Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

First Amendment Ruling Protects Internet Trolls

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the reinforced-bridges dept.

The Courts 305

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "A recent ruling by the Court of Appeal of the State of California (PDF) in Krinsky v. Doe H030767 overturned a lower court ruling and decided that the First Amendment right to anonymous speech protects internet trolls, too. Specifically, the ruling said that 'this juvenile name-calling cannot reasonably be read as stating actual facts.' And, even though some of the statements were crudely sexual and accused Ms. Krinsky of being among 'boobs, liars and crooks,' the statements were held to 'fall into the category of crude, satirical hyperbole which, while reflecting the immaturity of the speaker, constitute protected opinion under the First Amendment.'"

cancel ×

305 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Oh dear God... (4, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345788)

We now have a Slashdot article on trolling? Holy crap, this is gonna be bad, really bad. Does this mean all trolls are now on-topic?

Re:Oh dear God... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22345798)

No, it just means that for only this article the posts will be modded +1 Troll.

Darwinian M&M duels (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346518)

Whenever I get a package of plain M&Ms, I make it my duty to continue the strength and robustness of the candy as a species. Taking two candies between my thumb and forefinger, I apply pressure, squeezing them together until one of them cracks and splinters. That is the "loser," and I eat the inferior one immediately. The winner gets to go another round.

I have found that, in general, the brown and red M&Ms are tougher, and the newer blue ones are genetically inferior. I have hypothesized that the blue M&Ms as a race cannot survive long in the intense theatre of competition that is the modern candy and snack-food world.

Occasionally I will get a mutation, a candy that is misshapen, or pointier, or flatter than the rest. Almost invariably this proves to be a weakness, but on very rare occasions it gives the candy extra strength. In this way, the species continues to adapt to its environment.

When I reach the end of the pack, I am left with one M&M, the strongest of the herd. Since it would make no sense to eat this one as well, I pack it neatly in an envelope and send it to M&M Mars, A Division of Mars, Inc., Hackettstown, NJ 17840-1503 U.S.A., along with a 3x5 card reading, "Please use this M&M for breeding purposes."

This week they wrote back to thank me, and sent me a coupon for a free 1/2 pound bag of plain M&Ms. I consider this "grant money." I have set aside the weekend for a grand tournament. From a field of hundreds, we will discover the True Champion.

There can be only one.

Re:Darwinian M&M duels (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346616)

That's spectacular.

Re:Darwinian M&M duels (4, Insightful)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346674)

There's a flaw here. With a winner stays on format the winner gets worn down over time making it statistically unlikely that the last man standing will actually be the strongest competitor when the contest started, just the strongest left when the contest finished.

Re:Oh dear God... (2, Funny)

TheSpengo (1148351) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345860)

I can deal with that! You suck, the constitution sucks, everyone sucks except me because I'm awesome. :D

Re:Oh dear God... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345916)

Bad form to reply to one's own post, but I just had a vivid mental image of Rob Malda loading high powered automatic weapons at his house, laughing maniacally, something about how he'll get them all...

Re:Oh dear God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346172)

It's even easier to picture if you're the one who gave him the high powered automatic weapon.

Re:Oh dear God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346444)

But he's too cheap to buy bullets, so...

Re:Oh dear God... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346006)

Does this mean all trolls are now on-topic?

You'd have to ask Natalie Portman's hot grits. ...if that's still a troll. I'm not really sure.

Re:Oh dear God... (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346122)

No, that's past being a troll; it's now a meme. ;p

Re:Oh dear God... (4, Funny)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346118)

I was expecting 500 Anonymous Coward posts saying something along the lines of "yea thats right you UID bitches, go fuck yourselves."

It must be past his bedtime or something.

Re:Oh dear God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346270)

no we're too lazy bitches, go fuck yourselves.

Re:Oh dear God... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346132)

Fuck yeah, I am god so fuck you all.

All your sobs are belong to us

Come and welcome us, your new troll overlords

In time you will call me.... master

Take that niggers!

Re:Oh dear God... (5, Insightful)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346162)

Trolls are often on topic but are expressing unpopular opinions. I wish the mod was used strictly for those being obnoxious and not contributing to the discussion. "Troll" and "Flamebait" are at times used to shout down people with unpopular stances. Make a few posts supporting copyrights or speaking out against illegal downloading and see how fast you get trolled or flamebaited. People do at times get decent mods for making good arguments but the vast majority of times they'll be modded down.

