The BBC has received 266 complaints about a scene in The Vicar Of Dibley , referencing the Black Lives Matter movement.
In last week's Christmas episode, Dawn French's character, Reverend Geraldine Granger, kneeled to Black Lives Matter and
delivered a sermon preaching about racism.
The BBC said in a statement it was in keeping with the character and the theme of the show. French's character is shown being filmed by parishioner and farmer Owen Newitt as she tells the audience she has
been preoccupied with the horror show of the death of George Floyd. In the scene, the vicar noted that Dibley, the fictional Oxfordshire village, is not the most diverse community, and encouraged its residents to get behind the anti-racism campaign.
It seems a fundamental character of political correctness that minor transgressions are subject to totally disproportionate and extreme penalties. A total loss of a livelihood and career is the standard punishment for a minor and often unintended
infraction. And of course the rules are totally unfair and one sided. It is a commonplace insult to accuse a man/boy of being a girl and nobody would think that such an insult would deserve any more of a reprimand than a telling off. Yet the same
'misgendering' insult seems to qualify for being locked up by the police should the recipient be trans.
And such an insult has now been considered by an appeals court.
A British woman Kate Scottow has managed to lodge a successful appeal against a
disgraceful court verdict that found her guilty of causing annoyance and anxiety to a transgender woman during an online Twitter exchange.
Scottow was accused by trans activist Stephanie Hayden for a 'misgenderig' insult that was termed as significant
online abuse taking place on Twitter, and then in late 2018 arrested in her home and then being detained in a cell for seven hours before being questioned.
The appeals court overturned the guilty verdict but its legal explanation has been reserved
until a later date.
Scottow announced the outcome of the appeals of Twitter, saying her record had been cleared of a conviction and that she is a free person now.
US moralist institutions, including the government, have found that a great way to censor people is to control their financial access.
The best example is Operation Chokepoint , a Department of Justice (DOJ) effort that put pressure on the
banking system to cut off financial access for politically disfavored industries, such as sex work or porn production.
Under the Obama administration, regulators such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Office of the Comptroller
of the Currency (OCC) issued threatening letters to financial institutions that processed payments for industries such as payday lenders, gun and ammunition firms, and cryptocurrency companies. The message was clear: cut back on business with these
industries, or else. Banks got the hint, and affected firms found it harder and harder to find banking partners.
Bullying banks into doing the government's dirty work was a quick and easy way to get the job done. Even better: it was an extralegal
method to get rid of businesses the feds didn't like too much anyway. But of course, if something works, then why not extend it to ever more pet peeves.
For example, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed his Department of Financial Services to issue
Operation Chokepoint-style warning letters to financial institutions which provided services to the National Rifle Association. Climate change activists have turned similar tactics towards banks who process payments for oil and gas companies .
help may now be coming from some unexpected quarters: the OCC, which less than a decade ago had led the charge with Operation Chokepoint. Under the leadership of acting director Brian Brooks, the OCC has proposed a rule change that would make
government-supported financial suppression much harder legally.
The Dodd-Frank Act was a sweeping financial reform that, among many other things , authorized the OCC to ensure that nationally chartered banks provide fair access to financial
services, and fair treatment of customers. The intention was that minority customers be evaluated for creditworthiness on her or her own individual merits rather than the attributes of their broader group. In other words, a creditworthy individual
shouldn't be punished because they belong to some group that is considered high risk in the aggregate.
The OCC would like to apply this thinking to industries through the proposed Fair Access to Financial Services rule. The largest banks in the
country--those with more than $100 billion in assets--would be prohibited from red-lining politically disfavored industries just as they are prohibited from red-lining politically oppressed populations. Rather, a gun manufacturer or pornography company
or payday lender must be evaluated on the terms of their individual creditworthiness.
The rule does not require that all large banks must do business with all, say, fossil fuel companies, just like banks are not required to extend credit to every
single member of a protected class who applies for a loan. Rather, it is a nondiscrimination requirement. Large banks will not be allowed to cut off financial access for disfavored industries just because the government or some other powerful group leans
on them to do so.
Monster Hunter is a 2020 China / Germany / Japan / USA action fantasy by Paul WS Anderson. Starring Milla Jovovich, Meagan Good and Ron Perlman.
