Tag Archives: Milo Yiannopoulos

Ethics Dunce: ThinkProgress Editor Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani

A Milo protest at UCLA followed by a bomb threat that shut down his speaking appearance.  You'd think they'd want him to have a book published so they could burn it...

A Milo protest at UCLA followed by a bomb threat that shut down his speaking appearance. I’d think they’d want him to have a book published, so they could burn it…

Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani, an editor at progressive website ThinkProgress, epitomizes a real problem for progressives, and society’s ability to trust them with political power. She, like increasing numbers of others espousing her ideology, believes that citizens expressing opinions she doesn’t agree with should be prevented from doing so.

Her post is titled “We live in a world where white supremacists get lucrative book deals,” and her argument is that the “white supremacist” in question (though he isn’t one), inexplicably popular professional asshole Milo Yiannopoulos, shouldn’t be able to get a book published or be paid for writing it.

Yiannopoulos’s act is that he is forcefully and often obscenely politically incorrect, particularly regarding feminism. If he’s a white supremacist, he’s a very odd one, having a gay partner who is black. Yiannopoulos has been banned from Twitter, which regards his harassment of a black actress ban-worthy but the harassment of white male conservatives just desserts, and he has also sparked several episodes on campus last year where his scheduled speeches were cancelled by cowardly college administrators after students complained that the threat of his likely comments being made to others caused them to feel “unsafe.”

He got a book deal because he is famous in some circles, a culture war combatant, and a sometimes amusingly inflammatory writer. He got a book deal because enough people are likely to buy his book that his publisher expects to make money. He got a book deal because enough people in a free country want to read what he has to say. Varkiani believes this is scandalous, and if she and her fellow censors had their way, he wouldn’t be able to get paid to speak or write. Continue reading

98 Comments

Filed under Business & Commercial, Citizenship, Education, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights

Social Media Ethics Conundrum: What Is The Fair, Objective, Rational Response To This?

double-standard

A libertarian website, curious as to how objectively Twitter enforces its standards, registered a complaint about the tweet on the left, and receiving the circled response, sent the tweet on the right, with Twitter responding to a complaint by banning the account.

How should fair, ethical people respond to this?

I do not see the website’s investigation, or this post, for that matter, as partisan or ideologically slanted in any way. A major social media platform used by government agencies, the President Elect, journalists, pundits, and news organizations as well as celebrities, scholars and average members of the public, has a duty commensurate with its power and influence. It can be politically biased and manipulative of public opinion, it can tilt its content to reflect particular interests, policies, cultural attitudes and agendas, but it is unethical for it to do so, particularly when it claims it does not do so.

This is smoking gun proof that Twitter is biased, censoring what it doesn’t like from people and groups it doesn’t like while allowing identical tweets from people and groups it feels an alliance to. It is a double standard. Now what?

Should fair, ethical people continue to use an organization that abuses its influence and trust like that? I use twitter, though only to send out links to Ethics Alarms posts. Am I ethically obligated to stop doing that? Should a non-left biased counterpart to Twitter take away half its business? Well, as we have learned from Fox News vs. the left-leaning mainstream media, competing media entities with off-setting biases still won’t supply what is needed, which is fair, trustworthy and reliable reporting. Continue reading

64 Comments

Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Race, Social Media, U.S. Society, Unethical Tweet

Ethics Quote Of The Week: FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai

First-Amendment-on-scroll1

“The text of the First Amendment is enshrined in our Constitution, but there are certain cultural values that undergird the amendment that are critical for its protections to have actual meaning. If that culture starts to wither away, then so too will the freedom that it supports.”

—FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai  to the Washington Examiner, in an interview where he expressed concern that respect for First Amendment principles were diminishing, particularly on college campuses.

Isn’t it fascinating that so many of those who are concerned about the freedom of speech being diminished by political correctness have responded by supporting a Presidential candidate who regularly abuses the right of free speech, and whose response to protesters at his own speeches is to abuse them?

But I digress.

Today’s example of what Pai is talking about comes from California State University Los Angeles (CSULA), where president William Covino, responding to expressions of dismay from the same kinds of students who needed counseling at Rutgers, cancelled a scheduled speech by conservative pundit and Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro, and in a particularly Orwellian touch, did so citing the need for the “free exchange of ideas.” Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Citizenship, Education, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Rights

“His WORDS Are Too Horrible to Bear!” Why Is Rutgers Pampering Student Delusions About Free Speech?

"He DISAGREES WITH ME!! ARRGH!! It's too painful to BEAR!!!"

“He DISAGREES WITH ME!! ARRGH!! It’s too painful to BEAR!!!”

It is unethical to make students or their parents pay obscene amounts of money to be rendered incompetent and dysfunctional for the life challenges that face them. Based on this bizarre incident at Rutgers—tuition about $25,000 per year, per student—that is exactly what that esteemed institution is doing. How many others are doing the same?

Journalist Milo Yiannopoulos—that’s being generous: I’d call him a professional troll, or a white, gay Ann Coulter—kicked off his “Dangerous Faggot” tour at Rutgers. He’s an in-your-face, liberal shibboleth-shattering, intentionally provocative rabble-rouser of the hard right, famously banned by Twitter, which now appears to be sucking up to Social Justice Warriors. Milo, who is one of the ugly, culture-scarring mutants created by the radiation emanating from the hyper-partisan environment encouraged by the Obama Administration,  expounded on  gender wage gap myths, feminism, the “rape culture” and Black Lives Matters in as offensive a manner as he could, and he is talented at being offensive. Some 50 students in the audience who were there to bury Milo, not to praise him,  stood up and smeared fake blood on their faces to signal their opposition. Ten protesters left, forty stayed.

Then they had a collective breakdown, or something. The Daily Targum, Rutgers newspaper, reported that following Yiannopoulos’ appearance, students and faculty gathered in the Paul Robeson Cultural Center to discuss their trauma at his words and the reaction to it from students in the audience. “We are here to show support,” was the mantra repeated by nearly every person in the crowd as they introduced themselves, as if voluntarily listening to a hard-right, politically incorrect conservative provocateur was the equivalent of experiencing sexual assault or the death of a child. Continue reading

20 Comments

Filed under Character, Education, Environment, Rights