Archive for the ‘Political Correctness’ Category

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New York State seal A bill was recently introduced to the New York State Senate by Senator Kevin Parker and Brooklyn borough President, Eric Adams, that would require gun license applicants to hand over social media passwords, and 3 years of search history for review by the State. Regardless of how you feel about gun rights, this is a clear violation of privacy, and a request like this in any context is completely inappropriate, and totally unconstitutional. Background checks are one thing, but the process outlined in this bill goes way too far. This isn’t about gun rights, this is about privacy rights.

The authorities intend to check that all licence applicants are totally politically correct. The relevant text of the bill reads:

In order to ascertain whether any social media account or search engine history of an applicant presents any good cause for the denial of a license, the investigating officer shall, after obtaining the applicant’s consent pursuant to subdivision three of this section, and obtaining any log-in name, password or other means for accessing a personal account, service, or electronic communications device necessary to review such applicant’s social media accounts and search engine history, review an applicant’s social media accounts for the previous three years and search engine history for the previous year and investigate an applicant’s posts or searches related to:

  • (i) commonly known profane slurs or biased language used to describe the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person;

  • (ii) threatening the health or safety of another person;

  • (iii) an act of terrorism; or

  • (iv) any other issue deemed necessary by the investigating officer.

For the purposes of this subdivision, “social media accounts” shall only include facebook, snapchat, twitter and instagram, and “search engine” shall only include google, yahoo and bing.

Security experts have long warned that it’s extremely dangerous to give your password to anyone, including your local police department. It not only exposes you to unreasonably intrusive analysis, but also exposes private details of everyone you have ever communicated with with online. If your friend wants to buy a gun does that mean the police should get to read every message you’ve ever sent them? The best thing we can do is reject these ideas right now to prevent bad privacy practices from become normalized.

It makes perfect sense to require background checks and other vetting before allowing someone to purchase a weapon, but setting any precedent that allows the government to demand social media passwords is extremely dangerous. If you care about privacy, and keeping a close eye on overreaching state power, please sign this petition and tell the NY State Senate that you oppose bill S9191.

Sign the petition from actionnetwork.org

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beau stantom mural Beau Stanton’s mural of Ava Gardner adorns the Robert F. Kennedy Community School in LA’s Koreatown. The mural is an homage to the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub which stood nearby, and depicts the Old Hollywood film star in profile, palm trees and moorish architecture overlaid on her face. Behind her head, alternating rays of blue and orange in a sunburst pattern.japan rising sun flag Last month, the Wilshire Community Coalition sent a letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District requesting that the mural be censored. The group ludicrously claimed that the pattern was too similar to the Rising Sun Flag of Imperial Japan, a symbol loaded with pain and trauma for the Korean-American community that they likened it to the Swastika of German Nazism. The group wrote:

This work is extremely offensive and threatening to many survivors, descendants and community stakeholders who stand in absolute opposition of the Japanese Imperialism, Racism, ethnic hatred and crimes against humanity committed by the military aggression during the World War II

In response to their request, the LAUSD agreed to paint over the mural during winter break.

Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight issued a scathing rebuke to the decision calling it deplorable. An innocent artist is being smeared as a promoter of hate speech, Knight wrote, his work unfairly attacked for something it is not. He went on to detail the ways in which the mural differed from the Rising Sun Flag, from the number of rays — 44 vs 32 — to the colors used, and the myriad sources in which similar motifs can be found. Deceptive claims have been weaponized to shut down free speech, he concluded. The school mural is not the scandal; LAUSD’s imminent censorship is.

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unicef on campus logo Comedian Konstantin Kisin had offered to perform for free in a Unicef on Campus charity event at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) in London. However he turned down the gig after being asked to sign a ‘behavioural agreement’ that banned a long list of PC topics that weren’t allowed to be laughed at.

The full list of topics listed by the organisers were racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion or anti-atheism. The contract said: It does not mean that these topics cannot be discussed. But it must be done in a respectful and non-abusive way.

Konstantin told Radio 1 Newsbeat the experience reflects a growing trend of free speech becoming stifled on university campuses across the UK. He shared the behavioural agreement form online and tweeted:

I just received an invitation to perform *comedy* at a university…The title of this contract nearly made me puke.

I just think it reflects an attitude among a group of people, people at university particularly, where it seems that they have become places of indoctrination rather than learning.

Students are being taught to prevent offence rather than to seek truth and pursue experiences.

Universities used to be all about that, but now it seems they’re places where students are being taught to be woke.

Konstantin pointed out that it is dangerous to work with hypersensitive PC groups:

I didn’t turn down this gig because I’m some racist, homophobic, xenophobic, ableist comedian. I turned down this gig because if you sign a contract like that, you’re exposing yourself to someone’s bad interpretation.

If someone writes a contract like that, the chances are that they will be hypersensitive, vigilant and trying to catch you out. I’m just not interested in that.

