The Canary gets a lesson in censorship

After cheering on Stop Funding Hate, it has been targeted by Stop Funding Fake News.



If you allow your opponents to be censored it’s only a matter of time before you will be on the receiving end of censorship. It’s one of the oldest arguments for free speech and press freedom in the book. And it’s one that dodgy Corbynista clickbait website the Canary has just learned the hard way.

A campaign group called Stop Funding Fake News has successfully put pressure on some of the Canary’s advertisers, most of them unknowingly running ads on the site through automated ad systems, to pull their content. In response, Canary editor-in-chief Kerry-Anne Mendoza has announced that her site is now moving to a subscription model and downsizing.

The Canary has certainly run some questionable pieces in the past. It’s up-to-now pay-per-click model incentivised sensationalism. It has run misleading stories and headlines (one implied that BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg was speaking at the Tory Party conference). It has been accused of anti-Semitism for articles with such jaw-dropping headlines as ‘The inconvenient truths that prove it is not anti-Semitic to compare Israel to Nazi Germany’. And according to the Huffington Post it has blamed its advertiser exodus on ‘pressure from political Zionists’. But much of what it runs is either inane Tory-bashing and / or Corbyn-boosting pieces.

For her part, Mendoza claims the Canary corrects mistakes as promptly as possible, and she has pointed to its membership of Impress, the state-approved press regulator which has – rightly – been shunned by most of the media. She says her website’s treatment at the hands of Stop Funding Fake News is ‘what censorship looks like under capitalism’. And she might have had a point there. Whatever you think of the Canary, organised boycott campaigns like this one are more often driven by a desire to shut down certain media outlets than to hold them to account. But Mendoza and Co have rendered themselves incapable of making that argument.

For while they are incensed by the corporate censorship they say is now being directed at them, they were all in favour of it when it was being directed at right-wing tabloids by the Stop Funding Hate campaign (one of the inspirations for Stop Funding Fake News). In 2017, Stop Funding Hate managed to get Paperchase to break ties with the Mail and Pizza Hut to break ties with the Sun. Its argument was that British tabloids were spreading ‘fear and division’ and advertisers should think twice before working with them. And it was cheered on by the Canary, and Mendoza herself, every step of the way:

You can’t support corporate censorship of the press and then complain when it comes back to bite you.

Picture by: YouTube.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


JPM Culligan

12th August 2019 at 3:55 pm

So truth only comes from those who publish their accounts? Sounds like typical “whataboutery” to an independent observer.

JPM Culligan

12th August 2019 at 3:50 pm

Karma is a copycat media campaign against your advertisers…. Not catchy, but effective!

Tony Benn

10th August 2019 at 8:45 am

I don’t like or read “The Canary” but doesn’t anyone ask who this organisation is or who is funding it? Go and look at their website, no list of who runs it, no list of who funds it, no accounts and the Contact Us section doesn’t work, it’s a scandal that Go Fund Me allows them to have a page.

Ven Oods

9th August 2019 at 11:01 pm

Instant karma for the unsuspecting fuckwits.
Better known as ‘what goes around, comes around’.

Jim Lawrie

6th August 2019 at 11:35 pm

So the market has sorted this one out, and she responds by first condemning it, then appealing to it.

Steve Gray

6th August 2019 at 3:42 pm

There’s always someone who interprets The Right To Be Offensive in the most derpishly literal way. It’s the Free Speech equivalent of bringing a family-sized tupperware box to an All You Can Eat buffet.

Such ‘but you said I can do dis’ capery a-la-Jackass (remember that?) quickly gets old, degenerating into activities on the same subterranean level of sophistication and wit as getting your knob out at a Pay And Display car-park.

Hana Jinks

6th August 2019 at 4:49 pm

Sleeve Gay.

You called me a racist, bigoted nazi, and further went on to describe me as reprehensible.

Another of the reasons that free speech is good, is when you point out to snivellers and other assorted leftists and fascists that you are in fact a Christian-Zionist with a mixed-race daughter, they just carry on snivelling and become victims and easy targets.

Bronk’s Funeral

6th August 2019 at 4:55 pm

Ha ha ha! ‘Sleeve Gay’!


Hana Jinks

6th August 2019 at 5:15 pm

He just seems to think that he be a Sleeve…with nothing more to it.

Steve Gray

6th August 2019 at 5:18 pm


You’re So Vain, you probably think this comment is about you, too…

Hana Jinks

6th August 2019 at 5:41 pm

Try denying that it isn’t.

