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Stop printing Katie Hopkins’ hurtful gossip disguised as news

This petition had 39 supporters

Support free speech for all, but stop printing Katie Hopkins’ hurtful gossip disguised as news.

The purpose of this petition is simple: to reduce the negative impact of Katie Hopkins’ ignorant and hurtful comments by asking media outlets not to print her tweets as news.

One important point: we live in a world where free speech should be promoted and protected. Any great and fair democracy must allow its people to speak their minds and voice their worries, concerns and opinions.

The aim of this petition is not to stop Katie Hopkins speaking her mind or vocalising her opinions. The aim of this of this petition is to ask the media outlets why they continue to play such a key part in continuing the vicious circle which results in so many people being angered and upset by the genuinely offensive words of one individual.

The circle runs like this:

  • Katie Hopkins makes a purposefully offensive, explosive comment about a delicate issue (disability, religion, class, nationality, parenting, sexuality)
  • Media outlets – even those who claim to be middle or left, balanced and fair – place Katie’s comments on the front page of their newspapers alongside real, actual news (often telling us how terrible she is)
  • The public responds with anger and disgust
  • Katie receives publicity and gains notoriety
  • Newspapers offer her money for her comments
  • Katie makes a new purposefully offensive comment…

And it starts again. More people feel bad about themselves, more people are upset, more mentions of her name where real news should be, more anger, more viciousness.

I’m tired of hearing about her. I’m saddened that so many of us are feeling worse about our lives because of her words. Children with obesity, asylum seekers, muslims, people with disabilities, mental health sufferers, immigrants, the unemployed, drug addicts, red-haired babies – the list goes on, and on…

Isn’t it hard enough facing everyday life as a person with a disability without being sworn at and bullied on social media by a columnist?

Shouldn’t we aim to build confidence in those members of our society who are struggling rather than mock and belittle them through second-hand quotes from a professional gossip?

If a tragedy strikes humanity and a ship crammed with desperate migrants – children, babies, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers – drown at sea, do we really want the headlines to be filled with one person’s ignorant and hateful comments or do we want to hear about why it happened so we can stop it ever happening again?

Yes, it’s more expensive to print real news; it takes time and research. You might get fewer hits, clicks and shares. But you have a decision to make. As a trusted news publication are you really willing to sacrifice your reputation for cheap and hollow success rather than producing fair, quality content for your readership?

Some newspapers employ Katie Hopkins because they know that her negativity and meanness will make them money. This petition isn’t aimed at them. This petition is aimed at those media outlets who should know better than to peddle angry bitterness as news.

The Huffington Post is a prime example. One week they print numerous blog articles written by individuals who are rightfully angry at Katie Hopkins’ most recent outburst, the next week they invite Katie to blog for them (and presumably pay her). They rally their readers to swat a wasp but then leave honey out overnight to draw it back in.

Of course newspapers should represent both sides of the argument. They should aim to achieve this by printing articles by contributors who have knowledge about the subject at hand. The mother of a child with autism knows about autism, Katie Hopkins does not. If you want to argue against the diagnoses of neurodevelopmental disorders then choose someone who has studied the subject, not a reality TV star whose words seek only to hurt and offend.

This petition speaks on behalf of all those people who want to say this to the media:

Stop the circle.

Stop printing hurtful gossip disguised as news. By doing so you will gain the respect of your readership and increase the quality of your publication. You will also directly contribute to the well-being of thousands of members of our society.

We are, and have always been, a fair and kind society who help those who need support. Promote this core attitude, not the words of those who work to destroy it.


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