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Government The Internet United States

NY Bill Would Require Removal of Inaccurate, Irrelevant Or Excessive Statements (washingtonpost.com) 155

schwit1 writes: In a bill aimed at securing a "right to be forgotten," introduced by Assemblyman David I. Weprin and (as Senate Bill 4561 by state Sen. Tony Avella), New York politicians would require people to remove "inaccurate," "irrelevant," "inadequate" or "excessive" statements about others... Failure to comply would make the search engines or speakers liable for, at least, statutory damages of $250/day plus attorney fees.
The Washington Post reports the bill's provisions would be as follows: Within 30 days of a "request from an individual, all search engines [and online speakers] shall remove...content about such individual, and links or indexes to any of the same, that is 'inaccurate', 'irrelevant', 'inadequate' or 'excessive,' and without replacing such removed...content with any disclaimer [or] takedown notice.... [I]naccurate', 'irrelevant', 'inadequate', or 'excessive' shall mean content, which after a significant lapse in time from its first publication, is no longer material to current public debate or discourse, especially when considered in light of the financial, reputational and/or demonstrable other harm that the information...is causing to the requester's professional, financial, reputational or other interest, with the exception of content related to convicted felonies, legal matters relating to violence, or a matter that is of significant current public interest, and as to which the requester's role with regard to the matter is central and substantial."
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NY Bill Would Require Removal of Inaccurate, Irrelevant Or Excessive Statements

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  • Next! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Sunday March 19, 2017 @02:36PM (#54069795)

    "inaccurate," "irrelevant," "inadequate" or "excessive"

    According to whom? Free speech, etc, etc, etc... As long as it's not ruled libel in court, it's just an opinion someone doesn't like. Yeah, there are a lot of assholes out there that need to grow some skin or get off of the Intertubes.

    This is just more nonsense from Luddites that will never see a vote, although lawyers would love it since it smells like litigation...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The proposers of this bill don't understand the impact.

      Oops, now I'll have to rescind that statement, because it's excessive.

    • by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @03:41PM (#54070021)

      "inaccurate," "irrelevant," "inadequate" or "excessive"

      According to whom? Free speech, etc, etc, etc... As long as it's not ruled libel in court, it's just an opinion someone doesn't like. Yeah, there are a lot of assholes out there that need to grow some skin or get off of the Intertubes.

      This is just more nonsense from Luddites that will never see a vote, although lawyers would love it since it smells like litigation...

      Yup, and how do you enforce it if it becomes law? First amendment aside, it would only apply to New York and thus be ineffective at best. You could wind up being sued in NY even if you don't live there so it would definetly have a chilling effect on speech. It sounds like someone called a politician a butt head and they decided to do something, even if that is an accurate statement about them.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        It's very badly thought out. The EU rules are based on well established concepts and have been shown to be fairly uncontentious and reasonable to implement. This just looks like a power grab.

    • by johanw ( 1001493 )

      It will just be used by politicians: "Hillary is a crooked warmonger!" "Trump is an narcissistic idiot!". There, 2 lawsuits comming in.

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @02:41PM (#54069817)

    Politicians being able to control the conversation about them.

    I guess they must be worried that alternate media, is decreasing the effectiveness of traditional media.

    • by guises ( 2423402 )
      While this law would be incredibly hard to enforce, maybe we shouldn't be so down on politicians actually doing something, anything at all, in favor of protecting privacy?

      As far as I'm concerned public data is much less of a problem than private data collection, but I'm really glad to see at least some legislative effort being directed at privacy in this country. As it stands now we have almost no protections at all.

      Regarding your cynicism about suppressing political speech: any law can be abused, but
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by ColdWetDog ( 752185 )

        Bad legislation is bad legislation no matter how lofty of it's purpose.

        • by guises ( 2423402 )
          Oh for fuck's sake. I wrote a whole reply here and then misclicked on the cancel button. I'm not going to write that again.

          The short: your tautology is a gross oversimplification. Bad legislation may be bad legislation, but it can none the less produce positive effects.
      • by Raenex ( 947668 )

        While this law would be incredibly hard to enforce, maybe we shouldn't be so down on politicians actually doing something, anything at all, in favor of protecting privacy?

        No, fuck off. Free speech is the most important part of a free society.

        • by guises ( 2423402 )
          You fuck off too friend. Thanks for keeping up a high level of discourse, I certainly find your argument to be compelling.
          • by Raenex ( 947668 )

            Sometimes stupid positions need to be lambasted. In your case, you're attacking a cornerstone of a free society and a defining characteristic of the United States.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by guises ( 2423402 )
              The thing about arguing via easily parroted slogan is that you tend to miss out on subtleties like what it is, exactly, that you're arguing about. I can tell from your previous post that you think this is a discussion about free speech, and I assume that's your "defining characteristic of the United States" which you think you're defending.

