Campus Free Speech

University of Lincoln's Conservative Student Group Censored for Complaining About Censorship

Students lose social media access for pointing out that Lincoln doesn't respect free speech.

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Lincoln
Marcin Floryan

Talk about proving a point. The University of Lincoln's student union has suspended a conservative student group's social media accounts—an act of retaliation against the group for daring to criticize the student union's hostility toward free speech.

In effect, the British university's student government is censoring students because they objected to censorship.

"Just to reiterate the irony of this situation," wrote a different conservative club at another university, "their student union, upon being criticized for being anti-free speech, have silenced those complaining about a lack of free speech!"

What happened was this: Lincoln's Conservative Society tweeted a link to Spiked magazine's Free Speech University Rankings, which do not hold Lincoln's student union in high esteem.

Someone in the student union most have noticed—the conservatives were accused of "bring[ing] the University of Lincoln Students' Union and the University of Lincoln into disrepute," according to spiked.

In response, the student union forced the Conservative Society off of social media until May 1. Student unions at British universities, unfortunately, enjoy broad censorship powers (this is what happens when you don't have a First Amendment).

Lincoln students may not have the right to criticize their overlords, but we do. Here is the University of Lincoln Student Union's Twitter page. Let its leaders know how you feel about the way they handle dissent.

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  1. Isn’t it funny that at one point the British Empire ruled a good portion of the world?

    1. So much that the sun never set. And yes, it’s ironic.

      1. Not like you need to control that much for that. England, Singapore, and , say, Jamaica.

  2. How does the University even have the ability to shut down their social media accounts? Do they have the passwords or something?

    1. this was my question as well. I suspect it’s something along the lines of “we’re monitoring your twitter account now, and if you post anything, you will be expelled and prosecuted to the full extent of The Queen’s Law.”

      1. Read to me like it was a university owned group account and not individual’s accounts.

        1. Is that a thing, on the twitter, group accounts? I was kinda hoping the whole thing would fade into obscurity without me knowing anything about it.

  3. Please tell me again how Fascism is on the right? (It never was)

    1. It’s not. It’s to the *right* of other socialist left-wing isms like Nazism,Marxism and progressivism.

      All are left-wing. There never was a right-left paradigm. Once (classical) liberalism was killed off, those are the isms that fought over its carcass.

      1. In Europe the ‘left’ of the dichotomy refers specifically to the Young (or Left) Hegelians, and their subsequent schools of thought. All of which are essentially descended from Rousseau. Right, in that context does not so much refer as specifically to the Right Hegelians, so much as mean ‘any form of Idealism not specifically of the left.’ Which could range from strict religious monarchists to classical liberals of the Scottish Enlightenment.

  4. this is what happens when you don’t have a First Amendment

    No Robby. WTF. You can’t be that fucking stupid. The weird, and definitely anti-libertarian, enforcement of Constitutional privileges on private Universities, simply because of the strings related to Federal funding, shouldn’t be assumed as either universal or good. Constitutional privileges should absolutely NOT play a role in the life of a private university.

    And as for public universities, well, in libertopia, there shouldn’t be any. So celebrating that public universities have to enforce Constitutional privileges is simply a celebration of statism.

    STOP fucking talking about the First Amendment relative to University life. It’s why I stopped giving to FIRE. Free speech is a moral issue, regardless of the First Amendment. And the First’s legal implications on University life in the US is NOT a good thing (unless you have a dumb-ass results driven utilitarian worldview).

    1. Hey dipshit, this happened in England.

      1. There is that. But his point actually still applies. He is saying that since government shouldn’t have universities, applying the constitutional restrictions on government universities is just a “celebration of statism”.

        It is just a bizarre post.

        1. He is saying that since government shouldn’t have universities, applying the constitutional restrictions on government universities is just a “celebration of statism”.

          No he isn’t. He’s a fuckwit who didn’t realize this happened in England and is doubling down on his stupidity. I’m begging you, John, don’t go running after him.

          1. Bring it Sparky. It’s fucking obvious that it happened in England. The University of Lincoln is a private institution. Such an institution in the US would only be subject to the First Amendment if it elected to receive Federal aid in regards to student admissions (as almost all in the US do). But that’s NOT a good thing. Private Universities in the US are clearly not arms of the state, and celebrating the fact that the state can control them, simply due to the technicalities of funding, is not a good thing.

            Public Universities in the US are clearly legally obligated to follow Constitutional principles. But it’s not clear to be that we should be celebrating that either. Instead, the focus should be much more directly on the moral principles of Free Speech.

            1. Bring it Sparky.

              Bring what? Your constant yammering about how the US works is what’s making you look dumb, not me.

              You might have had something if you merely brought all this up on its own rather than springboarding off a retarded attack on Robby’s article.

              1. Why don’t you RTFA, Sparky?

                Student unions at British universities, unfortunately, enjoy broad censorship powers (this is what happens when you don’t have a First Amendment).

                How can you possibly defend that statement? Let me rephrase it…

                Private institutions, unfortunately, enjoy broad censorship powers (this is what happens when you don’t have a First Amendment)

                How the fuck does that make any sense? Why are you defending Robby for such an absurd statement?

                  1. So they get 10% of their funding from the government and likely 0 oversight. And you think, as with Private universities in the US, they should be subject to the cudgel of government authority? And that Private universities, who are subject to such a cudgel, simply on the basis of a small percentage of funding, is a good thing?

