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to think this country has got very ban-happy

(28 Posts)
OTheHugeManatee Thu 10-Dec-15 10:55:56

Every day I see another petition to ban this, boycott that, no-platform the other. Often just because someone's said something a bit off-colour.

Personally I like my dickheads out in the open where I can see them. And if someone has controversial views, they should be debated, not banned.

AIBU to think it's a bit worrying?

stairbears Thu 10-Dec-15 11:14:13

Broadly agree, though depends on the context.

Iain Lee got the sack from BBC local radio for calling some Christian people bigots. Ofcom received 6 complaints but a Christian online forum asked its members to bombard the radio station with outrage.

His crime? They said homosexual people were sinners. He rightfully called them bigots.

PaulAnkaTheDog Thu 10-Dec-15 11:14:42

The problem is something always offends someone. People used to ignore the nonsense but now it's pandered to.

TheHiphopopotamus Thu 10-Dec-15 12:18:37

I agree OP. This trend seems especially rife in universities these days. I wonder what these precious little snowflakes are going to be like when they enter the real world and they come across an opinion that they disagree with and they find they're unable to retreat into a 'safe space' and they have to actually confront it.

I find Tyson Fury's views absolutely repulsive but (and I expect a flaming here) weirdly refreshing that he doesn't toe the party line as it were. And, I repeat, I disagree with him in every single way. But at least I know he's a knobhead now.

OTheHugeManatee Thu 10-Dec-15 12:50:49

Hiphopopatumus - agree with you about Fury. I prefer my dickheads out where I can see them. And in my personal experience hiding prejudice under speech codes does bugger all to actually change people's ideas. The worst sexism I've ever experienced was in very PC workplaces.

Sexists, racists etc, are going to be just as sexist or racist whether they are allowed to speak openly or not. And if they're forbidden from speaking they feel aggrieved, whisper among themselves, and the ideas erupt with greater vigour elsewhere.

ghostyslovesheep Thu 10-Dec-15 13:28:06

no I disagree - not giving people a public platform to talk hateful shit isn't stopping them from saying it - it's just not helping them publicise it

and I agree with that

Blacktealeaves Thu 10-Dec-15 13:29:39

Broadly agree with dickheads in the open where I can see them.

Banning people only gives them a reason to moan and say they are unfairly treated.

PiperChapstick Thu 10-Dec-15 13:34:32

It depends on the context. Banning a homophobic sexist sportsman from being given an honour that commends him as a person? Fine. Banning sudocrem because one child had a bad reaction to it, not taking into account the fact that maybe it was a one-off - totally ridiculous

Babycham1979 Thu 10-Dec-15 13:34:51

YADNBU op. It's like society has started to revert after years of progress. There's an excellent Francis Wheen book called How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World, where he tries to dissect this phenomenon.

It saddens me that centuries after the Enlightenment, and decades after universal sufferage and civil rights, the fundamental European values that millions died and fought for are being thrown away, partly in the name of superstition, partly in the name of 'offense'. As previously discussed on here, the irony isn't lost on me that many of the societal and individual proponents of this censoriousness are the very ones that originally fought for freedom of thought, expression and belief (non-conformist religions, feminists, LGBTQ activists etc etc etc).

Very depressing.

ghostyslovesheep Thu 10-Dec-15 13:40:00

But it's not stopping freedom - it's not stopping people saying awful things - it's just not giving them free publicity

do you think holocaust deniers or people who think being gay is akin to being a child abuser should be given free publicity in publicly funded organisations like Universities?

They will say those things anyway - no one is stopping them - I think it's almost reverse Godwins with the right at the moment to pretend 'the left' (and most ordinary decent non lefty people) are 'banning' people from having 'freedom of speech' - your idiots will still be very visible - without giving them extra platforms on which to preach

it's hyperbole really

GloriaSmellens Thu 10-Dec-15 13:42:49

So do you agree with Tyson Fury being on the shortlist for SPOTY then?

GloriaSmellens Thu 10-Dec-15 13:43:41

Sorry that question was to the OP

Loftsequin Thu 10-Dec-15 13:45:14

On the whole I agree

OTheHugeManatee Thu 10-Dec-15 13:54:28

Gloria I don't really care whether Tyson Fury is on the shortlist for SPOTY or not. Certainly most of the other nominees are vanishingly bland, and in contrast he definitely has a personality hmm But as it's decided by the votes of the public, why not give him enough rope to hang himself? I don't think his are majority views and I don't think the majority of British viewers particularly like them and hence are unlikely to vote for him.

