Free Speech

In The Online War On Terror, How Do We Protect Digital Freedoms?

Philip Ellis | Posted 24.10.2016 | UK Tech
Philip Ellis

In a bid to stem the tide of digital radicalisation by terrorist groups such as Islamic State, the European Parliament has approved plans for new legislation which will allow rapid and widespread removal of extremist content from the internet. Digital rights activists are up in arms over the decision, which they fear will lead to private organisations policing and censoring internet users with impunity.

Safe Spaces And The 'Right' To Be Offended

Simon Sapper | Posted 28.09.2016 | UK Politics
Simon Sapper

I think you can't and shouldn't vaccinate or insulate yourself against being offended. But in these highly insecure times, you can't be surprised if people try. Safe spaces are surely a symptom more than anything else.

PMQs: Theresa May Calls Safe Spaces "Quite Extraordinary" Amid Free Speech Row

The Huffington Post | Martha Gill | Posted 14.09.2016 | UK Politics

At PMQs today Theresa May called safe spaces “extraordinary” and said universities should instead be places of “open debate”. “Everybody is ...

Politicising Empathy: On Safe Spaces, Mental Health, And Chicago

David Browne | Posted 02.09.2016 | UK Universities & Education
David Browne

One's measure of empathy and compassion - or one's presumptive mental health, for that matter - cannot and should not be judged on the basis of whether they agree with proliferating trigger warnings or politicised "safe space" saviourism.

Facebook, Feudalism, and Civil Rights for Memes?

Sam Harrison | Posted 15.08.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Sam Harrison

Friday 2PM CST use this overlay on your profile pic This week, a worldwide, several-day protest was begun against a hated power whose unaccountable ...

A Handy Guide To The #FreeMilo 'Free Speech' And Trolling Debate

The Huffington Post | Christopher York | Posted 20.07.2016 | UK

The permanent suspension of controversial rightwing pundit Milo Yiannopoulos from Twitter has sparked a lively social media debate over trolling and f...

Brazil's Record-Beating Year: Bloggers Attacked, Broadcasters Killed

Thomas Hughes | Posted 03.05.2016 | UK
Thomas Hughes

In many ways, Brazil is at a crucial crossroads: the shocking increase in attacks must provide the impetus to improve investigations and protection of communicators at all levels of Brazilian political, social, and economic life.

The NUS Is Only Half the Problem

Ellie Spawton | Posted 27.04.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Ellie Spawton

We simply cannot do this if we obsess over this new victim mentality, seeking offense where none is intended. We cannot do this if we refuse to allow those we disagree with to speak. This is a generation of intellectual cowards; whether the NUS disaffiliation campaigns are successful or not, nothing will change until we do.

No Platform: Is Free Speech Worse Than Murder With Machetes?

Roger Dubar | Posted 26.04.2016 | UK
Roger Dubar

Does anyone really think that marking people for exclusion helps win arguments? Or increases tolerance? Or makes the world a better place? Or makes the world safer for those with minority views or opinions or customs? I don't. If you disagree, please, do tell me where you think I'm going wrong.

We Need to Encourage Free Speech at UK Universities, Not Silence

Matt Monk | Posted 25.04.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Matt Monk

We need more motions like motion 314, and less that ban our media, social or otherwise, from doing its job - informing and giving freedom to those who want to voice to be heard when they tell their opposing opinions. We need to encourage free speech at UK universities, not silence.

Hitchens at 67: Our Student Leaders Have Learned Nothing From His Defence of Free Speech

David Browne | Posted 20.04.2016 | UK Universities & Education
David Browne

Wednesday would have been the late Christopher Hitchens's 67th birthday. Perhaps the most prominent of the Four Horsemen of New Atheism in his lifetim...

If I May Say So...

Jennifer Evans | Posted 19.04.2016 | UK Lifestyle
Jennifer Evans

As a lesbian living in today's society freedom of speech is a tool I hold dear to my heart. In the UK the LGBTQ community, by law, has the luxury of freedom of speech; some of us are able to embrace it and use it for all its worth. Some of us are not so able to.

