Napp
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(Original post by harrysbar)
You can hardly include women as part of a minority group when we make up more than 50% of university communities in the U.K. And I very much doubt that most Black people would thank you for your negative assumption that they “face a constant struggle to just exist in British society”.
They seem to be confusing a university with some form of refuge :lol: That bizarre diatribe-***-comment being an amusing example as to why universities are starting to lose their previously hard earned reputations for centers of learning. Not molly coddling those who cant read a book or hear a lecture without throwing a wobbly. Arguably such people probably shouldnt be at university in the first place if they cant deal with learning simple facts of life :rolleyes:
Well noted on their odd interpretation (or if we're being honest about it, their lie) of certain racial groupings daily lives though :lol:
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Napp
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#62
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(Original post by DSilva)
Plenty of people seem to confuse the right to say what you want with the right to face no consequences for what you say.

You should be entitled to spew offensive bile on the Internet for sure. But if your employer decides that your actions have brought the company into disrepute the they are more than entitled to dismiss you.

Can't get on board with Toby Young's organisation. He's vile. And the types of people on the right who claim to support free speech are all too happy to shut down the speech of those they disagree with.
Maybe so but that isnt what i was talking about given plenty of people face online lynchings for saying perfectly innocuous things, be it arguing for the traditional view of sex or what not. Need it really be pointed out that this isnt a binary choice between "acceptable speech" and "spewing offensive bile".

Either way, as has been stated, there is no obligation to tailor your speech to suit those who may or may not be offended (within the bounds of reason of course) given it isnt the person speakings responsibility to know what some petty little individual on twitter might start leaking at the eye about. I'm surprised you approve of cyber bullying though? I thought you were all for the being kind to others thingy? Tearing someones life to pieces or forcing them to apologise whilst in tears for wearing a tshirt hardly being "progressive" now are they? As far as hypocrisy goes (which you note in your last paragraph) well... pots and kettles it would seem.

I'm curious as to why you believe that stalking people online to ruin their lives is an acceptable thing to do though? Being a **** on a fb comment is one thing. Making someone jobless is quite another. Take that deeply unpleasant woman who got a programmer fired a few years ago for making a joke about dongles - i take it you believe that his "offensive bile" merited him being fired, going from your previous comment?

I make no comment on Toby Young, not knowing much about him outside of his column for the Spectator. I have the distinct feeling though that you hate him simply for him being "right wing" as opposed to anything else? I assume, to lead on from that comment though, you have no problem with silencing those you dislike as opposed to doing it on any basis of merit?
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MatureStudent37
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(Original post by Napp)
That seems a somewhat disingenuous interpretation of it, for the reasons i gave earlier. Especially given the novel practice of activists stalking people and making it their business to ruin whomever it is life. Saying something rude/dumb on the web is one thing but making it a point to ruin their livlihood and such in turn would seem the more despicable action of the two. Being offended < being made homeless and all.
That isnt to say that all the people assosiated with this 'union' of his are worth protecting but given the nice list published of some of the cases theyve taken up (the Eton teacher being a nice example) they would seem to be doing some good work in spite of everything else.

Alas, that is the problem with free speech, there will always be those who seek to abuse the right, although that goes for every single right for that matter. The practice of cyberbullying/stalking/harassment that these lot (on both sides) seems a more pressing issue that needs attending to imo. Trying to get people fired and their families made homeless comes across as more of an urgent problem than some nob head making an insensitive comment on fb or what not - although if people are silly enough to make the remarks in the first place..
PROSM.

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

It used to be a case of people would speak to each other. Debate or argue and that was it.

The joys of the internet allow People to shut themselves off from society and live in echo chambers convincing themselves thy everybody holds that belief.

The second joy of the internet is the anonymity of the internet. Vile creatures feel they can use this to cause harm. It’s not just on political issues, it’s life in general. You’d never for example mock a dying child in front of them or their parents, but the internet allows people to partake in such shocking activity.
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SHallowvale
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#64
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(Original post by harrysbar)
As universities face fines for being "too woke" and heritage groups are told that "public funds must never be used for political purposes" the government announce the appointment of a Free Speech Champion to defend free speech and academic freedom on campuses.
I'm curious as to how this would work. As others have said, would extremist opinions be protected by this? If not, what would constitute as extremism?