Re:Oh dear God... (5, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346206)

"Troll" and "Flamebait" are at times used to shout down people with unpopular stances.

Not nearly to the extent that "overrated" is used though. Overrated is used to shout down people with unpopular stances by moderators who don't want negative meta-mods(since over/under rated is not meta-modded)

define "obnoxious" post (3, Interesting)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346370)

One person's obnoxious poster is another's modern day Mark Twain. It's time people realised that calling someone a "troll" is just a stereotyping, dismissive way of dealing with things you can't be bothered to discuss. It would be much more mature to simply ignore them.

Re:Oh dear God... (5, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346440)

Very insightful comment but yet with an unpopular view point. Hmmm. If I had mod points, I'd mod you down.

Re:Oh dear God... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346632)

...and if I had them I'd mod you funny.

Re:Oh dear God... (5, Insightful)

tacocat (527354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346490)

Score one for the good guys. You may not like Trolls, but then neither did King George. If protecting my freedom of speech means I get to listen to a few immature Trolls, it's well worth the price.

Re:Oh dear God... (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346606)

It's also because there are no downmods labeled "factually incorrect", "moronic argument that's been debunked a million times already" or "calling people names isn't going to make your argument any more compelling". When someone's being a dick, and you can't be bothered throwing pearls before swine, there aren't too many options for accurate mods.

Re:Oh dear God... (5, Interesting)

greylingrover (876207) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346608)

Yeah, just look at my account... I've tried to make a couple admittedly feeble attempts at humor with good intent (there is a funny mod option, is there not?), only to be modded down (soul crushing as it was). So I just don't post, even when I have something useful to offer. I'm guessing I'll get hammered on this one also, and no, that's not bait, I'm just trying to point out this inherent flaw in community policing/rating/censorship?. Oh yeah, and free speech is good - see, that was totally on topic! ;)

Re:Oh dear God... (2, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346666)

"...to be modded down (soul crushing as it was)"

Makes me wonder what a '+1 whinny' would do to ones soul?

Feck Yeah (2, Funny)

ObitMan (550793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345792)

I was going to FP but i was afraid of getting moderated "Troll"

Re:Feck Yeah (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22345846)

Yeah, but if you post as Anonymous Coward and don't libel* someone, at least no one can subpoena your IP address.

But that doesn't necessarily have the collary that your IP address is private - it's only private if the server admins of the forum you post on *choose* not to say who has visited their site.

And of course, you never know when Slashdot might start selling troll's IP addresses as a service :)

AC.

*IANAL

democracy and noise (5, Insightful)

LosManos (538072) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345804)

That is one of the down sides of democracy. The signal to noise ration is sometimes bad.
But what you consider BS one time might be the truth the next. It is up to you.

This is fantastic news. (4, Funny)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345806)

I for one welcome all things troll friendly. The only thing keeping me from rejoicing completely is that this may interfere with internet censorship... Can we protect trolling, but still censor profanity and anything that may offend religious groups? Then I'll be happy and America will be safer. Those who oppose trolls but allow offensive religious speech hate America's freedom.

Re:This is fantastic news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22345876)

Actually its the homo groups who will squeal the loudest. They are desperate to make it illegal to say homosexuality isn't normal and to hide behind laws for bullying etc.

Re:This is fantastic news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346106)

That's an attempt at humor... right?.. right?

All your bases belongs to us (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22345808)

I for one welcome our new overloads.

Obgtry... (3, Funny)

Mantaar (1139339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345810)

Let's welcome our new Beowulf Cluster of legal troll-overlords...


... the wave! The wave is coming, I can see it... heck, the earth is shaking!

USENET had it right... (2, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345822)

Don't Feed The Trolls [sdf-eu.org]

It only empowers them to wield attack lawyers.

Re:USENET had it right... (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346548)

+----------+
|  PLEASE  |
|  DO NOT  |
| FEED THE |
|  TROLLS  |
+----------+
    |  |
    |  |
  .\|.||/..

Teehee

First post! (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345826)

In Soviet Russia, YOU rule over trolls.

Re:First post! (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345834)

You're late. But have some trolls [google.com] anyhow. I hear they're legal now, in all 50 states!

Goatse.cx (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346258)

In Soviet Russia, government trolls YOU!

In South Korea all trolls are robots!

