back to article Look out, Pepe: Martha Lane Fox has a plan

Virtuous websites will be able to signal their goodness to the world under a new scheme proposed by digital quango queen Martha Lane Fox. The posh Lastminute.com founder and Twitter board member has floated the idea of a "fair trade"-style badge for websites that "respect user privacy and provide equal access for all". The …

  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: not doing the snigger-snigger say-no-more thing in the comments...

      Well done young man.

      If I had any artistic talent I'd submit an image of a forest fire being fought with a bottle of Evian and a wet hankie. The Grauniad article inspired me ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Can we assume given the number of posts that have been deleted by the Moderators that this article is an advertorial ?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    And how many websites are going to sport this badge ?

    Because there aren't that many popular websites left that actually respect people's privacy...

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Chris King
      Pint

      Re: Oh, as in ...

      I was thinking more along the lines of "Marthas I'd Like to Forget".

      Not enough Mind Bleach available for this, so beer will have to do.

  4. DagD

    alt+printscreen

    phish away.

    Thank you though for bringing back that retro 90's look.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what's to stop me putting the badge on my website anyway?

    I don't think they have thought this through.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Presumably it would click-through to a verification web site whose URL could also be seen to be valid***

      ***valid insofar as not spoofed in some less obvious way.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "So what's to stop me putting the badge on my website anyway?"

      Nothing, but don't forget to set the evil bit.

    3. HmmmYes

      Theyll sue you in the highest court in the land* By the deft sword of British justice!

      * - Noone has the interweb outside of the UK, right?

  6. Tigra 07
    Facepalm

    Martha Lane should get a proper job

    Isn't this already Google's job? To rid the world of free speech, push social justice warrior values, and hound people with opposing views off the internet instead of making a decent counterargument (and make their personal lives a living hell, paint them as bigots too, etc).

    I despair at how (some) millenials are creating a 1984 world with this shite.

    The best accomplishment we have managed is freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas. Remember what happened when the BNP controlled a council and advertised their values more broadly. They collapsed, their support dried up, and now >10 years later they don't exist.

    Don't silence your opponents, counter with a more valid/reasonable argument.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Martha Lane should get a proper job

      @ Tigra 07

      Unfortunately that is too grown up for todays world. We have to silence anyone who dare say anything someone wishes to take offence at. I say it that way because someone will always be offended at something but the problem has now somehow become the speaker not the person who takes offence.

      I do laugh that a person who is very much like this (and a student btw) also supports things like the slut walk to 'take back the word'. Anyone remembering the UKIP scandal where the new meaning of slut was used to attack the party when the old meaning was used. All people are equal but some more than others.

      1. Tigra 07

        Re: Martha Lane should get a proper job

        Try being LGBT. Then it became LGBTI...Then LGBTIA...

        I think they've managed to expand it so much now most people don't know what it is and some of the letters are just made up... LGBTQQIAADGDVLA

        I've been poisoned by so much SJW shite that i know what all those letters are (Except for the DVLA bit which is clearly a joke)

        For anyone not aware, about 8 of those letters are duplicates from people who "don't want to be labelled" (as bisexual) but insist on labelling themselves as something with an almost identical definition...

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          All those acronyms...

          Well I'm firmly of the opinion that 26 letters aren't enough to define the myriad possibilities of human gender and sexual preference. And I think that's a good thing.

          Perfectly happy to celebrate with a rainbow on my desk rather than a letter designation.

          1. Tigra 07
            Thumb Up

            Re: All those acronyms...

            If we could just accept the Kinsey scale we could all be numbers instead of acronyms...

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: All those acronyms...

              If we could just accept the Kinsey scale we could all be numbers instead of acronyms...

              If you assigned a real number to amount of maleness and another imaginary one to amount of femaleness then we could all just be a simple point on a complex plane.

              With the extra advantage that the rules for multiplication are simple and widely understood

          2. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Re: All those acronyms...

            What makes you think that one random pervert wants to be associated with an entirely random different sort of pervert? This is entirely orthogonal to the question of whether or not pervert #1 approves of or supports the agenda of pervert #2. Tolerating them is quite distinct from supporting their particular agenda du jour.

