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

Thaluikhain

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Eh, not this again. A university is not under any obligation to welcome any particular person to speak there.

It is not censorship for a university not to allow someone to speak at that university.
 

Something Amyss

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Xeorm said:
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.
Okay, cool. So why does this never seem to be an issue when a right-win institution prevents a gay speaker from showing up? Why is it that this article seems inspired by people having a go at trans students? Why is it when the rape advocate doesn't get to speak, people cry censorship, but not when the rape victim doesn't? Looking at all the row over "freeze peach" over the last couple of years, it doesn't look like it has anything to do with protecting free speech. Just the parts UI personally am okay with.

Gengisgame said:
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"
Then the textbook is useless, because that definition is so vague as to make nearly anything censorship.

In fact, you were given an example and called it a strawman, when the realty is that shutting down people who are pro-bestiality still meets your definition of censorship. And with a net cast that broad, the only consistent thing to do is to let them speak or admit you're cool with some censorship.

Most actual textbooks won't be that absurd. What we're talking about here is the Wikipedia definition of censorship.

The worst thing? We're not even talking about stopping them from speaking. We're talking about not giving them free resources.
 

DoPo

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Jan 30, 2012
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Something Amyss said:
The worst thing? We're not even talking about stopping them from speaking. We're talking about not giving them free resources.
I don't think you understand. Remember that scene in the Matrix where agent Smith says "What good is a phone call, if you're unable to speak?"


Because THAT is what happens to anybody who is denied as a speaker by a university. You cannot get more literal in "denying free speech" in this case.

At least, why else would people be calling this "censorship" if this wasn't the case? It'd be silly, otherwise.
 

DEAD34345

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KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
-snip-

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.
Crying censorship and oppression is their other platform, as evidenced by the fact that they now have whole national news stories about them and we're talking about this right now. "Feminist writer Julie Bindel" for example has gotten her name and her viewpoint spread extremely effectively thanks to this whole thing, probably far more effectively than if she had just been allowed to speak in the first place.

It may indeed be dishonest, but in terms of fighting for a cause and spreading a message it seems like a strong strategy to me.

OT: I'm long past the point where I expect universities to be different to anything else. If there ever was a time in which they were committed to free speech or debate, I didn't see it.
 

Joccaren

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Yeah, not censorship.

Yes, universities are places for debate. What debate is there in one person being trangender, and another saying transgender people are all rapists? There is no debate, its just bullying and singling people out to pick on due to personal likes and dislikes.

You have the right to say whatever you want, however you do NOT have the right to force people to listen to it. The university has no obligation to give you the ability to tell everyone about your racist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, misandrist, ect. thoughts. You can go up to people and say that stuff if you want, though expect to get pulled up for harassment - as that's what it is - but you're not given the right to stand up infront of anyone and have your view seen as more important than anyone else's.

Safe spaces also aren't censorship on the university's side. Yes, its a bit of censorship in a small area for a group in the area, but that's kind of the unspoken agreement you make when you enter a 'safe space' - that you're going to not insult others. Its kind of like when you get on the road there's the unspoken agreement that you'll obey the road rules. A given group is fully within its rights to disallow a certain kind of speech or, in this case harassment, of its members. Censorship is only really to be considered bad when the government does it, or when it extends to more important educational issues, as opposed to issues pertaining to people's 'right' to harass others.

Zontar said:
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.
Its not that they can't be defended, its more that bigots often have completely closed minds, and aren't interested in discussion or debating; they're interested in insulting anyone who doesn't agree with them, and bullrushing their opinion whilst bullying others into the ground to crush any chance at a discussion before one starts. Even if a fully reasonable person would acknowledge the truths behind some views, bigots won't, because they are only interested in their own opinion.

