Week 2 – The Basic News Story

A top story at the time, at least as when this was drafted, was concerning a major conservative political pundit/journalist and his recent ban. The pundit in question, Milo Yiannopoulos, had built his career on being an infamous firebrand and general troublemaker, and was banned after a series of brief arguments with another public figure.

This conversation was captured and circulated world wide, with a huge variety of news sources taking interest in the journalist and interviewing him over the piece. Featured below is just one example of a piece of the back and forth between the actor and Milo (@Nero being his handle).#her
This particular topic interests me heavily as someone who has a heavy fascination with the concept of freedom of speech and the various merits and values that it entails. ‘How far does freedom of speech go’ and what are it’s potential ramifications has always been a very interesting topic for me personally, and this particular chain of events fascinated me since it’s managed to spark huge discussions about the topic, leading to a very wide array of opinions being thrown on the table.

People on the side of Jones for instance tend to argue that Milo’s mockery of Jones was essentially inciting his fan base to attack her, which lead to a series of potentially racist imagery that lead to her leaving the site. (The Huffington Post 2016)

People on the side of Milo meanwhile tend to run with the narrative that this is Twitter infringing on free speech. Milo’s status as a major conservative figure, particularly in the new generation of young, tech savvy adults with an interest in politics, has lead to many right leaning outlets (International Business Times 2016,  Heat Street 2016) going so far as to outright declare this to be a war on conservative viewpoints.

Other news sites have taken a more moderate view, with some declaring that Milo’s barbs towards Jones were wrong, but he still should have the right to express himself as long as it’s not outright inciting physical violence towards her (Soave Robby 2016). This happens to be the sort of viewpoint that I’d personally take on free speech related issues; as long as you aren’t outright attempting to incite physical violence you should be able to say whatever you want, and receive whatever criticism you get in return.

Quiz Results

This time round I did much, much poorer as a result of simply diving into the quiz beforehand without testing my own general knowledge on the topic at hand. I had no issues with returning to it and learning from my mistakes however, and in general a goal of mine was to improve my own general literacy coming into this course so it works for me.

References

  1. Southern Lauren, International Business Times 2016, Milo Yiannopoulos’s ban proves Twitter is censoring conservatives, http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/milo-yiannopouloss-ban-proves-twitter-censoring-conservatives-1571759
  2. Piker Hasan, The Huffington Post 2016, Milo Yiannopoulos is NOT a free speech martyr, and Twitter totally mishandled this situation, http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/milo-yiannopoulos-is-not-a-free-speech-martyr-and_us_5791046ee4b0a1917a6e3dd2
  3. Soave Robby, reason.com 2016, On Leslie Jones vs Milo Yiannopoulos: Supporting free speech does not mean endorsing Nazism, http://reason.com/blog/2016/07/20/on-leslie-jones-vs-milo-yiannopoulos-sup
  4. Hicks William, Heatstreet 2016, Anti-Free speech left celebrates the Twitter ban of Milo Yiannopoulos, http://heatst.com/culture-wars/anti-free-speech-left-celebrates-the-twitter-ban-of-milo-yiannopoulos/
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