A year ago Loren Feldman produced a controversial video called "TechNigga" which seems to still be causing him problems today. Matthew Ingram captures the latest fallout from that controversy in his post Protests over Verizon deal with 1938media where he writes

Several civil-rights groups and media watchdogs are protesting a decision by telecom giant Verizon to add 1938media’s video clips to its mobile Vcast service, saying Loren’s "TechNigga" clip is demeaning to black people. Project Islamic Hope, for example, has issued a statement demanding that Verizon drop its distribution arrangement with 1938media, which was just announced about a week ago, and other groups including the National Action Network and LA Humanity Foundation are also apparently calling for people to email Verizon and protest.

The video that has Islamic Hope and other groups so upset is one called "TechNigga," which Loren put together last August. After wondering aloud why there are no black tech bloggers, Loren reappears with a skullcap and some gawdy jewelry, and claims to be the host of a show called TechNigga. He then swigs from a bottle of booze, does a lot of tongue-kissing and face-licking with his girlfriend Michelle Oshen, and then introduces a new Web app called "Ho-Trackr," which is a mashup with Google Maps that allows prospective johns to locate prostitutes. In a statement, Islamic Hope says that the video "sends a horrible message that Verizon seeks to partner with racists."

I remember encountering the video last year and thinking it was incredibly unfunny. It wasn’t a clever juxtaposition of hip hop culture and tech geekery. It wasn’t satire since that involves lampooning someone or something you disapprove off in a humorous way (see The Colbert Report).  Of course, I thought the responses to the video were even dumber; like Robert Scoble responding to the video with the comment “Dare Obasanjo is black”.

Since posting the video Loren Feldman has lost a bunch of video distribution deals with the current Verizon deal being the latest. I’ve been amused to read all of the comments on TechCrunch about how this violates Loren’s freedom of speech.

People often confuse the fact that it is not a crime to speak your mind in America with the belief that you should be able to speak your mind without consequence. The two things are not the same. If I call you an idiot, I may not go to jail but I shouldn’t expect you to be nice to me afterwards. The things you say can come back and bite you on butt is something everyone should have learned growing up. So it is always surprising for me to see people petulantly complain that “this violates my freedom of speech” when they have to deal with the consequences of their actions.

BONUS VIDEO: A juxtaposition of hip hop culture and Web geekery by a black tech blogger.

Now Playing: NWAN*ggaz 4 Life


Tuesday, July 8, 2008 3:02:19 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Censorship is really only possible through government. No other mechanism can silence someone completely. As such, you have the right to free speech in America but that doesn't mean that someone automatically gets a forum for their speech. In this case, Feldman is not being suppressed: he still has his own Web site, can still make use of the open video forums that exist, and can still be promoted by those who like him. Verizon and CBS don't have to give him access to their audiences or endorse his inanity.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008 5:29:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Exactly. In addition, Verizon is under no obligation to provide everyone a platform to exercise their "freedom of speech". Talentless, racist, or just not funny. All viable reasons not to keep someone on your channel.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008 6:05:26 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
"... introduces a new Web app called "Ho-Trackr," which is a mashup with Google Maps that allows prospective johns to locate prostitutes..."

Was this an actual working mashup or have I just found my new business model?

Bryan Rasmussen
Tuesday, July 8, 2008 11:53:49 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
hundred bucks says Dare can't dance
Tuesday, July 8, 2008 11:56:41 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
also, this loren guy is an actor
Wednesday, July 9, 2008 10:29:41 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
You're absolutely right. I had completely forgotten about this jackass, and now here he is wasting everyone's time again.

Sorry, Loren, nothing can protect you from the consequences of ACTING LIKE A JACKASS.

And I humbly submit that the way TechCrunch has covered this emphasizes, yet again, that TechCrunch is scientifically proven to make people stupider. Don't read it, people. Not worth the brain damage.
Thursday, July 10, 2008 3:00:03 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
"Robert Scoble responding to the video with the comment “Dare Obasanjo is black”."

Why is that such a bad response to someone
"wondering aloud why there are no black tech bloggers"?

David Fauber
Friday, July 11, 2008 1:20:43 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Хотел вот такой вопрос задать: студия делала RSS есть Домостроймедиа
Что такое goal
а тут хотели сделать и не получилось Рязань триумф сапасибо
Tuesday, July 15, 2008 6:52:59 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
At least in the US this is usually delivered in a form similar to "That's censorship! They're violating my Constitutional rights!". Leaving aside the issue that you quite correctly point out (freedom of speech != freedom from consequences) I am generally met with a blank stare when I point out that the Constitution only prevents *the government* from interfering with your right to free speech. One can assume this includes agents acting on behalf of the government.
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