This Royal Throne of Feels, This Sheltered Isle, This England

When I talk about how completely appalling the United Kingdom's approach to even mildly upsetting speech has become, I am aware of the mote in my own eye. The United States has all sorts of speech problems too, many of them related to a broken legal system that favors cash over justice, and a populace with an increasing appetite to go as full-on censorious as the UK. But the UK's just so openly and obviously awful about speech. Case in point: Bahar Mustafa, a "welfare and diversity … [Read More...]

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The War For Free Speech Laws, Hearts, And Minds Is Endless

I do not anticipate an end to the war for, or against, free speech in academia. Last week was a bloody one in that struggle. In California, the Regents of the University of California had an opportunity to wave glorious banners of censorship, blow trumpets, and retreat from the field. Some committee or working group […]

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Like Spam For Ponies 6:17 PM (12 hours ago) to me Hello, My name is Anna and I really enjoy your website. Do you accept any paid posts and if so what are your guidelines on Thanks for your time, Anna Ken At Popehat 7:35 PM (11 hours ago) to annakayhicks Dear Anna, Thank you, I am […]

In Space, No One Can Hear You Threaten Lawsuits

I like computer games, and I like defamation law, but when the two collide the result is never your-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter goodness. Whether it's flailing developers or consumer movements apparently schooled in jurisprudence via a distracting hand gesture and a shovel, game culture makes bad legal culture. This story is not a departure from that trend. Star […]

Down With Peeple

Entrepreneurs Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough have found a way to monetize and weaponize the worst that humanity has to offer, like some beast made out of reality TV, slankets, and spray cheese. They're launching "Peeple," a web site where people can rate each other romantically, professionally, and personally. The human condition: reduced to one […]

Ninth Circuit Imposes (Some) Limits On Cops Yanking Things Out of Your Ass

Mark Tyrell Fowlkes had a bad day. For you or me, that means realizing that there's no credit left on our Starbucks card or our co-workers being annoying or getting a flat tire. For Fowlkes, it meant the Long Beach Police Department forcibly pulling something out of his ass. LBPD, assisted by the DEA, were […]

Arthur Chu Would Like To Make Lawyers Richer and You Quieter and Poorer

Arthur Chu, noted for being able to frame things in the form of a question and for being easily agitated, has launched very silly broadside against one of the most important American laws about the internet: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Chu invokes Reagan, asking President Obama to "tear down this […]

If You Watch the Tape, You'll Still See What You Want To

The pro-life advocacy group Center for Medical Progress went undercover to expose Planned Parenthood's practice of (legal) fetal organ harvesting during (legal) abortions and the subsequent (generally legal) sale of those organs (if certain regulations are followed). That sounds like pretty neutral language to me, though I will concede that (at least) the words "pro-life", […]

In Roca Labs Case, FTC Takes Novel Stand Against Non-Disparagement Clauses

Last week Adam ably covered the Big Bad News for our old customer-threatening lawyer-suing pink-paste-purveyor Roca Lab: the Federal Trade Commission has sued it for unfair trade practices in violation of the FTC Act. Most of the FTC's complaint is routine and can be summarized as "Roca Labs sells crap and lies about it." One […]

Revisiting The UN Broadband Commission's "Cyberviolence" Report

So last week I talked about the UN Broadband Commission's "Cyber Violence Against Women And Girls" Report. After looking at some of their sources, and after some more thought, I think I was too uncritical of it. So, I'd like to make a few more observations about why it's troubling to me as a free […]

FTC Sues Weight Loss Company Roca Labs Over Gagging Customers

You may recall Roca Labs, the "no surgery" weight-loss food supplement company that really hates being criticized — so much so that they entice their consumers to agree to a clause that prohibits them from saying anything negative about the company.  Roca Labs is serious about this clause, using it as a basis to sue (or threaten to […]

A Few Comments on the UN Broadband Commission's "Cyber Violence Against Women And Girls" Report

Update: Further information suggests I was far too benefit-of-the doubt here, which is what happens when you write fast and when you generally despise some of the people involved. Some of this is still right, but regard the conclusions and characterizations with skepticism. Taking a second look. See, e.g., the fact that they cited this […]

Let's Applaud Wesleyan's Student Censors For Honesty

Earlier this week I covered a tumult at Wesleyan, where students claimed to be silenced by a student newspaper op-ed they didn't like. The student op-ed criticized the Black Lives Matter movement in a manner that strikes me as more bootlicking than racist. This yielded a cringing and cringeworthy apology from the Wesleyan Argus' staff […]