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Penn State Denounces ‘Repulsive’ Comments Of YouTubers Involved In Turning Point Censorship Discussion

Penn State has released a statement denouncing the “prior hateful, grotesque and disturbing views” of YouTubers Hunter Avallone and Carl Benjamin, who will lead a discussion on internet censorship organized by Penn State’s chapter of Turning Point USA Wednesday evening.

Avallone and Benjamin are both banned from Twitter and have expressed controversial views on topics ranging from feminism to transgender rights in the past.

Though it denounced the views of Avallone and Benjamin, who publishes content as Sargon of Akkad, the university recognized that it cannot take action against speakers or the club’s funding in order to protect free speech on campus.

“Universities must protect and encourage free speech, especially speech with which we disagree, no matter how offensive, as this freedom of expression is fundamental to the very idea of a university,” the statement reads.

The statement said that the university attempted to ensure the safety of the community by requiring tickets for the event and prohibiting specific items, such as backpacks, from entering the venue.

“The University stands with our community members who oppose this hate-filled and derisive rhetoric, and we remain committed to our belief in civil discourse, inclusivity and diversity,” the statement reads.

The statement urged community members who wish to respond to the speakers and the event to do so peacefully.

“It is our hope that our students and community members who disagree with these speakers will disregard these tactics and find ways to thoughtfully respond — without confrontation,” it reads.

The discussion, titled “The Censored,” will be held at 7 p.m. in 112 Kern Building Wednesday, October 23.

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is a junior English and history major and the features editor for Onward State. He, like most of the Penn State undergraduate population, is from 'just outside Philadelphia,' and grew up in Spring City, Pennsylvania. He covers a variety of Penn State topics, but spends nine months of every year waiting for the start of soccer season. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @messijim.

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