Melon Farmers Original Version

Political Correctness vs. Free Speech


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Combative petitions...

A 50,000 signature petition calls for the sacking of Piers Morgan for offending transgender activists


Link Here17th May 2020
50,000 people have signed a petition calling for the sacking of Piers Morgan from his job presenting ITV's Good Morning Britain.

This comes after thousands of complaints were filed to Ofcom over numerous combative interviews he has had with politicians amid the coronavirus crisis.

The petition ludicrously claims that Morgan is one of the country's most heinous public figures. In particular, the petition organiser takes issue with his reporting on transgender issues. The petitioners say:

Wake up to the reality of Morgan's behaviour. Hate crimes are on the rise, transphobia and discrimination over gender identity is becoming commonplace both upon social media and in the real world, and ITV continue to sit idly and let it play out in the name of entertainment.

 

 

Offsite Article: My fears about the 'new normal'...


Link Here17th May 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
That new normal very often accepts, with a resigned fatalism, that a range of everyday, normal freedoms will need to be curtailed. By Claire Fox

See article from spectator.co.uk

 

 

Commented: Scotland hates free speech...

And so is enacting extreme legislation to silence the views of the people


Link Here15th May 2020
Full story: Blasphemy in Scotland...Scotland proproses a new blasphemy law in 2020
Scotland's government has joined the ranks of many others around the world who are actively working on constraining free speech by amending existing laws to make them even more oppressive than before.

The current law restricting 'hate crimes' is similar to that in England and Wales, covering threats, abuse, and insults.

But based on what's described as a hard-line report from 2018, Scotland's upgraded Hate Crime and Public Order Bill proposed by parliament now looks to change that and introduce three new offences,

  • The first will enable for prosecution of doing anything, or communicating any material, which is threatening or abusive and is intended or likely to engender hatred based on age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender or intersex identity.
  • Secondly having material of this kind in one's possession meant to be in any way communicated to others will in itself now be a crime,
  • and thirdly, managers in organizations of any type not acting to prevent the new set of criminalized behaviours will be criminalized themselves.
The proposals' critics say it is anti-liberal and must not be allowed to pass, pointing out that the bill takes the focus away from punishing acts of hostility based on their gravity regardless of who they target, and instead introduces a tiered approach, depending on groups that are designated as considered more 'worthy' of the victimhood status.

 

Offsite Comment: Scotland's new hate speech law will be too censorious

7th May 2020. See article from secularism.org.uk

Offsite Comment: Scotland's chilling new blasphemy law censorious

12th May 2020. See article from spectator.co.uk

The new Hate Crime Bill proposed by the Scottish Government is a sweeping threat to freedom of speech and conscience. By Stephen Daisley

Offsite Comment: Hate speech: blasphemy for the 21st century

15th May 2020. See article from spiked-online.com by Emma Webb

We must never give the state the power to criminalise speech.

 

 

Right speak...

Ofcom mandates the use of self proclaimed pronouns for trans people and a radio presenter's resignation is accepted as an appropriate penalty for transgression


Link Here11th May 2020
Paul Ellery in the Morning
Sunshine Radio
16 September 2019, 07:45

Sunshine Radio is a local radio station serving Hereford and Monmouthshire with music, speech, local news and information.

Paul Ellery in the Morning is a daily light-entertainment programme that includes discussions of news of the day.

Ofcom received a complaint that a presenter talked in a mocking manner about singer Sam Smith coming out as non-binary. After playing a Sam Smith track during the programme, the presenter Paul Ellery said:

I can't get over this that he [Sam Smith] says he doesn't identify with being male or female, so in future we have to call him 'they'. And I heard somebody on -- I think it was on BBC News Channel over the weekend -- saying, the easiest way to find out, Sam, if you're male or female or they, is to take your clothes off -- there we go you're definitely a boy!.

We considered Rule 2.3:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language, violence, sex, sexual violence, humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, and marriage and civil partnership). Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.