Greatest Hits (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22345830)

Slashdot's gone cold I'm wondering why I got out of bed at all / The morning rain clouds up my window and I can't see at all / And even if I could it'll all be gray but your picture on my wall / It reminds me, that it's not so bad -- it's not so bad

  Dear Rob, I wrote but you still ain't callin / I left my email, my ICQ, and my yahoo chat at the bottom / I sent two emails back in autumn, you must not-a got 'em / There probably was a problem with your sendmail or somethin / Sometimes I scribble email addees too sloppy when I jot 'em / but anyways; fsck it, what's been up? Man how's your boxes? / My boxes is linux too, I'm bout to be a compiler / once I learn gcc, / I'ma go on and compile for hours / I read about your Palm Pilot too I'm sorry / I had a friend lose his Palm over at the airport in Maradonna / I know you probably hear this everyday, but I'm your biggest fan / I even read all your bullshit Linux news and Microsoft's man / I got a room full of your posters and your pictures man / I like the way you sold your ass out too, that shit was fat / Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back, / just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan / This is Stan

  Dear Rob, you still ain't called or wrote, I hope you have a chance / I ain't mad - I just think it's FSCKED UP you don't answer fans / If you didn't wanna talk to me outside your Linux World / you didn't have to, but you coulda signed an autograph for Matthew / That's my Senior sys admin he's only 26 years old / We waited on a 9600 baud for you, / four hours and you just said, "No." / That's pretty shitty man - you're like his fsckin idol / He wants to be just like you man, he likes you more than I do / I ain't that mad though, I just don't like bein lied to / Remember when we met in Boston - you said if I'd write you / you would write back - see I'm just like you in a way / I never had a clue about shit either / I gcc'd shit with my wife then beat her / I can relate to what you're saying in your page / so when I feel like rmusering I read Slashdot to begin the rage / cause I don't really got shit else so that shit helps when I'm depressed / I even got a tattoo of slashdot across the chest / Sometimes I even packet myself to see how much it floods / It's like adrenaline, the DDoS is such a sudden rush of blood / See everything you say is real, and I respect you cause you tell it / My girlfriend's jealous cause I talk about you 24/7 / But she don't know you like I know you Rob, no one does / She don't know what it was like for people like us growin up / You gotta call me man, I'll be the biggest fan you'll ever lose / Sincerely yours, Stan -- P.S. / We should be together too

  Dear Mister-I'm-Too-Good-To-Waste-A-Packet-On-My-Fans, / this'll be the last packet I ever send your ass / It's been six months and still no word - I don't deserve it? / I know you got my last two emails / I wrote the @ signs on 'em perfect / So this is my payload I'm sending you, I hope you hear it / I'm on my modem now, I'm doing 9600 baud so fear it / Hey Rob, I drank a fifth of vodka, you dare me to code? / You know the song by Deep Purple or Slayer / its irrelevant by playing on my linux player / while I write some php scripts and play some Dragonslayer / That's kinda how shit is, you coulda rescued me from drowning / Now it's too late - I'm on a 1000 downloads now, I'm drowsy / and all I wanted was a lousy letter or a call / I hope you know I ripped +ALL+ of your pictures off the wall / I love you Rob, we coulda been together, think about it / You ruined it now, I hope you can't sleep and you dream about it / And when you dream I hope you can't sleep and you SCREAM about it / I hope your conscience EATS AT YOU and you can't BREATHE without me / See Rob {*screaming*} Shut up bitch! I'm tryin to code / Hey Rob, that's my senior admin screamin from the comode / but I didn't cut the power off, I just rebooted, see I ain't like you / cause if rm -rf'd we'd suffer more, and then the boxes die too / Well, gotta go, I'm almost BGP bridged now / Oh shit, I forgot, how'm I supposed to send this packet out?

  Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy / You said your box is running now, how'd you like your gcc? / Look, I'm really flattered you would install 7.0 Redhat / and here's an autograph for your senior sys admin / I wrote it on the Starter cap / I'm sorry I didn't see you at the show, I musta missed you / Don't think I did that shit intentionally just to diss you / But what's this shit you said about you like to DDoS lamers too? / I say that shit just clownin dog, / c'mon - how fucked up is you? / You got some issues Stan, I think you need some counseling / so heres some more Linux stories to keep your ass busy when you get down some / And what's this shit about us meant to be together? / I sold Slashdot for thousands so now I'm a single jetsetter / I really think you and your boxes need each other / or maybe you just need to treat them better / I hope you get to read this letter, I just hope it reaches you in time / before you hurt yourself, I think that you'll be doin just fine / if you relax a little, I'm glad I inspire you but Stan why are you so mad? Try to understand, that Linux and MS is just grand / I just don't want you to do some crazy shit / I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick / Some dude was drunk and switched his router for a bridge / and his packets were blackholed, and his DNS couldn't get digged / and in the colo they found a tape, but they didn't say who it was to / Come to think about, his name was.. it was you / Damn!

