I don't get it. Free Speech Under Threat At University? (Added Extra)

Parasondox

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Is it racist that I crossed the road when I saw a statue of a clown at 5:30 in the morning, by the bins in the cold darkness? Becaaaaaaaaaaaaause I know how this goes. Clown in the dark night of the street, black guy going to work at 5:30am. Yep. Victim of a serial killer right there. (Cute Pics on hiatus)

Sooooo, Uni's. How you doing? Enjoy the freedom and cash? Yeeeeeah. Seems nice. Well, what the fuck is this about?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35661362

I heard about this story a few weeks ago on the Wright Stuff. I like the show, sue me, and it baffles me. Banning free speech at a University. Isn't that against one of the points of University. To expand the mind. Debate, master debate and debate when your parents aren't around. And, you know, the occasional discussions with peers. That kind of stuff.

I think the main question is, are people afraid of debates. Are they afraid of opposing views? Have they lost point about what a discussion is about?

The United Kingdom. What the hell is going on on this island. UK includes Northern Ireland too, folks.

Added Extra: This news story came up yesterday which links perfectly to the topic at hand but in this case, what the person said wasn't on campus but on social media. So instead of showing you one article, here is a Google link to many.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=uni+student+banned+for+posting+about+gay+marriage&oq=uni+student+banned+for+posting+about+gay+marriage&aqs=chrome..69i57.33660j0j4&client=tablet-android-google&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

Interesting. As much his views are, as some would say, "old fashioned", did this person deserve to be expelled from Sheffield University. Once again, he is saying something that is no longer popular to so many but many others would agreed with. I dislike his views, it's filled with hate, but a ban from Uni? I don't know. Everything has a limit, that line you don't cross. Did he cross that line with his views?

Take in mind what he is studying is social work and that study/job would certainly clash with religious views.
 

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime

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Parasondox said:
I skimmed the article and it was too blatantly politically biased and based on misrepresentation for me to actually focus on reading it.

Still, refusing someone a platform isn't really censorship, they're not stopping people from saying what they believe, or what they want to say. What is happening is universities are telling that person they can't use university resources as a platform for their speech. You do realize that universities take in tuition and pay speakers who visit, right? Well no university is going to give a paid platform to someone who is going to piss off the student body, potentially causing students to change universities, or pick a different university in the future. This in no way hinders the freedom of speech of the speaker who they refused, it just says that speaker can't use the university's platform.

MarsAtlas said:
This is exactly on point for anything else I could say. So I'll just second that post.
 

Xeorm

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I'd say the recent no platforming is less a reaction against free speech, but a vast increase in activism and the methods for it. By denying someone a platform, they announce to others that they find what the speaker says to be unacceptable, and confirm to themselves and others that they have fought for their cause. It's not that the speech is bad, it's that activism is good.

Doesn't mean it's not censorship, nor that it's a good idea, but that seems to be the thinking behind it. Personally I find it abhorrent, that people view this as an acceptable method of activism, but ah well. Students are stupid, but still have their professors stuck following them.

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
Still, refusing someone a platform isn't really censorship, they're not stopping people from saying what they believe, or what they want to say. What is happening is universities are telling that person they can't use university resources as a platform for their speech. You do realize that universities take in tuition and pay speakers who visit, right? Well no university is going to give a paid platform to someone who is going to piss off the student body, potentially causing students to change universities, or pick a different university in the future. This in no way hinders the freedom of speech of the speaker who they refused, it just says that speaker can't use the university's platform.
For places that are supposed to be about giving students information and having those students then use that information to develop their worldview, not allowing others to speak is censorship, to a degree. No, it's not the absolute type of censorship that comes when a capable government censors its people, but it's still censorship. Moreover, would you be fine then if a speaker came to a school free of charge, and was still rebuffed?
 

