By BBC Radio 4

Peace talks for the culture wars. In an era of polarisation, propaganda and pile-ons, AntiSocial offers an alternative: understanding, facts, and respect. Each week, Adam Fleming takes on a topic that's generating conflict on social media, blogs, talk shows and phone-ins and helps you work out what the arguments are really about.


How planet-friendly is your diet?

The greenhouse gas emissions caused by meat, dairy, and plant-based alternatives.Sarah Bridle, professor of food, climate, and society at the University of York, digests the data.
04/06/246m 13s

Meat-free menus and choice

Should meat and dairy be taken off menus to help save the planet from climate change?A university is accused of “going woke” after reports it is transitioning to 100% plant-based catering by 2027. Climate activists are calling on universities and other public bodies like councils to ditch animal food products to help tackle the climate crisis. But what did the university in question actually decide and how widespread is the shift to plant-based menus? What’s the evidence about the climate impact of meat and dairy versus vegan alternatives? And what is the best way to change people’s behaviour when it comes to what they eat?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin, Jordan Dunbar, Ellie House, Natasha Fernandes Editor: Bridget Harney
31/05/2453m 38s

Who were the “Anglo-Saxons”?

The term “Anglo-Saxon” has become controversial, but where does it come from?As people argue online about whether the term is tainted by racism, history professor Joanna Story tells its origin story.
28/05/246m 15s

'Anglo-Saxon' and racism

Should the term “Anglo-Saxon” be dropped because it’s been adopted by racists?People online are angry because a history journal has dropped “Anglo-Saxon” from its title. Critics say it is pandering to American academics who are unduly worried about the term being used by white supremacists. The journal says that’s got nothing to do with it. It’s part of an ongoing debate about whether “Anglo Saxon” is useful and appropriate. How did the argument start? Where did the term actually come from? And how has it been used in modern times to talk about race?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Tulett, Simon Maybin, Natasha Fernandes Editors: Bridget Harney, Sam Bonham
24/05/2454m 0s

Divestment: A beginner’s guide

Pro-Palestinian student protesters have called for their universities to divest from firms with links to Israel, and specifically the conflict in Gaza, but how would that actually work? Adam Fleming discusses the practicalities and protest history of divestment with Chris Marsicano, assistant professor of higher education and public policy at Davidson College, in North Carolina.
21/05/246m 34s

Pro-Palestinian student camps

The debate about protestors calling for their universities to cut ties with Israel.Encampments of students protesting about Israel’s military action in Gaza have been popping up on campuses across the UK. They’re calling for their institutions to divest from - sell their stakes in - companies linked to the conflict or Israel, but others say they’re demonising the country and stoking antisemitism. How did the movement start and how have universities been responding? What’s the history of political activism around university investments? And what does the law say about pitching tents on university land?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin, Simon Tulett, Ellie House, Jameel Shariff
17/05/2453m 57s

How schools got strict

Where did the trend for tough discipline in schools come from? It’s led to a big argument online about how strict is too strict. Education journalist Laura McInerney explains the origins of the trend.
14/05/247m 43s

Discipline in schools

A photo of a school corridor, showing three posters describing a particular teaching ethos, has started a debate about the right level of discipline in classrooms.Some suggest the instructions, which include ‘sit up’, ‘eye contact’ and ‘smile’, are indicative of a super-strict approach some schools have taken, which might be distressing for children, especially those with special needs. We find out where this approach came from, and hear about the American educator who popularised the all-important acronym ‘SLANT.’ Supporters of the approach say strict discipline is essential for learning, and that it generates better outcomes. What evidence is there to back this up?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Tulett, Simon Maybin, Ellie House, Jay Gardner Editor: Richard Vadon
10/05/2453m 38s

Man vs Bear

A hypothetical question, asking women whether they would rather be stuck in the woods with a man or a bear, has gone viral on TikTok. It’s got people talking about gender-based violence, sexual assaults, and men’s mental health. But where did this thought experiment come from? The BBC’s Ellie House talks Adam Fleming through the thought experiment’s origins and evolution.
07/05/245m 8s

Dangers to women: man vs bear

Women online are being asked: would you rather be stuck in a forest with a man or a bear?Most are saying they’d choose the bear, saying that men are potentially more dangerous to them than the wild animal. Cue arguments on social media about just how dangerous to women men are. Where did the meme come from? What can crime stats tell us about gender and violence, including sexual violence? And how has the way our society views violence between men and women developed over time?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin, Simon Tulett, Ellie House, Jay Gardner Editor: Richard Vadon
03/05/2441m 48s

When do you become an adult?

