aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Assumed consent is evil and maybe illegal
Facebook applications can be based solely on direct sales. Companies like Overstock.com allow--or should I say encourage--Facebook users to purchase from their website through their application without ever leaving Facebook.com. The problem is that purchase information is being shared. After making a purchase, the Overstock.com app displays a small box in a corner of the browser interface following a transaction. This box alerts users that information will be shared with other Facebook users unless they click on it to negate that information form being shared. The box fades away after a half minute or so, after which consent is assumed, and all your friends can see what you bought.
I’m no lawyer, but that sounds kind of “iffy” to me. And, even if it is a legally binding procedure, it certainly isn’t going to do much for customer satisfaction! There are, evidently, other large e-commerce sites with similar or identical interfaces, and my instinct is that Facebook and these large companies will solve the problem quickly. It makes a good example, however, of social media gone awry. The term “social” does not automatically imply that sharing is the default; part of being social is having the choice to share or not share. Purchasing things, especially during the holidays, often involves gifts, and the surprise of a well-chosen gift to a friend (who may well be in your Facebook world) is as social as it gets.
Hell, I think the non-leaky clickthrough should be illegal. Of course I’m going to hate “assumed consent.”
Did Scandal End Lott’s Career?
Please welcome now the Scandal theory, which is suddenly gaining traction with conservative blogger Michelle Malkin; with Harper’s blogger Scott Horton; with Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan; and most especially with David Rossmiller, managing editor of the Insurance Coverage Law blog, which is maintained by Dunn Carney Allen Higgins and Tongue, a law firm based in Portland, Ore. The Scandal theory, which is admittedly speculative, is that legal proceedings concerning Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and the flamboyant plaintiff’s attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, who is also Lott’s brother-in-law, are about to expose improper behavior by Lott.
Judges need leeway in teen sex cases
Maureen Downey for the AJC editorial board on the Widner plea deal and calling for a fairer approach to teen sex sentencing:
A judge ought to be able to look at those facts and determine how long Widner should serve rather than be bound to a 10-year sentence. Voters elect judges in Georgia to make those tough calls.
Yet lawmakers eroded the powers of judges by mandating the sentences they can impose. “We should trust our judges to make decisions and not pen them in with mandatory minimum sentences,” says [Widner’s attorney, J. Scott ] Key. “We now have a system where there is little opportunity for the punishment to fit the facts.”
Widner is leaving jail a felon, which means he’ll be on the state’s sex offender registry. The registry is another example of the Legislature’s abandoning common sense and fairness, putting consensual sexual activity between teens on the same level as violent rape or child molestation. [...]
The courts must have greater flexibility in teen sex cases where force is not involved and where both teens are willing participants. Neither Widner nor Wilson is a hero for what he did. But antiquated laws that view older teens as dangerous predators and younger ones as helpless victims ignore the realities of high school society where seniors and freshmen often date.
Most Georgians understand that a world of difference exists between two classmates having sex and a 35-year-old molesting a 10-year-old. Georgia’s laws and its sex offender registry need to recognize that distinction.