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Study: “Cancel Culture” Decimating Free Speech At World’s Leading Universities

“Academics cannot speak freely of the leading subjects of their day including on race, gender, the outcomes of elections, their views on religion, or on discrimination itself for fear of judgements that lead to eventual penalty or censorship”

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A study by leading education focused think tank Civitas has found that free speech at the world’s leading universities is being eroded at an alarming rate owing to the rise of “cancel culture”.

The study found that within the past three years, more than 68 per cent of universities in the UK have seen free speech severely restricted, with academics unable to meaningfully discuss the nuances of issues such as race and gender.

The report notes that universities including Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews, three of the world’s premiere institutions are among those that have fallen into a “red” category for free speech following instances of “no platforming” of scheduled speakers.

The study warns that the situation has gotten so severe that it requires government legislation to stop campus censorship at 48 universities, the equivalent of at least 35 per cent of institutions.

Civitas noted that a further 70 institutions, over half, placed into a “amber category”, have experienced restrictions on freedom of expression that should be looked into by university watchdog The Office for Students.

Researchers noted that freedom of speech “could be curbed by perceived transphobic episodes” in an alarming number of institutions, and that a “cancel culture” of open letters and or petitions from “external pressure groups” is eroding free speech.

Lead researcher Jim McConalogue noted “Our findings suggest that 86 per cent of universities faced either severe or moderate free speech restrictions which need to be addressed.”

“The fundamental issue must be dealt with because students and academics find themselves in educational institutions in which they cannot speak freely of the leading subjects of their day including on race, gender, the outcomes of elections, their views on religion, or on discrimination itself for fear of judgements that lead to eventual penalty or censorship,” McConalogue explained.

A previous Civitas report, published last month, found that “The racialisation of campus relations is driving a wedge between students and undermines any sense of our common humanity”.

The report also noted that there is no statistical evidence that ‘ethnicity’ determines the educational attainment of higher education students:

The latest Civitas study was undertaken before another prominent incident at Cambridge University, with dons rejecting ‘authoritarian guidelines’ from the university that decreed opinions should be “respectful of the diverse identities of others”.

Academics instead said they will promote ‘tolerance’ of differing opinions, and are backing amendments to make it more difficult for public speakers to be ‘no-platformed’ based on their beliefs and opinions.

In one particular incident, some students at Clare College, Cambridge, attempted to get a city councillor (who is also a porter at the college) fired for refusing to support a pro-trans motion.

The decimation of free speech at universities has become so severe that the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced earlier this year that stamping out ‘no platforming’ was a top priority.

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Williamson has warned that legislation for new laws against censorship will have to be introduced if the trend continues.

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DeSantis Threatens Congressional Action if Apple Boots Twitter From App Store

Blasts company for helping CCP crush dissent in China.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blasted Apple for helping the Communist Chinese Party crush dissent while apparently planning to do the same in America by kicking Twitter off the app store.

DeSantis made the comments after Elon Musk indicated he was going to war with the iPhone maker following the revelation that Apple was threatening to delete Twitter from its app store over Musk’s support for free speech.

The Florida Governor noted that Apple’s threat was made shortly before an expected ban amnesty on Twitter was due to take place that would have seen countless unfairly suspended accounts return to the platform.

“If Apple responds to that by nuking them from the App Store, I think that would be a huge, huge mistake and it would be a really raw exercise of monopolistic power that I think would merit a response from the United States Congress,” DeSantis said.

He also cited reports that Apple was restricting the AirDrop feature in China, preventing protesters against Beijing’s brutal ‘zero COVID’ lockdown from communicating with each other.

“Don’t be a vassal of the [Chinese Communist Party] on one hand and then use your corporate power in the United States on the other to suffocate Americans and try to suppress their right to express themselves,” DeSantis said.

The Florida Governor noted that many of the unfairly suspended Twitter accounts had been nuked for “putting out accurate information about COVID,” accusing “the old regime” on Twitter of trying to “suffocate the dissent” surrounding lockdowns and vaccine mandates.

On Monday, Musk also revealed that Apple had stopped advertising on Twitter, presumably in preparation for taking further action.

Speculation over app stores potentially targeting Twitter intensified after Apple executive Phil Schiller deactivated his Twitter account for no apparent reason days after Donald Trump was restored to the platform.

As we document in the video below, Apple has a history of helping the Chinese government snuff out protest movements, so for them to do it in the west wouldn’t be a huge surprise.

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Twitter Stops Enforcing COVID-19 Misinformation Policy

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Twitter will no longer enforce its Covid-19 misinformation policy, under which users who deviated from prevailing establishment narratives frequently had their accounts locked or suspended.

The longstanding policy did not apply to misinformation from government officials, who regularly lied about things such as transmission, masks, vaccine efficacy, side effects, or any of the other ‘science’ which turned out to be patently false.

Twitter did not officially announce the change, rather, the company added a note to a page on its website outlining its Covid-19 policy.

Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy,” reads the note, which follows a line that still reads: “As the global community faces the COVID-19 pandemic together, Twitter is helping people find reliable information, connect with others, and follow what’s happening in real time.”

What’s more, Sky News reports that the company’s Covid-19 ‘misleading information’ policy was nuked, which showed that the company operated on a strike system in which those who had a label added to their tweets were given one strike, while those with deleted tweets were given two strikes. Users with two to three strikes would have a 12-hour lockout, while those with four strikes were permanently suspended.

The platform suspended more than 11,000 accounts and removed nearly 98,000 pieces of content for violating its COVID misinformation policy between January 2022 and September 2022, according to information published by Twitter.

The site also reduced the visibility of tweets or accounts believed to be in violation of the policy by stopping tweets or retweets from those accounts appearing in certain parts of Twitter, displaying their replies in lower positions in conversations and excluding their tweets or account from recommendations on the site. -Sky News

Of note, half of Twitter’s content moderation, human rights and communications teams were laid off when new owner Elon Musk took over. Hundreds more left after Musk issued an ultimatum to staff requiring them to sign up for “long hours at high intensity” or leave.

Meanwhile…

This post originally appeared at Zero Hedge

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F**k Apple

Trying to kick Elon’s Twitter off the app store.

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Who made Apple the Praetorian Guards of the Internet?

Why should they have a monopoly over permissible content when 97.5% of their donations go to Democrats?

And who made them moral arbiters of anything given what they get up to in China?

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