Would freedom of speech be given as a right in all situations? To give an absurd hypothetical, would I be able to promote neo-Nazism at chess society gatherings? 😂
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DSilva
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(Original post by Napp)
Maybe so but that isnt what i was talking about given plenty of people face online lynchings for saying perfectly innocuous things, be it arguing for the traditional view of sex or what not. Need it really be pointed out that this isnt a binary choice between "acceptable speech" and "spewing offensive bile".

Either way, as has been stated, there is no obligation to tailor your speech to suit those who may or may not be offended (within the bounds of reason of course) given it isnt the person speakings responsibility to know what some petty little individual on twitter might start leaking at the eye about. I'm surprised you approve of cyber bullying though? I thought you were all for the being kind to others thingy? Tearing someones life to pieces or forcing them to apologise whilst in tears for wearing a tshirt hardly being "progressive" now are they? As far as hypocrisy goes (which you note in your last paragraph) well... pots and kettles it would seem.

I'm curious as to why you believe that stalking people online to ruin their lives is an acceptable thing to do though? Being a **** on a fb comment is one thing. Making someone jobless is quite another. Take that deeply unpleasant woman who got a programmer fired a few years ago for making a joke about dongles - i take it you believe that his "offensive bile" merited him being fired, going from your previous comment?

I make no comment on Toby Young, not knowing much about him outside of his column for the Spectator. I have the distinct feeling though that you hate him simply for him being "right wing" as opposed to anything else? I assume, to lead on from that comment though, you have no problem with silencing those you dislike as opposed to doing it on any basis of merit?
I've known of Toby Young for years. I've always found him odious. Not because he's right wing (plenty of right wing people I respect). I also note that he has little to say when left wing people or views are being silenced. A few months ago the govt announced that schools could not use sources from anti capitalist organisations. Where was Toby Young and his free speech army?

I also think so much of what people complain about is overblown and taken wildly out of proportion. Take thr "chestfeeding" example. That was one hospital using a term only in relation to trans men (less than 1%) as another poster pointed out. It did not stop the term being used to apply to cis women at all. Yet cue the manufactured outrage of people arguing that the term 'breastfeeding' was banned. It absolutely wasn't.

I agree that bullying happens, and it's awful. It's far from being just a left wing thing though. Owen Jones was beat up by Neo Nazis for voicing opinions they disagreed with.

The govt are now threatening to fine universities if they are too woke. Hardly seems that the right are 'pro free speech' does it?
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Ascend
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#66
Ideological 'wars' should never be carried out by weaponizing freedom of expression. Hash it out through open dialogue. That goes for all sides.

Wrt the 'Woke', I would analyse and question:

- identities such as 'white' and 'black' being essentialised as 'whiteness' and 'blackness'
-- giving in to the 'white supremacy' narrative
- ideologies such as Enlightenment liberalism being attributed ownership to 'whites'
- elevating emotional safety to a sacred value
- modelling society as a hierarchy of oppression
-- making victimhood a competitive social capital

Etc.
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anarchism101
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#67
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Turns out she was not free to say what she thought about the long winded description because despite no other evidence at all, she got widely accused of transphobia.
That's an absurd non-sequitur. She was free to say what she thought, and other people were free to say that what she said was transphobic. The latter in no way abridges the former.
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Megacent
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#68
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(Original post by harrysbar)
I honestly don't know - I don't claim to be an expert just started the thread because I thought "War on Woke" was interesting. I do personally think the whole "woke" thing has gone too far, especially as looloo points out the woke types only care about certain groups rights and sensitivities and not others. There is a sense of common sense going out the window when unis spend loads of money just to stop certain groups getting offended - the money could be better spent elsewhere I'm sure, on things like improving student services that would benefit everyone.
It is interesting, and I agree there should be some limits as you can't have people standing up at a uni and calling for people to be killed or stuff like that. If anything hateful is going to be cancelled or de platformed I think we should clearly define what hate actually is. There are many people today who think that it means "anything I don't agree with" and just use the "I'm offended" line to suppress other points of view. Rather than leaving it to the subjective whim of the listener to decide offensiveness, there should be a more firm definition.
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Economixxx
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I get the impression that no one here has really bothered to think this through.