After their censorship was found out, organisers, Unicef on Campus, apologised

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sweden pc censors Sweden’s Advert Censor (RO) has criticized a Stockholm company for sexism after it used a popular meme alongside a recruitment advert.The image, known by online communities as the Distracted Boyfriend Meme, is based on a stock photo of a man turning away from his appalled girlfriend to look at an attractive woman. Swedish ISP Bahnhof used the image alongside a jobs advert; in their take on the meme, the boyfriend was turning away from your current workplace to stare at Bahnhof.

The censor claimed that the use of the meme was gender-discriminatory, both due to presenting women as interchangeable and sex objects and presenting a stereotypical picture of men seeing women as interchangeable. Saying that it seems a little discriminatory to stereotype men as always seeing women as interchangeable.

The original posts shared to Bahnhof’s Facebook and Instagram pages received hundreds of comments. Many of these criticized the alleged sexism of the image, and the advert was reported to the advert censor.

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police federation logo The new head of the Police Federation John Apter, who represents 120,000 rank and file officers across England and Wales, has said his members were incredibly frustrated because they have been assigned to sorting out social media spats rather than tackling more serious crimes like burglary.

The new head explained that while resourcing remained the main issue facing policing, there was also a lack of common sense when it came to priorities.

Last week it emerged that Yorkshire Police had asked people to report insults on social media, even if they were not considered to be a hate crime. Other forces have been criticised recently for using computer programmes rather than experienced officers to decide whether a burglary is worth investigating. Such initiatives have led to criticism of the police and the observation that the service is out of touch with the public.

But Apter said nobody was more frustrated than police officers when they were prevented from attending burglaries and other serious crimes. Burglary is one of the most intrusive, horrible crimes that a householder can go through. It makes you feel incredibly vulnerable, but people can sometimes wait days for a police response, Apter said.

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House of Commons logo[The trouble with discriminatory laws such as this is that they encourage hatred of others rather than diffusing the issue. Identity politics is very aggressive. Lynch mobs gather to push for for the most severe punishments for the most trivial of transgressions. Police and the prosecuting authorities always seem to side with the complainant and the resulting injustice is noted by more or less everyone in society. It succeeds only in winding everybody up and chipping away at any remaining respect for the way that the authorities run our lives. In an equal society everybody should have exactly the same rights to be protected form the ill intent of others].

The Labour MP Stella Creasy has put forward an amendment to the upskirting bill, due to be debated in the Commons this Wednesday, that would add misogyny as an aggravating factor in England and Wales. This would enable courts to consider it when sentencing an offender and require police forces to record it.

Creasy hopes this will be the first step towards recognising misogyny as a hate crime. Creasy said:

Upskirting is a classic example of a crime in which misogyny is motivating the offence. We protect women in the workplace from discrimination on grounds of their sex, but not in the courtroom — with upskirting, street harassment, sexually based violence and abuse a part of life for so many it’s time to learn from where misogyny has been treated as a form of hate crime and end this gap.

The Guardian understands that the Law Commission, which has called for a fundamental review of all hate crime legislation, supports the spirit of Creasy’s amendment.

In Scotland, the Holyrood government will shortly launch a consultation on the reform of all aspects of hate crime legislation, after an independent report recommended including gender , as well as age, as a hate crime in law. Although the National Police Chiefs’ Council rejected a proposal to extend the policy nationwide in July, it has set up a working group to examine the issue.

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Show Dogs DVD The Daily Mail is hyping some cinema ‘outrage’ about a new children’s film opening this week, Show Dogs . The Mail writes:

Parents have reacted with fury after British cinemas are still showing scenes from Hollywood film Show Dogs that were banned in America months ago because they were deemed inappropriate for children.

The film features scenes touch in hyper sensitivity of PC extremists about consent and touching relating to dogs bollocks.

In one scene the dog has his genitals inspected and is told to go to a zen place and in a later scene urged to overcome his resistance to being touched so he can become a champion.

Moralist campaigners first raised concerns about the scenes in the United States and Global Road Entertainment, who distribute the scene said it decided to remove two scenes from the film ‘Show Dogs that some have deemed not appropriate for children.’

Of course the British ‘outrage’ is pretty minimal and was spotted mostly in a few angry tweets. One mother from north London, who asked to remain anonymous, told MailOnline:

Expecting that the scenes had been cut I didn’t think twice about taking my four-year-old. So it was quite shocking to discover that the scenes appeared to still be in there – with one of the dog characters being coached to go to their ‘zen place when the judges were going to inspect their genitals.

This was repeated a second time towards the end of the film, when the character of Max the dog has the inspection.

It wasn’t a packed viewing but a few of the parents of the younger children immediately covered their ears and asked them to look away.

Annoyed parents have also been in contact with the BBFC about the contentious scenes. The BBFC responded that the scenes are entirely innocent, non sexual and occur with in the clear context of preparing for and judging in a dog show