The German Culture Council (Deutscher Kulturrat) is the umbrella organization of the German cultural
associations such as groups representing art galleries and TV companies. It is a political and lobbying association and is funded by taxpayers.
Olaf Zimmermann, the head of the powerful cultural body has called for the banning of the nation's multitude of political talkshows for a year, claiming that they have helped fuel the rise of the far right.
Zimmermann said that public broadcasters needed to step back and rethink a format that has helped cement gloom-ridden public attitudes towards refugees and Islam, and propelled the Alternative f3cr Deutschland party into parliament at last
September's election. He said:
I'd suggest for them, take a break for a year ... though the length of the intermission isn't the decisive factor. What is crucial is that they return with new talkshow concepts and try to come up with more suitable contents with regards to
social cohesion in our society.
He particularly singled out public broadcasters ARD and ZDF as being obsessed with refugee-related issues, often framing them negatively.
Last week, ARD's main talkshow Hart Aber Fair - Hard But Fair - led with the question: To what extent is it possible to integrate young men who have fled from war and archaic societies? How unsafe is Germany as a result of them? The
programme was triggered by the murder of a 14-year-old German girl whose body was discovered in Wiesbaden last week. An Iraqi man is set to face trial.
An outdoor poster ad for Silks of Glasgow, a lingerie store, seen in December 2017, featured an image of
a woman in lingerie, leaning forward to emphasise her bust. The image poster featured the woman's body only and not her head or face. The image was accompanied by the text Tease the Season.
A complainant, who believed the ad objectified women, objected that it was offensive.
Silks did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA was concerned by Silk's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code rule(Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in
The purpose of the ad was to advertise a collection of lingerie and therefore we considered it was reasonable to feature a woman in limited amounts of clothing. The ad did not show the model's face, and focused only on her body which was posed
leaning over in a way that emphasised her chest. The ASA considered that the model's pose and the image, combined with the text Tease the season, was sexually suggestive. We considered that, by focusing entirely on the model's body without showing
her head, and in the context of a sexually suggestive pose and byline, the image invited viewers to view the woman's body as a sexual object.
For those reasons, we considered that the ad objectified women and we therefore considered that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Silks not to use ads that objectified women and that were therefore likely to cause serious or widespread offence. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance team.
Italian workers, like their British cousins, do not have a political means through which they might express their interests.
Parties that still call themselves left have lost interest in the working class and the poor. The Labour Party, like so many other social-democratic parties, has become wedded to identity politics. It devotes its energy to promoting
multiculturalism, diversity, LGBTQ-related issues, feminism and anti-racism, but seems to find industrial issues boring.
Beginning on May 10, Spotify users will no longer be able to find R. Kelly 's music on any of the streaming service's editorial or algorithmic playlists. Under the terms of a new public hate content and hateful conduct policy Spotify is
putting into effect, the company will no longer promote the R&B singer's music in any way, removing his songs from flagship playlists like RapCaviar, Discover Weekly or New Music Friday, for example, as well as its other genre- or mood-based
"We are removing R. Kelly's music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly," Spotify told Billboard in a statement. "His music will still be available on the
service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don't censor content because of an artist's or creator's behavior, but we want our editorial decisions -- what we choose to program -- to reflect our values. When an artist or creator does
something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator."
Over the past several years, Kelly has been accused by multiple women of sexual violence, coercion and running a "sex cult," including two additional women who came forward to Buzzfeed this week. Though he has never been convicted of a
crime, he has come under increasing scrutiny over the past several weeks, particularly with the launch of the #MuteRKelly movement at the end of April. Kelly has vociferously defended himself , saying those accusing him are an "attempt to
distort my character and to destroy my legacy." And while RCA Records has thus far not dropped Kelly from his recording contract, Spotify has distanced itself from promoting his music.
Earlier this month, Swedish streaming giant Spotify announced, that it would be introducing a policy on Hate Content and Hateful
Conduct . The company left the policy intentionally vague, which allowed Spotify to remove artists from its playlists at will. When we are alerted to content that violates our policy, we may remove it (in consultation with rights holders) or
refrain from promoting or playlisting it on our service, the company's PR team wrote in a statement at the time. They added that R. Kelly -- who, over the course of his career, has been repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct -- would be among
Now, following a backlash from artists and label executives, Bloomberg reports that Spotify has decided to back off the policy a little. That means restoring the rapper XXXTentacion's music to its playlists, despite that he was charged with
battering a pregnant woman.
