October 26 roundup

  • Fuller investigation of that “reputation management” ruse of filing dummy court cases with the aim of getting critical web posts taken down [Eugene Volokh and Paul Alan Levy, Levy first and second followups, earlier here and here]
  • “When Civic Participation Means Shaming A Non-Voter’s Kid” [my Cato post about an ill-considered public service announcement]
  • Why America’s regulation problem is so intractable: Fortune magazine cover story [Brian O’Keefe]
  • El Paso benefits from immeasurable advantage over neighboring Juarez, Mexico: rule of law and related American cultural attitudes [Alfredo Corchado, City Journal]
  • Tort litigation in Pennsylvania is at its most intensive in a few counties, and residents pay the price [Peter Cameron, Scranton Times-Tribune, I’m quoted]
  • California AG Kamala Harris orders BackPage execs arrested; Section 230 be damned? [TechDirt]


  • Particularly enjoyed the blog post about those reputation management companies coming up with all those phony lawsuits. I found it pretty hilarious that their “proprietary de-indexing program” is just a bunch of fraudulent take down notices. Unfortunately, we’re probably going to see a lot more of these incidents as the online reputation business continues to grow.

  • Re: Fortune article about red tape – I read it right up until I saw this statement: “How do you tweak your model, for example, to account for slowing down a global-warming Armageddon?” And that ended my reading. You can’t get rid of regulations that are attempting to solve problems that don’t exist, or at a very maximum, for which our efforts have absolutely no effect at all.