Re:Greatest Hits (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22345976)

The last few months I have been doing some research into the trolling phenomenon on slashdot.org. In order to do this as thoroughly as possible, I have written both normal and troll posts, 1st posts, etc., both logged in and anonymously, and I have found these rather shocking results:

  • More moderator points are being used to mod posts down than up. Furthermore, when modding a post up, every moderator seems to follow previous moderators in their choices, even when it's not a particularly interesting or clever post slashdot.org. There are a LOT more +5 posts than +3 or +4.
  • Logged in people are modded down faster than anonymous cowards. Presumably these Nazi Moderators think it's more important to burn a user's existing karma, to silence that individual for the future, than to use the moderation system for what it's meant for : identifying "good" and "bad" posts (Notice how nearly all oppressive governments in the past and present do the same thing : marking individuals as bad and untrustworthy because they have conflicting opinions, instead of engaging in a public discussion about these opinions)
  • Once you have a karma of -4 or -5, your posts have a score of -1 by default. When this is the case, no-one bothers to mod you down anymore. This means a logged in user can keep on trolling as much as he (or she) likes, without risking a ban to post on slashdot. When trolling as an anonymous user, every post starts at score 0, and you will be modded down to -1 ON EVERY POST. When you are modded down a certain number of times in 24 hour, you cannot post anymore from your current IP for a day or so. So, for successful trolling, ALWAYS log in.
  • A lot of the modded down posts are actually quite clever, funny, etc., and they are only modded down because they are offtopic. Now, on a news site like slashdot, where the number of different topics of discussion can be counted on 1 hand, I must say I quite like the distraction these posts offer. But no, when the topic is yet another minor version change of the Linux kernel, they only expect ooohs and aaahs about this great feat of engineering. Look at the moderation done in this thread to see what I mean.
  • Digging deep into the history of slashdot, I found this poll, which clearly indicates the vast majority does NOT want the moderation we have here today. 'nuff said.


Feel free to use this information to your advantage. I thank you for your time.

Anonymous cowards are... well, cowards.

Re:Greatest Hits (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346496)

Hey, I remember that! The First Slashdot Troll Post Investigation
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=26315&cid=2850660 [slashdot.org]

Re:Greatest Hits (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346522)

That is the most interesting and informative description I've seen - that's why I've never modded anybody down - not even that person who posts the story about the library bathroom. I believe the best mod to use is "underrated". It awards points to good comments and brings them to light for the other mod catagories.

Many of us have gone through the Slashdot existentialist crisis -- seeing the same old themes and memes, but I'm glad to see that the themes and memes are still alive - people are still finding ways to keep them fresh.

Re:Greatest Hits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346228)

I'm afraid you will be modded down on this one. Note to the moderator who does: your sense of humor is lacking to see this is funny.

Re:Greatest Hits (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346278)

That wasn't a troll, that was a work of art; and why do I find that funnier than I should?? ;p

Evident corollary (2, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345840)

So, moderating a comment (-1, Troll) is unconstitutional? Cool!

Re:Evident corollary (3, Insightful)

novakyu (636495) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345870)

So, moderating a comment (-1, Troll) is unconstitutional? Cool!
No, because the moderation itself (at least on a private site like this) is expression of opinion in and of itself, and such is protected by the First Amendment rights.

Re:Evident corollary (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346190)

I find it hilarious that your score is currently +1 Troll.

Re:Evident corollary (1)

finnw (415539) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346488)

Really? That means either you (like me) have a +2 troll modifier or someone modded the post "Underrated" and then cancelled it by posting in this thread (since you posted.)

Nice argument (2, Insightful)

Okind (556066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345854)

"[...] the statements [...] , while reflecting the immaturity of the speaker, constitute protected opinion under the First Amendment."

That is a very nice way of protecting free speech, while still making very plain that that kid should work on his argumentative skills.

Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (3, Interesting)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345862)

I've always felt that one should be able to say or write anything that suits their fancy. Short of something that could put someone in immediate harm (i.e. shouting, "Fire!" in a crowded place).

It's like when people put parts of Scientology's texts in public forums. To a true believer, those words are putting them in actual danger or at the very least greatly offending them. But no one cares about that, their a bunch of not jobs.

