Germany's media regulator has revised its code on reporting whether crime suspects belong to an ethnic or religious group.
The German Press Council, a voluntary, industry-run body, says information about a person's ethnicity shouldn't be published unless there is a justified public interest in doing so. Previous guidance said such details should only be published if
there was a link between a person's ethnicity or religion and the crime.
Numerous German media outlets complained that the old code was hard to interpret during a breaking news situation and that withholding such information left readers searching for it on questionable social media sites and stirred conspiracy theories of
media cover-ups of migrant crimes.
A Walking Dead T-shirt has been removed for sale by the British clothing retailer Primark, after a
complaint that the shirt was racist and fantastically offensive.
The shirt in question bore the image of a baseball bat and the message Eeny Meeny Miny Moe , a reference to a scene from the AMC zombie drama in which Negan is deciding who in the protagonist group to kill with his barb wire mace.
In the scene, Negan continues the phrase with, Catch a tiger by his toe .
Ian Lucraft complained to Primark saying:
We were shocked when we came face to face with a new t-shirt with a racially explicit graphic and text. It was fantastically offensive and I can only assume that no one in the process of ordering it knew what they were doing or were aware of its
A Primark spokesperson grovelled an apology for the shirt, saying that any offence that the shirt caused was wholly unintentional:
The T-shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the U.S. television series, 'The Walking Dead,' and the quote and image are taken directly from the show. Any offense caused by its design was wholly unintentional and Primark sincerely apologizes for
this. Primark has pulled the product from sale.
The t-shirt is widely available with several similar designs also on sale.
For the unenlightened I should explain that a sensitivity reader, or beta reader, is a person employed by a publisher to vet an author's works with the aim of identifying and excising any material that might be deemed offensive. Once limited to
children's fiction, sensitivity readers are now being enlisted to monitor works intended for adult consumption.
Riptide Publishing explains more in a recruitment advert:
Riptide Publishing, a publisher of the finest LGBTQ fiction, is hiring paid sensitivity readers. Our SRs will read manuscripts during developmental edits with an eye toward any potentially inaccurate, inauthentic, insulting,
misrepresentative, harmful, or *-ist themes, phrases, or actions in the text.
Sensitivity readers must be a part of the culture(s) or identity/identities they are reading for.
We need readers in all areas of racial, ethnic, and religious diversity, sexual and gender orientation, and mental and physical illnesses and disabilities.
ludicrous PC extremists at Cardiff Metropolitan University' have banned phrases such as right-hand man and gentleman's
agreement under its censorship rules governing what students and staff are allowed to say.
The college's guidance dictates that gender-neutral terms should be used where possible, adding that students should not allow their cultural background to affect their choice of words.
It advises that the terms forefathers , mankind and sportsmanship should be avoided, as part of efforts to embrace cultural diversity through language.
Dr Joanna Williams, a lecturer in higher education the University of Kent and author of Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity, notes that advising that certain words are banned is unnecessary . Shed said:
It is a very authoritarian attempt to control the way people think and the language people use.
The idea that in a university people need to be dictated to in this way is really insulting to students and academics, we should be able to cope with words. These words have evolved over a long period of time and they don't have sexist associations.
A spokesprat for Cardiff Metropolitan University spouted:
The University is committed unreservedly to the principle of academic freedom within the law. It is also committed to providing an environment where everyone is valued and treated with dignity and respect. These two commitments are cornerstones of
academic life at the University.
A politically correct Californian law targeting age discrimination has failed to win the immediate approval of a judge. The law requires date of births or age
to be withheld from documents and publications used for job recruitment. One high profile consequence is that the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) would be banned from including age information in the profiles of stars and crew. This has led to the
challenge of the law on grounds of unconstitutional censorship.
This week's ruling does not look good for the Californian law as the judge decided that birthday prohibition shall not apply until the full legal challenge is decided. District Judge Vince Chhabria ruled:
[I]t's difficult to imagine how AB 1687 could not violate the First Amendment. The statute prevents IMDb from publishing factual information (information about the ages of people in the entertainment industry) on its website for public consumption. This
is a restriction of non-commercial speech on the basis of content.
To be sure, the government has identified a compelling goal -- preventing age discrimination in Hollywood. But the government has not shown how AB 1687 is 'necessary' to advance that goal. In fact, it's not clear how preventing one mere website from
publishing age information could meaningfully combat discrimination at all. And even if restricting publication on this one website could confer some marginal antidiscrimination benefit, there are likely more direct, more effective, and less
speech-restrictive ways of achieving the same end.
Chhabria held that -- because the law restricts IMDb's speech rights -- the site is suffering irreparable harm and enjoined the government from enforcing the law pending the resolution of this lawsuit.