WHSmiths: Stop dispensing free copies of The Sun.

WHSmiths: Stop dispensing free copies of The Sun.

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Chris Coyle-Chislett started this petition to WHsmiths

Problem
The tabloids have arguably long since replaced religion as the opiate of the people yet the UK’s favourite pedlars of prejudice and propaganda, The Sun, have bribed WHSmiths to push their Sunday papers free of charge with every sale.

During my five minutes in our local branch today, four other customers came and went, each being offered and accepting a free copy. None had picked it up, nor had they shown any interest in it beforehand.

When I asked the cashier about it, she rolled her eyes frustratedly and assured me that this is a very innocent gift. She explained that it is just The Sun and that customers can refuse it if they like.

Scale this up across the company’s 1400 stores and potentially hundreds of thousands of new devotees are being passively mopped up each week to be ‘innocently’ indoctrinated with misleading, popularist headlines such as ‘Beleave in Britain’ and ‘1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ Sympathy for Jihadis’.

Whilst we might not expect anything but from Rupert Murdoch (this likely pales into insignificance when compared to News Corp and others’ practice in the murkier world of algorithms and social media advertising), we should expect a company aiming to be the nation’s most popular high street retailer to take a more balanced approach – not least during these perilous political times where viewpoints matter more than ever.

In the aftermath of whatever happens in these next few months, the UK will so desperately need an open-minded, politically engaged population if it has any hope of forging a way forward. I ask WHSmiths not to hinder our recovery any further.

Solution
Stop dispensing free copies of Politically charged material such as The Sun.

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