Sunshine FM described the programme as a live, unscripted one man show and stated that there was no production team or backroom staff involved in its broadcast. In response to Ofcom's Preliminary View, which was to record a breach of Rule 2.3, the Licensee said that the presenter had resigned from Sunshine Radio.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 2.3

In this case, the comments made by the presenter about Sam Smith were brief, which may have limited the potential for offence to some extent. However, they did not form part of a serious or considered discussion about issues related to gender identity and, at no point were his comments challenged, scrutinised or otherwise contextualised. Furthermore, the tone of the presenterís comments was mocking, dismissive and flippant towards Sam Smith's announcement that they were identifying as non-binary.

Noting that we only received one complaint from listeners about the presenter's comments, we considered that the above factors established the potential for the comments in question to cause offence.

Given the strength of the presenter's views on gender reassignment which had the potential to cause offence to listeners, and in particular, to members of the trans community, we considered that these comments were likely to have exceeded listeners' expectations of content on this local radio station. We therefore considered that there was insufficient context to justify the potentially offensive references to Sam Smith's gender.

We acknowledged the Licensee's position that the comments were not intended to offend listeners, and the presenter's acknowledgement that they were misjudged. However, regardless of the intent, in our view the comments had the potential to cause offence for the reasons set out above.

Ofcom was concerned by Sunshine FM's submission that other than the presenter, no other members of a production team or backroom staff were involved in the broadcast of the programme. We acknowledged the steps the Licensee has taken to improve compliance prior to the presenter's resignation, including the presenter undertaking compliance training and attending daily meetings to review content.

However, given all of the above, our Decision was that the content exceeded generally accepted standards, in breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.

 

 

Offsite Article: Press freedom in the time of Covid...


Link Here11th May 2020
Modern journalism ceased to try to report the facts. Instead it started to act almost as a teacher, standing by the reader's side, and guiding him or her towards the 'right' viewpoint. By Matthias Heitmann

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

'Journalism is missing the mood. We do not want or need blame'...

The whinging left cannot accept that anyone could possibly criticise their journalistic style, and so they assume that all the people retransmitting the widely held critical view must be bots


Link Here 9th May 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
 

A tweet has been doing the rounds over recent weeks noting widespread criticism of many of the journalists reporting about the coronavirus pandemic on the main TV channels. The tweet reads:

Journalism is missing the 'mood' in this great country of ours - the United Kingdom. We do not want or need blame.

We do not want constant criticism of our government who are doing their very best in a very difficult and unprecedented global emergency.

A longer version of this message has been shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter in recent weeks, including by high-profile public figures including Lord Alan Sugar.

Since then other high-profile figures, including several senior journalists and the football broadcaster Gary Lineker, have alleged that propaganda bots have been spreading this same message in order to drum up support for Boris Johnson's government.

But an article from buzzfeed.com analyses the bot claims and finds that in fact these are real people that are retransmitting the message that chimes with many.

But maybe the TV news folk didn't actually believe their own claims as they all suddenly stopped dogmatically banging on about a lack of PPE.

Read the full article from buzzfeed.com , it makes for a good debunking of the bot nonsense.

 

 

Offsite Article: We need to stop the spread of Big Tech censorship...


Link Here 9th May 2020
Facebook and YouTube must not be the arbiters of truth on Covid -- or anything else. By Tom Slater

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Oxford: how censorship breeds ignorance...

How can students challenge prejudice if they refuse to engage with it?


Link Here6th May 2020
Full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
 Oxford University has has rejected the Academic Hate Speech motion that was passed by Oxford SU student council.

The Academic Hate Speech Motion passed 28 votes to 11, with 10 abstentions. The motion proposes to create an SU Policy, titled Protection of Transgender, Non-binary, Disabled, Working-class, and Women Students from Hatred in University Contexts . The motion mandates the SU to condemn hateful material from being included in mandatory teaching, and to lobby for trigger warnings on readings lists and for lectures, tutorials, and examinations with content deemed prejudicial. It attracted no written debate.

The motion says that Any legal framework which does not criminalise speech that discriminates on transphobic, ableist, or misogynistic grounds is deficient, and should not be the starting point for university policy.

