton police some embarrassment and hurt feelings, various legal minds have claimed the First Amendment’s protection of free speech prevents Mr. Fiddlestick from suffering any punishment.

In the minds of some of these legal officials, Mr. Fiddlestick did simply what all other comedians do when they speak or present information in a potentially embarrassing way about other individuals for the sake of humor or some other reason. These legal minds contend that if Mr. Fiddlestick faces prosecution, all comedians who poke fun at other individuals or organizations could have their freedom of expression stifled.

Even though criminal prosecution for cyberstalking now seems off the table, the threat of arresting someone for a cartoon has a chilling effect on free speech. It remains to be seen whether Mr. Fiddlestick will be identified and sued in civil court for Internet defamation instead of treated like a criminal for cyberstalking.

Tennessee Outlaws Internet Photos That Cause Emotional Distress

By | Internet Lawyer | No Comments

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Should Internet photos that cause emotional distress be illegal?

What is the new Tennessee law regarding internet photos and emotional distress all about?

The Tennessee legislature has recently passed a bill which will make it against the law to post some kinds of internet photos.

Offenders face a $2500 fine and up to around a year in jail if they are caught in the act of posting an image on the internet that is likely to ‘frighten, intimidate, or cause emotional distress.’ Most likely, this includes sexual and violent pictures posted on websites or on personal social media sites like Facebook and Myspace.

Why would legislators want to enact a law regulating internet photos and emotional distress?

Tennessee legislators, along with legislators across the globe feel that the freedom individuals have to express themselves with internet photos will cause problems if not restricted and regulated. Other countries have gone so far as to enact full-fledged censorship campaigns to restrain individuals from posting and viewing potentially inflammatory images. For example, the Chinese government filters any internet content regarding the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, and in an attempt to stop child pornography, the Australian government makes it illegal for some adult women with small breasts to pose nude on the internet.

While the Tennessee law internet photos law is likely not intended for blatant censorship of controversial political topics, the law grants broad authority to the state to determine what is or is not offensive. Basically, if a person is caught having posted an image online that causes a person emotional distress-even if that person was not meant or expected to view the image in the first place-the poster could be punished.

What has the response been to the Tennessee law concerning internet photos and emotional distress?

The Tennessee law has met a critical response from internet users, professors, and free speech enthusiasts alike. Some argue that this the Tennessee internet regulation will simply keep people from acting in a malicious way towards others, but many people assert that the law violates free speech laws and should have no place in a purportedly free society. Others claim that the US Supreme Court should invalidate the Tennessee internet regulation law as a violation of the principles of the Constitution.

Specific controversy concerns the fact that a person who posts an offensive image can be disciplined even if he or she did not intend for the ‘victim’ to view the post. Perhaps the law would have met less controversy if it was a restriction on sending unwanted images to people who did not want to see them, rather than a blanket restriction, punishing even posters with no intent to harm or offend the viewing party.

Critics further claim punishing internet photos or online posts that cause a viewer ‘emotional distress’ is hard to enforce because no objective standards exists to determine exactly what a reasonable person would be offended by seeing.