Also by the same Daily Heil author Dominique Jackson:
Our community’s response: http://socialwelfareunion.org/archives/1119
The Daily Mail has been embarrassed into deleting an offensive paragraph from an online contribution to its website.
A piece headlined Why our new legions of unemployed graduates need to adjust their expectations, by Dominique Jackson, contained this extraordinary paragraph:
“The German slogan ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ is somewhat tainted by its connection with Nazi concentration camps, but its essential message, ‘work sets you free’ still has something serious to commend it.
There is dignity to be gained from any job, no matter how menial, and for young people at the start of their careers, there are valuable lessons to be learned from any form of employment, whether that is on the factory floor, on a supermarket till or in the contemporary hard labour camp of a merchant bank or law office.”
This grotesque lapse in taste was removed from the article once its presence was revealed on the Twittersphere.
There was no mention of the deletion despite the fact that three (of the 29) commenters on the article – which was posted on 4 July – pointed out that it was entirely inappropriate.
One of them, gloworm, glos, wrote: “Somewhat tainted? By the deaths of considerably more than a million men, women and children? I understand the point you are making, but to write off a phrase like ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ as somewhat tainted demonstrates such a complete lack of feeling for context that… Christ, words fail me.”
Yet the editor of Mail online’s Right Minds comment section didn’t feel it necessary take it down at the time.
Tom Chivers, in a Daily Telegraph blog today, wrote:
“Somewhat tainted, yes, Dominique. I mean, admittedly reductio ad Hitlerum is a logical fallacy, but nonetheless I think there might be lower-hanging fruit to reach for when it comes to inspiring slogans.”
And the New Statesman’s Alex Hern, in noting that the Mail was practising its usual “editing by Twitter” recorded that the Jackson piece had “mysteriously been updated” (at 11.39am) within minutes of the story going viral. Updated means deleted, of course.
Index on Censorship’s news editor, Padraig Reidy, managed to get a screenshot of the undeleted paragraph before the Mail censored itself, as the twitpic above shows.
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