Posts Tagged ‘PC’

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home affairs committee People convicted of insulting people online should be named and shamed on a government register of offenders under new laws to censor social media, says an all-party committee of MPs.The Commons petitions committee claimed new laws were needed to combat online harms because current legislation was not fit for purpose and self-regulation by the social media firms had failed.

The committee was responding to a petition, backed by more than 220,000 people, from reality TV star and model Katie Price who demanded new online laws and a register of offenders after her disabled son, Harvey, was viciously trolled for his condition, colour and size.

The MPs believe a criminal law, which covered online abuse and included proper recognition of hate crimes against disabled people, will achieve what the petition is looking for from a register, as criminal convictions will show up as part of a Disclosure and Barring Service check, said the MPs.

The committee said a high proportion of abusive content related to football with most shockingly the name of Harvey Price used by fans as an insult for someone’s ability as a footballer.

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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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Slender Man Blu-ray Slender Man is a 2018 USA horror by Sylvain White.
Starring Joey King, Javier Botet and Annalise Basso. BBFC link IMDb

Slender Man tells the story of a tall, thin, horrifying figure with unnaturally long arms and a featureless face, who is reputed to be responsible for the haunting and disappearance of countless children and teens.

Slender Man, as released in US theaters this week, is not a complete movie. While originally the producers developed a much darker take on the character, bloody-disgusting.com were told that the producer Screen Gems’ mandate was that it should be PG-13. The target was and always has been for teenagers.

However insiders told bloody-disgusting that Sony/Screen Gems were succumbing to fear of a PC backlash that started when the father of the girl who stabbed her classmate called it distasteful. 2018 isn’t exactly the year of reason, and the studio was scared into back peddling their horror film.

The father of the victim whose life was nearly claimed by two girls that worshipped the Slender Man had spoken out against the film, citing how they feel disgraced by Hollywood making a film about events that led to tragedy.

This also caused Sony and Screen Gems to release the film with very little promotional materials to it and it did not screen for critics.

bloody-disgusting’s sources confirm that several major scenes from the film were completely removed by the studio leading up to this past weekend’s release. Slender Man, as presented to audiences, isn’t a complete film; many of the striking scenes that were teased in the first trailer, like one of the characters stabbing her eyes out, or another ripping her tongue out after encountering Slender Man in the woods, are completely missing from the film.

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slave montreal festival posterThe Montreal International Jazz Festival has explained its decision to censor a show featuring a white woman singing songs composed by black slaves.Festival CEO Jacques-Andre Dupont said the decision to abruptly cancel SLAV partway through its run was made for a mix of technical and human reasons, including security concerns raised by the escalating vitriol surrounding the show. He also said that the show’s star, Betty Bonifassi, had broken her ankle and indicated she was no longer able to continue.

He said that while many protesters were peaceful, the festival and the theatre where the show was performed were concerned by the aggression of some protesters and the rising division and anger surrounding the show. He said Bonifassi’s decision to not continue was prompted both by her injury and the criticism.

Dupont said the festival and the production company would absorb what he said would be hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses associated with cancelling the show, including paying the performers.

SLAV, one of the hottest tickets at this year’s jazz festival, was the subject of protests claiming ‘cultural appropriation’ of black culture and history. It was described as a theatrical odyssey based on slave songs and a journey through traditional Afro-American songs, from cotton fields to construction sites, railroads, from slave songs to prison songs.

Black activists denounced the show and its mostly-white cast, and U.S. musician Moses Sumney cancelled a gig at the festival in protest.

Amid a storm of international media attention, the festival announced Wednesday it was cancelling the remaining performances and apologizing to anybody who had been hurt.

The renowned Quebec playwright Robert Lepage who directed the show criticized the decision to cancel it, calling it a direct blow to artistic freedom. He said in a statement that actors pretending to be someone else is at the very heart of theatre:

When we are no longer allowed to step into someone else’s shoes, when it is forbidden to identify with someone else, theatre is denied its very nature, it is prevented from performing its primary function and is thus rendered meaningless.

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king and i 2018 posterThe King and I is back in the West End, 67 years on from its Broadway debut.But its portrait of a white woman being both fascinated and repelled by a society depicted as both backward and barbarous is winding up a few PC critics.

The Telegraph’s Dominic Cavendish whinges The King and I one of the most problematic musicals of the 20th Century American canon. Michael Billington expresses similar sentiments in The Guardian , saying it seems to endorse the idea of the civilising influence of the west on the barbaric east.

The Independent’s Paul Taylor detects a smack of imperial condescension to this story of a widowed, well-bred Victorian governess who… gives a funny foreign despot… a stiff dose of Western values.

Time Out’s Andrzej Lukowski, meanwhile, calls the musical kind of racist … like an elderly relative who you make allowances for on grounds of age.

Director Bartlet Sher responds that the show remains resonant, powerful and extremely well-conceived. He also dismisses suggestions the piece has dated, saying its views on colonialism, gender equality and the conflict between modernity and tradition make it as timely and powerful as ever.

I wonder if these PC critics would have banned British cave rescuers from helping out in Thailand lest heroically saving children’s lives affirms ‘white saviour’ stereotypes.

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google news logoFor its updated news application, Google is claiming it is using artificial intelligence as part of an effort to weed out disinformation and feed users with viewpoints beyond their own filter bubble.Google chief Sundar Pichai, who unveiled the updated Google News earlier this month, said the app now surfaces the news you care about from trusted sources while still giving you a full range of perspectives on events. It marks Google’s latest effort to be at the centre of online news and includes a new push to help publishers get paid subscribers through the tech giant’s platform.

In reality Google has just banned news from the likes of the Daily Mail whilst all the ‘trusted sources’ are just the likes of the politically correct papers such as the Guardian and Independent.

According to product chief Trystan Upstill, the news app uses the best of artificial intelligence to find the best of human intelligence – the great reporting done by journalists around the globe. While the app will enable users to get personalised news, it will also include top stories for all readers, aiming to break the so-called filter bubble of information designed to reinforce people’s biases.

Nicholas Diakopoulos, a Northwestern University professor specialising in computational and data journalism, said the impact of Google’s changes remain to be seen. Diakopoulos said algorithmic and personalised news can be positive for engagement but may only benefit a handful of news organisations.  His research found that Google concentrates its attention on a relatively small number of publishers, it’s quite concentrated. Google’s effort to identify and prioritise trusted news sources may also be problematic, according to Diakopoulos. Maybe it’s good for the big guys, or the (publishers) who have figured out how to game the algorithm, he said. But what about the local news sites, what about the new news sites that don’t have a long track record?

I tried it out and no matter how many times I asked it not to provide stories about the royal wedding and the cup final, it just served up more of the same. And indeed as Diakopoulos said, all it wants to do is push news stories from the politically correct papers, most notably the Guardian. I can’t see it proving very popular. I’d rather have an app that feeds me what I actually like, not what I should like.

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Transport for London (TfL) has apologised for an ‘insensitive’ body shaming message written on a service information whiteboard at Blackhorse Road Underground stationThe 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.