              I don't mean to dismiss that entirely, freedom of speech probably factors into this somewhere, but speech is a notoriously difficult thing to nail down and its freedom
              • Does this sound like suppressing speech, or does it sound like burying history?

                Both.

                I don't find the distinction you're trying to draw between "speech" and "history" to be even slightly persuasive. Most speech is transient, but certainly not all speech. Speech doesn't cease to become speech merely because it was recorded. I would argue that the political diatribes that survived from ancient Rome are still speech, and political speech at that.

                • by guises ( 2423402 )
                  I'm not trying to suggest that being recorded is what makes the label of "speech" questionable, I'm trying to suggest that not being current is what does that. Particularly when it comes to free speech - the point of free speech is to allow for political dissent, and while those Roman diatribes were political speech at the time, they're now reference material.

                  Maybe I can clarify what I'm trying to get at here. Let's say that you're talking in a forum and someone says something that you don't like. You st
                  • by guises ( 2423402 )
                    Ugh, did that make any sense? I'm tired, I think I'm just rambling at this point. Does this law even apply to the source material anyway? It seems to be specific to search engines.
                    • The law would not only apply to search engines. It would apply to everybody. In this respect, at least, it is more honest than the EU RTBF stuff.

                  • I'm trying to suggest that not being current is what does that.

                    Yes, I understand. But I don't understand why you would think that. The idea that speech has some sort of expiration date past which it is no longer speech is a concept that I am having a seriously hard time wrapping my head around. I do know that there is no legal support for such a position.

                    By the way, political speech is considered the most protected, but it is not the only protected speech. All speech, outside of a small number of very specific exceptions, is protected free speech. It doesn't matter how

                    • by guises ( 2423402 )
                      Well, first of all, that language is too definitive. I was being more careful in my previous posts, but arguments always seem to lead to more extreme positions than originally intended. I should have said something like, "I'm trying to suggest that not being current could do that." - I was trying to point out that what speech is, and what free speech protects, is more complicated than the parent poster was suggesting, not that I knew exactly what those things were. No one knows exactly what those things are
              • So has sufficient time passed that King's "I have a dream" speech should be erased from history? Plato? What is the cutoff date for "white" washing history?

      • While this law would be incredibly hard to enforce, maybe we shouldn't be so down on politicians actually doing something, anything at all, in favor of protecting privacy?

        Not when the "something" is obviously unconstitutional. Besides, passing flawed laws that just because "something" has to be done tends to result in truly horrible laws and harms everyone.

        • by guises ( 2423402 )

          Not when the "something" is obviously unconstitutional.

          Right... "obviously." Bleh, I knew when I said that that it would be controversial. Controversy isn't a problem, I don't mind discussing things, but invariably someone doesn't read all of the replies, or two people post at the same time or something, and I do mind repeating myself.

          All right, if by "obviously unconstitutional" you're talking about free speech, then you can read the thread started by the insulting guy. He seemed to think this was about free speech too. I don't think that's so obvious. If y

          • the gist is that when you're starting from nothing it is hard to go down. Possible maybe, but difficult.

            It may be hard to go down from zero, but it's pretty easy to drag others down to zero with you.

            What we have right now when it comes to privacy is, almost literally, nothing.

            You won't find many privacy advocates more earnest than me, but, while privacy protections are absolutely lacking, it is not true that they are almost literally nothing. Also, privacy interests have to be balanced against other, equally important interests. A law like this does no such thing. And, in exchange for its "bulldozer" approach, it offers almost no actual privacy protection. So we end up with a law that

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      alternate media, is decreasing the effectiveness of traditional media.

      'fake news', is decreasing the effectiveness of propaganda?

      Eh, whatever, all the media is doing a bang up job of keeping everybody fixated on one thing right now. They are also making it possible for things like to this to pass by creating popular demand. I wish we would penalize politicians who try to impose unconstitutional legislation. Voting them out would be good enough

    • we just elected a president who's doing everything he can to stack the courts with folks friendly to these kind of laws. That's not hyperbole, it was one of his campaign promises.
      • by Raenex ( 947668 )

        we just elected a president who's doing everything he can to stack the courts with folks friendly to these kind of laws. That's not hyperbole, it was one of his campaign promises.

        Where is your evidence? Citations, please.

