Author, journalist, activist. My latest is ATTACK SURFACE attacksurface.com Books: craphound.com Blog: pluralistic.net.

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Joined March 2007
Today's Twitter threads (a Twitter thread). Inside: The Chicago Tribune is being murdered before our eyes; and more! Archived at: pluralistic.net/2021/10/16/s… #Pluralistic 1/
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Man of the Year, Pac-Man Video Games, August 1982 gameraboy2.tumblr.com/post/6…
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Take the "Shycocan" (Scalene Hypercharge Corona Canon) - a gadget that purports to be able to "attenuate" and "disable" "up to 99.9% of viruses." Which would be great, if it wasn't grounded in pseudoscientific nonsense. 5/
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After talking to experts like the head of physics at the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology and a condensed matter physicist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Wire's Anusha Krishnan makes a compelling case that Shycocan can't do what it claims. 7/
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Like any good journalist, Krishnan gave Shycocan the chance to answer the queries raised by her reporting, but they didn't reply. Then, seven weeks later, they sent a long statement that wasn't responsive to Krishnan's reporting, and The Wire declined to run it. 8/
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That could have ended it, but then earlier this month, a pseudonymous person sent a fraudulent copyright takedown notice to Amazon Web Services, the webhost for The Wire. 9/
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The copyright complaint points to a blog-post that was supposedly infringed by Krishnan's writing. In reality, this blog post was created AFTER Krishnan's report went up, and then back-dated so it looked like it was the original. issuu.com/jaiprakash36/docs/… 10/
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Now, this ruse isn't exactly difficult to see through - The Wire's editor has an entire Google Doc with a dated edit history showing how the allegedly copied phrases were composed. The problem is, Amazon's copyright division isn't a courtroom and it doesn't have judges. 11/
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It has distracted, low-level, low-wage employees who follow a procedure, and the companies that pull this back-dated copyfraud scam know that it can evade that procedure. 12/
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In his editorial on the censorship bid, Wire science editor Vasudevan Mukunth describes the Kafkaesque process of being an Indian news editor trying to convince a nameless email-answerer at a vast American corporation that they're being suckered. 13/
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It's pretty clear that no one at Amazon has actually grasped what's going on or what's at stake - and of course, to make things worse, Amazon is a primary retailer for the Shycocan, so they have a conflict of interest here. 13/
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This is not an anomaly. There's a whole shadowy industry of "reputation management" fraudsters who offer content removal as a service, using scams like this one to allow the people who MAKE internet garbage silence the people who FIGHT internet garbage. 14/
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That's the totally foreseeable outcome of a system of censorship based on an anonymous complainant's pinky-swear promise that their copyright has been violated. That's why speedy takedown isn't a way to fight internet garbage - it's a way to multiply it. 15/
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Which is fucked up news, because takedown is expanding: Canada, the EU, France, Germany, Australia and the UK have all got existing or planned "harmful content" rules that let anyone point at anything and have it removed, just by crying "hate speech" or "harassment." 16/
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Existing takedown regimes are already being abused at scale by reputation launderers who work for torturers, murderers and thieves. pluralistic.net/2021/04/23/r… 17/
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When America or Europe create expansive takedown regimes, they are effectively global - the Big Tech platforms are American and they can't afford to flout EU rules, so bad actors in every country can exploit their rules to censor their critics. 19/
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This is consequential - perhaps even a matter of life or death. After all, the Shycocan claims that it protects you from contracting a potentially lethal illness; relying on an ineffective measure in that case could be literally lethal. eof/
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