            Even if you identify as pervert #2, you may not buy completely into the agenda du jour.

            1. Tigra 07

              Re: JEDIDIAH

              It's 2017, i'm pretty sure everyone knows by now that gays aren't organised enough to have any agenda other than equality, and we accomplished that peacefully.

              Tinfoil hat icon should have been used.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Martha Lane should get a proper job

          You facist, you are deliberately excluding PWDWTBL (*) from the list

    2. Daggerchild Silver badge

      Re: Martha Lane should get a proper job

      "Don't silence your opponents, counter with a more valid/reasonable argument."

      The last time I saw this it was being said by a Gamergater trying to attack that lady who had switched off her comment system due to the abuse, because they wanted, nay demanded, to be able to continue, in the name of fairness!

      I've tried the "reasonable argument" thing before - every common neural labelling of an object, concept, or grouping, was disputed to first playschool principles. Even mathematics can be disputed if you demand convincing yet complex explanations loudly enough. Even agreeing on whether someone was alive or dead was a significant victory. It was fascinating. Depressing, but fascinating.

      There are ways to construct and explore common thoughtforms, but all parties need training in it, otherwise you're just debating religion. Of course, then the word 'indoctrination' comes up and...

      1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: Martha Lane should get a proper job

        But when you argue with someone, it's not to change their mind. But it certainly helps the bystanders and onlookers who may be a bit less closed minded.

  7. m0rt

    "El Reg's use of the MLF acronym pre-dates the immensely stupid acronym "Mother I'd Like To..." book in for a spa weekend. "

    Really? Because the earliest El Reg search puts your use at 2009...

    And then you have: https://fas.org/irp/world/para/milf.htm

    ..and..although not meeting journalistic requirements for publishing, anecdotally: http://www.ign.com/boards/threads/did-the-term-milf-exist-before-american-pie-movie.47500538/

    Sorry. It is a low point in the day...

    1. m0rt

      Haaaang on - I totally missed this..

      "When she's not promoting controversial conspiracy theories, she reliably and staunchly defends Twitter, which appointed her to its board last April."

      Isn't this a MASSIVE conflict of interest? Being in the Lords where policy gets formed, especially more and more regarding the virtual realm, and being on the board of Twitter? This does leave rather a nasty taste in my mouth.

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      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      3. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        "Isn't this a MASSIVE conflict of interest? Being in the Lords where policy gets formed....and being on the board of Twitter?"

        I'll think you find most members of the Lords who aren't senile are on the boards of companies. For example, Lord Addington is "Member of and Adviser to the Board of X-Forces (XF) Ltd" and Lord Adonis is "Non-executive Director, RM plc...[and]...Non-executive Director, Dods (Group) plc" and so on. The same with MPs.

        1. m0rt

          @judekay

          "We clearly don't know[...] porn, the way that some of you do[...]goatse-type sex act on 4chan**"

          What on earth is goatse?

          1. CrazyOldCatMan

            Re: @judekay

            What on earth is goatse?

            If you don't know, I would really, really suggest that you stay in that happy state and don't do an internet search on it.

            Especially while at work..

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Stop

            Re: @judekay

            @m0rt - it's not a sex act, it's a whole lot ruder. Though the idea of making it into a sex act takes you to a word that isn't really so shocking any more.

            If the usual suspects (like google or wikipedia) have expunged it, you really don't want to know.

          3. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: @judekay

            Doh! I should really have put an NSFW tag on that comment.. Don't Google it at work, please!

            1. Aladdin Sane

              Re: @judekay

              It did give us a great alternative 2012 Olympic logo (that was broadcast on BBC1 no less)

            2. m0rt

              Re: @judekay

              "Doh! I should really have put an NSFW tag on that comment.. Don't Google it at work, please!"

              Don't worry. I was kind of making a point. :D

              I have managed to get this far without seeing the image in question, but I certainly know of it.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: @judekay

                m0rt,

                Tell me, how have you done at avoiding that bloody Rick ghAstley song?

                1. m0rt

                  Re: @judekay

                  Actually not too well.

