Do you think the PC crowd has gone a little too far? At one Colorado University, it has gone even further lately.
Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins released an article titled “10 Ways to Make Your Social Media Channels More Inclusive” on September 28. In that article they outlined some rather curious new rules that dictate how students and others in the University community should communicate when they post to social media.
Can you say “censorship?” Whatever happened to free speech?
Here are some of the especially “interesting” rules:
- Use inclusive pronouns (they/them/theirs, students, Rams, everyone). Colorado State’s mascot is a ram, and people in the CSU community are known as the Rams.
And then this is given as a sample post for that rule:
“Enjoy the sun, Rams. #ColoradoState”
- Use the yellow emojis when addressing a diverse audience.
And this is given as the sample post:
“Sun setting = it’s officially the weekend in #Ramcountry.”
- Avoid gendered emojis when possible. Instead use one of the variations of the yellow smiley faces or object emojis.
And then this is the example post provided for that rule:
“Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Here are your #StateOfSummer photo winners.”
It is interesting to see the mention of yellow emojis. Those emojis are recommended because they are both generic, in that they do not refer to any particular race or group, and they look standard and cheerful. They are reminiscent of a certain major retailer’s smiley face on its logo.
Some of the other rules listed in the article, like “Don’t assume gender or identity online” and “Authentically represent diversity” are not quite as overboard when it comes to being PC but they still examples of censorship by the left.
One problem with dictating rules such as the ones listed above is that making those types of rules can be a never-ending process. Someone is invariably going to be offended by anything posted. For example, in one of the examples mentioned above, a vegetarian or vegan might be taken aback by the mention of a chicken dinner. Or some people perusing social media might not like the mention of a “winner” if they think it sounds too arrogant or if it makes them feel inferior.
When it comes to yellow emojis, which are apparently intended to decrease the number of people offended, someone will still be offended. For example, some people might find that they wish their race or gender was being more specifically highlighted by having the particular emoji that represents their race. Some might find the color yellow to represent skin color as being offensive.
And here’s the thing with using gender-neutral pronouns like “they,” “them” and “theirs.” It can lead to grammatical errors. For example, saying “The student was looking for their class schedule” should actually be written more like “The student was looking for her class schedule.” That example is grammatically correct. “The student” is singular, as it refers to one student, so saying “their,” which is plural, does not agree. It’s frustrating that the PC style of language can introduce completely avoidable grammatical errors.
And to top it off, CSU is supposed to be a learning and academic environment, so certainly encouraging students to write properly should always be top of mind.
One of the key problems with going down the PC road for any type of communication is that the rules inevitably have to become increasingly PC to please everyone. And pleasing everyone is impossible anyway.
The social media rules come from CSU’s “Team Social” which says this in its description:
Hi. We’re #TeamSocial.
We provide the strategic direction and development of all university-wide social media accounts. We also offer training and best practices to our campus community.
That is all well and good, but there is a fine line between providing guidance on best practices and overstepping boundaries by dictating how people can and cannot communicate. Doing the latter can creep into dangerous territory where free speech is stifled and people are told what to say (and how to say it).
It would be nice if people could simply use some common sense in their online interactions and communication, although as the saying goes, common sense is not very common.
~ Freedom New Report