Part of the blowback has to do with the broad scope of the company's content policy, which seemed to leave the door open to policing artists' personal lives and conduct. We've also thought long and hard about how to handle content that is not hate
content itself, but is principally made by artists or other creators who have demonstrated hateful conduct personally. So, in some circumstances, when an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence
against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.
Spotify says R Kelly will remain banned from its playlists.
A New Zealand university has apologised after it seized hundreds of copies of a campus magazine that featured a cover on
menstruation, sparking anger from students saying the move reinforced social stigmas and amounted to censorship.
The University of Otago said its staff this week removed 500 copies of the latest edition of student magazine Critic -- which included a cartoon character bleeding from the genitals on the cover -- over claiming that it would be
objectionable to many people.
Noting it a censorship, editor of the weekly magazine, Joel MacManus, said the menstruation issue was meant to debunk common myths, and it included articles on free sanitary products and the availability of sanitary bins on campus. The intention
was to break taboos and encourage open discussion about menstruation.
The university said in a statement posted on Twitter that the decision to remove the issue was regrettable, ...BUT... added that it was aware of some views that the magazine cover was degrading to women.
Frankie Boyle has accused BBC television producers of editing out comments he made about last
week's Palestinian deaths on the Gaza border and his joke about Israel being an Apartheid state.
The outspoken comic called out the censorship after he was screened discussing left-wing antisemitism with guest David Baddiel on last Friday's episode of his New World Order chat show series on BBC2.
Responding to criticism from viewers that he had failed to address the deaths of over 60 Palestinians following demonstrations in Gaza, Boyle tweeted:
There were, of course, various jokes in this weeks's New World Order monologue about the situation in Gaza, and about Israel being an Apartheid state. Edited out for reasons nobody has yet explained to me, despite assurances to the
Ok. Happy to quote this sentiment, which I've had from literally hundreds of people, that anti-semitism in Britain should not be discussed while Israel commits warcrimes. The idea that Jewish people have collective responsibility for Israel is
racist. Have a great day
ASA's code writing arm, CAP, has launched a public consultation
on a new rule to tackle harmful gender stereotypes in ads, as well as on guidance to advertisers on how the new rule is likely to be interpreted in practice. The purpose of today's announcement is to make public the proposed rule and guidance,
which includes examples of gender portrayals which are likely to fall foul of the new rule.
The consultation proposes the introduction of the following new rule to the ad codes which will cover broadcast and non-broadcast media:
Advertisements must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.
The consultation comes after the ASA published a report last year - Depictions, Perceptions and Harm - which provided an evidence-based case for stronger regulation of ads that feature certain kinds of gender stereotypical roles and characteristics. These are ads that have the potential to cause harm by contributing to the restriction of
people's choices, aspirations and opportunities, which can affect the way people interact with each other and the way they view their own potential.
We already apply rules on offence and social responsibility to ban ads that include gender stereotypes on grounds of objectification, inappropriate sexualisation and depiction of unhealthily thin body images.
The evidence does not demonstrate that the use of gender stereotypes is always problematic or that the use of seriously offensive or potentially harmful stereotypes in advertising is endemic. The rule and guidance therefore seek to identify
specific harms that should be prevented, rather than banning gender stereotypes outright.
The consultation on guidance to support the proposed new rule change provides examples of scenarios likely to be problematic in future ads. For example:
An ad that depicts a man with his feet up and family members creating mess around a home while a woman is solely responsible for cleaning up the mess.
An ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender e.g. a man's inability to change nappies; a woman's inability to park a car.
Where an ad features a person with a physique that does not match an ideal stereotypically associated with their gender, the ad should not imply that their physique is a significant reason for them not being successful, for example in their
romantic or social lives.
An ad that seeks to emphasise the contrast between a boy's stereotypical personality (e.g. daring) with a girl's stereotypical personality (e.g. caring) needs to be handled with care.