If a university or SU is at risk of being fined for inviting someone to speak or offering them an academic post that is subsequently withdrawn, they will simply not invite them in the first place.

I can see these proposals limiting the airing of controversial or unfashionable views.

However I'm an old cynic who distrusts politicians. The Conservatives aren't are on a free speech crusade, they are just looking for easy headlines as they fight their culture war.
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Napp
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(Original post by Economixxx)
I get the impression that no one here has really bothered to think this through.

If a university or SU is at risk of being fined for inviting someone to speak or offering them an academic post that is subsequently withdrawn, they will simply not invite them in the first place.

I can see these proposals limiting the airing of controversial or unfashionable views.

However I'm an old cynic who distrusts politicians. The Conservatives aren't are on a free speech crusade, they are just looking for easy headlines as they fight their culture war.
What makes you think they'll just not invite anybody as opposed to go ahead with it and ignore the whining of the Twitterati types?

As to the Tories, probably not, but neither are any of the other parties. At least the conservatives at least put up a vaneer of respecting free speach (whether they actually believe it or not being beside the point) whilst Labour activists actively campaign to have anyone they dont like silenced and sent to Siberia (at least in their ideal scenario). Say what you will about people abusing the right to say what they will but the idea of government/universities/activists et al. having the final say on what is 'allowed' is about as repugnant as it gets, having eerie echoes of the red terror under Stalin or Mao.
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Napp
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(Original post by DSilva)
I've known of Toby Young for years. I've always found him odious. Not because he's right wing (plenty of right wing people I respect). I also note that he has little to say when left wing people or views are being silenced. A few months ago the govt announced that schools could not use sources from anti capitalist organisations. Where was Toby Young and his free speech army?
Might one ask why? I cant say im his biggest fan but he doesnt seem to have done much to earn quite such opprobrium.
I would note there is a quantiative difference between the two.. this example being one of "educating" children with propaganda. Hardly something that needs protecting, that would also go for any ardent right wing types who have no business peddling their bile in schools. Call me an out dated 'gammon' but i always felt that educational institutions were there to educate children and give them the tools to make their own decisions. Not to ram rubbish down their throats and force them into a political pigeon hole. Again, that goes for both left and right.
I also think so much of what people complain about is overblown and taken wildly out of proportion. Take thr "chestfeeding" example. That was one hospital using a term only in relation to trans men (less than 1%) as another poster pointed out. It did not stop the term being used to apply to cis women at all. Yet cue the manufactured outrage of people arguing that the term 'breastfeeding' was banned. It absolutely wasn't.
Really? This example might be mildly overblown (albeit of relevence given its tax payers money being wasted on this non-problem) i forget the name of the book but it was on the topic of internet shaming (bullying) something that various actvisit groups have taken up with a vengeance. Both sides do it, especially in America, but from the publicized cases it would seem to be the "woke" crowd who get up to it the most and see it through to the most obscene ends. As i said, forcing someone onto the street is not an acceptable response to someone being a **** online.
I agree that bullying happens, and it's awful. It's far from being just a left wing thing though. Owen Jones was beat up by Neo Nazis for voicing opinions they disagreed with.

The govt are now threatening to fine universities if they are too woke. Hardly seems that the right are 'pro free speech' does it?
As i said, both sides do it but from where one is sitting its the "progressives" who do it the most. After all, switch on any news outlet with a controversy and its always the progressive crowd demanding their head, public shaming in the streets (ideally in a GoT themed way) and generally trying to ruin them. Take that woman who made a tasteless joke about aids, did she deserve to be doxed and have her life imploded? No that was a grotesque over reaction despite her idiotic tweet. People need to learn to not use twitter etc. as a filterless mouthpiece for their inner monologue but it is a fairly well substantiated fact that 'progressives' and activists are the main culprits in this.