Silvanus

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inu-kun said:
Before I jump in to this, are people banned from speaking in the university as a whole or speaking only at certain places (but have other places in the university to express their opinions publicly)? Since the first is legit censorship the second is not.
Neither (based on that article). It's referring to students voting on whether to deratify a University society (the "Free Speech Society"). No actual speech will be banned anywhere (at least, that's not what the article is about).
 

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime

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inu-kun said:
Before I jump in to this, are people banned from speaking in the university as a whole or speaking only at certain places (but have other places in the university to express their opinions publicly)? Since the first is legit censorship the second is not.
Universities, even state run ones still have a standard of behavior. You can't go on to a university and expect to be allowed to have a KKK rally. The people in question were barred from speaking at events, not from university campus, that doesn't mean they wouldn't get the boot if they started spewing hate speech.

Xeorm said:
I'd say the recent no platforming is less a reaction against free speech, but a vast increase in activism and the methods for it. By denying someone a platform, they announce to others that they find what the speaker says to be unacceptable, and confirm to themselves and others that they have fought for their cause. It's not that the speech is bad, it's that activism is good.

Doesn't mean it's not censorship, nor that it's a good idea, but that seems to be the thinking behind it. Personally I find it abhorrent, that people view this as an acceptable method of activism, but ah well. Students are stupid, but still have their professors stuck following them.
No, there are clear cases where people get refused a platform for spewing toxic hate speech.

I want to make this absolutely clear too. No one, absolutely no one is owed a platform for any speech. Even if we agree that it could be defined as censorship, the people speaking don't have some god given right to the platform. That's at the university's discretion entirely. The dishonest part is that the people who get denied a platform cry censorship and oppression, instead of doing what people actually fighting for a cause would do. Find another platform themselves, even if they have to pay to use it.

Xeorm said:
KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
Still, refusing someone a platform isn't really censorship, they're not stopping people from saying what they believe, or what they want to say. What is happening is universities are telling that person they can't use university resources as a platform for their speech. You do realize that universities take in tuition and pay speakers who visit, right? Well no university is going to give a paid platform to someone who is going to piss off the student body, potentially causing students to change universities, or pick a different university in the future. This in no way hinders the freedom of speech of the speaker who they refused, it just says that speaker can't use the university's platform.
For places that are supposed to be about giving students information and having those students then use that information to develop their worldview, not allowing others to speak is censorship, to a degree. No, it's not the absolute type of censorship that comes when a capable government censors its people, but it's still censorship. Moreover, would you be fine then if a speaker came to a school free of charge, and was still rebuffed?
First off, Universities are not giving information to develop "worldview", they're giving students education in a field of study for application in a career. School does not teach critical thinking, this applies to higher education as well as basic education.

Using the broadest definition of censorship, you're correct, but it's not hindering the person's freedom of speech, or oppressing the person's rights. What it is in this case, is telling a person they're not welcome to use a platform, which is reasonable because no one has a right to a platform.

Finally, even if they weren't getting paid to come perform a lecture, or do a speech, but still got rebuffed... I'd be fine with that, again because no one has a right to a platform and allowing a speaker is at the discretion of the university, or managers of what ever other platform. You can say whatever you want, but organizations, schools, media outlets, and etc can also say you can't use their resources to spread your message.
 

Gengisgame

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MarsAtlas said:
No platforming is not censorship. A university is an organization that has debts to every student and should ideally work to accomodate as many students as it can with its limited resources.
Well yes that is censorship, that is a textbook definition of censorship "preventing someone from speaking there view to an audience because you don't like it"

Lets not pretend that's how it works, there is no democratic balancing act that takes into account what students want, certain views fall under protected umbrellas and certain views do not as I see you argue under the flawed idea that these are things only a handful of people wanted to see, if that where the case then they wouldn't be sought after in the first place and have full crowds when they get in.
 