        • we just elected a president who's doing everything he can to stack the courts with folks friendly to these kind of laws. That's not hyperbole, it was one of his campaign promises.

          Where is your evidence? Citations, please.

          One of the things I'm going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we're certainly leading. I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because th

      • Please cite Trumps campaign promise (not some offhanded thing he said once) about scrubbing "irrelevant or excessive" statements from the internet. Seems like most of his speeches would get scrubbed right off the bat.

        Cracking down on print press, TV, radio and internet for demonstrably false statements (the sky is green) is a different thing and in general a good thing if we can do it. The press gets special privileges for the express purpose of passing information to the public. If the press gets it wro

    • Don't say this won't happen! In Nova Scotia, there was outrage when a teenage girl, Rehtaeh Parsons, took her own life because of intimate photos that were shared on the Internet without her permission. These poor girls needed to be protected from the Evil Intarwebs! So the politicians reacted and came up with a Anti-Cyberbullying law ("Cyber-Safety Act").

      Guess what poor little teenager's case was the first tried in court...

      ...are you still there? Right. It wasn't a teenage girl but some native band leader [nationalpost.com]

  • A problem with the political system is that often people are elected who don't know how to think carefully.
  • abuse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @02:42PM (#54069825) Homepage
    This seems like a law written and intended to be used by politicians to remove anything they dont want you to know about them ,especially after they do something shady

    /tinfoil
    • Actually, it's to cover their thin-skinned donors, led by Dogshit Trump.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Actually, it's to cover their thin-skinned donors, led by Dogshit Trump.

        You need to read up Mr. not-so-bright apollo. The sponsors of that bill have a "D" after their names. I guarantee, they are not looking out for Trump's interests.

  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @03:02PM (#54069877)

    Yet another bill that makes no sense...
    I dunno how long people need to keep saying the exact same thing about these bills, but as always, it all comes down to who defines ""inaccurate," "irrelevant," "inadequate" or "excessive" statements". You cannot pass laws based on such broad and subjective terms as it'll always end up being exploited by the exact people who shouldn't.

  • The combination of this bill along with the New York Times being, well, in New York is going to be epic. The press is chock full of misleading and excessive statements about Trump and they can be ht again and again by this rule... I'd say a goal should be to act fast enough to make the NYT pull physical papers from vending machines and stands.

    • Of course this bill would also have the side effect that Trump's entire Twitter timeline would have to be erased.

      • by adrn01 ( 103810 )

        Of course this bill would also have the side effect that Trump's entire Twitter timeline would have to be erased.

        ... in advance.

      • Of course this bill would also have the side effect that Trump's entire Twitter timeline would have to be erased.

        Only if Twitter is based in New York. New York State laws don't actually apply to companies in, say, Washington....

        • by Calydor ( 739835 )

          But this is the internet. Someone in New York just has to load Trump's timeline and BAM, jurisdiction.

  • by DanielRavenNest ( 107550 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @03:17PM (#54069931)

    This bill fails the first amendment, in that one person can restrain another's speech. There are already laws about fraud, libel, and slander, which cover malicious speech, but nothing allows restraining merely "out of date" speech.

  • by Paul Bristow ( 118584 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @03:19PM (#54069941) Homepage

    This gets to the heart of the problem around post-truth. Just who defines "truth"?

    How does that fit in to the checks and balances in a democratic society? Does everything have to go through the courts?

    • Just who defines "truth"?

      We do [youtube.com]!

    • This gets to the heart of the problem around post-truth. Just who defines "truth"?

      How does that fit in to the checks and balances in a democratic society? Does everything have to go through the courts?

      Apparently real world data and scientifically proven facts are not considered "truth" any more.

      We are now free to define our own alternative truth, like when you say someone wiretapped you, your subordinates who you say would have been responsible for doing so refute your claim, the people who you say will back you up also refuse to do so and say there's no evidence to support you, yet you keep repeating the same thing as your official spokesperson says you misspoke and/or didn't mean it the first time.

      • Science doesn't "prove facts". That is for mathematicians. Scientists collect data to support or invalidate hypotheses.
      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Apparently real world data and scientifically proven facts are not considered "truth" any more. (...) I thought truth was universal and limited to what has actually occurred, in a factual sense, rather than a matter of opinion, but a lot of people seem not to agree any more. Pretty scary.

        I think you'll find that what can be proven true or false is only a microscopic fraction of it all. A lot of tin-foil hatters have claimed the NSA is listening to everyone's phone calls, that they couldn't prove it doesn't mean it was false. We know for a fact that people lie and cheat and have been framed and operations carried out under false flag, what things appear to be at face value is not always the truth. That always leaves the door open to speculation that what you know is false and nothing but con

      • Apparently real world data and scientifically proven facts are not considered "truth" any more.