That would seem an own goal no? Telling universities that they arent allowed to silence people is rather the opposite of stamping on free speech? Either way, as i said, i take the view that educational institutions should be there to educate not indoctrinate (that goes for both sides). The progressives have no business de-platforming anyone as they decidedly do not have a monopoly on what should be acceptable (they also need to recognise the heinous irony they embody) and the right has no business in telling people the same. This really shouldnt be such a controversial topic that universities are there to educate, not serve as recruiting grounds for political activists or "safe spaces" for the morally weak who cant bear to hear someone disagree with them. Again, all of this applies in equal measure to both sides.
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harrysbar
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#72
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(Original post by Napp)
That would seem an own goal no? Telling universities that they arent allowed to silence people is rather the opposite of stamping on free speech?
PRSOM
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DSilva
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(Original post by Napp)
Might one ask why? I cant say im his biggest fan but he doesnt seem to have done much to earn quite such opprobrium.
I would note there is a quantiative difference between the two.. this example being one of "educating" children with propaganda. Hardly something that needs protecting, that would also go for any ardent right wing types who have no business peddling their bile in schools. Call me an out dated 'gammon' but i always felt that educational institutions were there to educate children and give them the tools to make their own decisions. Not to ram rubbish down their throats and force them into a political pigeon hole. Again, that goes for both left and right.
Not really. The govt still allows schools to use pro-capitalost sources so why can they not use anti capitalist ones? Why allow schools to use pro capitalist propganada but not use sources from an opposing view?

That's a clear example of curtailing free speech yet Toby Young and his organisation had absolutely nothing to say about it. They don't care about free speech when opinions or people they oppose of are being banned.

Take another example. Quite a few Jewish people are being kicked out or suspended from the Labour Party merely for questioning Starmer or the ECHR, where are Toby Young and his free speech army?

And the University example. Now universities can be fined if they teach kids 'ant British' or 'woke' agendas. That's an obvious curtailment of free speech. Again, where is Toby Young?


Really? This example might be mildly overblown (albeit of relevence given its tax payers money being wasted on this non-problem) i forget the name of the book but it was on the topic of internet shaming (bullying) something that various actvisit groups have taken up with a vengeance. Both sides do it, especially in America, but from the publicized cases it would seem to be the "woke" crowd who get up to it the most and see it through to the most obscene ends. As i said, forcing someone onto the street is not an acceptable response to someone being a **** online.

I don't see how one hospital using the term 'chestfeeding' to apply to only trans men, while still using the term breastfeeding to apply to cis women in any way, shape or form, costs the taxpayer money. It was a complete nothing story, yet they wya people overreacted you'd have thigh they banned the term 'breastfeeding'. They didn't, its just that people are so eager to be outraged they don't bother to read the actual story.


As i said, both sides do it but from where one is sitting its the "progressives" who do it the most. After all, switch on any news outlet with a controversy and its always the progressive crowd demanding their head, public shaming in the streets (ideally in a GoT themed way) and generally trying to ruin them. Take that woman who made a tasteless joke about aids, did she deserve to be doxed and have her life imploded? No that was a grotesque over reaction despite her idiotic tweet. People need to learn to not use twitter etc. as a filterless mouthpiece for their inner monologue but it is a fairly well substantiated fact that 'progressives' and activists are the main culprits in this.

I agree it happens on both side. I agree that hounding people out of a job is generally awful. I just don't agree at all that it is predominantly 'progressives'. The right are every bit as bad.