                  However, the best rickroll I fell victim to was a mate gave me a stack of LPs a couple of years ago. I can't remember where he got them from.

                  Inside, deftly hidden in the middle, was that very same Album. I only discovered this after returning a couple of hundred miles away.

                  1. Aladdin Sane

                    Re: @judekay

                    In the Friday quiz at work, I once set the following question:

                    13. Provide the English antonyms for the following words:

                    a. ALWAYS -

                    b. COMING -

                    c. FROM -

                    d. TAKE -

                    e. ME -

                    f. DOWN -

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      We clearly don't know sectarian violence in the Philippines, or porn, the way that some of you do... Acronym expunged. **Crosses fingers and hopes expunged isn't also some weird goatse-type sex act on 4chan**

  8. sambaynham

    I propose a new technology!

    CAPTGOA - Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Goodthinkers and Oldthinkers Apart.

  9. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    How about the Badger's Nadgers?

    The Dog's Bollocks is too well known, and too rude. But the Badger's Nadgers still implies goodness in all things. Plus you can have a cute badger logo. As well as the good connotations, we also have the stern example of Badger from Wind in the Willows to live up to.

    He'd soon sort out the Weasels of Google and Facebook.

    So I propose a Benevolent Badger icon, sternly gazing down at two weasels crouched at it's feet (one with a Facebook the other a Google logo), which he's hitting with a big stick, which can be labelled "the Privacy Bat". And behind him could be a sign saying, "Mind your own bloody business!"

    So our organisation ought to monitor privacy, the obnoxiousness of advertising on the site, and readability. So no membership for the most honourable of sites, if they for example have dark brown text on a mid brown background.

    1. Roj Blake

      Re: How about the Badger's Nadgers?

      We already have Privacy Badger though...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Linux

        Re: How about the Badger's Nadgers?

        Good point, I'd completely forgotten about that.

        What about "The Penguin's Privates"?

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: How about the Badger's Nadgers?

          What about "The Penguin's Privates"?

          There's already the Bee's Knees, but I would also like to offer Gnat's Knackers and Cat's Pyjamas as alternatives.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: How about the Badger's Nadgers?

      The Vulture's Volvo?

      (substitute the 2 o's with a couple of other vowels)

  10. JimmyPage
    Stop

    Like "Checkatrade" ? Or "RatedPeople" or "Trustatrader" or even "TrustedTrader"

    and just as useless ?

    First question: who is paying the piper ?

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    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  12. Bronek Kozicki
    Pint

    here is one

    ... for El Reg to recognize the origin of Pepe the Frog

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: here is one

      Well, Pepe Le Pew has quit his job as a lobbyist since being barred from the Houses of Parliament following a charge of harassment.

  13. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Accessibility

    If the badge denotes that the website is accessible to all users it should be in Braille, or at the very least embossed.

    I saw a documentary once called Brass Eye about how web scum can feel children through a monitor, so obviously this underused haptic technology does exist. It's just Nonce Sense.

    1. Nick Kew
      Childcatcher

      Re: Accessibility

      If the badge denotes that the website is accessible to all users it should be in Braille, or at the very least embossed.

      Erm, jokes aren't always obvious in text. Trouble with yours is, it's scarily close to some of the misguided things idiots do for real in the pursuit of an illusion of accessibility.

      Putting on my expert hat[1] I should point out that accessibility comes straight from well-written HTML, and it takes a lot less effort to get right than many sites put in to subverting it. From memory, Lane-Fox's own lastminute was one of those that put vast effort into b*****ing it up.

      [1] Some years ago I served as Invited Expert with the W3C on accessibility.

      1. JimmyPage
        Unhappy

        Re: Some years ago I served as Invited Expert with the W3C on accessibility.

        But now realise how you wasted that time.

        My partner has MS, so problems with vision as well as locomotion. I could count on the fingers of one hand websites that are *properly* accessible.

        If society as a whole can't manage to make the web - which should be accessible AS STANDARD - accessible, what hope for the real world, with those stupid steps, and kerbs, and narrow doorways.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Some years ago I served as Invited Expert with the W3C on accessibility.

          The sad thing is that wheelchair accessibility can be genuinely hard. Especially in old buildings. And has real costs to make real physical changes.

