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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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censorship

Facebook Algorithm Accuses 81-Year-Old Grandmother of “Hate Speech” Over Knitted Pigs Comment

Threatens to ban her account.

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Rita Rich-Mulcahy

Facebook’s algorithm flagged an 81-year-old grandmother’s comments about knitted pigs as an example of “hate speech” and threatened her with a permanent ban.

Yes, really.

After losing her husband last year, Rita Rich-Mulcahy, a retired teacher who lives in Australia, created the Facebook page to share with the world her love of knitting and raise money for The Smith Family charity, which helps disadvantaged children.

After posting a picture of her own knitted pigs, Rich-Mulcahy referred to them as “white pigs” and “high-viz pigs,” resulting in the threat to terminate her account over “hate speech.”

“It may seem a small thing to most people, but to someone who had never even had an overdue library book, being charged with using hate speech was frightening,” said Rich-Mulcahy.

Facebook issued a statement asserting that its automated system flagging the comments was a “mistake” that its AI “sometimes” makes.

The story once again illustrates how Facebook’s censorship algorithm, which gets stricter almost by the day as a result of relentless mainstream media hysteria, is completely broken.

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Twitter Blocks Links to CPAC Website

Users told link is “unsafe.”

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Twitter is blocking links to the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) website, with users being told they are sharing an “unsafe” URL.

CPAC is an annual political conference attended by activists, journalists and elected officials from the United States.

The organization’s 2021 gathering will get underway tomorrow Orlando, Florida, with former President Donald Trump scheduled as the headline speaker.

However, Twitter users attempting to access CPAC’s website from the social media platform are now shown a warning that tells them clicking the link “may be unsafe.”

The warning message goes on to list four categories, which includes “violent or misleading content that could lead to real-world harm.”

Users are still able to get to the website, but they have to agree to continue at their own risk.

Back in October, Twitter caused controversy by blocking a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s alleged attempts to influence his father, Joe Biden, to shut down a probe into Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

The company claimed the story violated their “hacked materials” policy but did an about-face after CEO Jack Dorsey admitted that blocking URLs without context was “wrong.”

However, even after admitting its error, Twitter then blocked a follow-up story about Hunter Biden’s alleged effort to get his father a cut of a deal involving Shanghai-based CEFC China Energy Co.

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Democrats Demand To Know Why Cable Companies Don’t CENSOR Conservative Media

“Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, OANN, and Newsmax on your platform both now and beyond the renewal date? If so, why?”

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Steve Watson

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In a blatant attempt to pressure cable providers to censor conservative media, Democrats have penned a letter demanding to know what they intend to do about certain channels, including Fox and Newsmax, spreading ‘disinformation’.

The letter sent Monday by California Democrats Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney also asked satellite and digital TV providers “Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, OANN, and Newsmax on your platform both now and beyond the renewal date? If so, why?”

The letter, which claimed the networks have spread ‘conspiracy theories’ regarding the election, was sent to Comcast, AT&T, Spectrum, Dish, Verizon, Cox and Altice, as well as digital carriers Amazon, Apple, Google, Hulu and Roku. 

The Democrats also accused conservative networks of “encouragement or incitement of violence.”

Eshoo and McNerney head the subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which will hold a hearing on “traditional media’s role in promoting disinformation and extremism” on Wednesday. 

A press release for the hearing declared that there is an “increasing reliance on conspiracy theories and misleading or patently false information” among conservative news networks, and this “raises questions about their devotion to journalistic integrity.”

Republican Brendan Carr, who sits on the Federal Communications Commission, described the Democrats’ letter as “a chilling transgression” of free speech rights.

Carr added that Democrats are “sending a message that is as clear as it is troubling—these regulated entities will pay a price if the targeted newsrooms do not conform to Democrats’ preferred political narratives.”

Carr called for the FCC to “join me in publicly denouncing this attempt to stifle political speech and independent news judgment.” 

The response on social media to the letter was led by independent journalist Glenn Greenwald:

Others noted that AT&T is the parent company of CNN, so censoring that networks direct rivals would be a bold move:

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