        In the philosophy of Science they never were, science deals with observation and evidence, if you want a philosophy that claims "truth" join a religion.

  • I think Donald Trump is silly and orange, and I don't like him. My previous statement is irrelevant. Please fine me for it, I dare you!

    We already have legislation prohibiting libel and slander, so this new bill is not only "excessive" (goes way to far) and inadequate (way too vague), it is also "irrelevant" (due to being unconstitutional and unenforceable, as well as unnecessarily duplicating enforceable laws already on the books). What a stupidly reactionary waste of time.
  • Is this true? [youtube.com]
  • If the content in question was hosted on a server located and operated outside the USA then this law is going to have no effect on that content, but you can be pretty sure we will have some USA based lawyers making such demands anyway because they don't understand how the Internet works. My guess is if passed it will followed up by another law to force USA based ISP to block offshore sites with such content once law makers realise that not every website is actually in the USA.
  • from dumb asses from New York! Lets ban soda because it makes you fat! Seriously - so does eating too much pasta and pizza - why don't you BAN that too! How about ban Rosie O' Donnell - and spoons - they make her fat and she has a fat mouth.....

    There NY how about that! Does that VIOLATE your new law?

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @05:43PM (#54070417)
    As a test, I propose the law first be applied to statements made by the bill's authors and supporters through the next election cycle.
  • ... is that it comes rather crossly at odds with freedom of thought. While the intent behind desiring such a notion can be laudable, and the dissemination of provably false information should be halted as quickly as possible, with the violators punished appropriately, applying such a notion to facts ultimately amounts to attempting to manipulate what other people are allowed to think, or to believe, by censoring or limiting access to whatever truthful accounts may have existed. While one might argue th
  • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @06:07PM (#54070499)

    Reading the bill, it is clear to me that this is plainly and clearly unconstitutional. They didn't even try to hide it. If it passes, it wouldn't survive the the courts.

  • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2017q4@virtual-estates.net> on Sunday March 19, 2017 @09:32PM (#54071047) Homepage Journal

    Gone are the days of:

    sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me

    The Illiberal Left's War on Speech continues and we've almost lost it... Major positions have been surrendered without or with little fight:

    • "Safe spaces" on campuses have been weaponized [abc.net.au] and are used to suppress opinions [theatlantic.com], that make others "uncomfortable";
    • The nonsense of "gender-neutral pronouns" [dailysignal.com] and "transgenderism" in general came out of nowhere — a pregnant woman coming to a hospital to give birth claims to be a man, and is offended, when referred to as "mommy" by the nurses.
    • Though one can not (yet!) be arrested for making others "uncomfortable" with one's opinion, one may already be fired for same.
    • "Hate speech" is already illegal in many Western [bbc.co.uk] countries [ecpmf.eu] — with movement afoot [huffingtonpost.com] to bring the same oppression into the US.
    • Though the Bill of Rights is still, supposedly, the law of the land, its treatment has changed [thecollegefix.com]:

      “This isn’t really the ’60s anymore [...] people can’t really protest like that anymore.”

    • The "right to be forgotten", having never existed before, is suddenly "a thing". Can't wait to discuss the court-ordered memory-erasures [iflscience.com] on SlashDot...
  • This isn't going to last 5 minutes in the courts. Its just plainly obvious that its unconstitutional. I'm baffled that the people who are supposed to know this stuff , the legislators, keep screwing this up.

    This isn't a left wing or right wing thing. Its just a straight up retarded thing.

  • I don't for one second believe the rumors that Mayor DeBlasio has sex with squids.

  • It's important to see both sides of the issue. Yes, this law would almost certainly violate the first amendment. Yes, it could easily be abused. But it's also a sincere attempt at fixing a real problem.

    Someone falsely accuses you of some terrible crime. Maybe you have a bad breakup and your ex decides to get revenge by accusing you of child abuse or theft or something like that. It gets reported in the local news. The accusations are totally false, the police figure that out really quickly, and all ch

  • Which may be one reason so many people get here to write and even protect their pseudonyms and nicknames, or use their names. It would be much better to leave it as it is: one individual vs another individual on case by case as a civil matter. Why? Because it can become asymmetric, confusing and abused! See that whoever CANNOT write can bring down anyone who does write and force erasure? Which cannot be done with books that directly, incidentally. And people do get confused and self imply! See that eventual

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