When Lt. Artemis and her loyal soldiers are
transported to a new world, they engage in a desperate battle for survival against enormous enemies with incredible powers. Feature film based on the video game by Capcom.
Soon after opening the Hollywood film Monster Hunter has been
withdrawn from Chinese cinemas over reports of cinema goers taking offence at a throwaway joke.
The film is a video game inspired action film by Paul W.S. Anderson. This low-brow genre seems to play better in Asia than in the west, so this is a
serious problem for the producers
Monster Hunter enjoyed midnight screenings in the small hours of Friday local time, and officially debuted in Chinese cinemas on Friday, Dec. 4, ahead of its planned Dec. 25 U.S. release. It grossed $5.19 million on
day one, good enough for third place in box office charts, and then the trouble emerged.
In one scene, a white male character and an Asian character played by rapper MC Jin are driving together at high speed. What? says the former. Look at my
knees! shouts Jin. What kind of knees are these? asks his companion. Chi-nese! jokes Jin, punning on the word's last syllable.
Chinese viewers were apparently incensed after the exchange was interpreted as a reference to an old,
racist schoolyard rhyme insulting Asians. Chi-nese, Jap-a-nese, dir-ty knees, look at these.
To localize the joke, subtitle 'translators' made the dialogue a reference to a Chinese colloquialism about how men must have dignity and not kneel
down easily. Men have gold under their knees, and only kneel to the heavens and their mother, the saying goes in rough translation, implying that any time a man kneels, it should be an occasion precious as gold.
It wasn't long before
cinemas received an urgent notice to cancel all upcoming screenings and issue refunds for shows already sold. The distributors promised some rapid scissorwork to remove the joke.
But that didn't seem to be enough to solve the issue and the movie
screening remains suspended for the moment.
Tate Britain is expected to permanently close its restaurant because of a controversy over an historic artwork created nearly a century ago.
Rex Whistler's mural The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats , which was painted specifically for the
restaurant in 1927, has recently been criticised because of its politically incorrect portrayal of non-Europeans.
Moya Greene, until last month a Tate trustee and chair of its 'Ethics' Committee, reported back to the gallery's board. She told fellow
trustees that committee members were unequivocal in their view that the imagery of the work is offensive. In addition, they claim the offence is compounded by the use of the room as a restaurant.
Tate trustees were also advised that the Rex Whistler
mural is an important work of art in the care of trustees and that it should not be altered or removed. Although not a formally accessioned work, it forms part of a Grade I-listed interior.
Following the committee's advice, it seems almost certain
that the restaurant will never reopen. It was closed in March because of Covid-19, but did not reopen with the gallery displays last week.
The mural includes two small figures of bound black children who are probably enslaved and also depicts
caricatured Chinese people.
A Tate spokesman said:
We are taking this time to consult internally and externally on the future of the room and the mural, and we will keep the public informed of future plans. The
external consultation is expected to be launched early in the new year.
Facebook is to start policing anti-Black hate speech more aggressively than anti-White comments.
The Wadhington Post is reporting that the the company is overhauling its algorithms that detect hate speech and deprioritizing hateful comments against
whites, men and Americans.
Internal documents reveal that Facebook's WoW Project is in its early stages and involves re-engineering automated moderation systems to get better at detecting and automatically deleting hateful language that is
considered the 'worst of the worst'. The 'worst of the worst' includes slurs directed at Blacks, Muslims, people of more than one race, the LGBTQ community and Jews, according to the documents. The Wahington POst adds:
In the first phase of the project, which was announced internally to a small group in October, engineers said they had changed the company's systems to deprioritize policing contemptuous comments about Whites, men and Americans. Facebook still considers
such attacks to be hate speech, and users can still report it to the company. However, the company's technology now treats them as low-sensitivity -- or less likely to be harmful -- so that they are no longer automatically deleted by the company's
algorithms. That means roughly 10,000 fewer posts are now being deleted each day, according to the documents.
Controversial is probably not an adjective that governments wish to have associated with legislation they are trying to pass, but it is certainly an appropriate description of the Scottish Government's Hate Crime Bill.
YouTube has announced that it will increase the censorship of comments specifically for the black community. YouTube writes in a block post:
We're committed to supporting the diverse creator communities on YouTube and their continued
success. As our CEO, Susan Wojcicki, wrote in June, we're examining how our policies and products are working for everyone -- and specifically for the Black community -- and working to close any gaps.