Its why the scientific community, as a whole, shuns arguing science to religious fanatics. Its not that science can't be defended. Science has been defended time and time again, against itself, against religion, and against other societal views and groups that don't approve, and it does so with empirical facts that cannot be argued against. Most refuse to debate religious fanatics, however, because religious fanatics won't give the opportunity for a debate or discussion. They bullrush, they block any attempt at arguing with red herrings, falsities, and a constant flow of their own opinion, effectively a filibuster, that fills most of the time available for the debate with just them talking up their view, rather than any actual debate. And even if there is an actual debate? No-one's opinion is going to change. The scientists who have evidence aren't going to be convinced that gravity doesn't exist and is just god because some opinionated fanatic said so, and no matter the evidence raised, the religious fanatic is not going to change their views to those of science, as they didn't have the slightest plan of even trying to challenge them before the debate - they are headlocked into what they believe, and they will not be shaken by anything in their belief - as you often see the Pope can disagree with them and they'll just say he's a shit Pope, because he doesn't agree with them. Any Pope that does is a great Pope.
The same is true of most in the discussions of transgender issues, homosexual issues, racist issues, and basically all the issues that are 'censored' in safe spaces. Sure, there are some small few people that will actually debate issues of feminism and such, but on both sides there any 'debate' will simply be drowned in shit-talk, so its better to just not give anyone the platform as you have no idea what it'll be used for, and 90% of the time its not going to be something productive - and even if it is, its just going to cause issues due to people's views around such subjects.

And again, nobody is required to give you a special platform to talk. If you want, campaign your views. The university doesn't have to support them though. Nobody has to give your opinions any credence just because you have them. Its pure arrogance to think they should.
 

Ambitiousmould

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Apr 22, 2012
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This is why I only go to uni to attend my timetabled sessions. It's just way too much hassle to get involved in political arguments when all I want is a piece of fucking paper saying "You now have some qualification to begin your career. Also you now owe about ?40,000. Good fucking luck with your graphic design you fucking pillock". Or words to that effect.

Just about everyone student I talk to is constantly chelping on about how stressful and hard uni is. These people are all on a graphics course. The same course as me, and I am well aware that this is about the least stressful period in my life. Maybe it's just students on this course but frankly people need to get a fucking grip. Fuck only knows how they'll manage when they are actually building a career and independent life.

Now this isn't to say that things shouldn't be discussed at uni, but I'm bloody glad it's all basically of no consequence because I would not trust a single one of the daft bastards (myself included, I'm as thick as pig shit, orse I wouldn't be doing graphics) with any debate that matters. They (or I suppose we) have no experience in the real world and clearly no sodding perspective.

Besides, this story is from the BBC, hardly what you could call an objective or even moderately ethical news outlet.

Something of a sidenote (read it or don't, it's not very relevant I was just naffed off by something I read in that article OP linked to, it's a bit of ranty thing, it's up to you):

This "Safe Space" bollocks irritates me. Discrimination against race/gender/sexuality or all the things I've just wound everyone up by missing shouldn't be (and indeed isn't) allowed but this should be a general rule. A place where no one is allowed to be a meanie is just stupid.

If you ask me, a large part of education is being taught to grow a thick skin and not run off crying every time someone takes the piss out of you. A) Ripping the piss out of each other is British tradition. B) You are, at several points, going to be in conflict with someone that will get out of hand, you will always lose if you can't handle someone being a **** to you. C) Friends (or acquaintances) take the piss out of each other as a way of affection or bonding, showing trust and a willingness to be a good sport, if you run off crying every time this happens you will quickly run out of people who are willing to socialise with you. D) This might come as a shock, but safe spaces aren't a thing in the real world, and people are often twats.

TL;DR: Actual discrimination is fucking shitty, but people need to learn how to not be a whinging, mardy, morngey little shit, and these safe spaces aren't conducive to that.

EDIT: I fucked up the wording in the first bit of that spoiler massively. I did say I'm thick though. Whatever, it's fixed now.
 

Zontar

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Pluvia said:
Treated like a public space in regards to speech, you mean like a public library? Pretty sure libraries don't have much KKK rallies, despite being public places.
I know it's intentionally so, but that's an absolutely horrible example.