Marriage, kids, and the history of our ideas about adulthood.Laura Tisdall, lecturer in modern British history at Newcastle University, explains the shifting milestones of adult life.
30/04/246m 31s

Are ‘kidults’ a problem?

Harry Potter actor Miriam Margolyes has told adult fans of the franchise to grow up, prompting a discussion about whether younger generations are delaying the responsibilities of adulthood.It’s a debate that spans culture and economics, so we look at what the data and the history tell us. Is there evidence that the ‘kidult’ is a real phenomenon, where do our ideas of adulthood actually come from, and what on earth is a ‘Disney Adult’?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Tulett, Simon Maybin, Nathan Gower Editor: Penny Murphy
26/04/2454m 7s

The Highway Code

Cyclists and motorists can clash on our roads, often about who has priority, but what does The Highway Code say? Louise Gardner, from the law firm Hugh James, talks Adam Fleming through the key points and latest updates in the UK’s road safety guide.
23/04/246m 42s

Should cyclists stay in their lane?

Cyclists shaming drivers online, fights over bike lanes, and the politics of pedal power. TV and radio presenter Jeremy Vine posts a video of a car failing to give way to him while he’s riding a penny farthing. Cue angry comments hurling insults and telling him he’d be safer in a car - and sympathetic responses from fellow cyclists. What does the Highway Code actually say about priorities on the roads? What are the stats on cyclists and safety? And how and why has cycling become such a toxic topic? Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin, Simon Tulett, Nathan Gower Editor: Richard Vadon
19/04/2453m 54s

What is “minority stress theory”?

Social psychology professor David Frost from University College London explains the theory that people in stigmatised minority groups experience unique forms of social stress.
16/04/247m 7s

Homosexuality and "sin"

The clash between the rights of LGBT people and freedom to express Christian views.An employment tribunal is set to rule on whether a mental health charity in Leeds was right to withdraw a job offer from a Christian social worker who thinks homosexuality is a sin. How can employers - and our legal system - balance the sometimes competing rights of different minority groups? How Christian is Britain these days anyway? And what is “minority stress theory”?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Tulett, Simon Maybin, Ellie House, Jameel Shariff Editor: Penny Murphy
12/04/2453m 46s

Racism and the countryside

Rural parts of the UK have recently been described as 'colonial', predominantly white spaces, where members of ethnic minorities feel unwelcome, sparking a debate about whether the countryside is racist. Data shows that the rural population is 97% white, much more so than in towns and cities, so might that be an explanation for some people feeling out of place? Why has a prominent museum rehung some of its paintings, adding context about the nationalist sentiment some of them might evoke? And how did this debate start in the first place? We track its evolution and the contested evidence at the heart of it. Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Tulett, Ellie House, Arlene Gregorius and Ajai Singh Editor: Richard Vadon
05/04/2453m 0s

A history of Eurovision and politics

Amidst conflict in the Middle East, some people have been calling for Israel to be banned from the Eurovision Song Contest. Now that Israel’s participation in the 2024 competition has been confirmed, critics are vowing to boycott the event in protest. Eurovision’s organisers say that the song contest is “a non-political music event and a competition between public service broadcasters”, not between governments. But over the years, Eurovision has found itself caught up in controversy and geopolitics. Adam Fleming charts this history with Dean Vuletic, historian and author of ‘Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest’.
02/04/247m 39s

Eurovision and Israel

One of the UK’s biggest Eurovision parties has been cancelled in protest at Israel’s inclusion, so how worthwhile is a boycott of the event as a response to the war in Gaza? The song contest’s organisers say the event is non-political, but this isn’t the first time global events have had an impact on participation and even lyrics - we chart the key moments. And it’s not the first time Israel’s participation has sparked debate - a Eurovision expert talks us through the ups and downs of its long association with the event. We’ll also hear about the controversy around Israel’s song this year and how it’s changed, plus the view from the Middle East on what Israelis and Palestinians are saying. Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Tulett, Simon Maybin, Ellie House and Paige Neal-Holder Editor: Penny Murphy
29/03/2453m 58s

How does the law handle misgendering?

In anticipation of new hate crime legislation in Scotland, people have been arguing about whether misgendering - for example referring to a trans woman as a man - should be against the law. Adam Fleming speaks to Sharon Cowan, professor of feminist and queer legal studies at the University of Edinburgh, to find out how this question has been handled elsewhere in the UK.
26/03/247m 19s

Misgendering and Hate Crime

Exploring the debate around gender, pronouns, and Scotland’s new hate crime law.People online are threatening to report misgendering - for example referring to a trans woman as a man - to the police. They say new Scottish legislation due to come into force in April will make misgendering a criminal offence. What does the new law actually say? What existing laws apply across the UK around misgendering? And does Scotland’s new law prioritise trans people over women?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin, Simon Tulett, Ellie House, Paige Neal-Holder Editor: Richard Vadon
22/03/2453m 53s

Why are statues such flashpoints in the culture wars?