But in my own experiance, trying to get a t-shirt made that simply says F*** Jesus, has been very hard. And I can't wait to get one made to wear to Wal-Mart... Granted that will probably put me in physical danger, but that's part of the fun of it all.

The point is, the world is a dirty grubby place. And if you can't use your intellect to help you see beyond it all. That's you're problem, people talk shit. Always have always will. IMHO.

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (2, Insightful)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345894)

You might get more action if you wear a shirt that says "Gay and Proud of it!". Christians are fairly hardened towards abuse of their religion as religious debate is not uncommon. Or maybe you could try "NASCAR sucks!"

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345934)

You sir, are a genius!

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346070)

Top gear did it. Driving through the deep south in a pickup with "hillary for president", "nascar sucks", and "man-love rules OK" written on the side. You can probably imagine what happened next.

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346120)

You can probably imagine what happened next.
That sounds like suicide to me.
Atleast I have the phyiscal stature to fight off 1 crazy right winger... But in the deep south? That's where the gold elites are to be found.

(outside of an instance that is)

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (1)

greyblack (1148533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346256)

Or write "Man love rules ok" on your truck while driving in redneck-land...

I would post the link to a hillarious Top Gear video, but I'm to lazy to find it...

BBC's site [bbc.co.uk] (no video)

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (2, Funny)

joss (1346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346450)

No, for almost certain death in hick towns just wear something
which mixes the two genres..

Jesus loves...
to suck cock

That'll do it

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22345920)

I'm with you. I hate people who believe in censorship.
If only we could get some laws passed to make them shut up!

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345996)

If it's trouble you're looking for, try wearing a t-shirt depicting a really hideous couple, with the caption reading "Keeping It In The Family" around a Wal-Mart in Kentucky. Make sure you get footage; you'll need to sell it to pay for the hospital bills (or funeral).

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346050)

Make sure you get footage
Funny you mention that, this past 4th of July we stopped by Wal-Mart to beer up and get supplies, I had my digital camera out, trying out various video capture settings to ensure I could get a couple hours worth of footage on the memory card I was using. Well within 5 minutes I had a guy in a red vest behind me, "Sir! Sir! ... Sir!". I could hear him, but I didn't really care. Eventually he was up in my business telling me camera's were not allowed to be turned on on the premises. My first thought was, "Well what about cellphones genius, how can you tell the difference between a call being made and a picture being taken?"

Either way, I'd love to record my offensive behavior in Wal-Mart, helps to relieve the stress of standing in line for half an hour...

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (-1, Troll)

finnw (415539) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346534)

... camera's were not allowed ...
You mean cameras? Plurals don't have apostrophes you idiot.

(My karma should be safe as all moderators will have given up on this thread long ago.)

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346560)

Plurals don't have apostrophes you idiot.
Good thing people are out looking for correct punctuation and/or grammar, as opposed to offering any insight or thought to the topic at hand.

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (5, Insightful)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346180)

"...trying to get a t-shirt made that simply says F*** Jesus, has been very hard"

So you want to get a T-shirt made with Fuck Jesus on it, but you're too embarrassed to type that almost anonymously on Slashdot?

Um, OK then. Go for it you rebel!

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (2, Informative)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346428)

Actually I want the asterisks in place as businesses tend to be privately owned, and I'm merely out to get a rise from the public. Not asked to leave.

Re:Words=Noise, Writing=Squiggles (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346480)

I've always felt that one should be able to say or write anything that suits their fancy. Short of something that could put someone in immediate harm (i.e. shouting, "Fire!" in a crowded place).
... and so the restrictions begin.

how would it not be? (3, Insightful)

hcmtnbiker (925661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345924)

I really don't understand how they wouldn't be under free speech. Defamatory remarks are only ones made that where stated as fact, as so people will believe them when they're not true. That has been decided it doesn't fall under freedom of speech because of its deceiving nature. Whereas trolls aren't trying to deceive anyone, they're just ranting. What it comes down to for me is that the right to freedom of speech is useless unless you piss someone off, the reason its in the constitution is so you can use it to piss people off. If no one ever pissed anyone off with speech then there would be no need for the first amendment.
-----
Oh and go ahead and troll this comment, just for kicks.

Re:how would it not be? (3, Insightful)

Admiral Ag (829695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346038)

There's a difference between speech that is primarily intended to make a point, but happens to piss someone off (e.g. "I believe that homosexuality is/is not immoral"), and speech which is primarily intended to piss people off rather than make a point (e.g. "burn all f4gg0+z fur havin A1DZ lolz").