          But accessibility for visually impaired people is moslty a piece of piss. You just need to do stuff you're already doing, only do it properly! Which is as true in the physical world as it is online.

          If your signage is clear, and your website properly laid out and standards compliant, you're mostly done. That just leaves you to obviously mark the edges of steps in a contrasting colour, and put visible stickers on any unmarked plate glass doors you've stupidly decided to fit - which are both something you should be doing anyway.

          Finally you can consider whether it's appropriate or helpful to provide audio-guides/braille/large print options or not.

          1. Steve the Cynic

            Re: Some years ago I served as Invited Expert with the W3C on accessibility.

            "put visible stickers on any unmarked plate glass doors you've stupidly decided to fit"

            And solid glass walls with a six-floor drop behind them, like one place I worked in some years back.

            You think I'm kidding? I'm not. Apart from a few things, every wall in the place was glass:

            * Toilets.

            * External and internal structural walls.

            * One guy had a darkroom, but the dark leaks out through glass walls.

            * The company had an on-site nurse (1500+ people worked in the building), and her office had opaque walls.

            *Payroll was done in a closed-off area with frosted glass walls.

            And this atrium thing had non-structural internal walls in floor-to-ceiling glass. From my floor the drop into the atrium was six floors. The glass was at least a quarter-inch thick, and probably laminated with it. And it had quite visible stripes on it so you could see it, since crashing into it would be painful because of its rigid solidity.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Some years ago I served as Invited Expert with the W3C on accessibility.

              I hope the glass toilets were also opaque!

              You do worry about some architects. They see a dystopian Sci-Fi film and then go and design their buildings to look like it, not realising the film is portraying a hellhole!

              1. Steve the Cynic

                Re: Some years ago I served as Invited Expert with the W3C on accessibility.

                "I hope the glass toilets were also opaque!"

                Ha ha! Got me! No, I meant those were the things that *were* opaque, or at least not transparent. (Frosted glass isn't *opaque* - light gets through it easily - but there's no way I'd call it transparent.)

                And I have seen a place with toilets that had glass doors on the stalls.

                In front of the big art museum in the middle of Amsterdam there is a restaurant called "Cobra". It's named after the art movement(1), not the snake, and isn't at all dodgy. In the basement, there are large and posh toilets, and as you arrive, there is usually a mix of opaque and transparent glass doors on the stalls. And you notice that ALL the opaque ones are taken, and ALL the transparent ones are free.

                But nature continues to call, so you go into one of the available ones, hoping that there are no voyeurs in the area, and you discover that as soon as you lock the door, the glass becomes opaque.(2)

                But before that moment, the urge to stick a cork in the orifice and run screaming for your hotel is very strong.

                (1) COpenhangen BRussells, Amsterdam, if you must know.

                (2) Well, in 2006 it was like that.

                1. x 7

                  Re: Some years ago I served as Invited Expert with the W3C on accessibility.

                  Heard a story years ago where the reverse was true.....the stalls in the ladies loo became transparent when they closed the door.....if you wanted privacy, you left the door open

                  that was also a nightclub in Amsterdam

    2. JimmyPage
      Flame

      Re: Accessibility

      What grinds my gears (have a partner who has to use a wheelchair) is when the "accessibility" link on the website blabbers on about the website accessibility (which is almost invariably shit as my partners sight is poor too) rather then the premises accessibility

      The end result is a less able person can't even read how inaccessible the place is.

  14. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is a foxtastic idea!

    I propose four additional special badges:

    1. A badge for advertisements that tell the truth.

    2. A badge for bug-free software.

    3. A badge for rainbows to indicate there's gold at the end of them.

    4. A badge for CEOs who've added value to their organisations.

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: This is a foxtastic idea!

      You forgot the neckerchief and woggle.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: This is a foxtastic idea!

      I propose four additional special badges:

      teahound,

      I note you haven't told us what logo you're going to assign to these things. I presume that's because you don't expect anyone will ever qualify...

    3. Korev Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: This is a foxtastic idea!

      A cookie badge for not tracking you with {Google,Facebook}?