Stopping him from even speaking betrays a very parternalistic view of the public, as though we might either be irreparably emotionally harmed by 'hateful' utterances. Or perhaps that the public is so moronic and sheep-like that we'll start spouting similar ideas ourselves, like a sort of BNP zombie horde. Both of these ideas are ridiculous. There's no need to infantilise the public and I think it's unhealthy for political life and the quality of debate when people try.

MaidOfStars Thu 10-Dec-15 13:54:44

I support free speech, and the rights of others to respond appropriately (refuse to host, strip honours, boycott, whatever).

TheHiphopopotamus Thu 10-Dec-15 13:57:33

do you think holocaust deniers or people who think being gay is akin to being a child abuser should be given free publicity in publicly funded organisations like Universities?

Or people like the respected academic and feminist Germaine Greer who was recently no platformed for having the perfectly reasonable view that trans women are not real women? That's not hate speech that's scientific fact and yet she was banned from speaking on a wholly different topic.

OTheHugeManatee Thu 10-Dec-15 13:58:32

Maid I agree with you that free speech should be for everyone. But I don't think stripping honours, boycotting or whatever is an 'appropriate' response to speech you don't like. Debate, yes. But boycotts, withdrawal of nominations and the like are not about engaging and debating unpleasant ideas but punishing them. That doesn't improve the quality of debate, doesn't even challenge the unpleasant ideas, it just attempts to shut them down by force of public opinion. I don't think that is healthy.

MephistophelesApprentice Thu 10-Dec-15 14:04:53

Personally, I find all this banning appropriate but I'm an unashamed radical totalitarian. The fact that all these people calling for censorship (because that's EXACTLY what is being promoted) have the gall to call themselves democrats, or supporters of free speech, is deeply amusing to me.

ghostyslovesheep Thu 10-Dec-15 14:07:46

yes Hippo and there where calls to 'ban' her as well!

ghostyslovesheep Thu 10-Dec-15 14:10:34

sorry misread your post - I think they had a point though - she's not banned from having those views or saying what she thinks is she? She's just not given a platform by some places

I don't see the issue with it - if a nazi sympathiser wanted to talk about pig farming at a Uni I'd feel the same - I wouldn't want them to have a platform or publicity

If they wrote a book about pig farming I wouldn't buy it - but that wouldn't stop them writing it

howtorebuild Thu 10-Dec-15 14:16:21

If people want to sign a petition and have their voice heard then good for them.

I didn't sign the Trump petition as personally it would make me as bad as him. I am looking forward to the parliamentary debate.

I like free speech.

Babycham1979 Thu 10-Dec-15 14:30:59

*sorry misread your post - I think they had a point though - she's not banned from having those views or saying what she thinks is she? She's just not given a platform by some places

I don't see the issue with it - if a nazi sympathiser wanted to talk about pig farming at a Uni I'd feel the same - I wouldn't want them to have a platform or publicity*

But if people hadn't been given the freedom to voice unpopular or deeply controversial opinions in the past, where would we be? Homosexuality would still be illegal; the ANC wouldn't have overthrown apartheid rule (branded terrorists by the Tory government in the 80s).

MaidOfStars Thu 10-Dec-15 14:46:10

But boycotts, withdrawal of nominations and the like are not about engaging and debating unpleasant ideas but punishing them

Well, I see it as a refusal by a private group of people to align themselves with the unpleasant views being spouted. I'm not advocating that the government control such things, but I'm perfectly happy to allow a Scottish university to remove an honorary degree, for example. The BBC SPOTY thing is a little complicated because the theme of the award has zero to do with the unpleasantness and the BBC has an odd relationship with the government.

I support free speech and freedom of association. I would allow anybody a platform to speak (including Holocaust deniers), because I value free speech more absolutely. But I would certainly allow boycotts of the speaker, even loud protests or egg throwing

TheHiphopopotamus Thu 10-Dec-15 14:51:38

The fact that all these people calling for censorship (because that's EXACTLY what is being promoted) have the gall to call themselves democrats, or supporters of free speech, is deeply amusing to me

Quite. Take Donald Trump. He wants to ban Muslims from entering the USA. So someone (in all seriousness) starts a petition to ban Donald Trump from entering this country. Do they not see the irony?

cardibach Thu 10-Dec-15 15:06:12

I think that petition is deliberately ironic, isn't it? To point out how ridiculous he is. That's how I read it. Is this like having to put 'lighthearted' in thread titles?
People don't seem to understand the terms 'ban' and 'free speech'. Take the Lord's Prayer in cinemas thing. It isn't banned, they just haven't shown it because it's against their policy. Free speech simply means you won't be arrested for talking about your stupid ideas beliefs, not that anyone has to actually listen!

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