P. K. Qu'est Que Ce

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Gengisgame said:
MarsAtlas said:
No platforming is not censorship. A university is an organization that has debts to every student and should ideally work to accomodate as many students as it can with its limited resources.
Well yes that is censorship, that is a textbook definition of censorship "preventing someone from speaking there view to an audience because you don't like it"

Lets not pretend that's how it works, there is no democratic balancing act that takes into account what students want, certain views fall under protected umbrellas and certain views do not.
No kidding? "I like to fuck puppies!" is never going to get the public hearing as, "Stop shooting unarmed black people." The general observation that some views are preferred is neither wrong, nor suspicious unless you specify the views in question.
 

Gengisgame

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P. K. Qu said:
Gengisgame said:
MarsAtlas said:
No platforming is not censorship. A university is an organization that has debts to every student and should ideally work to accomodate as many students as it can with its limited resources.
Well yes that is censorship, that is a textbook definition of censorship "preventing someone from speaking there view to an audience because you don't like it"

Lets not pretend that's how it works, there is no democratic balancing act that takes into account what students want, certain views fall under protected umbrellas and certain views do not.
No kidding? "I like to fuck puppies!" is never going to get the public hearing as, "Stop shooting unarmed black people." The general observation that some views are preferred is neither wrong, nor suspicious unless you specify the views in question.
Nice strawman there, I was hoping we would be mature enough not to have to state the obvious and go with what would be seen as no platforming popular politically incorrect speakers.

But go ahead and deflect with the idea that it would be widely regarded silly topics that are being turned away
 

P. K. Qu'est Que Ce

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Gengisgame said:
P. K. Qu said:
Gengisgame said:
MarsAtlas said:
No platforming is not censorship. A university is an organization that has debts to every student and should ideally work to accomodate as many students as it can with its limited resources.
Well yes that is censorship, that is a textbook definition of censorship "preventing someone from speaking there view to an audience because you don't like it"

Lets not pretend that's how it works, there is no democratic balancing act that takes into account what students want, certain views fall under protected umbrellas and certain views do not.
No kidding? "I like to fuck puppies!" is never going to get the public hearing as, "Stop shooting unarmed black people." The general observation that some views are preferred is neither wrong, nor suspicious unless you specify the views in question.
Nice strawman there, I was hoping we would be mature enough not to have to state the obvious and go with what would be seen as no platforming popular politically incorrect speakers.

But go ahead and deflect with the idea that it would be widely regarded silly topics that are being turned away
That's not what "Strawman" actually means, and that's not what I did. An analogy isn't the same as a strawman, get it? What I pointed out is how meaningless it is to say what you did, without specifying the views in question. Care to specify those views?
 

Zontar

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Is free speech under threat at universities? Undeniably so, and anyone saying otherwise is outright lying at this point.

Contrary to unpopular belief amongst some students, public universities do have an obligation to allow people of differing views to express said views on campus, to the point where in the US and Canada these are straight up legal obligations that are a requirement for funding without which they literally cannot operate.

People can pretend no-platforming isn't censorship, but in practice it hasn't ended up being anything else over the past few years where anyone attempting to give a conservative opinion, an anti-feminist opinion, or as we've even seen just a liberal opinion that isn't radical enough, is either being threatened into not showing up at all, administrations being intimidated into going against their duties by radicals who seem to always be of the same radical authoritarian far left stripes, or as we've seen such as with gay journalist Milo Yiannopoulos or conservative political analyst Ben Shapiro having people threaten, intimidate and sabotage their speaking events because they couldn't get them cancelled before hand.

People will say lies such as these and others having ideas that are dangerous, but the only thing that is in danger is fragile ideologies that can't hold up to basic scrutiny. The violent response to anyone holding opposing views doesn't so much stem from a want for the removal of free speech as much as it's the inability of them to defend their beliefs, the removal of free speech is simply a symptom of a larger problem.

I mean for god sake university students will in large numbers sign petitions to revoke the first amendment, what the hell is wrong with my generation? We're narcissists, egotistical, entitled brats who more often then not can't handle the real world or opposing views. I'm a student and I despise students. Thankfully 2016 seems to be setting itself as the high water mark for this nonsense given how so many of these lunatics are attacking each other and they've declared open warfare against pretty much every group and subculture at this point, with very few of said subcultures being happy about this conflict. It's the reason why conservatives, liberals and libertarians are more often finding themselves fighting side by side on these issues.
 

