The Guardian and Beatrice Bray. Comment is free, but abuse is not tolerated.

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On 24 June, Beatrice Bray who is Service User Governor at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust sent the following email:

“Hi Dawn – excellent news from the Guardian. Maybe you would like to post this on your blog Dawn Willis sharing the News & Views of the Mentally Wealthy.

The Guardian’s Comment is Free site, notorious for its abusive posts, has amended its community rules for bloggers so that they are now forbidden from posting disablist abuse.
 
The old community rules excluded disability:
 
5. We will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of hate-speech, or contributions that could be interpreted as such. We recognise the difference between criticising a particular government, organisation, community or belief and attacking people on the basis of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
 
However the new ones include the 
 
5. We will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of hate-speech, or contributions that could be interpreted as such. We recognise the difference between criticising a particular government, organisation, community or belief and attacking people on the basis of their race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.
 
This rule change means that whenever you see a term of disablist abuse in any post in Comment is Free you are entitled to report it to the moderators and it should be removed.
 
This follows a campaign by Beatrice Bray, a service user governor at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust. Beatrice received many abusive posts on Comment is Free after she wrote an article for the Guardian entitled Cartoonists should be careful how they portray mental health. She complained to the editor in order to make sure that no writer with a disablity would ever have to face the indignity of seeing a string of abusive terms tacked onto the end of their article. The hope is that this will clear the way for a new generation of writers with disabilities so that they can write without fear of intimidation.
 
Best wishes”
 

2 thoughts on “The Guardian and Beatrice Bray. Comment is free, but abuse is not tolerated.

    Judith Haire said:
    June 25, 2010 at 10:55 am

    This is excellent news. Well done Beatrice!

    Paul Davidson said:
    June 25, 2010 at 9:34 am

    This if fantastic News. I hope other papers and various forums follow the lead. Then just may be many peope willl participate get involved and share their experiences to help each other.

    Thank you Beatrice.

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