Welcome to the Burnet News Club sessions!
If you have missed a session at school or would like to recap what you have learnt, then work through the activities below.
Let's start with some questions...
- Should people be able to say whatever they want? Yes/No/Maybe? Why?
- Can opinions ever be wrong? Yes/No/Maybe? Why?
- What makes something OK or not OK to say? Would everyone agree?
Think about these different scenarios.
- Does the amount of people involved matter? Yes/No/Maybe? Why?
- Challenge: how would the internet affect the scenarios?
Check out the keywords that you'll need for this session and the rest of the Issue
If someone is “cancelled” it means that others stop listening to what they have to say or giving them support.
The people who disagree – or the “cancellers” – reject everything to do with the person being cancelled and encourage others to do the same. This could include trying to get their social-media accounts taken down, encouraging their workplace to fire them or asking their friends to stop speaking to them.
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech refers to the right that people have to share their opinions without being stopped or punished by law.
Cancel culture might affect whether someone feels confident or not about sharing their opinions but it DOES NOT take away their right to freedom of speech.
- Why would someone want to cancel someone else?
- What examples of cancel culture have you seen in the news?
Can you come up with five reasons why someone might want to join in with cancel culture – for example, to feel more powerful or to show they disagree with an opinion. Rank your reasons from “most acceptable reason” to “least acceptable reason”.
Read these two fictional scenarios.
|Scenario 1||Scenario 2|
|The leader of your country doesn’t like socks so it is illegal to talk about socks||Socks are unpopular in your country but you can still talk about them|
|If someone tries to talk about socks they are arrested||One person has started sharing information about why socks are great|
|People are scared to be involved with anyone who might mention socks||Lots of other people think this is wrong and offensive, and say people talking about socks should be ignored|
|The law is so strict that some people have never heard of socks||Soon, everyone is ignoring the person who likes socks and people are nervous to be seen with them|
- Which scenario shows freedom of speech? Which did not?
- Which scenario shows cancel culture?
- Why might some people think cancel culture affects their freedom of speech?
Think about these two imaginary worlds. Which one would you prefer to live in? Why?
Can you give reasons why someone would prefer to live in the other imaginary world?
Over to you
We'd love to hear what you think about the questions in this session. Read what other students think, reply to them and add your own ideas in the comment section below.