We know that comments play a
key role in helping creators connect with their community, but issues with the quality of comments is also one of the most consistent pieces of feedback we receive from creators. We have been focused on improving comments with the goal of driving
healthier conversations on YouTube. Over the last few years, we launched new features to help creators engage with their community and shape the tone of conversations on their channels.
We've heard from creators that while these
changes helped them better manage comments and connect with their audience, there's more we can do to prevent them from seeing hurtful comments in the first place. To address that, we'll be testing a new filter in YouTube Studio for potentially
inappropriate and hurtful comments that have been automatically held for review, so that creators don't ever need to read them if they don't want to.
To encourage respectful conversations on YouTube, we're launching a new feature
that will warn users when their comment may be offensive to others, giving them the option to reflect before posting.
In addition, we've also invested in technology that helps our systems better detect and remove hateful comments
by taking into account the topic of the video and the context of a comment.
These efforts are making an impact. Since early 2019, we've increased the number of daily hate speech comment removals by 46x. And in the last quarter, of
the more than 1.8 million channels we terminated for violating our policies, more than 54,000 terminations were for hate speech. This is the most hate speech terminations in a single quarter and 3x more than the previous high from Q2 2019 when we updated
our hate speech policy.
Parler is an alt-right version of Twitter that launched in 2020 with a free speech ethos. Parler's CEO spoke of high ideals at the tiime:
We're a community town square, an open town square, with no censorship... If you can
say it on the street of New York, you can say it on Parler.
Maybe easier said than done though, it wasn't long before the wrong type of free speech somehow required censorship. Parler started deleting accounts of left-wing members and
then it banned pornography (which Twitter allows). Eventually, it became more censorious than Twitter, with the exception of allowing the kind alt-right speech that is generally banned on mainstream social media.
However is seems that Parler has
recognised the seeming hypocrisy and steered back towards free speech. It revised its terms of service to allow things that Twitter already allows, including pornography. As you might expect, Parler is now a bastion of right leaning speech and ads
for hardcore pornography websites.
The Washington Post's reviewed Parler under its revised rules and found that searches for sexually explicit terms surfaced extensive troves of graphic content, including videos of sex acts that began playing
automatically without any label or warning. Terms such as #porn, #naked and #sex each had hundreds or thousands of posts on Parler, many of them graphic. Some pornographic images and videos had been viewed tens of thousands of times on the platform.
The Adam Smith Institute has published a report by Preston J Byrne that provides law changes that would restore speech to the UK.
The paper called out government shenanigans with freedom of expression and proposed for five
concrete policy changes:
Removing the words "abusive" and "insulting" from the Public Order Act 1986.
Limiting the scope of Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 to threatening language only.
Replacing the harassment component of Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 and the Malicious Communications Act with a harassment/cyberstalking statute similar to 18 U.S. Code § 2261A, with its higher thresholds for criminal
conduct as a replacement.
Repealing the Malicious Communications Act 1988.
Enacting the UK Free Speech Act.
A follow up blog post details such a Free Speech Act:
UK FREE SPEECH ACT 
An Act to secure the free and open flow of information and ideas for the people of the United Kingdom.
SECTION 1. FREEDOM OF SPEECH
(1) The right of any person, and of the people, to freedom of speech shall not be violated by the state.
(2) Freedom of speech encompasses but is not
limited to the right to engage in spoken or written expression of any idea pertaining to any matter of public interest, morality, philosophy, or politics, which is not a threat or direct incitement.
incitement" means speech or writing which is directed towards inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.
(4) Schedule 1, Part I, Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 is
Several Penguin Random House Canada employees confronted management about the company's decision to publish a new book by Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and about 70 more have filed anonymous complaints, according to four workers who spoke to
VICE World News.
Penguin Random House is publishing Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson in March 2021. The book will be published by Portfolio in the US and Penguin Press in the UK.
Company executives defended the
publishing decision in a staff meeting whilst woke employees called for the book to be banned. Eg a junior employee said:
He is an icon of hate speech and transphobia and the fact that he's an icon of white supremacy,
regardless of the content of his book, I'm not proud to work for a company that publishes him
Another employee claimed people were crying in the meeting about how Jordan Peterson has affected their lives. They said one co-worker
discussed how Peterson had radicalized their father and another talked about how publishing the book will negatively affect their non-binary friend.