An ad aimed at new mums which suggests that looking attractive or keeping a home pristine is a priority over other factors such as their emotional wellbeing.
An ad that belittles a man for carrying out stereotypically "female" roles or tasks.
Ella Smillie, gender stereotyping project lead, Committees of Advertising Practice, said:
"Our review of the evidence strongly indicates that particular forms of gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to harm for adults and children by limiting how people see themselves and how others see them and the life decisions they
take. The set of standards we're proposing aims to tackle harmful gender stereotypes in ads while ensuring that creative freedom expressed within the rules continues to be protected."
Director of the Committees of Advertising Practice, Shahriar Coupal said:
"Amid wide-ranging views about the portrayal of gender in ads is evidence that certain gender stereotypes have the potential to cause harm or serious offence. That's why we're proposing a new rule and guidance to restrict particular
gender stereotypes in ads where we believe there's an evidence-based case to do so. Our action is intended to help tackle the harms identified in the ASA's recent report on the evidence around gender portrayal in ads."
Universities minister Sam Gyimah hosts free speech summit and calls on higher
education leaders to work together to create new guidance on free speech
Free speech on campus should be encouraged and those attempting to shut it down must have nowhere to hide, the Universities Minister will make clear to sector leaders at a free speech summit he is chairing today (Thursday 3
Sam Gyimah will call on higher education organisations to stamp out the 'institutional hostility' to unfashionable views that have emerged in some student societies and will urge them to work with the government following
recent reports of a rise in so-called 'safe spaces' and 'no-platform' policies that have appeared on campuses.
He will say that the current landscape is "murky", with numerous pieces of disjointed sector guidance out there, creating a web of complexity which risks being exploited by those wishing to stifle free speech.
The Universities Minister will demand further action is taken to protect lawful free speech on campus and will offer to work with the sector to create new guidance that will for the first time provide clarity of the rules for
both students and universities -- making this the first government intervention of its kind since the free speech duty was introduced in 1986.
The guidance signals a new chapter for free speech on campus, ensuring future generations of students get exposure to stimulating debates and the diversity of viewpoints that lie at the very core of the university experience.
Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said:
A society in which people feel they have a legitimate right to stop someone expressing their views on campus simply because they are unfashionable or unpopular is rather chilling.
There is a risk that overzealous interpretation of a dizzying variety of rules is acting as a brake on legal free speech on campus.
That is why I am bringing together leaders from across the higher education sector to clarify the rules and regulations around speakers and events to prevent bureaucrats or wreckers on campus from exploiting gaps for their
The free speech summit will be hosted in London and brings together a wide range of influential organisations, including those that have existing guidance in this area, such as the Charity Commission, UUK and EHRC.
The Office for Students, which came into force on April 1, will act to protect free speech and can use its powers to name, shame or even fine institutions for not upholding the principle of free speech. Michael Barber, Chair
of the Office for Students, said:
Our universities are places where free speech should always be promoted and fostered. That includes the ability for everyone to share views which may be challenging or unpopular, even if that makes some people feel
uncomfortable. This is what Timothy Garton-Ash calls 'robust civility'. The Office for Students will always encourage freedom of speech within the law. We will never intervene to restrict it.
Alistair Jarvis, Universities UK Chief Executive, said:
Universities are committed to promoting and protecting free speech within the law. Tens of thousands of speaking events are put on every year across the country, the majority pass without incident. A small number of flash
points do occasionally occur, on contentious or controversial issues, but universities do all they can to protect free speech so events continue.
As the Joint Committee on Human Rights recently found, there is no systematic problem with free speech in universities, but current advice can be strengthened. We welcome discussions with government and the National Union of
Students on how this can be done.