Statues, monuments, and memorials have become battlegrounds in recent decades. Whether it’s tearing down statues of controversial historical figures, or erecting monuments for minority communities, they are often at the centre of debates about identity, history, and representation. How did statues become so central to the culture wars, and why do they make people so angry?
19/03/247m 49s

Does Britain need a Muslim war memorial?

Plans announced in the Budget to spend £1 million on a war memorial for Muslim soldiers who died in the two World Wars have been applauded by campaigners, but others worry it is singling out one religious group for special treatment. Some have also questioned the timing of the announcement, when the Conservative Party is facing allegations of Islamophobia.What role did Muslims play in the two World Wars? Do other religious groups have their own memorials? And how have monuments like this become flashpoints of the culture wars? Presenter: Adam Fleming Production team: Simon Tulett, Nick Holland, and Ellie House Editor: Penny Murphy
15/03/2453m 49s

What is the ‘white gaze’?

The term ‘white gaze’ was popularised by author Toni Morrison in the 1990s, to describe the sense that the white experience was considered the norm. She said: “I've spent my entire writing life trying to make sure that the white gaze was not the dominant one in any of my books.” Adam Fleming speaks to Steve Garner, an associate professor of Sociology at Swansea University, to find out what people mean when they talk about the ‘white gaze’, and where the concept came from.
12/03/246m 4s

'Black Out' performances

A theatre production dealing with race issues has been criticised after announcing plans to stage some of its performances for primarily black audiences. The so-called ‘Black Out’ nights are scheduled for two dates of Slave Play’s West End run. Some have labelled the move divisive and unnecessary, and even Downing Street has got involved. The show’s playwright and producers say they’re aiming to bring new audiences to the theatre and allow black people to watch it without the “white gaze”. But what does this term mean, what are the origins of Black Out performances, and is this a concept that’s applicable to other minority groups?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Ellie House, Sandra Kanthal, Simon Tulett Editor: Richard Vadon
08/03/2453m 38s

Culture wars in Europe

An AntiSocial special, charting the culture wars across Europe. In Italy, there's a battle over surrogacy - bringing into question the rights of same-sex couples, the exploitation of women, and the influence of the Church. In Spain, more than half the country thinks that men are being discriminated against with the push for women's equality. And across borders, both progressive and conservative activists are creating international networks to spread their message. Presenter: Adam Fleming Producer: Ellie House Reporter: Sofia Bettiza Researcher: Thomas Farmer Editor: Richard Vadon Studio Managers: Graham Puddifoot and Matt Cadman Production Coordinators: Janet Staples and Katie Morrison
22/12/2353m 55s

Patriotism and ‘progressive activists’

How patriotic is the UK, and what do we know about the small but outspoken group of people who influence the debate about things like the monarchy and the Union Jack? Luke Tryl, UK director of focus group and opinion polling company More in Common, tells Adam Fleming about a section of society he’s termed ‘progressive activists’.
19/12/238m 5s

The National Anthem

Bristol University has dropped the national anthem from some of its graduation ceremonies, sparking a discussion about the song’s relevance to students and the merits of the national anthem more broadly. The university made the change in 2020 and will now sing ‘God Save the King’ at just two ceremonies a year, when a representative of the royal family attends. So why has it sparked a heated discussion this week? Some say the national anthem is too focused on the monarch, which represents an outdated way of running the state and reminds us of a problematic past. Others say it's an important tradition, we have much to be proud of and there is too much snobbishness about displaying national pride. Our panel discuss their views and we consider what a new anthem might sound like. We hear that the anthem originates from a turbulent time for the monarchy. Pollsters at More in Common explain that a small group of the population that are most likely to dislike the monarchy are also the most likely to write political social media posts, giving them a disproportionate say in the debate.
15/12/2353m 51s

What is ‘social transitioning’?