[/quote]
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DSilva
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(Original post by harrysbar)
PRSOM
Fining universities for being 'anti British' or woke is the definition of a curtailment on free speech.
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Napp
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#75
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(Original post by DSilva)
Not really. The govt still allows schools to use pro-capitalost sources so why can they not use anti capitalist ones? Why allow schools to use pro capitalist propganada but not use sources from an opposing view?
Where exactly is this 'pro capitalist propaganda'? Merely being from a capitalist source (the basis of our society) does not ipso facto make it propaganda..
As to the other question, because one is useful for society and the other is positively, at best, unhelpful and at worst harmful to their education. Outside of teaching the failings of communism at any rate.
That's a clear example of curtailing free speech yet Toby Young and his organisation had absolutely nothing to say about it. They don't care about free speech when opinions or people they oppose of are being banned.
Again, you're using a facetious example, i assume youre doing this knowingly as to not know the difference between these is troubling.
Take another example. Quite a few Jewish people are being kicked out or suspended from the Labour Party merely for questioning Starmer or the ECHR, where are Toby Young and his free speech army?
Have they signed up to his union? No. Then their problems are there own. Please stop with these faulty examples though. You and i both know theyre facetious.
And the University example. Now universities can be fined if they teach kids 'ant British' or 'woke' agendas. That's an obvious curtailment of free speech. Again, where is Toby Young?
You have a bit of a thing for Young dont you? I think you'll find the idea of free speech goes somewhat beyond one man you have a rabid hatred for.
I'm curious though, what sort of risible argument is advocating teaching an anti-british curriculum? Like does this honestly need explaining to you not only why this example is farsical but why no one should advocate teaching it? Or do you think we should be teaching nazi ideaology in classrooms? (this being your point, no?)

I don't see how one hospital using the term 'chestfeeding' to apply to only trans men, while still using the term breastfeeding to apply to cis women in any way, shape or form, costs the taxpayer money. It was a complete nothing story, yet they wya people overreacted you'd have thigh they banned the term 'breastfeeding'. They didn't, its just that people are so eager to be outraged they don't bother to read the actual story.
Because the consultants and what not who dreamt up this claptrap are paid for by the hospital, as is the 'training' to ensure it is implemented.
Maybe so but in terms of outrage youre on thin ice given the raging against Mr Young in the prior posts... pots and kettles there.


I agree it happens on both side. I agree that hounding people out of a job is generally awful. I just don't agree at all that it is predominantly 'progressives'. The right are every bit as bad.
By all means, show me some examples, i am happy to be proved wrong on this but given almost every example i have seen tends to be some pathetic "progressive" sort demanding the sacking/cyber lynching of someone on spurious grounds like homo/transphone, sexism, classism, colourism or some other nonsense whilst the only right wing specific ones i can think of tend to originate in the states. As i said, that isnt to say the right arent guilty of some, with calls for certain 'woke' teachers to be sacked but there is a quantiative difference between the two. The right being a few angry talking heads running their mouths a bit and nothing happening whilst the "progressives" seem to have turned it into a quasi-indiustry of identifying people to destroy and ensuring its done. If nothing else i'll give them props for their ability to organise and silence dissent (note near every academic who has lost their posts has been due to the left wing mob) to try and equate the two is either disingenuous or arising from a questionable full spectrum grasp of the case examples.
This coming from someone who finds both the 'left' and 'right' tedious in the extreme, before you accuse me of being a secret tory sent to slander the left. Alas, the revolting americanisation of politics has reached England with all the attendant ignorance they have internalised. Merely look supposedly educated student activists calling the British government and civil service fascists and racists and demanding it be torn down.

Either way, i digrese. The point is it is a rather obvious fact (merely look at the BBC webpage) that it is the "progressive" extremists (i still find it ironic that the ''progressive' movement has more in common with authoritarians than any social equity) who are the ones out destroying lives. By all means though, find me examples of the right exceeding the left in terms of lynchings and cyber bullying? I cant think of many examples to be honest.. heaven forfend someone say that there are only 2 genders and promptly find themselves ruined. I'm still surprised that you're trying to defend this, namely by saying 'what about the right doing it' though.
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Napp
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#76
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#76
(Original post by DSilva)
Fining universities for being 'anti British' or woke is the definition of a curtailment on free speech.
No it isnt... and you know it isnt. In this context being 'woke' is the silencing of opinions/thoughts they dont agree with, ordering a university to not ban people from speaking is ipso facto not curtailing free speech.