The Joint Committee on Human Rights launched an inquiry on freedom of speech on 22nd November and issued its report on 25th March. The roundtable attendee include:
Home Office -- Matt Collins, Director of Prevent
Office for Students (OfS) -- Yvonne Hawkins, Directer of Universities and Colleges
Charity Commission - Helen Stephenson, Chief Executive
NUS - Amatey Doku, Vice President
EHRC - Rebecca Thomas, Principal, Programmes
Universities UK (UUK) - Chris Hale, Director of Policy
iHE - Alex Proudfoot, Chief Executive
GuildHE - Alex Bols, Deputy CEO
Offsite Comment: Banning students from banning speakers is beyond stupid
So, the government has finally come up with a solution to the scourge of yellow-bellied censoriousness that has swept
university campuses in recent years: it is going to ban it. Yes, it is going to ban banning. It is going to No Platform the No Platformers. It is going to force universities to be pro-free speech. Which is such a contradiction in terms it makes my
head hurt. You cannot use authoritarianism to tackle authoritarianism. This is a really bad thinking.
A volunteer lifeboatman who served with the RNLI for 15 years was sacked alongside his junior colleague for having mugs with
naked women on them in the office.
One featured the lifeboatman's head superimposed on a naked woman's body (with modesty well hidden).
When a senior female member of staff found them at the headquarters in North Yorkshire, their jobs were brought into question.
The pair were initially told to destroy the mugs and that they would face no further action. But the men, who are not paid for their work with the RLNI, then had to go through a disciplinary hearing that looked through their private Whatsapp
messages. They were eventually let go, sparking resignations from four of their colleagues in protest, reports The Sun
An RNLI spokesman spouted PC bollox telling the BBC:
The lifeboat station should be an environment where people can expect to be treated with dignity and respect. We cannot allow bullying, harassment or discrimination in what should be a safe and inclusive environment and there will be
serious consequences for anybody who demonstrates this behaviour within the RNLI.
Our dedicated volunteers represent the values and principles of our organisation and we will not allow any behaviour that brings the work of the RNLI and our people into disrepute.
A petition has now been started by locals to revoke the sackings, which the men themselves are also believed to be appealing.
What is that makes PC bullies want to extract such vengeful and extreme punishments over trivial transgressions? It is extreme injustice to disregard extreme bravery and selflessness in saving lives in favour of easily offended PC extremists being
all offended over a trivial mug.
Update: Finalised and indeed the sacking was over a jokey mug
Following a fair and robust investigation and appeal process, we have upheld our decision to stand down two crew members from Whitby RNLI.
Volunteers are entitled to appeal against our decisions and each case is considered on an individual basis. In this case, no new evidence was presented to us and we stand by our original decision.
We recognise the years of dedication it takes to become a crew member and do not stand volunteers down lightly. But, like any emergency service, the RNLI sets high standards and expects all its volunteers and staff to set an example, not just in
terms of their maritime expertise but also in their behaviour and respect for others.
One volunteer was stood down for social media activity which targeted a member of RNLI staff without their knowledge and produced graphic sexual images which went far beyond banter.
The other volunteer produced a hardcore pornographic image of a fellow crew member on a mug. Some newspapers created their own image of a mug, but the actual image produced by the volunteer was so graphic that no newspaper would be able to print
it without breaking the law.
We will continue to challenge any inappropriate behaviours and practices by staff or volunteers, and we do this for the thousands of volunteers who are committed to doing the right thing as they operate our 238 lifeboat stations 24/7.
The remaining volunteer crew at Whitby are working closely with the RNLI to operate an effective lifesaving operation at Whitby lifeboat station. We would ask the local community to continue to support our volunteers, in what has been a
challenging time, as they remain dedicated to saving lives on the Yorkshire coast.
Transport for London (TfL) has apologised for an 'insensitive' body shaming message written
on a service information whiteboard at Blackhorse Road Underground station
The sign, which was posted as a quote of the day read:
During this heatwave please dress for the body you have... not for the body you want!.
The PC lynch mob accused TfL of body-shaming, branding the message gross and disgusting , contrary to the usual insightful and witty quotes shared with commuters on its whiteboards.
No doubt the person who posted this didn't understand the complex PC pecking order of who is allowed to bully who. They will surely suffer 'appropriate', probably meaning extreme, punishment for their innocence. A TfL spokesperson told i:
We apologise unreservedly to customers who were offended by the insensitive message on the whiteboard at Blackhorse Road station.
Our staff across the network share messages on these boards, but in this instance the message was clearly ill-judged and it has been removed.
