Tag Archives: index on censorship

Today’s #TwitterSilence – are you in or out?

For those of you who don’t inhabit the Twittersphere, many people today are taking part in a #TwitterSilence (that’s its hashtag).

It was the idea of Times columnist Caitlin Moran as “a symbolic act of solidarity” intended to shame Twitter into taking more seriously the rape/bomb threats and other abuse being targeted against women. You can read her blog about it here.

I’m not taking part. I summarised my reasons here:

My Co-Editor Caron Lindsay wrote an excellent piece on the topic here last week. And Index on Censorship’s Padraig Reidy has written an excellent response to Caitlin Moran, highlighting how the well-intentioned desire to limit the free speech of people who abuse it can have damaging consequences:

A lot of time spent defending free speech is not actually about defending what people say, but defending the space in which they can say it (I’ll refrain from misquoting Voltaire here). It may be idealistic, but we genuinely believe that given the space and the opportunity to discuss ideas openly, without fear of retribution, we’ll figure out how to do things better. Censorship holds society back. In fact, it’s the litmus test of a society being held back.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 9 Comments

Julian Huppert writes…Update on the Defamation Bill

libel-reform-campaign-logoThe Defamation Bill has had a troubled passage through Parliament. Hijacked by Labour over Leveson, attacked by Tory backbenchers concerned about companies and undermined by vested interests, I was glad to see it finally reach one of its last Parliamentary stages in the Commons today.

I was on the Joint Committee that considered this bill when it was a draft – those discussions are already beginning to feel like a distant memory! But we will deliver a huge reform of the UK libel laws.

All the while, Lib Dems have been vociferous in …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 15 Comments

As Leveson reports… Why I’m sticking up for ‘Press freedom with no buts’

Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal will report this week. His recommendations on the future of press regulation are the subject of intense speculation, with essentially three positions being staked-out:

What’s being proposed

‘Independent regulation backed up by statute’
Advocates, who include Evan Harris and the Hacked Off campaign group, argue that the only way to ensure the press does not abuse its position in the future is for it to be regulated. But, they insist, this should be independent both of government and the press, the two main …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 38 Comments

The Independent View: Social media – no longer an easy target

Open Rights Group, alongside 9 other human right groups including Amnesty UK, Liberty and Index on Censorship, yesterday wrote to the Home Secretary, Rt Hon Theresa May MP. We were responding to the Prime Minister’s comments that the Government will “look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality”.

The letter was written to coincide with a meeting that took place at lunchtime yesterday between the Home Secretary and Twitter, Facebook and Research in Motion, to discuss what that …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , , and | Leave a comment
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