My Lengthy SERIAL Theory (AKA “The Unified Theory of Mailkimp”)

Launching right into this with a quick warning that there are spoilers through today’s final episode, as well as a single (rather large) fact revealed on Reddit but not included in the podcast.

The big important fact that was revealed on Reddit, but wholly omitted from the podcast, is that Adnan told his attorney that (a) Jay was cheating on Stephanie; (b) Hae found out about it, and (c) Hae said she was going to confront Jay about it. This gives Jay MAJOR motive, especially considering the numerous times we’ve been told that Jay would do anything to protect Stephanie. [Read more…]

The Free Speech Problem

Most everyone agrees that online harassment is a major problem in need of an immediate solution, but in the hunt for trolls, some are too quick to dismiss legitimate concerns about free speech.

(Cross-posted at Medium)

In the wake of the GamerGate blowup, most of America is aware of our epidemic of online harassment. Unrepentant trolls on Twitter, Facebook, and similar services exploit anonymity and the ease of creating sockpuppet accounts to stalk, threaten, dox, and torment victims, even driving some to the point of suicide. But while activists rightly raise alarms about the problem, their proposed solutions often carry the risk of limiting the free speech and expression that make the Internet so powerful.

Writing at Boing Boing, for example, Glenn Fleishman explores Twitter’s problem with serial offenders, known trolls who have been banned but then return thanks to Twitter’s failure to enforce their own policy against serial accounts. Roughly two-thirds through the piece, Fleishman leaps abruptly to a rather dramatic conclusion: “the fight for anonymous speech ends when promotion of it is inexorably and demonstrably linked to enabling harassers.” [Read more…]

Friday First Amendment Roundup: Nov 14 2014

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but if Europe can land a robot on a comet then by God I can read my Google alerts and present my little Constitutional digest. As we end a week in which TIME magazine suggests banning the word “feminist” and a celebrated emerging sci-fi author is revealed as one of the Internet’s most nefarious trolls, it seems appropriate to take a look at what’s happening worldwide with the rights to speech, assembly, and expression:

  • Writing at CNN, Rupert Abbott of Amnesty International raised an alarm about troubling restrictions on free speech he says are sweeping southeast Asia.
  • Following the swift response to his racist and misogynist Twitter screed, comedian Artie Lange has found few defenders. Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon and Katie McDonough at Slate wrote particularly strong takedowns of those who would defend Lange. [Read more…]