In terms of universities undermining the social fabric of the country though? Why would you support that? Or is this your support for universities peddling the CCP line? Either way it seems this needs explaining to you. There is a difference between univsersities teaching the history and policies of the UK warts and all (right and proper), this is not the same as a university giving an airbrushed version of the topics that seeks to present the nation as worse than Hitler - it is self evident that this is not eaching as opposed to indoctrinating malleable young minds. It would seem completely proper to stop such behaviour. Or would you be perfectly happy to see the promotion of right wing ideas in universities and the eradication of any leftwing point of view (this being what the policy seeks to address).

This does all lead to one simple question though, do you think students are smart enough to be able to make their own decisions on a balanced curriculum or that theyre too dimwitted and need to be spoon fed Maoist, translobby and black nationalist propaganda? (these seeming to be the big three at issue).
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by Napp)
What makes you think they'll just not invite anybody as opposed to go ahead with it and ignore the whining of the Twitterati types?
It would avoid controversy. Isn't that one of the reasons why SUs / universities listen to "the whining of the Twitterati types"?
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Napp
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
It would avoid controversy. Isn't that one of the reasons why SUs / universities listen to "the whining of the Twitterati types"?
Depends how you define controversy now doesnt it? Personally i wouldnt call some uppity "snowflake" (pardon the term) complaining about a so called violent thought and someones mere presence making them feel "in danger" particularly controversial as opposed to offensively entitled. One persons lack of a spine should not negatively impact dozens of other students desire to learn about the topic and life.
Now if the university decided to invite a criminal, NAMBLA advocate or some such .. that would be controversial and that i would happily side with banning them (although maybe not the criminal depending on the context).

Seriously, how can you defend the practice of de-platforming an opposing opinion in a university of all places? We're not even talking about particularly controversial types. If these "students" can't handle an opposing view they should be kicked out of the institution forthwith. If for no other reason than to protect their, self admitted, extremely fragile mental health. After all, if the mere sight of a professor or minister sends them into paroxysms of anxiety a place where different views being argued over is its raison detre is not the place for them now is it?
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harrysbar
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#79
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#79
(Original post by DSilva)
Fining universities for being woke is the definition of a curtailment on free speech.
No it isn't the very definition of a curtailment on free speech as it's predominantly the woke brigade trying to silence people from expressing their opinion, which is why the goverment have decided that the more extreme examples should be reined in. It's healthy to question someone else for having an opinion you disagree with but it's not healthy to villainize them in the way that the woke brigade increasingly do as this could be seen as just another form of bullying.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by Napp)
Depends how you define controversy now doesnt it? Personally i wouldnt call some uppity "snowflake" (pardon the term) complaining about a so called violent thought and someones mere presence making them feel "in danger" particularly controversial as opposed to offensively entitled. One persons lack of a spine should not negatively impact dozens of other students desire to learn about the topic and life.
Now if the university decided to invite a criminal, NAMBLA advocate or some such .. that would be controversial and that i would happily side with banning them (although maybe not the criminal depending on the context).

Seriously, how can you defend the practice of de-platforming an opposing opinion in a university of all places? We're not even talking about particularly controversial types. If these "students" can't handle an opposing view they should be kicked out of the institution forthwith. If for no other reason than to protect their, self admitted, extremely fragile mental health. After all, if the mere sight of a professor or minister sends them into paroxysms of anxiety a place where different views being argued over is its raison detre is not the place for them now is it?
It doesn't matter how I would define controversy, that's up to universities and student unions. Clearly 'uppity snowflakes' and 'whining Twitterati types' are enough to warrant a controversy in the minds of universities and student unions, otherwise cancel culture and "woke" culture wouldn't exist and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

So, to answer your earlier point, it would be far easier for universities and SUs to just not invite people than it would be to face controversy or risk fines.
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