Oxford University responded with the statement:

Statement on the Importance of Free Speech

Free speech is the lifeblood of a university. It enables the pursuit of knowledge. It helps us approach truth. It allows students, teachers and researchers to become better acquainted with the variety of beliefs, theories and opinions in the world. Recognising the vital importance of free expression for the life of the mind, a university may make rules concerning the conduct of debate but should never prevent speech that is lawful.

Inevitably, this will mean that members of the University are confronted with views that some find unsettling, extreme or offensive. The University must therefore foster freedom of expression within a framework of robust civility. Not all theories deserve equal respect. A university values expertise and intellectual achievement as well as openness.

But, within the bounds set by law, all voices or views which any member of our community considers relevant should be given the chance of a hearing. Wherever possible, they should also be exposed to evidence, questioning and argument. As an integral part of this commitment to freedom of expression, we will take steps to ensure that all such exchanges happen peacefully.

With appropriate regulation of the time, place and manner of events, neither speakers nor listeners should have any reasonable grounds to feel intimidated or censored. It is this understanding of the central importance and specific roles of free speech in a university that will underlie the detailed procedures of the University of Oxford.

 

 

Sexy Honey Birdette advert cleared...

The Australian advert censor is not so easily offended as the UK counterpart


Link Here4th May 2020

This Instagram advertisement features a black and white image of a woman from behind. She is standing with her hands on her hips and is wearing a garter belt. Her buttocks are exposed. The caption with the image states, The ultimate bondage babe, KUKURO, selling fast online

A sample of comments which the complainant/s made regarding this advertisement included the following:

This is a sexualised, sexually objectifying image of a woman to sell a product. The woman's face is not shown, just a sexualised representation of her body. Her body and sexual appeal are therefore treated as representing her whole self and defining her worth. I object to this image because images that sexualise and objectify women, and determine a woman's value based on her sexual appeal and physical attractiveness.

The Panel noted the complainant's concern that the advertisement sexualises and objectifies the woman pictured. The Panel viewed the advertisement and noted the advertiser did not respond.

The Panel considered whether the advertisement was in breach of Section 2.2 of the Code. Section 2.2 of the Code states:

Advertising or marketing communications should not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative or degrading of any individual or group of people.

The Panel noted the complainant's concern that the advertisement sexually objectifies women by depicting a woman without showing her face, and that therefore her body and sexual appeal are treated as defining her worth.

The Panel first considered whether the advertisement used sexual appeal. The Panel considered the woman is depicted from behind wearing only a g-string and suspenders. The Panel considered that the advertisement did depict sexual appeal.

The Panel then considered whether the advertisement used sexual appeal in a manner that was exploitative of an individual or group of people. The Panel considered that it was clear from the advertisement that the product for sale was the lingerie, not the woman, and that the woman was not depicted as an object or commodity. The Panel noted that the woman's entire body is depicted and that the Wonder Woman pose is a position of power. The Panel considered that the advertisement is promoting the brand Honey Birdette as well as the lingerie, and that the depiction of the woman and the focus on her body is relevant to a brand which makes products for the female body and promotes the empowerment of women.

The Panel considered that the depiction of the woman without her face shown was not an attempt to suggest that she is an object or available for purchase, but rather was a creative choice relating to the theme and style of the photograph. The Panel considered that some members of the community may consider the depiction of a woman without her face shown, focusing instead on the lingerie being promoted, to be suggesting her worth is related to her body only. However the Panel considered that most members of the community would not have this interpretation of the advertisement, rather that is is portraying a lingerie product in a sexualised manner. Overall the Panel considered that the advertisement did not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative of the woman.

The Panel then considered whether the advertisement used sexual appeal in a manner that was degrading of an individual or group of people. The Panel considered that the woman is depicted in a powerful pose, and is standing with her shoulders back and head held high. The Panel noted that the image was sexualised with the depiction of the woman also showing her buttocks and between her legs from behind. However the Panel considered that the depiction of a woman wearing sexualised lingerie in this promotion for that style of lingerie was not a depiction which lowered the woman in character or quality. Overall the Panel considered that the advertisement did not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is degrading of the woman.

The Panel determined that the advertisement did not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is


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