I sincerely doubt that the people who wrote your constitution had the noble aim of allowing their citizens to call each other "poopyheads" in mind. The aim of the first amendment is presumably to allow the free transmission of ideas and for people to be able to speak their conscience. It doesn't protect every kind of lie, for example.

If the founders had wanted to protect the right to specifically annoy other people, they would have written something like: "The right of citizens to throw balloons full of dog shit at each other shall not be infringed".

Trolls can be funny, but they are more often a nuisance. It's not like much can be done in any case, since the law of the universe is that idiots and assholes must win.

Re:how would it not be? (4, Insightful)

Logic and Reason (952833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346224)

I sincerely doubt that the people who wrote your constitution had the noble aim of allowing their citizens to call each other "poopyheads" in mind.
No, I think that's exactly what they had in mind. Something along the lines of, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

If the founders had wanted to protect the right to specifically annoy other people, they would have written something like: "The right of citizens to throw balloons full of dog shit at each other shall not be infringed".
This is exactly why some of the founders opposed the creation of the Bill of Rights: they worried that people would misinterpret it as an exhaustive listing of the people's (and the states') rights. It is not. It merely lists some of the things the federal government is explicitly, no-really-I-mean-it not allowed to do; but everything not mentioned is supposed to be left up to the people, or to the states. In fact, there's even an amendment saying precisely that:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
So since the founders did not put any language into the Constitution granting the federal government the power to prevent people from generally being assholes to each other, the federal government isn't allowed to do it. I leave as an exercise for the reader the task of finding in the Constitution language that grants the federal government the power to establish Social Security and other forms of welfare, the Federal Reserve, the Food and Drug Administration, and so on.

Re:how would it not be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346330)

The parent should get +1 Insightful on this one.

In fact, I would say that if we take the 1st Amendment "Free Speech" and the statement "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" from the Declaration of Independence, we might end up with the constitution prohibiting trolling.

The idea being that the US Constitution, on the whole, expresses a concept along the lines of "one is prohibited from infringing on the rights of others to pursue happiness".

In its simplest form: I am free to pursue my happiness to the degree that it is not found that I am harassing someone else.

Re:how would it not be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346100)

This is fantastically relevant. Perhaps if you don't even pretend to proofread your posts, the authorities will assume you're trolling.

How long does it take? (4, Interesting)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345932)

Oh come on, why are there 18 comments and no one's done this yet? Do I have to do everything myself? Let's get it out of the way:

_____________________________

That idiotic dumb-ass judge wouldn't know a good judicial decision if it bit him in his lame-ass ass. Where did he go to judge-school anyway, The Universduhity of Dumbasia?

I see it came from California. Everyone knows everybody in California is a stupid liberal anyway with their stupid activist liberal judges who just do whatever their retarded Governator tells them to do. Retards. Someone should shoot them all, wouldn't that be ironic? Here they all go crying "free speech, free speech," and then they get shot? Well, if you don't see the irony, then you're even dumber than that retarted freakin judge.

_____________________________

OK, now mod it + funny, - troll and we can be done with it.

I can say N ig ger! (1, Troll)

Fat Wang (1230914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345938)

Look mom, I can say fuck you ni g g er! And I should, because I have the freedom of speech. God damn mothirfvckerz.

why can't that happen to me?? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22345942)

I, for one, would not mind being "among boobs".

And i guess that goes for most of us here. :)

Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22345952)

NOT FR1ST protected by law PS0T

+1 Troll (0, Troll)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345964)

Give me a break, this judge is an idiot. Freedom of speech is fine when you have something important to say, but in this case this guy's intent was clearly just to insult that poor woman. Why should posting that garbage be constitutionally protected!!! If people were locked up for such antisocial behavior early on, we would have a much more polite society and less crime as well.

Re:+1 Troll (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346024)

we would have a much more polite society and less crime as well.
One man's crime is another man's freedom.
For further reference please see, The War On Drugs(TM).

Re:+1 Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346660)

Your posts in this article are pathetic. Leave Slashdot.

Re:+1 Troll (1)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346250)

But were would you draw the line? A few comments up has the statement 'fuck Jezus' in it. An atheïst may not be offended (and may even approve) while a highly religious person may feel highly insulted. On a similar note, I think it is very, very difficult to have an objective ruling on wether or not something is important.

Re:+1 Troll (1)

deimtee (762122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346552)

Why should a religious person be offended by "fuck jesus" ? As an atheist, I am not offended when someone says "fuck the non-existence of all gods".

