Articles

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Chris Ashford on the popper ban in the Guardian

The forthcoming ban on so-called ‘legal highs’ and its impact on minority communities seems to be passing almost without notice, and only ceremonial opposition in Parliament. Chris Ashford offers an important corrective in the Guardian. He explains how merely sharing amongst friends and partners a drug that poses no harm to the vast majority of users could see […]

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Millian Liberalism and Extreme Pornography

My article, just published online by the American Journal of Political Science, argues that the ‘extreme pornography’ ban violates liberal tenets of free expression and privacy. I draw a parallel between what we might call a ‘traditional’ Millian defence of liberal rights and contemporary queer accounts of the value of […]

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Itziar Urrutia, aka Ms Tytania: Sexual Freedom Award winner

“One person sticking out in the crowd is a lone, ranting lunatic; two are a movement.” – Anon. On November 9th, I was presented with the Sex Worker of the Year Award, at the 2015 Sexual Freedom Awards ceremony. You can find out more abut the Awards’ history and also, […]

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Myles Jackman: Don’t criminalise the selfie-generation

Cross-posted from Myles Jackman By criminalising young people between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, our political and justice systems show how disconnected they are from technological change and social values, which is especially worrying so close to an election where politicians have been exploiting selfie culture. After an NSPCC […]

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Major political parties fail to halt mass criminalisation of young people

Civil liberties campaign opposes labelling teen ‘sexters’ as sex offenders A politically charged moral panic over young people’s attitudes to sexuality is leading to Internet censorship and the labelling of ordinary young people as sex offenders, civil liberties campaign Backlash warns today. Backlash will campaign for a change in the […]

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Lord Chief Justice Thomas mistaken: Internet porn does not turn people into murderers

Lord Thomas has claimed that Internet pornography was ‘a contributing factor in one of the most gruesome murder cases he had to rule on last year’ (see also the Daily Telegraph). As someone who has to sit in judgement over some of the worst offences committed in the United Kingdom, […]

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New powers to censor digital media are a threat to free expression

Backlash launches challenge against attempt to shut down British websites with adult content Today, the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014(1), a new law governing online media, comes into force in the UK. Backlash(2) will challenge the legality of this new regulation as a new threat to free expression. The law […]

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On Cultural Harm and Pornographic Diversity

Jude Roberts has a significant post on the problematic concept of ‘cultural harm’, which is frequently used as a justification for censoring pornography, especially in the absence of evidence that pornography is associated with more concrete harms against people. Part of her argument links ‘cultural harm’ to the disproportionate focus of […]

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Backlash submits written evidence to Criminal Justice and Courts Bill Committee

Backlash has submitted expert evidence in response to an amendment in the new Criminal Justice and Courts bill expanding the definition of extreme pornography to include fictional portrayals of rape. The summary argument is as follows: The amendment to ban ‘rape pornography’ risks criminalising more than a million otherwise law-abiding […]

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David Cameron: Censorship Creep

2014 will see the roll-out of Cameron’s Interner Filter. Billed as blocking porn, the policy is already being used to restrict access to LGBT health and lifestyle material, child protection websites and other forms of political expression. This was predictable because there is no settled definition of what constitutes pornography. […]