Zontar

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Pluvia said:
The tl;dr of this post is you complaining about the fact that people don't have to listen to what other people say.

That's the greatest thing about free speech: Just because you can talk, don't mean others have to listen. Nor go out of their way to give you a platform even.
You know, maybe you should read what I wrote before replying to my post, because there is no way that you can read my complaining about people being forced to be silent, unable to talk and have people who want to listen hear them, and somehow rationally come to the conclusion that my complain has to do with people not listening, or how shutting down events is going out of one's way to give someone a platform.

This is a large part of the problem right here, when people bring up the problem a typical defence is to not address it but instead strawman what the issue is and burn the strawman in liee of addressing the actual issue at hand.
 

renegade7

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The purpose of a university, first and foremost, is to teach. Debates between people of opposing views can be extremely instructive, most importantly because they help to teach that "the other side" isn't necessarily your enemy and that that you need to be sympathetic and understanding of someone whose beliefs differ from yours if you're going to engage productively with them.

However, there are some catch points. Sometimes, an idea will interfere with a student's ability to learn. For instance, let's say a guest speaker comes in and makes a persuasive argument that students with learning disabilities or mental health issues should go off their medication. It's important that we as a society address things like ADHD overdiagnosis, and that's a subject that I'd love to hear both sides of, but there are productive and counterproductive ways to approach that issue, and telling students to not seek treatment for a disability that's harming their ability to learn is not in the educational best interests of the students.

Another example: universities only allow people with very advanced degrees to teach, because that degree demonstrates that basic level of required expertise in a given subject. That is a restriction of free speech because not everyone has an advanced degree. On the other hand, we can't just pull anyone in off the street and ask them "Hey, you want to teach some nursing students how to calculate dosages for heart medication? No, qualifications don't matter, we value free speech and think you deserve a chance to express your opinion" because it would result in those students having a flawed understanding that would, in the future, put people at risk of being harmed.

So we have to ask ourselves what the consequences would be to a student's education if he or she were to be persuaded by a person holding a certain viewpoint. We would certainly be upholding free speech in allowing, say, a Klan rally to take place in the auditorium, but is allowing the KKK to use university resources to promote their views in the best interests of the students? If this were to make minority students feel unsafe or socially excluded, then that's going to be harmful to their academic performance. On the other hand, if a lack of Klan rallies poses a significant threat to your well-being, please seek help.

And sometimes that means you have to meet the angry mob halfway. Engaging productively with people who hold opposing views is a skill that has to be learned, learning the difference between understanding, empathizing with, and accepting viewpoints is one of the cornerstones of a higher education. For that to happen, you need to pick your battles carefully if you want to ever get there, since students who are too busy being outraged aren't in the right frame of mind for that kind of learning to happen.

Zontar said:
We're narcissists, egotistical, entitled brats who more often then not can't handle the real world or opposing views. I'm a student and I despise students.
Real talk man, but maybe you should get out a little more. The people you seem to have a problem with are a very small minority. I think if you spent some time with more of your fellow students then you'd realize that most of them are pretty level-headed. When you despise the people you're interacting with on a daily basis based on a stereotype like that, you are also a part of the outrage mob, and that isn't really a great use of four years.
 

Zontar

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renegade7 said:
Real talk man, but maybe you should get out a little more. The people you seem to have a problem with are a very small minority. I think if you spent some time with more of your fellow students then you'd realize that most of them are pretty level-headed. When you despise the people you're interacting with on a daily basis based on a stereotype like that, you are also a part of the outrage mob, and that isn't really a great use of four years.
I'm aware it's a minority, but unlike how things seem to be in the US or UK it doesn't seem to be a particularly small minority.