Re:+1 Troll (1)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346586)

But were would you draw the line? A few comments up has the statement 'fuck Jezus' in it. An atheïst may not be offended (and may even approve) while a highly religious person may feel highly insulted. On a similar note, I think it is very, very difficult to have an objective ruling on wether or not something is important.
*WHOOSH*

Re:+1 Troll (1)

deepershade (994429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346264)

Shut up you whiny little bitch.

Re:+1 Troll (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346334)

"Freedom of speech is fine when you have something important to say..."

I may not like what you have to say, but goddamn it, I'll fight to the death for your right to say it!

BTW, you're right, FOS IS when _I_ have something important to say & non-FOS is when _YOU_ have something...wait. Censorship is when _YOU_ can't say what you...wait.

Nevermind, say whatever you like, just be sure to do it over there, and keep it down so I don't have to listen to you whine again.

Re:+1 Troll (1)

artg (24127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346562)

It doesn't matter whether the troll is protected or not. But the court's time shouldn't be wasted by someone ought to just ignore a wanker. The whole world's getting bogged down in everything from editorials to lawsuits to jihads due to a growing inability of people to ignore criticism, however immature or undeserved.

Dear Socrates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22345966)

Dear Hon.(?) Socrates P. Manoukian,

It is well known that you are a mega scum bag, nothing more than a snivelling cockroach. Your court room is run by a bunch of boobs, losers and crooks. I will reciprocate fellatio with your wife even though she has fat thighs, a fake medical degree, queefs and has poor feminine hygiene. Please note that my comments are quote, "in context, mere opinion and therefore protected by the First Amendment".

Further quotes from the pdf that protect me:

calling him/her a cockroach obviously cannot be interpreted as a statement of actual fact.

No reasonable reader would have taken this post seriously; it obviously was intended as a means of ridiculing...

Sincerely yours,

Double Doe 7

Trolly Comment (4, Insightful)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345978)

bla, yah, abortion, yadda, mohammed cartoon, yack yack, George Bush, bla bla...

Hurrah for the courts (4, Informative)

LandruBek (792512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345980)

This is good news in an age where free speech is under attack from so many quarters. Let's all remember this famous quote:

"I may mod down what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it."
-- Voltaire

This has not always been the land of the free. Remember Eugene V. Debs:

"June 16, 1918 -- Debs made his famous anti-war speech in Canton, Ohio, protesting World War I which was raging in Europe. For this speech he was arrested and convicted in federal court in Cleveland, Ohio under the war-time espionage law ... [and] sentenced to serve 10 years in prison . . . ."
(from here [eugenevdebs.com] )

... and the victims of the Montana sedition law [seditionproject.net] .

translation for non-americans (1)

tinkerton (199273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345982)

It's allowed to indulge online in sarcasm, irony and foulmouthed namecalling, even if this is done anonymously.

Re:translation for non-americans (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346074)

It's allowed to indulge online in sarcasm, irony and foulmouthed namecalling, even if this is done anonymously.
Er, what? As long as it's allowed to translate without any qualifications, allow me to indulge online in an attempt at translating the parent for English-speakers of any nationality:

It's not libel if you're just kidding.

I hate to self-promote myself but.... (3, Informative)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22345986)

If they're using comcast, then they don't have the first amendment. Again sorry to repost/whore.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=446180&cid=22344224 [slashdot.org]

Re:I hate to self-promote myself but.... (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346126)

If they're using comcast, then they don't have the first amendment. Again sorry to repost/whore.
Hint: When the constitution (including the first amendment) refers to "congress", they don't mean comcast.

Re:I hate to self-promote myself but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346200)

Well, self-promoting yourself is certainly better than self-promoting someone else...

Heh (1)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346048)

the statements were held to 'fall into the category of crude, satirical hyperbole which, while reflecting the immaturity of the speaker, constitute protected opinion under the First Amendment.'"

Translation for those who don't read legalese: "You guys suck at the intertubes, he's a troll get over it"

what? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346064)

Someone had to go to court to prove that people can be rude to each other people on the internet?

What...the...fuck...

At what point did 'land of the free' cease to be true? Did I miss a memo?

So nyer! You're wrong again! Poopie head! (1, Informative)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346072)

I told you you were wrong and dumb and a poopie head and I was right and you were wrong.

Re:So nyer! You're wrong again! Poopie head! (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346626)

Well clearly that one went over someone's head.

