Straight Pride UK having a shot at the Streisand effect

A blogger called Oliver Hotham emailed a set of questions to an organisation called “Straight Pride UK”. They responded, Oliver blogged about it, and then was served with a DMCA takedown notice. WordPress generally just give in to these.

Oliver decided he didn’t want trouble – WordPress said his whole blog would be suspended if he posted it again. Ian at Technovia made the content available again. I’m mirroring it here. It would be great if more people could do the same – the more people that share this, the less can be done.

Oliver’s original post

There has never been a better time to be gay in this country. LGBTI people will soon enjoy full marriage equality, public acceptance of homosexuality is at an all time high, and generally a consensus has developed that it’s really not that big of a deal what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms. The debate on Gay Marriage in the House of Commons was marred by a few old reactionaries, true, but generally it’s become accepted that full rights for LGBTI people is inevitable and desirable. Thank God.

But some are deeply troubled by this unfaltering march toward common decency, and they call themselves the Straight Pride movement.

Determined to raise awareness of the “heterosexual part of our society”, Straight Pride believe that a militant gay lobby has hijacked the debate on sexuality in this country, and encourage their members, among other things, to “come out” as straight, posting on their Facebook page that:

“Coming out as Straight or heterosexual in todays politically correct world is an extremely challenging experience. It is often distressing and evokes emotions of fear, relief, pride and embarrassment.”

I asked them some questions.

First of all, what prompted you to set up Straight Pride UK? 

Straight Pride is a small group of heterosexual individuals who joined together after seeing the rights of people who have opposing views to homosexuality trampled over and, quite frankly, oppressed.

With the current political situation in the United Kingdom with Gay Marriage passing, everyone  is being forced to accept homosexuals, and other chosen lifestyles and behaviours, no matter their opposing views. Straight Pride has seen people sued, and businesses affected, all because the homosexual community do not like people having a view or opinion that differs from theirs.

Are your beliefs linked to religion? How many of you derive your views from scripture?

Straight Pride aims are neutral and we do not follow religion, but we do support people who are oppressed for being religious. Only today, Straight Pride see that two homosexual parents are planning to sue the Church because they ‘cannot get what they want’. This is aggressive behaviour and this is the reason why people have strong objections to homosexuals.

You say that one of your goals is “to raise awareness of the heterosexual part of society”. Why do you feel this is necessary? 

The Straight Pride mission is to make sure that the default setting for humanity is not forgotten and that heterosexuals are allowed to have a voice and speak out against being oppressed because of the politically correct Government.

Straight Pride feel need to raise awareness of heterosexuality, family values, morals, and traditional lifestyles and relationships.

Your website states that “Homosexuals have more rights than others”. What rights specifically do LGBTI people have that straight people are denied?

Homosexuals do currently have more rights than heterosexuals, their rights can trump those of others, religious or not. Heterosexuals cannot speak out against homosexuals, but homosexuals are free to call people bigots who don’t agree with homosexuality, heterosexuals, religious or not, cannot refuse to serve or accommodate homosexuals, if they do, they face being sued, this has already happened.

Straight Pride believe anyone should be able to refuse service and speak out against something they do not like or support.

There is a hotel in the south of England, called Hamilton Hall which only accepts homosexuals – if this is allowed, then hotels should have the choice and right to who they accommodate.

What has been the response to your campaign?

The response to Straight Pride’s formation has been as expected; hostile, threatening, and aggressive. Homosexuals do not like anyone challenging them or their behaviour.

We have had support from many people saying that if homosexuals can have a Pride March, and then equality should allow Heterosexuals to have one too. After all, the homosexual movement want everyone to have equality.

Why would you say that heterosexuality the “natural orientation”? 

Heterosexuality is the default setting for the human race, this is what creates life, if everyone made the decision to be homosexual, life would stop. People are radicalised to become homosexual, it is promoted to be ‘okay’ and right by the many groups that have sprung up.

Marriage is a man and a woman, homosexuals had Civil Partnerships, which was identical to Marriage with all the same rights, they wanted to destroy Marriage and have successfully done so.

If you could pick one historical figure to be the symbol of straight pride (just as figures like Alan Turing, Judith Butler or Peter Tatchell would be for Gay Pride) which would you choose?

Straight Pride would praise Margaret Thatcher for her stance on Section 28, which meant that children were not  taught about homosexuality, as this should not on the curriculum.

More recently, Straight Pride admire President Vladimir Putin of Russia for his stance and support of his country’s traditional values.

How do you react to anti-gay attacks and movements in Russia and parts of Africa? 

Straight Pride support what Russia and Africa is doing, these country have morals and are listening to their majorities. These countries are not ‘anti-gay’ – that is a term always used by the Homosexual Agenda to play the victim and suppress opinions and views of those against it.

These countries have passed laws, these laws are to be respected and no other country should interfere with another country’s laws or legislation.

We have country wide events which our members attend, and ask people their opinions and views, on such event at Glastonbury this year was very positive with the majority of people we asked, replied they were happily heterosexual.

For the record, Straight Pride did not respond to these questions:

“Pride” movements such as Gay Pride and Black Pride were making the argument that the stigma against them meant that proclaiming their “pride” was an act of liberation from oppression. Can being heterosexually really compare?

A problem that Gay rights activists cite is the issue of bullying, and the effect this can have on young LGBT people. Do you think a similar problem exists with straight children being bullied by gay children? 

I will obviously add to this if they do respond.

You can follow Straight Pride on Twitter here and see their Facebook page here.

Another muddled, seriously misguided petition

Petitions seem to have become the de facto form of protest, somewhere between tutting and writing a strongly worded letter.

So often they are badly written, require previous knowledge of the situation, and don’t have a clear goal.