Andrew McClenning

6th August 2019 at 2:03 pm

Is Kerry Anne “Scriptonite Reacts” on YouTube? If not, they look familiar.

Amelia Cantor

6th August 2019 at 11:53 am

“If you allow your opponents to be censored it’s only a matter of time before you will be on the receiving end of censorship.”

If you shoot at nazis, the nazis will shoot back! Therefore you must never shoot at nazis!

Preventing hate-speech is not censorship. The Canary stood up to hate and has naturally been attacked by haters. It’s a badge of honour. Jo Cox stood up to hate too, and was murdered by a nazi. That is not an argument for surrendering to nazism or any other form of hate.

Hana Jinks

6th August 2019 at 12:27 pm

If you don’t ridicule nazi’s, then you’ll end up with someone like Tony Hitler-Blair in charge.

Hana Jinks

6th August 2019 at 12:29 pm

What is the point of you if you have to have this comment modded?

Hana Jinks

6th August 2019 at 5:52 pm

Whoopss…and The Comment gets modded-out for the eighth time.

Anyone would think that it had something to do with kommies seeing it as heretical to criticize their prophet.

John Hall

6th August 2019 at 1:33 pm

There’s two problems with your comment(apart from the usual inantety of your comments):

1. Who gets to decide what is ‘hate speech’? Seems to me ‘hate speech’ is defined as ‘anything the progressive looneys don’t like’.

2. Censorship is akin to a loaded gun. Its fine if your holding it or it’s being held by someone you KNOW won’t use it on you. But….if it slips out of those conditions…

jessica christon

6th August 2019 at 2:00 pm

Ain’t no fun when the rabbit’s got the gun!

Amelia Cantor

7th August 2019 at 10:38 am

Vulnerable communities, with direct experience of where hate leads, get to decide what hate speech is. That is why the Jewish community are at the forefront of the fight against hate. Hate speech led to the Holocaust and the Jewish community are determined to stop the Orange Rapist and his ilk from laying the core bedrock of a similar slippery slope. So woke wombyn, the Muslim community, the LGBTQIA+ community, and other communities of colour and vulnerableness.

Ven Oods

9th August 2019 at 11:05 pm

“apart from the usual inantety …’
That one imploded, didn’t it?

Frank Sutton

6th August 2019 at 8:16 pm

The Canary clings to the belief that the left owns the souls of black people, and has a divine right to their support. Priti Patel etc have, according to The Canary, ceased to be black by being Tories. Destructive arrogance.

brent mckeon

12th August 2019 at 2:11 pm

The prolem is the wide definition of Nazi’s nowdays. Anyone mildly Right of oneself is automatically called a Nazi, which is patently bull and frankly Fake News. However this crude/rigid rule is not applied to the Marxist Left, who deserve just as much no platforming as the Right.

Melissa Jackson

6th August 2019 at 9:31 am

How very typical of this kind of far-left activist publication. They don’t have principles, they just have tactics. When it benefits them it’s good, when it doesn’t it’s bad and then just doublespeak to excuse shifting between them.

It’s really weird to me that Spiked, the follow on from a publication called Living Marxism, is the one to call out how awful the far left are.

Notably, Brendan is a Marxist but in the function rather than the form. His approach seems to be to ask “What will actually help the working man?” and then to push for that. Because, shockingly, old school communism doesn’t actually help the working man.

What does help the working man is a healthy labour market, freedom to speak and think, and a social safety net. As a result actual Marxists have moved towards the rational and evidence based, while the psychotic left pushes forward on ideology alone.

Jim Lawrie

6th August 2019 at 10:31 am

How does Mr O’Neill’s support for open borders and mass immigration help the working man?

James Green

6th August 2019 at 8:51 am

What goes around comes around.

Philip Davies

6th August 2019 at 7:29 am

The giveaway statement is at the end when the Canary says, ‘it’s oh so satisfying’ when the Mail is taken down. That response shows an adolescent glee at the misfortune of what out sees as its enemies. There is no integrity in this kind of response. The Canary is not interested in truth, it’s interested in winning. And it reveals itself as merely tribal and childish.

Jim Lawrie

6th August 2019 at 10:44 am

It also reveals her contempt for the Daily Mail’s Brexit voting readership.

Jim Lawrie

6th August 2019 at 10:45 am

She was an early supporter of a second referendum – as soon as polls showed they might win.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or Register now.