What do we know about the impact of social transitioning on young people, which is when they want to be treated as the opposite gender. Hannah Barnes, journalist and author of ‘Time to Think’ a book examining the UK's gender identity service for children, explains.
12/12/236m 3s

Trans kids and schools

What should teachers do if a pupil wants to use a name, uniform, toilet or changing room of the opposite sex because they feel it better represents who they are? It's known as 'social transitioning'. It's in the news because the former Prime Minister Liz Truss has proposed a new law that would ban it in schools - re-charging a debate that's been going on from a while.Social transitioning isn't the same as having surgery or taking drugs. So what is it? Schools have been crying out for some guidance from the government. We'll hear what teachers have been doing in the meantime. There are laws that protect pupils and laws that protect teachers. We'll find out where they sometimes clash.
08/12/2354m 10s

What is ‘Misogynoir’?

Moya Bailey coined the term ‘misogynoir’ in 2008 to describe a particular kind of sexism faced by black women. The associate professor at Northwestern University, in the USA, tells Adam Fleming this anti-black misogyny has been prevalent in popular culture for more than 100 years and uses the term to analyse the way black women are portrayed in the media. She sets out the origin of the ‘angry black woman’ stereotype and argues this is an example of misogynoir.
05/12/236m 17s

Is reality TV stereotyping black women?

Nella Rose, a black woman on the reality TV show 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!' has divided opinion online - some accuse her of being rude and aggressive in the Australian jungle, while others say she's the victim of racism and misogyny. We explore some of the comments made about her and examine the history, meaning and potential real-world symptoms of 'misogynoir' - a theory about a combination of racism and sexism faced by black women. Plus, are the casting directors and editors of reality TV shows guilty of stereotyping black women as rude and aggressive, and what evidence is there of racism amongst the viewing and voting public?
01/12/2353m 54s

‘Lefty Lawyers’: where does the phrase come from?

When did people start using the phrase ‘lefty lawyers’ and why? Legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg explains the recent events that gave rise to the use of the phrase and gives examples showing that politicians criticising lawyers is nothing new.
28/11/237m 15s

Lawyers: 'lefty' or right?

The debate around so-called 'lefty lawyers'. After the government's Rwanda asylum policy was found to be unlawful by the Supreme Court, lots of people on social media started to say this was down to so-called 'lefty lawyers'. Some say using legal challenges to override government policy is undemocratic. Others say it's important to hold the government to account and ensure politicians stick to the laws they write. Lawyers also push back on being called either left or right wing, as they are just acting on behalf of their client, no matter their personal views.
24/11/2353m 50s

What is a Central Bank Digital Currency?

There’s been a debate on social media about whether Central Bank Digital Currencies pose a threat to our privacy and some even fear it could give governments power over our spending. Former Bank of England economist Dan Davies explains what a CBDC actually is.
21/11/235m 36s

The 'digital pound'

A clip from the European Central Bank, talking about progress towards an electronic version of the euro, has sparked concern on social media. Some suggest new central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) like this - including a digital pound under consideration in the UK - are designed to track our spending, or even restrict it. And there are fears it could lead to the elimination of cash altogether. But others say CBDCs are a recognition of cash’s decline, providing an alternative, and that central banks need to keep up with changing financial technologies. So what exactly is a digital pound, how would people use it, and how different is it to the way we pay for things now?
17/11/2353m 59s

‘Bring your whole self to work’?

Where does the phrase come from, and do younger generations have different expectations of the workplace? Dr Kirsteen Grant, Associate Professor of Human Resource Management at Edinburgh Napier University explains.
14/11/235m 55s

Political symbols at work

A photo that appeared to show an NHS healthcare worker wearing a Palestine badge caused a heated debate on social media. Some say during the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Palestine flag becomes a political symbol and therefore breaches the principal that NHS staff should appear to be impartial. Others point to a double standard and question why the poppy can be worn by state sector workers even though some believe it is a political symbol. What counts as 'political' and how free should we feel in the workplace to express our beliefs?
10/11/2353m 41s

How many people have Britons slept with?

Professor Cath Mercer from University College London on asking people about how many opposite-sex sexual partners they’ve had and what the average numbers are for British people.
12/09/237m 41s

Counting sexual partners

Does your sexual history matter, and is it relevant whether you’re a man or a woman?A viral tweet criticised a woman for having a high 'body count' - a term used to describe how many sexual partners a person has had. It’s a popular topic on platforms like TikTok, where some people boast about their big numbers, but others are critical of people with high body counts. Claims that women are less attractive if they’ve slept with lots of people have led to arguments about double standards and sexism. We look at how this debate emerged, the origins of 'slut-shaming,' and what we know about how many sexual partners the average Briton has had.
08/09/2353m 59s

What is ‘JewFace’?

Professor Bryan Cheyette, Reading University, on the origins of ‘JewFace’ and the history of the portrayal of Jewish characters.
05/09/237m 52s

Jewish actors for Jewish roles?

