In high school, I was apparently very interested in the topic of media bias, but I never addressed my own biases. I was mainly grilling the obviously right-wing news outlets, and while I mentioned the left-wing outlets (thinking MSNBC might be too biased to the left), there was always one news outlet that I apparently trusted, seemingly with blind faith – The Guardian. They seemed like the a rational, reasonable news outlet. I knew they were left-wing, but I didn’t think they were extreme. But something’s been troubling me lately – their latest patronising campaign freedom of speech.
All week long, the Guardian website has been running a series of articles which, they claim are about the growing phenomenon of online harassment. In reality, it’s their excuse to wag their fingers at everyone on the web. One example of such articles is “the dark side of Guardian comments”, which basically comprises of a bunch of privileged London-centric writers reading over some of the “vile and abusive” comments they’ve received, and the article only shows you the point of view of the writers who were offended. It also contains a quiz in which you are given the opportunity to moderate a selection of comments. Whatever you answer, you’ll find that the Guardian is very keen on blocking any comments that they find ideologically unappetising (they will block any comments critical of feminism without question).
While we’re on that subject, The Guardian’s statistics on the matter are very shaky. They claim that “of the 10 most abused writers eight are women, and the two men are black”. To me, that just screams of not just sexism, but also racism and ideological cherrypicking. Of course they would make this up, because that would fit the left-wing narrative that anyone who isn’t a white male is a victim needing our protection. If you ask me, that narrative sounds a bit unsettling, mainly because it now seems like the Guardian is now pushing internet censorship, almost in Orwellian fashion. More worryingly though, their mentality on this reeks of leftist self-flagellation for ancestral sins. For them, all the world’s woes are caused by “privileged” white people, and they never corroborate this notion with any real facts.
For a paper that claims to love democracy, it seems to have completely turned its back on freedom of speech. One article, written by a clearly oversensitive writer named Owen Jones, wrote an article about trolls, but used it to proclaim that freedom of speech could “poison the very bloodstream of democracy”. If anything’s poisoning our democracy, it’s obviously people like him, and all those like him who wish to use fear to turn the public against freedom, and this is not an isolated case. For The Guardian, freedom of speech is “elitist”, and yet they never explain how, as if everyone who reads it is supposed to know. Then again, this is the exact same news outlet that claimed that banning porn on campus gave students more freedom of choice. Not only is it lunacy, but it’s also poorly justified.
Most of The Guardian’s editorials are concerned with the safety of women. Why? Don’t we live in a safe country? If they wanted to worry about women’s safety, what about those poorer countries where young girls are impregnated and forced to marry older men at a young age? I don’t hear their concern about that. Their only concern appears to be privileged middle class women, especially if they happen to be female journalists. They’ve basically become a sounding board for the worst brand of highly processed neofeminism under the guise of journalism. If you don’t believe me, then it’s worth noting that whenever the men’s rights movement ever comes up in one of their articles, they always patronise the idea, as if men are too privileged for their concern. That patronising tone only masks the obvious sexism of the writers. For them, women are always the victims, and when you associate women with a perpetual state of victimhood, then you’re a sexist pretending not to be, and by my books, there’s absolutely no difference.
Worst of all is The Guardian’s insistence that the Internet is a dangerous place. Those privileged, London-centric writers apparently can’t stand the idea of there being a place with no rules. Oh wait, there’s already such a place. It’s called life. All those rules we have, we’ve literally just made them up from paper. Tear all that away, and life here on Earth would be just as lawless as the Internet, but I digress. The Guardian writers insist that the Internet needs more regulation in order to protect women from online harassment, which is fine until they run an article which explicitly states that writers “shouldn’t have to put up with abuse and insults”. To be fair, they don’t. They could just quit, or better yet, stop reading the comment section! If you want my opinion, the possibility of being harassed by virulent trolls is simply a part of having your opinions out in the open. I certainly didn’t care about that when I started this site, and I was 18 years old. Considering that the average Guardian writer must be over 30, I’d say that, even in my early days, I’m definitely more mature than a bunch of writers who complain about harassment.
Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I don’t condone harassment or rape threats anymore than the next man, but this is not the way to handle it. I was once harassed by a swathe of Welsh nationalists over a post I had written in 2013 (the post was since deleted, which I’ll admit was a bad move on my part). In that post, I tried to make the argument that we shouldn’t be forced to learn the Welsh language, but I accused the Welsh nationalists of fascism (which, again, was a bad move on my part). Even after being bombarded with annoying and ideologically unpalatable comments, I didn’t clamour for increased regulation. I moved on, like I feel we should all be doing, and I’m not alone. Stephen Fry, in an interview with Dave Rubin, expressed worry about the climate of censorious self-pity currently dominating our society, and, perhaps because of how he phrased it more than anything else, most of the media turned on him, especially social media and, surprise surprise, The Guardian, who claimed that nobody would be listening to him if he were poor. Does that sound like the standard bearer of quality journalism, or the wailing throngs of the failed excuse for a journalist, drowning in his own biases, presumably while locked away in his safe space.
They keep screeching about how we have to stop online harassment, but they have no intention of explaining how they think we should do so, and neither have they attempted to reconcile that with the need to preserve free speech. What they fail to realise is that you can’t stop online harassment. You can’t stop any form of expression that goes on in the Internet, at least not without punishing the innocent first, because inevitably the innocent are always prosecuted before the guilty when pandering to mass hysteria. Of course, The Guardian doesn’t care. They’re only interested in stirring up moral panic. Ladies and gentlemen, they’ve become Mary Whitehouse, but this time, the target of their witch hunt seems to be anyone on the Internet who dares disagree with them, because they’ve been lumped into the same group as the genuine abusers, who are the ones that should be punished in the first place.
To me, all this sounds like The Guardian never really got over Gamergate, because the rhetoric of The Guardian is largely indifferent to the rhetoric of the social justice warriors, except for the fact that The Guardian’s writers go through contortions to sound cultured, purely for the purpose of making its readers feel like idiots (or smarter for having read them, which they’re not). At least with “The Web We Want”, the mask has finally crumbled, and we can now see The Guardian for what it really is – an illiberally leftist mouthpiece for those who wish to advance their authoritarian narrative. At this point, you can’t trust them anymore than you can trust such skeezy tabloids as The Sun or The Daily Star. If you see a copy of the paper in your local newspaper, don’t pick it up. Buying their papers only supports their agenda, as the writers and editors carefully count their money, while presumably locked away in their safe spaces as they write the next post about how we’re apparently evil for using the Internet, ignorant of the fact that most Internet users probably aren’t as bad as they think. Maybe if they took their heads out of their asses for just a minute, they’d probably see that.