No, it's public space in the same way as a road or park or the property of a government administrative building like a town hall. You know, places where people do have rallies (including, yes, the KKK on the rare occasion they have one).
What are we supposed to be offended about here? Protesters? Are we supposed to be offended that pulling a fire alarm when there's no fire can get you kicked out of uni?
Pulling a fire alarm when there's no fire isn't just "get kicked out of university", it's an offence that has massive fines and for good reason.

But what's to be taken offence to isn't the deed specifically, it's the glee by which such illegal activity is accepted in the name of preventing people from exercising their constitutionally granted rights. This is the face of modern fascism: a far left student who can't handle anyone other then a radical leftist stating their opinions, and that is what you've been defending in your support of no platforming.
 

Something Amyss

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DoPo said:
At least, why else would people be calling this "censorship" if this wasn't the case? It'd be silly, otherwise.
Yeah, you're right. I mean, it would be silly to think that this was a case of people not actively being silenced by the SJW Illuminati.

TheLaughingMagician said:
So does everyone who wants to speak have to be given a platform?
Only the bigots, it seems. These stories only seem to come up when it's homophobes or Nazis or people who hate LGBT individuals.

Joccaren said:
Safe spaces also aren't censorship on the university's side. Yes, its a bit of censorship in a small area for a group in the area, but that's kind of the unspoken agreement you make when you enter a 'safe space' - that you're going to not insult others.
This is a curious one to me. If you're agreeing to conduct yourself in a certain way, surely this isn't censorship.

Are group therapy sessions--hell, any therapy sessions--or AA censorship?

Note, as per the spirit of what you wrote, I am not asking "is it bad." It just seems that at this point, "censorship" has become an absurd parody of itself. Which is protected under free speech.
 

Zontar

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Feb 18, 2013
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Joccaren said:
Nobody has to give your opinions any credence just because you have them. Its pure arrogance to think they should.
And if that was what the issue at hand was there wouldn't be a massive discussion going on about it online and in the public sphere on the matter, but the problem is this isn't even a fraction of what the matter at hand is.
 

Ihateregistering1

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Something Amyss said:
Xeorm said:
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.
Okay, cool. So why does this never seem to be an issue when a right-win institution prevents a gay speaker from showing up? Why is it that this article seems inspired by people having a go at trans students? Why is it when the rape advocate doesn't get to speak, people cry censorship, but not when the rape victim doesn't?
More than likely because the "right-wing institution" (I'm also not even sure what that means. No college I'm aware of makes you take a political test as part of your application) is likely a private school, and private schools are (theoretically, though that's a debate for another day) not funded by the taxpayers, thus they have the right to say we only admit women, or men, or Catholics, or whomever, and we don't want gay people or Muslims or whomever to speak.

Public universities, on the other hand, are taxpayer funded, and thus in theory should allow anyone to speak who doesn't represent an obvious security risk.

Now, granted, the sheer logistics of things means that not every human being who walks in and says "I want to use the auditorium and give a speech!" can do so, and I think most people understand that. What they take issue with is when people are invited to Universities to speak, and you have the option of attending their speech or not, and the various future fascists come out of the woodwork and pull fire alarms, call in bomb threats, shout them down, rush the stage, and basically do whatever they can to not let anyone else hear opinions they don't like.

MarsAtlas said:
Julie Bindel was barred from speaking (not "banned" as the article inaccurately describes) because more students didn't want her to appear on one of their platforms and get paid with by their tuition than students wanted her to speak.
Perhaps things work differently in different countries, but as far as I know, speakers who are invited by student groups to give speeches (ie. they aren't being called upon as commencement or graduation speakers) are not paid by the university, they are paid by student groups (or they do it for free).
 

monkeymangler

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Zontar said:
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.
I see your exact views from Rush Limbaugh on my Facebook feed every single day. Either that, or that smug scene from The Newsroom proclaiming our generation is the laziest, most entitled, worst generation ever.

