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The decline of Internet freedom

2021 was a bad year for Internet freedom, and 2022 hasn’t started particularly well. Free expression online is under a massive strain, most notably in authoritarian regimes like Myanmar, Belarus, and Uganda. This was one of the main findings from a Freedom House report published last September entitled Freedom on the Net 2021. Hopes of […]

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News

Gavin Williamson announces measures designed to protect academic freedom

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced stringent new measures this week which aim to prevent free speech and academic freedom being infringed upon in higher education institutions. Upon implementation of the regulations, the Office for Students will be able to fine universities for breaching these rules. Williamson expressed concern that universities are no longer […]

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Social media: the new force against fascism

I’m tired of feeling guilty every time I tap the Facebook icon. Millennial and Gen Z cohorts have been bombarded with anti-social media messages since its relatively recent advent. Horrifying statistics about social media usage. Scientific studies. Reports of cyberbullying. The evidence seems to suggest that social media is designed to drive us to despair, […]

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Editorial

The ways in which J.K. Rowling’s critics silence trans voices

Content warning: discussion of misogyny and transphobia; mentions of domestic abuse and sexual assault There are few current issues which inspire as much rancour as the debate over trans self-identification, and no individual, surely, who receives as much vitriol for their views on the subject as the author J.K. Rowling. She has been involved in […]

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We must be free to disagree

For those Scots who value the legacy of the Scottish Enlightenment, Holyrood’s Hate Crime Bill may be the most regressive piece of political kowtowing in recent memory. Lockdown has seen a sharp increase in celebrity cancellations, as old tweets resurface and their tweeters are virtually decimated. Now the Scottish government will give offenders something else […]

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You have the right to speak but not to be heard

Content warning: transphobia. “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” – @jk_rowling, 6 June 2020 Was JK Rowling’s tweet about people who menstruate transphobic? Probably. There are lots of people smarter than me who have responded to it and I suggest […]

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A response to the Guardian Newspaper publication entitled ‘If China valued free speech, there would be no coronavirus’

The Coronavirus, named COVID-19, is a new virus and previously unknown strain of influenza. At present, 85,000 cases have been confirmed in 60 countries. 2,900 deaths have been attributed to the virus. In three months, the outbreak has surpassed the combined fatality rate of the 2003 SARS and the 2012 MERS epidemics. This piece provides an analysis of […]

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Features

Liberation in the era of the Second Amendment

The shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas this August were, despite their tragedy, unsurprising. The United States has averaged one mass shooting (at least four casualties) per day in 2019 alone and in most cases, including Dayton and El Paso, the guns were legally purchased. In ‘the land of the free,’ school children […]