This morning, a hot topic of conversation has been how Twitter deals with reports of abuse, in relation to alleged rape threats made to @CCriadoPerez. Of course – a petition has started.

EDIT – the petition has been edited to add something about changing T&Cs. This is a step in the right direction, I still feel the petition is very poor. I also really dislike the fact you can edit petitions on – it seems dishonest to let 8k people sign something and then alter it. The screenshot still stands below.



I really don’t want to comment on the alleged threats themselves, but the response and what people expect of Twitter.

Why direct this at Mark S Luckie?

The first thing I find really odd is how Mark S Luckie has become part of this issue. He is the Manager of Journalism and News at Twitter. He isn’t involved with how abuse is reported or dealt with on Twitter. I’m not sure what people expected from him. It seems unfair to direct this campaign towards him.

After many tweets were directed at Mark, he changed his account to be protected, preventing most people from seeing his tweets.  I think it would be massively unprofessional for him to personally comment on the situation. At most he could direct people towards the proper channels for reporting abuse.

Oddly, some have interpreted Mark’s actions as “twitter says it’s not their problem”

I really don’t see how one employee protecting their account says this. The big issue here is how Twitter deals with abuse in general, not how one employee has handled one particular instance of abuse. Conflating the two seems petty.

Zero-tolerance? You are joking?

How can a multi-national micro-blogging platform with half a billion users and millions of tweets a day adopt a zero-tolerance policy on abuse?

Just think for a second about how this could possibly work.

Which country’s laws would Twitter uphold? What is perfectly fine in one country isn’t in another.

What happens if someone calls you a name you don’t like? Report it as abuse!

Someone was mean about a blog post you wrote? You can shut them down by reporting it as abuse.

Zero-tolerance means you would need to side with people who are easily offended and uphold laws in countries where free speech is oppressed. This isn’t what Twitter is about.

It’s just not possible or desirable to adopt a zero-tolerance stance on abuse. By aiming for a ridiculous goal you are never going to achieve it.

Totally missing the point

Twitter has procedures for reporting abuse already. I’ve used them and they worked for me.

I get the impression they don’t always work. It seems like the abuse team is often overworked. This is the real issue –  how Twitter actually deals with reports of abuse.

@CCriadoPerez seems to have managed to find out how to report abuse and she has also contacted the police. I would hope that both Twitter and the police handle the reports appropriately.

If @CCriadoPerez doesn’t get an appropriate response, then there is a problem. I don’t think enough time has passed to pass judgement on this.

I am not sure how adding an abuse button to tweets is going to solve any problem. If the abuse in a tweet is serious enough to warrant getting a member of Twitter staff to investigate, surely it is worth your effort to go the page where you need to report abuse? Inundating the abuse team with single-click abuse reports is not going to help in any way.

Hypocritical locksmith community still promoting security through obscurity

Locks and building security is a funny business. The fundamental goal of a lock is to only let someone with a certain key open that lock. But they are mechanical devices, so there will always be weaknesses and ways to open them without the key – that could be as simple as “carding” the bolt (bypassing the lock altogether) or as complex as single pin picking the cylinder.

The concept of a truly unpickable lock is a fallacy. After all, if a key can open it, something that assimilates the key can also open it. That’s all that lock picking is – assimilating the key. All we can do is make the lock stronger or more pick resistant. This has been going on for years – 100 years ago simple warded lever locks were common, whereas now most house front doors will have a deadlocking nightlatch as well as one or more 5-lever mortise locks incorporating anti-pick features. The silly thing is there is nearly always a window that can be broken right next to the door.

Quite frequently it turns out that locks have design flaws, which make the lock far more vulnerable than it should be. Examples of this are padlock shims, comb picks and the now legendary Kryptonite ball point pen problem. What’s the best policy in these situations? Keep it secret so that not even the bad guys know about it? Or tell everyone so that they can make an informed decision about upgrading their locks? The locksmith community has always promoted the security through obscurity route. Whether this is for the best or not, I don’t know.

One such recent vulnerability has been termed “lock snapping”. This has been known about for years. Most UPVC doors use euro profile lock cylinders – these are oval shaped cylinders which contain just the lock itself, and they are inserted into the door inside of a locking mechanism along with a handle and deadbolt. This allows the user to chose what lock to fit to the door, and makes it easy to replace.

And there is the problem – the cylinder is removable from the lock, and hence vulnerable to attack. There are two basic methods. One is to grab the lock with a pair of mole grips (locking pliers) and bend it backwards and forwards until it snaps in the middle. The other is to drive a hardened steel screw into the keyway, and then you can pull the entire cylinder out, sometimes using mole grips, and sometimes using a slide hammer. This can take less than 30s with practice.

Manufacturers have responded in several ways:

  • Hardened steel escutcheons prevent the lock from being grabbed onto. Generally you can still pull the cylinder with a screw.
  • Sacrificial outer sections snap off first, leaving the locking mechanism intact in the middle (Mul-T-Lock Break Secure). Again, vulnerable to the screw.
  • A laminated steel plate strengthens the cylinder (the CISA Astral range). These can still be snapped.

But as predicted, the locksmith community want to keep this under wraps. I can’t work out why – there are already a large number of burglaries that are carried out using this as the method of entry – the bad guys already know how to do this. Why shouldn’t people be made aware of a problem with their locks that render them practically ineffective?

Last week, a representative from Avocet locks turned up on one of the locksmith forums. He challenged anyone to come to their workshops and try to attack one of their new locks which are supposedly not vulnerable to snapping. As part of this, he posted several videos on youtube showing successful attacks against Cisa and other locks.

These videos seemed to annoy the locksmiths, despite the fact that there are loads of other videos available, and it’s pretty obvious how to do it anyway.

The best bit is, this forum is associated with a company that sells bump keys to anyone who wants them. I detect a certain level of hypocrisy here.