Why the Anti-lobbying Clause Is a Threat to Free Speech

Nick Trench | Posted 19.04.2016 | UK Politics
Nick Trench

One last thought. A concerted public protest needs to be mounted soon. Because after May 1st the clause itself will disallow publicly funded bodies from campaigning for its withdrawal.

Europe: A Bastion of Moderate and Temperate Speech? No Thanks

Thomas Hughes | Posted 18.04.2016 | UK Politics
Thomas Hughes

For Jan Böhmermann the German comedian at the centre of the current row, it's more than tricky. He faces three years imprisonment for insulting a Head of State, under paragraph 103 of the German Criminal Code.

Dreadlocks, North Korea, and the Zenith of Identity Politics

David Browne | Posted 07.04.2016 | UK Universities & Education
David Browne

Last week in the United States, the spectre of identity politics reared its ugly head once more, as a white student at San Francisco State University ...

Safe Spaces Are Not Demanding Very Much

Imogen Wilson | Posted 06.04.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Imogen Wilson

Common sense and free speech ultimately prevailed, and what happened to me was a glitch in an otherwise important, inclusive and functional policy. I'm not afraid to stand up to the tweeter who claimed I was worse than Putin and Assad combined, and I certainly won't apologise for defending discrimination-free spaces.

'Free Speech', Is It? Give It a Rest, Pal

Lucy Gill | Posted 05.04.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Lucy Gill

No-one in this discussion is honestly questioning anyone's "right" to hold such views - they are simply pointing out the ramifications of doing so. "No platform" calls - when actually made - are often taken by those who already feel marginalised and want to kick back against that which they consider to be a negative or oppressive force.

I Shouldn't Have to Force My University to Be Accountable to Its Students

Rebecca Pinnington | Posted 05.04.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Rebecca Pinnington

No one should have to force them into being accountable; this should be a decision they make freely with the students' interests at heart - if there's one thing my case can achieve, I hope it's the beginnings of a more democratic and considerate university.

Protestors Sabotage Comedian's Free Speech Event In Disagreement With Her Views

The Huffington Post | George Bowden | Posted 01.04.2016 | UK Universities & Education

A comedian has had her free speech-themed set at Goldsmiths College ruined by protestors - because they disagreed with her. Kate Smurthwaite believed ...

Safe Spaces Are a Symptom of Student Support Failings

Ed Pinkney | Posted 01.04.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Ed Pinkney

Instead of criticising the methods of those students stepping up to try and help their peers, we can admire their compassion, and respect their determination to plug a failing support system. And if civil liberties campaigners don't want this to deteriorate into censorship then they can join efforts to make sure that adequate support exists.

Student Subjected To 'Safe Space' Vote Simply For Raising Her Hand

The Huffington Post UK | Catherine Wyatt | Posted 01.04.2016 | UK Universities & Education

A student at Edinburgh University received a "ludicrous" complaint after she raised her arms during a meeting. Imogen Wilson, Vice President for ac...

Political Correctness Is Bad: Discuss

Roger Dubar | Posted 30.03.2016 | UK Politics
Roger Dubar

Join me, friends, as I take you through what I think political correctness gets wrong, how it threatens the gains in the rights of women, gay people and minorities, and what we can do to make it right.

Does the UK Have a Free Speech Problem?

Toby Gould | Posted 25.03.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Toby Gould

It is essential that we are able to continue hearing and challenging views. There are some who choose to abuse their right to free speech by harassing and bullying others, but don't oppose free speech because of this - use your right to free speech to oppose their views.

Why Our Student Unions Can Never Be a 'Safe Space' for All

Leo Gibbons-Plowright | Posted 23.03.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Leo Gibbons-Plowright

Safe Space and No-platform policies are in essence pessimistic and defeatist. Their advocates see mainstream society as something to be feared and to be disengaged from. Our student unions are not challenging or defeating prejudice in wider society, they are simply cowering from it. And in doing so, they are letting down most the minority students they claim to be fighting for.

Students: Defend The Right-To-Debate!

Benjamin David | Posted 22.03.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Benjamin David

This year we have seen various feminists and LGBT-Rights defenders indicted as 'intolerable', 'encroachers of LGBT-rights' and, most worryingly, unfit...