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[AxisOfEasy] A Heretic’s Guide to Deplatforming

by on November 5, 2018


Weekly Axis Of Easy #73


This week’s quote:  (was another apocryphal one, update to follow) – markjr

Last Week’s Quote was  “He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool.” …by Albert Camus, winner was Gus

THE RULES: No searching up the answer, must be posted to the comments below:

The Prize: First person to post gets their next domain or hosting renewal on us.


Abbreviated issue this week as I am hanging out in New York City. If you’re in the US we wish you a safe and civil elections.

In this issue:

  • Facebook approves ads from 100 of 100 Fake Senators
  • Mass arrests in India for that Canadian tax scam
  • WWW Inventor: Break up the tech giants
  • A Heretic’s Guide to Deplatforming
  • Disclosure of Whois Data Leak

Facebook approves ads from 100 of 100 Fake Senators

Here on Election Day it’s worth noting that Facebook accepted and posted fake ads from 100 fake senators submitted by reporters at Vice magazine. “on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections, a VICE News investigation found the “Paid for by” feature is easily manipulated and appears to allow anyone to lie about who is paying for a political ad, or to pose as someone paying for the ad.”

Mass arrests in India for that Canadian tax scam

If you’re Canadian, you were probably inundated with robocalls to your cell phone for a few months from that stern, authoritative voice informing you that you better call Canada Revenue Agency back right away in order to avoid legal action or penalties. I hadn’t noticed that I stopped receiving them a few weeks ago until I saw this piece about police in India shutting down a boiler room operation running a Canada Revenue Agency tax scam. So far 28 people have been arrested, including 2 described as “ringleaders”. The arrests ensued after Canadian police officers visited India to work with local authorities.

WWW Inventor: Break up the tech giants

Sir Tim Berners Lee, the man credited with inventing the World Wide Web has been highly critical of the direction our technocratic society has headed. In his latest warning he advises that the large tech giants, such as Google, Amazon and Facebook “have grown so dominant that they may need to be broken up”.  I tend to agree, even though as a free-market Libertarian this causes me cognitive dissonance every time I think about it. Ouch.

A Heretic’s Guide to Deplatforming

As I mentioned in last week’s edition, I was working on a longer blog post on the topic of de-platforming, sparked by the latest Gab episode. I also asked you, dear reader, to send me any of your thoughts around the topic and I received some of the best responses from you since I started writing #AoE. They were thoughtful, pensive and to a person understood the conflicts inherent in even trying to tackle this issue. The general consensus was that there are no easy answers and it’s generally a can-of-worms.

Our article ascended rapidly on Hackernews, sponsoring vigourous debate for it too was flagged as inappropriate by one or more persons who deemed their opinion of relevance should trump everybody else’s, in a way, proving the point. HN moderators “unflagged” the post and it immediately rocketed to the front page of Hackernews.

Disclosure of Whois Data Leak

Last week we sent a disclosure notice to all affected users that some domains (less than 0.5%) with whois privacy enabled had their underlying contact details revealed because of a bug with our backend registry partner.

If you did not receive a notice, then you are NOT affected by this.

We were about to post a general item about this to the blog, but then The Register saved us the trouble by posting what amounts to a hit piece about it, so you may as well read about it over there. Again: if you don’t already know about this from us, then you weren’t affected.

(Thanks Register, how about next time you try to liven things up a bit with some click bait sensationalism).

7 responses to “[AxisOfEasy] A Heretic’s Guide to Deplatforming”

  1. Avatar James says:

    Without looking it up, Voltaire, but sometimes attributed to a early 20th century painter whose name escapes me.

  2. Avatar Marc Hamann says:

    Voltaire?

  3. Avatar Adam Smith says:

    I think that quote actually bears looking up – I’d be surprised if anyone knew all the details.

    The quote is, evidently, popularly attributed to Voltaire, as made notable recently in a tweet by Australian conservative senator Cory Bernardi. But he appears to actually be quoting an American neo-nazi by the name of Kevin Alfred Strom. And technically, he’s not quoting either – he is just riffing on Strom’s comment (the wording has changed, technically that must mean it’s no a longer a quote.)

    Strom’s original comments were a mess of incoherent outrage. He seems to have had little difficulty in keeping multiple, conflicting, unsubstantiated ideas and morals running around in his head, like the Tasmanian Devil had been set loose in the comments section.

    So technically, the quote belongs to Bernardi.

    Whether it’s a valid or rational argument is debatable these days. I can’t help but feel that it’s an oxymoron.
    “You know what your problem is? You never let me criticize you. That’s what your problem is.”

    • Avatar Mark E. Jeftovic says:

      Thanks Adam. I had it as Voltaire, in my notes. Obviously. And because I had posted two previous occasions quotes that were apocryphal or mis-attributed, I usually make it a habit to look it up before I use it.

      Today, being out of town, wanting to get something out the door before I hit the city, I skipped that step. From now on, I will always verify my quote.

  4. Avatar Kevin Fonda says:

    That’s easy, it was my wife who said that.

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