  16. frank ly

    Deja Vu

    "You will recall what happened the last time Baroness Fox inspired a bunch of web designers to get together to save the world."

    I thought you were going to say 'lastminute.com'.

  17. Mr Dogshit

    Surely this is a job for...

    Baroness Dido of TalkTalk

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The cutting room floor is littered with this thread of comments.....

    Oooh dear. Looks like I and a few others may have offended here. I'm genuinely not sure what I did wrong, if the censor can reach out and let me know, most grateful. It'll help me behave better in the future......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The cutting room floor is littered with this thread of comments.....

      Nor me.

      Not sexist, not offensive unless you happen to think Martha is useful and provides net benefit to the planet.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: The cutting room floor is littered with this thread of comments.....

        El Reg have moderation, so are subject to libel laws - so if you said anything that looked a bit dodgy to a busy subbie without the time to check if was OK, then it probably got zapped.

        It's not like it's hard to get along without moderation on these forums. Apparently I've got 6k posts on here, and I think I've been modded twice. And one of those was a post I replied to that got zapped along with all the responses.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The cutting room floor is littered with this thread of comments.....

          Yup, this is why I'm curious what's wrong..... Never rejected before, and I've said stuff that was *way* closer to the edge that what I said above. I'm open to education, should a censor be arsed. I'm also curious why there should be multiple instances of rejection on this thread. Removals by moderator are like rocking horse shit.

          1. x 7

            Re: The cutting room floor is littered with this thread of comments.....

            Paranoia

            I believe Lady Fox-Knightly has a way with writs when she thinks people are telling the truth

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: The cutting room floor is littered with this thread of comments.....

      Judging from the number of "deleted by moderator" posts, you're not alone. Obviously some rather "lively" comments were made and probably deleted before the flame wars started.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The cutting room floor is littered with this thread of comments.....

        All I said was this piece of Halibut is good enough for Martha Lane Fox.

        To be fair she does have some fishy ideas.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The cutting room floor is littered with this thread of comments.....

        Yeah, but I've gotta say, I'm innocent of anything other than an attempt at wit, no stronger than would have been on display in a 'carry on' film. Still unsure why prudishness seemingly absent normally, came to the forefront when the noble baroness gets mentioned. Its obvious that no one is going to have the courtesy to explain. I'm definitely not guilty. Free the el reg one.

  19. x 7

    How does someone so totally clueless and irrelevant like Martha Lane Fox-Knightly get to be promoted to the peerage?

    Oh hang on......

  20. JennyZ
    Paris Hilton

    Indeed...

    I'd rather hear what Mabel Lane Fox has to say on the subject...

  21. Jim 59

    It might be a good idea, if they can keep the politics out of it. But what are the chances of that?

    Will it eventually become a badge meaning "this website agrees politically with the people who awarded this badge" ? Given the condition of much of social media, it seems likely. The badge might then become just one more piece of ordinance in the ongoing "culture war".

    Many things are better without the addition of politics. Remembrance is one example. If MLT and co can indeed produce something like the Fairtrade mark, and treat it as such, then it might just work.

  22. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Don't websites already do this ?

    I thought there was a standard for marking whether internet packets were good or bad ?

    RFC 3514 Evil bit in the IPv4 Header

  23. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    FAIL

    Oxygen of publicity

    Can The Register please stop giving the baroness the oxygen of publicity

  24. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  25. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Happy

    The badge, Martha, the badge

    The badge Madge Martha, the badge.

    Martha Lane-Fox as Martha Allsop, your "constant travelling companion" on the Internet.

    With thanks and apologies to both Emily Perry and Barry Humphries.

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. strum

    As an aside, I note that El Reg thinks that virtue is a bad thing and, if anything should be signalled - it should be vice. Meanwhile, social injustice is to be preferred to social justice.

    It's a strange old world...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Some logic leaps going on there.

  28. CSYBERGIRL
    Linux

    Is Life Fair and if not should it be?

    That's the question, really if one looks at like abuse and punishment as opposed to a set of rigid custodial "rules" then perhaps the fairground of life would present it self.

    Viva La Difference or perhaps better put Trăiți diferența.

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