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Profile image for Sarah McLaughlin Sarah McLaughlin

Senior Scholar, Global Expression at FIRE. Writing about international censorship, higher ed, and the relationship between the two. Opinions mine. Posts about free expression, authoritarianism, and Philly sports. Go birds.

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in honor of his birthday, my favorite Johnny Cash song:

@Popehat how have you gotten more snow than we have in Philly this winter

“HB 999 would eliminate ‘any major or minor’ that ‘engenders beliefs in the concepts defined’ in the unconstitutional Stop WOKE Act, as well as any ‘major or minor in Critical Race Theory, Gender Studies, or Intersectionality,’ or any ‘derivative major or minor of these belief systems.’

As we have said before, efforts to purge universities of gender studies because of the viewpoints they advance are reminiscent of attacks on academic freedom abroad.”

@Popehat you’re always welcome to visit us in philadelphia, we’ll introduce you to the charming local jargon

@Popehat @JacobRussell I wrote a message about Gritty on it lol

@Popehat There is a Philadelphia themed bar there, you can let me know if the dollar bill I wrote a message on and put on the wall is still there. Obviously this will be at the top of your list.

if you’re ever wondering what’s going on in the background of every zoom meeting I’m in

Twitter appears to have stopped publishing transparency reports showing what takedown demands governments have issued and, importantly, which demands Twitter honored. This is a bad development for free speech and transparency — especially after the recent censorship demands India has been granted on Twitter.

"According to results collected on Jan. 5 using Shadow Bird, a website that analyzes accounts blocked from Twitter’s search results, tweets from 30 accounts of Chinese dissidents were not showing up in search results."

Hong Kong is, of course, arguing that its vague and murky definition of national security — used to punish political expression — is intentionally unclear to grant authorities the flexibility to redefine it at will.

@Popehat Oh no the sarah McLachlan ad

this is 100% true, I swear: tonight a woman randomly showed up halfway through a workout class I was in with a small white dog, and she started benching it.

@Popehat yeah I wouldn't personally take criticism from him to heart lol

It's incredible to see some of the initial responses to the fatwa against Rushdie from people like Prince Charles, Roald Dahl, and Cat Stevens. I'd be curious to know how many of them later recanted.

India has banned a BBC documentary critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged role in deadly riots more than 20 years ago from being shown in the country. One of Modi's advisers says YouTube and Twitter have complied with the order to block it:

@Popehat the whole time I read this I was picturing that “is there someone you forgot to ask” meme but instead of Jesus it was the ccp and two parents

Maybe, just maybe, you can suggest Americans can learn things from other countries without defending the authoritarian governments oppressing the people who live there. Just an idea!

There is just something so grating about seeing someone who isn't the target of oppression explain how it makes them feel freer. I doubt doing PR for the CCP was the author's intent here, I just wish she understood that it's possible to make her argument without including a defense of one of the most oppressive governments in the world.

I missed this on the first read through. This "co-parenting" framing is just bizarre here. What a way to obscure what this actually is.

What a foolish thing to say. Maybe oppression only feels like freedom to you because you're not the one bearing the brunt of it.

There's always someone admiring the boot when they're not the one being crushed under it.

@Popehat @pebonilla when @adamsteinbaugh first moved to Philly I convinced him it was a local law that “shop” had to be spelled “shoppe” in store names

@Popehat there was effort involved and I think we should celebrate that

I always enjoy getting feedback.

I'm in the Star Tribune with some thoughts about Hamline University's academic freedom violations and the very foolish idea of essentially instituting a blasphemy ban.

A blasphemy exception is not a narrow, reasonable cutout that protects students from "harm." Don't believe me? Just take a cursory look at what constitutes religious offense around the world.