Something to remember is that here in Quebec we aren't exactly the same as the rest of you lot. Back in 2012 we had 50,000 students protesting a $200 increase to semester costs (keep in mind we're already by far the cheapest tuition costs in North America, with average semesters costing less then $2,000) that was dealing with the fact that for the past 30 years no increases had been made in costs, so it was helping deal with inflation massively devaluing the price of tuition.

And these protests where not peaceful, they where terrorising businesses and destroying public and private property, including trashing a university (where many teachers supported the act and somehow escaped being fired for doing so).

I'm well aware it's not all students, but it's enough students to be a social problem onto itself, and hell students despising students is a mainstream opinion amongst many of us for the reasons I've stated. It's not the students themselves we hate, it's the idea of students: entitled brats who will sabotage the economy and ruin peoples livelihoods to not pay a bit more of their already over-subsidized education while they get indoctrinated by communist and socialist teachers using their classes to teach new union leaders and party members over the curriculum. There's a reason why UQAM, one of the largest universities in Montreal, is one that some companies will actively avoid hiring from if you're a graduate of the institute (and there are entire departments trying to succeed from the university due to its very negative and well earned reputation as a result).

That's how bad things are here, entire departments are trying to leave their universities because of how bad the students from specific lines of study are.
 

Breakdown

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Pluvia said:
Zontar said:
You know, maybe you should read what I wrote before replying to my post, because there is no way that you can read my complaining about people being forced to be silent, unable to talk and have people who want to listen hear them, and somehow rationally come to the conclusion that my complain has to do with people not listening, or how shutting down events is going out of one's way to give someone a platform.

This is a large part of the problem right here, when people bring up the problem a typical defence is to not address it but instead strawman what the issue is and burn the strawman in liee of addressing the actual issue at hand.
Because your issue is "People don't have to listen to speech".

I mean you seriously say this:

People can pretend no-platforming isn't censorship, but in practice it hasn't ended up being anything else over the past few years..
"People can pretend no-platforming isn't censorship", aka "People don't have to listen to speech". People don't have to give someone a platform, it's really quite that simple. That's the wonderful thing about free speech; people don't have to listen or give their platforms.
In this case there are people who want to listen to these speakers, the students who set up the Free Speech Society. Perhaps the students who are offended should realise that they don't have to listen.
 

Zontar

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Pluvia said:
Zontar said:
You know, maybe you should read what I wrote before replying to my post, because there is no way that you can read my complaining about people being forced to be silent, unable to talk and have people who want to listen hear them, and somehow rationally come to the conclusion that my complain has to do with people not listening, or how shutting down events is going out of one's way to give someone a platform.

This is a large part of the problem right here, when people bring up the problem a typical defence is to not address it but instead strawman what the issue is and burn the strawman in liee of addressing the actual issue at hand.
Because your issue is "People don't have to listen to speech".

I mean you seriously say this:

People can pretend no-platforming isn't censorship, but in practice it hasn't ended up being anything else over the past few years..
"People can pretend no-platforming isn't censorship", aka "People don't have to listen to speech and I don't like that". People don't have to give someone a platform, it's really quite that simple. That's the wonderful thing about free speech; people don't have to listen or give their platforms.
See here's the thing, and I know this doesn't apply to you since you're from the UK, but in Canada and the US public universities do have legal obligations that are requirement for receiving funding, and one of them is their being treated as public space in regards to speech, meaning they do, in fact, have to allow people to say their piece whether they like it or not because their funding will be cut if they don't.

And on top of that you're again strawmaning what I said by responding to something I never stated at all: this is not about people not being granted a platform, it's about people forcibly being prevented from saying what they believe because of the fascists and socialists preventing anyone who isn't a radical leftist from stating their points.

How is the common tactic of pulling fire alarms to have buildings evacuated to prevent people from talking about things they don't like.

Here are some prominent examples of fascism in action by left wing students:


This is what the censorship that is no platforming is, this is what it looks like. This is what you are defending.