                    The cudgel doesn’t end with the First Amendment.

                    You’re making my point.

            2. This seems like a valid statement to me, at least to the point of recognizing that there is a difference between ‘public’ and ‘private’ in education and that only one of those would be subject to 1st amendment IF this happened here in the U.S..

              A private university would have the right to expel or censor whomever they wished and for more-or-less whatever reason they felt like using and MP is pointing out that this is indeed a private University. So why the outrage over the censorship? Should a private organization be able to control the media of it’s own internal groups?

              Yes, or no?

            3. MP, what the fuck are you talking about? The University of Lincoln is definitely a public university. If you don’t believe me, just check Wikipedia.

      2. And? No shit. Irrelevant to my point. My point is that the First Amendment shouldn’t be celebrated as a mechanism to beat a University into submission.

        1. Sorry, I thought you were trying to do something other than hate Robby. Carry on with whatever stupid point you think you’re making.

      3. this happened in England

        How embarrassing.

    2. And as for public universities, well, in libertopia, there shouldn’t be any. So celebrating that public universities have to enforce Constitutional privileges is simply a celebration of statism.

      That is completely idiotic. In Libertopia there wouldn’t be public schools or public roads or welfare. Would you be okay with the government only giving out welfare benefits to white people? If your position is that applying constitutional principles to state activities that shouldn’t exist is just a “celebration of statism”, why wouldn’t you be okay with it?

      The issue of whether there should be public universities at all is entirely separate from whether such places if they exist should be subject to constitutional limitations on government. Just because Libertarians lose one argument and government starts doing something like funding universities that Libertarians think it shouldn’t be doing, doesn’t mean Libertarians or anyone else should walk away and let the government take those actions with no regard to the Constitution.

      1. should be subject to constitutional limitations on government.

        I’m not debating whether they should be. They should. I don’t personally like it. I think there’s a point at which one is so far removed from being a government actor that it’s very challenging to justify. Most public schools are locally run. They are not part of a larger administrative state, in that Principals/Superintendents/etc. cannot be fired by State or Federal branches. But defining such a point is near impossible. Thus, from a legal perspective, it’s a logical extension of Constitutional protections.

        BUT…that’s not really my point. My point is that celebrating the First Amendment, in the context of discussions related to institutions which are clearly not direct arms of the government, shouldn’t be done by libertarians. Even public Universities in the US generally have a very loose connection to the government, in that hiring/firing/decisions are not made by elected government officials and their resources. They are independent, with the exception of a portion of their funding. They have their own boards and own fundraising and own revenue stream outside of taxes.

        Celebrating the principle of Free Speech in the US is great. Celebrating the hammer of the state against generally non-state institutions is not.

  5. Why the hell do you give the student union control over your twitter?

    1. EU Regs? Probably some reg that says to be an official student group and get the perks and privileges that go with that you must register your accounts through the student union.

  6. …the conservatives were accused of “bring[ing] the University of Lincoln Students’ Union and the University of Lincoln into disrepute,” according to spiked.

    Classic.

    1. It is pretty ironic considering that the student union believes that censorship brings them into disrepute from their statement. Therefore engaging in more censorship would logically be the student union bringing more disrepute onto their heads.

      Thus we arrive at censoring the censors.

      I think there’s probably a future Prime Minister in this Student Union. This much derp deserves a promotion.

  7. Those stupid whining conservatives.

  8. My Uncle Nolan recently got Infiniti G Sedan by working part-time from a macbook… go to
    the website…………. https://tinyurl.com/5days-job

    1. Do I have to use a MacBook? Because that’s really going to eat into the money that I need for that Infiniti.

      1. Yup, just like developing for iOS.

  9. SU tweet:

    Important information regarding ULSU’s Freedom of Speech

    posted 7th March 2017 at 1:00pm
    Freedom of speech is a fundamental value of the Students’ Union. The SU is built on a foundation where students can express opinions and ideas freely within the law.

    The Students’ Union is run by students for students. There are agreed policies in place ? based on national guidance for charities – which protect students and aims to provide a safe environment in which complex issues can be discussed and debated.

    At Lincoln, student engagement in political processes is high – the recent SU elections produced the highest turnout on record – and the Union provides many different ways for students to express their views and bring about change.

    For obvious reasons, we cannot comment on live disciplinary matters concerning members of one of our clubs and societies however; we can confirm that due to a suspected breach of the code of conduct a request has been made that the Conservative Society temporarily suspend their social media account.

    Though we are aware of some areas of concern regarding Freedom of Speech, we would like to reassure you that Lincoln SU shares the same values as the University of Lincoln in this respect.
    The University of Lincoln Students’ Union is proud to protect the rights of all individuals to express their opinions, ideas, and concerns, and would emphasize that student welfare is at the heart of everything we do.

    1. Damn that’s some funny shit. They have no self-awareness, no sense of humor, no clues whatsoever.

    2. ” . . .a REQUEST has been made that the Conservative Society temporarily suspend their social media account.”

      So which is it, a request or an order?

  10. an act of retaliation against the group for daring to criticize the student union’s hostility toward free speech.

    It cannot be stressed enough that silencing dissent is a hallmark of fascism.

    1. Kind of ironic that the ‘conservatives’ are in power but they’re treated like rebel scum by their government’s own universities.

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