DePaul University Facebook Reviews Brigaded After Milo Yiannopoulos Protest
Image Credit: YouTube / Milo Yiannopoulos
The official DePaul University Facebook account is currently being brigaded by angry users dishing out one-star reviews of the institution, following a controversial protest that took place during a speech from divisive conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.
Yiannopoulous, a British journalist for Breitbart whose reach has grown considerably since Donald Trump embarked upon his presidential campaign, was invited to speak at DePaul University but was interrupted by two protesters, one identified as student Edward Ward and the other an unidentified female student. The protest saw the pair take to the stage, leading to those in attendance chanting “get a job!” in response. The female student was recorded angrily pushing a microphone towards Yiannopoulous’ face, which sparked a wave of criticism from supporters of the journalist who bemoaned the seemingly lax security at the event. According to reports, DePaul College Republicans and Turning Point USA, who had organized the talk, had been ordered by the university to pay “hundreds of dollars” in order to increase the amount of security at the university.
As a result of this incident DePaul University now has a 1.1 star rating on Facebook, with reviews criticizing the university and claiming that they had attempted to “censor” Yiannopoulos, despite them offering him a platform on which to speak. It’s essentially the alt-right equivalent of writing a negative Yelp review, only if your review detailed how the restaurant in question was forcibly preventing you from eating the burger they had quite willingly served to you. One user wrote: “All I can say is that I am truly disgusted and horrified at the deliberate actions of the administration of this college to silence a portion of their students and a gay conservative speaker.” Another added: “Obviously not an institution which condones free thought and expression.”
While the aggressive actions of one of the protesters undoubtedly did not help their cause, the continued treatment of counter-protests as being an inherently “left-wing thing” is curious, especially considering Yiannopoulous happily filmed himself staging his own counter-protest during model Amber Rose’s “SlutWalk” back in October 2015. Perhaps such protests are not perceived by Yiannopoulous’ supporters as equally as disruptive as the ones his opponents have conducted as a result of them involving a camera crew, but when you consider that the pair were kicked out of the SlutWalk as a result of them confronting Amber Rose during the protest and trying to argue with her over her beliefs, the comparisons that can be drawn become a little clearer.
DePaul University’s Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider released a statement regarding the incident and subsequent controversy, writing: “Yesterday’s speaker was invited to speak at DePaul, and those who interrupted the speech were wrong to do so. Universities welcome speakers, give their ideas a respectful hearing, and then respond with additional speech countering the ideas. I was ashamed for DePaul University when I saw a student rip the microphone from the hands of the conference moderator and wave it in the face of our speaker.”
He added: “On behalf of the university, I apologize to the DePaul College Republicans. They deserved an opportunity to hear their speaker uninterrupted, and were denied it.” In the same statement, Holtscheider branded Yiannopoulos and speakers of his ilk as “more entertainers and self-serving provocateurs than the public intellectuals they purport to be,” adding: “Their shtick is to shock and incite a strong emotional response they can then use to discredit the moral high ground claimed by their opponents. This is unworthy of university discourse, but not unfamiliar across American higher education. There will always be speakers who exploit the differences within our human community to their own benefit, blissfully unconcerned with the damage they leave behind. “