Some companies don't understand (2, Insightful)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346114)

Okay, there are basically two kinds of companies that follow suits like this: Young companies with inexperienced leadership and companies have a valid tarnished image who want their day in court to clear their name or to just scare critics into silence. Experienced leadership understands that maintaining a good image means fixing problems, not hide them. Also, you don't go out of your way to highlight critics. These guys are making the news circles, which is leading people to read about the company history, further tarnishing their image. Not exactly the kind of thing an experienced leader does.

I'm pretty sure those who do seek to actively silence public critics are those who have something to hide, not am image to maintain. If you run the company right, people will rightfully ignore the trolls.

I have a question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346186)

Are first posts protected speech? What if I call all of you boobs, idiots, and liars?

The downside of Free speech (3, Insightful)

stox (131684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346216)

is that you're going to be exposed to things that annoy you or that you disagree with. Some things might even offend you. Deal with it, it is a part of real life.

Tempting... (0)

xx01dk (191137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346226)

While I'd love for some of the "neteratti" out there (please comment below) to tell me how internet- (or more specifically, forum- or comment-) trolling is any different from those people who used to leave messages at my house, when I was in HS, inviting me to "book burning parties" (I was the only Jewish kid in my HS), I'll settle instead for not only being irritating with my run-on sentences and eerily perfect grammar but also with the fact that neither I nor your mom cares much atm. BTW I knew who they were because they routinely made my life difficult even though it was not possible to to tell exactly who they were by just listening to the recordings. (Phone records would probably have identified them though). Did their supposed anonymity give them constitutional rights to be fucktards, or more importantly, to cause my family grief and humiliation?

I think not. Nowadays, you come on my forums and threaten vile things against me and I'm not going to "shrug it off". No I'm going to see to it that you get a nice, friendly visit from the local PD (or maybe a friendly local goon) for harassment (yes I know where you live, troglodyte). Thick skin notwithstanding, how am I supposed to know that some lunatic won't actually track down my address and cause harm to my families, just because they can? Yes, an extreme example to be sure, but still. I bet if I try hard enough I can track down anyone who posts a reply to this, and all I gotta say is that you're lucky I'm not a sociopath*.

This is an incredibly murky subject area. Who's to say what's right and what's wrong on the internet besides some fuckwit judge who can't even operate her pc's on/off discriminator, much less have a clue to what actually goes on in these tubes? Are our Wild West days of saying whatever the fuck we want coming to a close, or will these days ever end? Is disparaging a person separate and distinct from disparaging a product? A corporation? The calls stopped, btw, right around the time I grew a pair (hey, I'm a late bloomer).

Well, for what it's worth, I am not anonymous and if I wouldn't say something to a person's face, I won't say it online. (Unless it's in jest, of course.) So fuck you. JK. Maybe.

brb, gotta burn some books. Yearbooks, that is...

*or am i...

Anonymous posting likely to be gone in Norway (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346344)


There are extremely strong pressures for anonymous posting to be removed from all national newspaper and discussion sites, pretty much every site "run by a company", which is all of them. The social pressure on companies to conform to this could be compared with the Chinese social pressure on companies not to allow 'socially objectionable material' to filter into the public consciousness.

Additionally, every Norway-based social networking site requires a mobile phone for registration, and mobile phones are required by law to be registered to a valid address with SSN-equivalent. You can't buy one without ID.

Get real. (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22346398)

Newspapers have printed worse.

It's all about respect. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346404)

Respect my first Amendment - Bitch!

Very interesting: professionalism = responsibility (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22346406)


If you read the summary and the verdict, it actually appears that the main question was whether the statements could reasonably be read as facts, because defamation rules only protect against false factual claims. The judge found that no reasonable person was likely to read them as statements of facts, but rather as 'crude, satirical hyperbole'.

The very strong implication that is likely to have consequences is that the deciding question about any claims is whether they are "likely to be read as facts", which again is going to depend on the professionalism they are delivered with. Whereas posting the commment "Ms. Krinsky likes to suck goats" in a Youtube comment is unlikely to be defamatory, creating a professional-looking blog and writing a post entitled "My disturbing meeting with Ms. Krinsky where she hinted at zoophilia" on the other hand is likely to be.

I completely agree that this is the only sensible and real-life-compatible way for things to be done to be honest, but it is interesting that the court has now spelt it out explicitly. Look forward to the 'convincingness' of internet posts to become an issue in defemation cases in the future. Of course, even if something is not defamatory it could still be harassment or criminal in other ways.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?