I recently attended a debate which focused on whether or not ‘fake news’ is covered by free speech. This topic is very relevant for bloggers because if you tend to focus on news and current events, you are contributing to the discourse and you are presenting your own view of the truth, a view which may or may not be widely accepted.
Would fake news laws shut down blogs just because the powers that be don’t agree with them? Who decides what is and is not fake? And what would that mean for political commentators, Youtubers, bloggers and keyboard warriors? Before you decide whether or not fake news should be banned you first need to think about what fake news is and who defines and decides what fake news is.
Donald Trump believes that the mainstream media deliberately lies about him and his fans. The public has, to some extent, always been dubious of the mainstream media but the rise of independent news outlets seems to be fuelling this distrust. Facebook and Google are clamping down on fake news. People are being implored to actually research the facts before they share a meme. Fake news is very relevant to a world where basically anyone can be a journalist and users alone decide what will go viral, but is fake news detrimental to or in fact supported by free speech?
I have written an article about whether fake news should be banned, the definition of fake news, the difference between interpretation and facts, and whether or not fake news should be banned. The article was published on MCXV, an independent news website which allows contributors to make a small profit based on a number of views they get. Is this the kind of website which would be targeted by anti-fake news legislation? Take a look and let me know what you think!
Happy belated 420 everyone.
I just wrote an article about why America should legalise drugs. Most of the reasons people tend to come up with is a person’s rights over their own body, the ridiculousness of criminalising something that only ‘harms’ yourself, and the relative safety regarding certain illegal substances (like marijuana) as opposed to legal substances (like alcohol).
These are all very true, but I thought I would try and get away from the personal reasons and focus on how legalising drugs could have huge positive ramifications on America’s messed up prison system, disproportionate representation of African Americans in American prisons, the fact that the punishment often does not fit the crime, how legalising drugs could help with overcrowding, how many Americans are actually in jail because of drug-related offences etc.
I am not from America. I should also admit that I have not been to America so a lot of my information comes from articles, statistics and Orange Is The New Black. If anyone is from the states and/or knows about the prison system and has any comments on my article or the issues relating to drugs, racism, prisons and crime please let me know!
Check out my article by clicking here or going to https://mcxv.com/real-reason-drugs-legalised-america-no-dont-just-want-get-high/
I wrote my first ever article about Donald Trump yesterday. It’s hard to know what is actually going on with him and his supporters if you a: don’t live in America and b: tend to only hear very anti-Trump opinions. I attempted to be as objective as you can be with someone like that and read his campaign policies to get an idea of what he wants to do with his time in office. I got the policies from politiplatform.com and some don’t appear on his official website, but they are all based on things he has said. Obviously, people are getting quite hysterical about him and it’s hard to tell what’s actually going to happen, but from the looks of it, things are likely to get worse.
Read my full article here.
It hasn’t even been a month yet and already the immigration ban, ongoing commitment to the Mexican wall and refusal to fund foreign organisations which even /mention/ the word abortion has got a lot of people quite understandably scared, and judging from some of his policies and statements things are going to get scarier. Is anyone from America? What do you think of Trump? Are you scared? Do you support him? What on earth is goin on?
A section of British MPs have debated whether the controversial republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has caused worldwide outrage for his comments regarding Muslims including the call for Muslims to be banned from the US, should be banned from visiting the UK. This is a result of an online partition calling for Trump to be banned from the UK which currently has 576, 447 signatures . SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh claimed that the ban could be justified on ground of ‘religious harmony’, but others have said that the ban could actually create more support for Trump because it may give him ‘martyr’ status, and even those who would usually abhor his claims would support his right to free speech.
I do not think Trump should be banned from the UK. This is not because I agree with Trump; frankly I still can’t quite believe the guy exists, let alone that anyone would consider letting him run a country. However, the worst thing you can do with a bigot like this is deny them their right to speak. If you do this it gives them ammunition. It gives someone whose views are normally ridiculous a genuinely valid argument, because we are denying them the free speech we often fight so hard to protect. And we would also be denying ourselves a golden opportunity to ridicule this man and show his ideas for what they are.
We should not ban him, rather we should try and set up a televised talk with a live audience and panel who would be given the opportunity to challenge Trump, to put him on the spot and to make him squirm. I remember years ago the UK wanted to stop Nick Griffin participated in a BBC debate. The debate went ahead anyway, and Nick Griffin was put on the spot and he showed himself for what he was, which gave him opponents even more ammunition to criticize and challenge his views.
This is precisely what we need to do with Trump. Rather then deny him free speech, we should use free speech against him. Clearly no matter what we do we won’t change his or his more hardcore supporters beliefs, but we can try to trip him up on his logic enough that maybe the more intelligent potential supporters will question him. This is not guaranteed, but it can’t hurt. We shouldn’t be scared of these people, we should show that rather then just try to hide from them and pretend they don’t exist we can and we should challenge them, not just from behind a keyboard but in real life. The call to ban him was a valid form of protest, and is good because it shows that a large number of UK citizens disagree venomously with his assertions, but we need to go beyond that. We can’t just say we disagree because we don’t like what he says, we need to take that and then show why what he says is wrong. To simply disagree isn’t enough, we need to engage with these kind of views in so much that we can break them apart, ridicule them and prove them wrong. That is the only way we can even hope of defeating someone like that.
The 26th of June 2015 (yesterday!) will go down in history as the day that the whole of America officially legalized same sex marriage, couples in every state in America will now be able to enjoy equal marriage regardless of their sexual orientation. It seems incredible now to think that fifty-sixty years ago you could go to jail if you were in a gay relationship, that so many people were jailed and suffered for something so ridiculous as being in love (or just having sex). It sucks that our societies made such a big fuss for so long about people being gay or bisexual, and its terrible how many gay and bisexual men and women suffered for their feelings and were thought ‘unnatural’ for their love and consensual sexual actions. However, it’s also fantastic and exciting that it is within our lifetimes that this is changing, and that decades and centuries of oppression in America and the West over homosexuality are (mostly and sometimes slowly) coming to an end. Homophobia still exists, but I genuinely think now that in another fifty-sixty years it will be almost completely a thing of the past. You can’t change every single individuals mind, but equality in the eyes of the law is an important milestone, and one that should be celebrated.
This is such a simple and obvious thing that its hard to understand why it has ever been (and continues to be for some people and some entire countries) an issue. Same sex relations is not, and never has been, unnatural. It has happened throughout human history from the earliest civilisations, some people have always been and always will be gay or bisexual, and it occurs frequently in other animals (none of whom seem to mind or have homophobic reactions). Love is love, and a relationship can be good or bad regardless of the sex of those in question, but if a relationship is good and if someone has found a person who they love and trust enough to spend their lives with, that should be celebrated regardless of (barring children and animals) who is in love with who. Finding someone you really truly love doesn’t happen often in a persons life, and when it does those people have the right to have it recognised by their country and law regardless of who has (or hasn’t) got a penis. It sucks that its taken so long to get to this point, but I am ecstatic its happened now. Happy pride day, and enjoy your marriages whoever you are. You all deserve it. ❤