Listen to an interview on BBC Newcastle about my book ‘More TV Vicar?’

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I had the exciting opportunity to go on the radio this morning at BBC Newcastle and be interviewed by Ingrid Hagemann on the breakfast show about my book ‘More TV Vicar?’

You can listen to the interview in full here:

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Video blurb and full interview with Bryony Taylor about the book More TV Vicar?

Cartoon by Chris Bambrough in More TV Vicar? Book
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Here’s a short video blurb explaining what my book, ‘More TV Vicar?‘ is about. This is part of a much longer interview with me about my faith and the book on Breakout Radio which is available as a podcast here.

Facebook needs to reinstate a ban on all beheading videos #banbeheading

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I was emailed by a friend last night and alerted to the fact that Facebook had reversed a ban on videos showing graphic violence such as beheadings. The BBC reported it last night. Then today PM David Cameron tweeted:

After I hastily looked for a petition to sign against this and had an email exchange on what could be done last night, today I was invited to speak on News Hour on Premier Radio. You can listen to the interview here:

 

I have been trying to decide what is the best course of action. I’m hoping that partly the media furore this has caused will make Facebook reconsider this move. A spokeswoman for Facebook said:

“Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences, particularly when they’re connected to controversial events on the ground, such as human rights abuses, acts of terrorism and other violent events. However, since some people object to graphic video of this nature, we are working to give people additional control over the content they see. This may include warning them in advance that the image they are about to see contains graphic content.”

I believe that the argument that people share these videos to raise awareness of human rights abuses is fundamentally flawed. We don’t need to watch a video of someone being beheaded to know that it is wrong – not to mention the psychological damage to us from seeing these images (and they are not only detrimental to children but to adults as well). Having a warning that the image contains graphic content is an enticing statement (I have to admit that kind of warning usually makes me want to watch the content – so I’m sure children would be even more likely to want to see all the gory details). This clearly does not go far enough. Facebook needs to reinstate the ban immediately.

What seems very strange to me is that Facebook’s own policy on videos is stated as follows:

Photos and videos containing nudity, drug use or other graphic content are not allowed on Facebook. We also don’t allow photos or videos that glorify violence or attack an individual or group.

How these violent videos of beheadings do not violate this policy I do not know.

In an attempt to do something more about this I have created a twibbon campaign.

Ban videosIf you agree with me you may well want to sign the petition and also change your Facebook profile picture here until Facebook reverses their reckless and dangerous decision.

I will post up here any further campaigns and details as they become available.

Update 23 October

Things are moving at facebook but perhaps not far enough: Facebook in death clip policy U-turn http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24635498http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24635498

“That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew.” – Pope Francis

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Today is the feast of St Matthew. It just so happens that today I decided to read the full interview with Pope Francis in America magazine that everyone’s been talking about. Right at the beginning of the interview the Pope talks about the Caravaggio painting of the Calling of St Matthew and how it relates to his own calling:

“That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew.” Here the pope becomes determined, as if he had finally found the image he was looking for: “It is the gesture of Matthew that strikes me: he holds on to his money as if to say, ‘No, not me! No, this money is mine.’ Here, this is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze.”

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The collect, or prayer for today, seems to reflect these thoughts of the Pope:

O Almighty God
whose blessèd Son called Matthew the tax-collector
to be an apostle and evangelist:
give us grace to forsake the selfish pursuit of gain
and the possessive love of riches
that we may follow in the way of your Son Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Something to muse on: am I like Matthew in this painting? Yes. I’m a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze.

Image from wikimedia.