In an email statement, Penguin Random House Canada said it is open to its employees' feedback:
We announced yesterday that we will publish Jordan Peterson's new book Beyond Order this coming March. Immediately following the announcement, we held a forum and provided a space for our employees to express their views
and offer feedback. Our employees have started an anonymous feedback channel, which we fully support. We are open to hearing our employees' feedback and answering all of their questions. We remain committed to publishing a range of voices and viewpoints
London's new Mary Wollstonecraft statue was designed by British artist Maggi Hambling and has proved a little controversial. The statue doesn't actually depict Wollstonecraft, rather it offers a nude, seemingly cisgender woman that personifies a
spirit left in Wollstonecraft's wake , as the Guardian paraphrases Hambling.
It's been widely panned by feminists online and generally considered an objectification of women rather than a celebration of them.
The extremist campaign group
Object Now has led the campaign against the statue but the group is not universally popular with campaigners as Object Now is both sex worker exclusionary and transgender exclusionary.
After anonymous protesters defaced the Wollstonecraft statue with
black tape and a surgical mask, Object Now showed up and placed a t-shirt over the shirt reading woman, noun, adult human female. The phrase is a common dog-whistle for those wound up by transgender issues. Object Now tweeted:
We OBJECT to this nasty naked stereotypical statue. An Adult Human Female was chilly this morning among the cool wokebro luvvies of Newington Green who urged us to love our bodies.
The disgraceful new Scottish hate crime and blasphemy bill will criminalise free speech in people's own homes, MSPs have been told.
MSPs questioned Scottish 'Justice' Secretary Humza Yousaf over the censorship legislation during an evidence
session before the Holyrood Justice Committee. The new proposed legislation will introduce a stirring-up of hate offence on characteristics including religion, and sexual orientation.
However critics note that the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill,
which centres around plans for a new offence of stirring up hatred, will stifle freedom of expression.
BBC Scotland, Catholic bishops, the Humanist Society of Scotland, and the Scottish Police Federation are amongst those to have raised concerns,
along with Mr Bean star Rowan Atkinson and writer Val McDermid.
Because of this, Yousaf was forced to moderate the legislation and marginally change the controversial stirring up offences section which has been condemned by opponents. It now means
stirring up offences would be limited to intent relating to age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity and variations in sex characteristics and therefore prosecutions could only be brought in this respect.
Liam Kerr MSP,
Scottish Conservative Justice Spokesman, added: The Hate Crime Bill was a mess when the SNP first brought it to parliament and it still contains serious issues that need to be fixed. He said:
Tinkering around the margins
will not fix the most controversial bill in Scottish Parliament history.
This latest admission from the justice secretary confirms what so many respondents to the consultation have warned 203 that as drafted, this Bill means free
speech could be criminalised within the home with friends you've invited over for a dinner party, and that Mr Yousaf is perfectly comfortable with that.
The SNP need to be clear with the Scottish public about exactly what they
intend this Hate Crime Bill to do.
They can't keep trying to force through dangerous attacks on freedom of speech.
Update: Stronger free speech protection needed over hate crime bill
urges the National Secular Society
Every year millions of people come to Pinterest for Halloween inspiration, and even though this year looks different, searches related to the holiday continue to rise as people plan for their unique
Halloweens. Costumes are consistently a top-searched term, but many people may not know that certain costumes are appropriations of other cultures. As a platform for positivity, we want to make it easy to find culturally-appropriate Halloween ideas, and
bring awareness to the fact that costumes should not be opportunities to turn a person's identity into a stereotyped image.
It's why since 2016 we've prohibited advertisements with culturally inappropriate costumes, and make it
possible for Pinners to report culturally-insensitive content right from Pins. Starting this year, certain searches -- like for Day of the Dead costumes -- will show a Pin at the top of results with information curated by Pinterest employee group
PIndigenous and experts like Dr. Adrienne Keene on how to celebrate thoughtfully and respectfully. Additionally, we're limiting recommendations for costumes that appropriate cultures.