Your argument was made 100 years ago. It was made 75 years ago. It was made 50 years ago. It is made today. It will be made 25 years from now.

This generation is no worse than the ones who came before us. We are the first generation to majority support gay rights. The first generation to acknowledge being transgendered as a personal trait and not an illness.

But by all means, keep repeating the slanted article about students "voting to recall the first amendment" when the reality had no such basis.
 

Areloch

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Dec 10, 2012
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Why is it that whenever people defending no platforming come in, they always immediately jump straight parallelizing whatever speaker is getting blocked out with objective hate speech or KKK rallies?

Like, no attempts are made to not be dishonest about what's going on.

Why is it so hard to, I don't know, just not go to the things you dislike? This hooks back into the offensively stupid recent trend at universities with students yipping about how they're not supposed to be intellectual spaces, but space spaces and homes.

The issue is the squeaky wheel gets the grease and the people that are cripplingly hyper-sensitive screech until the faculty curb to them, screwing over plenty of other students that DID want to go to see the speaker.

But nah, I'm sure everyone that's been no platformed, or had students go to a speaker's presentation for the sole purpose to interrupt them with air horns, or pull fire alarms in an attempt to shut the presentation down or all that were actual real KKK members giving a how-to seminar on how to lynch black people AND 'the gays' at the same time.

I try to avoid snarking where possible on these forums, but good lord.
 

Wrex Brogan

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...So censorship is just a buzzword of the year now, right? Damn near everything has been slapped with the 'censorship' label at this point, so I'm starting to question if people understand what the word actually means.

Anyway, this is a non-thing. They're not being allowed to use the facilities of the university to do their shitty little speeches. That isn't censorship. Because despite Universities being largely public spaces, that just means you can wander around the campus. Not that you can use their facilities - i.e. Lecture Halls and the like - for your rallies around your shitty ideas. Unless their rally is against the local law, they can totally just set up an impromptu one on a lawn somewhere, or elsewhere on the University grounds (though the University is still allowed to escort them off if they're being disruptive - Free Speech isn't Freedom to be a Prick).

Just because you're allowed to jump on a soapbox and shout at people doesn't mean you're entitled to jump on someone elses Soapbox to do it.
 

Vanilla ISIS

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Unfortunately, a lot of universities in the West these days have been "hijacked" by, what can be best described as members of the authoritarian left.
These are the people who believe that white people always have it better than other races and that men always have it better than women.
these are the same people that will defend the molesters in the New Year's Eve attacks in Cologne because they're an "oppressed minority", while crying "RAPE CULTURE!!!" when a guy taks to a girl on the street.
If you try to speak out against those ideas, they will do what they can to silence you - no platform you, harass you online, make concentrated effort to get you fired from your job etc.
When a person does manage to get a venue at a university to speak at, these people will protest it, interrupt it, pull fire alarms etc. Whatever they can do to stop it.

A lot of people here seem to think that it's just students telling a particular person that they don't want to hear them out.
It's much more than that and it's happening not just at universities.
Just recently, Richard Dawkins was banned from speaking at the Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism for posting a satirical video on his Twitter page (seriously).
After that, he was harassed to the point of having a stroke.
Also recently, a safe space was created in San Diego State University (among several other universities) where Jews weren't allowed (a lot of these authoritarian left types are pro-Palestine and anti-Israel and, since most of them think in collectivist terms, all Jews are evil).

These people are one of the main reasons why Trump is so popular.

I'm glad that the mainstream media are finally starting to report on this stuff.
It's about time.
 

Joccaren

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Something Amyss said:
This is a curious one to me. If you're agreeing to conduct yourself in a certain way, surely this isn't censorship.

Are group therapy sessions--hell, any therapy sessions--or AA censorship?