An investigation is underway to establish who thought such an unacceptable message was a good idea, so that the appropriate action can be taken.
A woman from Liverpool has been found guilty of sending a supposedly grossly offensive message after posting rap
lyrics on Instagram.
The post referenced lyrics from Snap Dogg's I'm Trippin' to pay tribute to a 13-year-old boy who had died in a road crash in 2017. It is not clear exactly which words were deemed to 'hate crimes' but the words 'bitch' and 'nigga' seem to be
the only relevant candidates.
Merseyside Police were anonymously sent a screenshot of the woman's Instagram update (on a public profile), which was received by hate crime unit PC Dominique Walker. PC Walker told the court the term the woman had used was grossly offensive to
her as a black woman and to the general community.
The Liverpool Echo reported that the woman's defence had argued the usage of the word had changed over time and it had been used by superstar rapper Jay-Z in front of thousands of people at the Glastonbury Festival.
The woman was given an eight-week community order, placed on an eight-week curfew and fined £585.
Prosecutors said her sentence was increased from a fine to a community order as it was a 'hate crime'.
Offsite Comment: Now it's a crime to quote rap lyrics? Censorship in Britain is out of control.
Brendan O'Neill notes that these are the lyrics she quoted:
Off a whole gram of molly, and my bitch think I'm trippin.
Now I'm clutchin' on my forty, all I can think about is drillin''.
I hate fuck shit, slap a bitch nigga, kill a snitch nigga, rob a rich nigga.'
We now live under a bizarre tyranny of self-esteem, where hurt feelings can lead to court cases, and where the easily offended can marshal the state to crush those who dared to offend them. An unholy marriage between our wimpish offence-taking
culture and a state desperate to be seen as caring and purposeful has nurtured an insidious new censorship that targets everything from comedy and rap to criticism of Islam or strongly stated political views.
Police are to drop their controversial policy of automatically believing anyone who reports a crime.
A top-level report obtained by The Mail on Sunday says official guidance should be changed to tell detectives they must listen to victims and take them seriously -- but not automatically assume they are telling the truth.
The dramatic move follows a series of unjust inquiries based on false allegations that left dozens of innocent people's lives and reputations destroyed, including high-profile figures.
The U-turn has been drawn up by the College of Policing, which sets national standards, and after being considered by chief constables last week it will be sent to Home Office Ministers to become official policy.
Last night, former Police Minister David Mellor, who served under Leon Brittan, told the MoS: It's been obvious for years that the policy of automatic belief invites time-wasters and it's an invitation to cranks to come forward with ludicrous
allegations. He said:
Plainly if someone complains of a crime, that has got to be looked at, but the idea police should assume they're telling the truth invites dreadful injustice.
However, the change will be fiercely opposed by some feminist campaigners who seem to think that its ok to lock up innocent men, saying it will deter genuine rape victims from coming forward, for fear they will be disbelieved or ignored.
It's getting harder and harder to be a good leftist these days. As the high priests and priestesses of the PC cult keep narrowing acceptable points of view, reasonable liberals are finding it difficult to toe the line
Justice is not seen to being done in the UK. A string of cases have emerged where men have been prosecuted for
rape whilst evidence suggesting their innocence has been kept hidden away by the authorities. The presumption is that the authorities are willing to let innocent people be convicted so as to inflate the rape conviction rates to keep feminist
But once exposed, this failure in justice is surely very corrosive in trying to keep society ticking over in increasingly tetchy times.
So even the police have decided something needs to be done about this disastrous approach to justice. Met police commissioner Cressida Dick has announced that the police will abandon the policy of automatically believing 'victims '. [but
using the word 'victims' rather suggests the she still automatically believes complainants].
Dick said officers must investigate rather than blindly believe an allegation, and should keep an open mind when a 'victim' has come forward. It is very important to victims to feel that they are going to be believed , she told the Times.
[But what about when they are out and out lying]. She added:
Our default position is we are, of course, likely to believe you but we are investigators and we have to investigate.
Dick spoke about several other topics including a whinge about the violent undercurrent in some music, especially grime.
Meanwhile Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecution overseeing this disgraceful period of injustice, will not get her contract renewed by the government.