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Sunday, June 11, 2023

Cancel culture extremely damaging in universities

By: V4 Agency

Free speech is severely restricted in many universites, a recent research suggests. The situation is so dire that state legislation may be required to stop censorship.

We already knew that cancel culture – resulting in many cases where people who express views that run counter to the leftist-liberal ideology are silenced or cancelled – is a growing threat. According to research by a British think tank, we can now see exact numbers on how damaging the rise in cancel culture is to free speech and freedom of expression.

The research carried out by Civitas suggests that cancel culture has a negative impact and is becoming a barrier to free speech at universities. “Our findings suggest that 86 percent of universities faced either severe or moderate free speech restrictions which need to be addressed,” Jim McConalogue, the lead researcher at Civitas has said.

The core problem is that students and academics find themselves in educational institutions in which “they cannot speak freely of the leading subjects of their day, including on race, gender, or their views on religion,” McConalogue said.

The report by Civitas noted that even well-known, premier institutions such as Cambridge, Oxford, and St Andrews aren’t immune to the phenomenon. They were all classed  as “red” zone institutions that severely restrict free speech, particularly due to cases of “no-platforming” of speakers who are deemed by some students to have politically incorrect opinions.

According to the research, 35 percent of UK universities are in the “red” zone. The situation in these institutions is so severe that government legislation might be required to stop censorship, Civitas suggests. For the 70 institutions that ended up in the “yellow” zone, Civitas ony recommended intervention by The Office of Students (the UK universities watchdog), instead of state intervention. Only 19 universities were in the “green” zone.


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