Note, as per the spirit of what you wrote, I am not asking "is it bad." It just seems that at this point, "censorship" has become an absurd parody of itself. Which is protected under free speech.
If an alcoholics anonymous prevents a member from encouraging others to drink more alcohol, yes, it is censorship. It is a restriction of free speech. However, it is a voluntary restriction that the person accepted by joining that group, where it is to be expected that that is what will happen - as I tried to point out continuing on in that paragraph.
It is still censorship. It still restricts your ability to say what you want. However that is acceptable in some cases. Censorship isn't inherently bad, even if some people feel to attribute it as being such. In a lot of cases it can be useful or good. However actively blocking someone's ability to say something is censorship - if you get kicked out of AA for being pro-binge drinking, its censorship. But in that case, its a good thing. If someone simply decides not to talk about things because they're a part of that group, yeah, not censorship. The groups by themselves, therefore, technically aren't censorship - however they practice censorship in actively excluding and expelling those who don't speak the way they want them to speak.

Zontar said:
Joccaren said:
Nobody has to give your opinions any credence just because you have them. Its pure arrogance to think they should.
And if that was what the issue at hand was there wouldn't be a massive discussion going on about it online and in the public sphere on the matter, but the problem is this isn't even a fraction of what the matter at hand is.
Thing is, that is the issue going on, at least from the article OP linked. Its 'censorship' because people are being denied special privileges to espouse their opinions in front of others, and force them into listening. That's not censorship. "No Platform" isn't censorship. It simply means that the university is not required to endorse every single view in the world.
Yes, students voting to ban a club based around free speech is questionable. However, one then has to question whether the club is actually interested in free speech, or whether it uses that as a guise to try and spread misogynist or transphobic, or homophobic, views, and shut down opposing views, in response to 'safe spaces' - which is honestly more likely IMO. Free speech clubs are redundant as you're able to talk about whatever you want in public as part of free speech.
Were students being expelled based on this sort of thing, sure, censorship. Were the university to single out those who are espousing certain views and actively punish them for espousing them, or actively remove their ability to say these things - not refuse to give them a platform to say such things, but actively remove their ability to talk, push them out when they try to talk, actively repress them - then sure, censorship. AFAIK, that's not what is happening. The university simply refuses to allow certain guest speakers to espouse their views on the university's platform, something it is fully within its right to do. Print out some flyers, hand them out - if the university stops you, yeah, that's a restriction of free speech. Stop people in the halls and talk about issues, that's cool too.

Also note, that people saying you're wrong and that you shouldn't be handing out flyers or W/E isn't free speech - its them exercising their right to free speech. Its only if they actively do something like take your pamphlets and burn them that it is a restriction of free speech.

And on other examples, ringing the fire alarm when you're talking about something they don't approve of isn't censorship. Yes, its interrupting your, and everyone else's, interactions, however all it really does at that point is take away your microphone. You're still able to talk about your views out at the fire evacuation exit. You're not escorted from the premises. Its certainly not acceptable behaviour, but its not censorship. You can still talk. You're just not supported for doing so. Its not a protest, generally, about your ability to talk about your opinion, more a protest of the university supporting you in doing so by giving you access to their equipment and facilities, and in some cases even paying you, to do so.

I mean, for an example, the Return of King's group. You know the one. The guys who are trying to say Rape should be legal to make women more cautious. If a handful of guys at the university want to listen to them, is the university required to give them a room, dedicated timeslot, and access to the equipment to do so?
No. And its not censorship if they don't. Depending on how they compose themselves whilst on campus, they may even be expelled from campus if they go there to talk themselves without the university's support, not due to censorship and the university not wanting them to talk, but because what they'll say will quite likely cross the line of harassment, which the university is obliged to protect its students from.

And again, if hate groups form, a university would not be required to allow a KKK club to be formed.

You'll find that the lines of where such things are drawn aren't to do with blocking free speech, preventing opposing opinions from being shared - at least from the university's perspective. On the student side it depends on each case, however by and large its rarely about closing down free speech, more often about protection from hate speech, and removal of the university supported platform for those who espouse hate speech to spread their views.