The Christian moralist campaign group One Million Moms has taken issue with woke advertising for Oreo biscuits. The group writes:
Oreo and parent company, Mondelez International, have begun airing a gay pride commercial which has
absolutely nothing to do with selling cookies. Mondelez International is attempting to normalize the LGBTQ lifestyle by using their commercials, such as the most recent Oreo ad featuring a lesbian couple, to brainwash children and adults alike by
The ad has a daughter going home to see her family and brings her lesbian lover with her. The commercial focuses on the mother approving of her daughter's girlfriend, but the father is hesitant and has
reservations. He later has a change of heart and even displays his acceptance of her lifestyle by painting his picket fence in rainbow colors to further show his approval. The advertisement ends with: A loving world starts with a loving home. Followed
by: Show you're a proud parent #PROUDPARENT. And the final statement: In collaboration with PFLAG. Oreoproudparent.com.
PFLAG is the United States' first and largest organization uniting parents, families, and allies with people
who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. PFLAG National is the national organization, which provides support to the PFLAG network of over 400 local chapters. Founded in New York City, New York, with their headquarters based in Washington,
D.C., PFLAG is the most visible group showing support for LGBTQ youth and acceptance of this lifestyle.
When we purchase Mondelez International products then we are helping fund and support PFLAG. In 2011, the popular snack-food
company Nabisco became known as Mondelez International. Its most popular brands in the United States are Oreo, belVita, Chips Ahoy!, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Honey Maid, Halls, Philadelphia, Ritz, Sour Patch Kids, Triscuit, Trident gum, and Wheat Thins.
Scotland Yard are continuing to harass YouTuber Darren Grimes despite the investigation being widely considered as an abuse of free speech.
Politicians and free speech campaigners have questioned the police response to a YouTube video of Grimes
interviewing historian David Starkey on racial issues.
During the interview, on Grimes's YouTube channel called Reason, Dr Starkey said slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn't be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there?
It has now emerged that Grimes has been asked to attend a police interview under caution to respond to accusations of stirring up racial hatred.
Sajid Javid and Tim Farron lead backlash against Met Police whilst Home Secretary Priti Patel
Decisions of the police to investigate particular cases are clearly an operational matter... but as a general principle, it's important the law protects freedom of speech.
Secretary Sajid Javid wrote on Twitter:
David Starkey's comments were appalling. But, the idea that it's appropriate to go after journalists for the remarks of their interviewees is plainly absurd. For the sake of our
cherished free press, I hope the Metropolitan Police reconsider.
Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said:
Grimes is not responsible for Starkey's appalling comments. In a free society, we surely don't do
things like this?
The case will be raised at the Commons home affairs committee this week by Conservative MP Tim Loughton, who said Met Commissioner Cressida Dick should be questioned over a vexatious investigation.
Police are set to review a race hate investigation against journalist Darren Grimes and David Starkey to ensure it is proportionate, after the historian made a damn blacks remark during a YouTube interview.
The Metropolitan Police's decision to probe
Grimes sparked a freedom of speech backlash from politicians and journalists. In addition to the comments from Priti Patel, Sajid Javid and Tim Farron, Lord Macdonald, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, called the police probe sinister and foolish
and described the investigation as a political stunt.
Now Grimes has tweeted saying that the Met Police was reviewing its investigation, and that he would not be interviewed by an officer. He said:
have cancelled my interview with them on Friday and announced a 'senior officer has been appointed to conduct a review into the investigation to ensure it remains proportionate. They say they'll update me in due course.
Trigger warnings in classic Disney films have been updated from last year and now preach from the bible of critical race theory.
When played on the Disney+ streaming service, films such as Dumbo , Peter Pan and Jungle Book now
appear with a Disney statement acknowledging its racist content and the company's racism. The statement reads:
This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures, the warning says.
These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.
Rather than remove the content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future
Other films to carry the warning are The Aristocats , which shows a cat in yellow-face playing the piano with chopsticks, and Peter Pan , where Native Americans are referred to by the racist slur 'redskins'.
Paris Opera is getting into a spin about race and diversity in its ballets and operas.
400 of its staff (about a quarter of the total) have signed an open letter calling for an end to the silence that surrounds racism.
The letter calls
for a ban on blackface in its operas and ballets and for pointe shoes and tights to match dancers' skin colour, a practice already commonplace in Europe's major ballet companies. The letter also calls for a ban on use of the word 'nigger' in the dialogue
In response, the opera's director Alexander Neef has launched an external investigation into the claims, with a report to be published by December. Neef asked investigators to examine the ballet blanc, the tradition of female dancers
all wearing white tutus or dresses, as well as other issues.