The debate about whether Jewish characters should always be played Jewish actors. The actor Bradley Cooper is playing Leonard Bernstein, the conductor and composer of many works, including West Side Story. Bradley Cooper, who isn’t Jewish, wears a prosthetic nose as part of his portrayal. The Bernstein family were consulted on the film and say they’re ‘perfectly fine’ with it. But it’s prompted a debate about whether non-Jewish actors should play Jewish roles. Is it always problematic for an actor to wear a fake nose due to the history of negative caricatures? Should casting be based simply on someone's acting ability?Guests: Rebecca Wilson, actor Josh Kaplan, Head of digital at the Jewish Chronicle Bryan Cheyette, Professor of English Literature at Reading University Danny Stone, CEO, AntiSemitism Policy Trust
01/09/2353m 33s

Defining “racism”

Monica Moreno-Figueroa, Professor in Sociology at the University of Cambridge on the history of the word and its meaning.
29/08/236m 55s

Can white people be victims of racism?

The argument about prejudice, power, and the disputed idea of “reverse racism”.A design guide from the Mayor of London’s office included a photo of a white family along with the caption “Doesn’t represent real Londoners”. A spokesman for Mayor Sadiq Khan said the text was “added by a staff member in error”, but some on social media said it showed City Hall was racist against white people. What was actually in the guide? Where does the concept of racism come from? And what does the law say about whether white people can be victims of racism?Guests: Rakib Ehsan, researcher, writer, and commentator specialising in immigration and integration Jaya Gordon-Moore, teacher of A-level Criminology and rapper (JayaHadADream) Mónica Moreno Figueroa, Professor of Sociology at the University of Cambridge Mike Walters, Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Sussex
25/08/2353m 55s

Traffic control measures and “The Great Reset”

BBC Climate Disinformation Reporter Marco Silva explains the link between plans for 15-minute cities and conspiracy theories about the World Economic Forum.
22/08/237m 3s

What is ‘queering’ a museum collection?

Josh Adair, Professor of English at Murray State University, explains what is meant by the term ‘queering’ and gives the background to how museums and historians can ‘queer history’. He explains they reinterpret their collections to include LGBT stories or histories of people who don’t fit the typical gender roles of the time.
22/08/235m 59s

'Queering' museums

The debate sparked by reviewing historic collections through a queer or LGBT lens.A “queering the collection” blogpost from the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth was criticised for making what some saw as tenuous links between historic objects from the ship and the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. Supporters of “queering” museums and galleries say it’s needed to redress a traditional approach to history that has often ignored non-heterosexual people or stories. But it’s led to controversy and criticism that some institutions have gone too far by focusing on the LGBT angle at the expense of others or imposing a modern interpretation that wouldn’t have made sense at the time.Guests: Dominique Bouchard, Head of Learning and Interpretation at English Heritage Mary Harrington, Contributing Editor at UnHerd Jackie Stacey, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Manchester. Josh Adair, Professor of English at Murray State University
18/08/2354m 2s

How can we measure the country’s mental health?

Ann John, professor of public health at Swansea University, digs into the stats on mental illness. What do they show? And how reliable are they?
15/08/236m 22s

Hard work and mental health

Is better awareness of mental illness a good thing - or encouraging people out of work?A newspaper columnist questioned whether a rise in people out of work because of bad mental health might include some who could have “soldiered on”? It reignited a discussion online about the benefits of work and the importance of emotional wellbeing. On one side are those who think a better understanding of mental health is a necessary correction following decades of neglect. On the other, people who say all the talk of conditions like depression and anxiety has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. What’s the evidence?Guests: Dr Jay Watts, Consultant clinal psychologist Gillian Bridge, author and former addiction counsellor Andy Bell, CEO of Centre for Mental Health Ann John, professor of public health and psychiatry, Swansea University Darren Morgan, Director of Economic Statistics Production & Analysis at the Office for National Statistics
11/08/2353m 49s

What is ‘woke’ capitalism?

A recent history of companies getting involved in social and political issues. Adam Fleming talks to Daniel Korschun, Associate Professor of marketing at Drexel University, USA.
08/08/236m 58s

'Woke' capitalism

Should companies weigh-in on sensitive social issues?After a Costa Coffee van featured artwork of a trans man with mastectomy scars, there have been calls to boycott the chain on social media. And there’s been controversy over banks rejecting customers because of their political views. Are businesses trying to make the world better or just more money? And is it the place of companies to fight what they see as social injustice?Guests: Lucy McKillop, CEO of OutVertising Ben Habib, former MEP for the Brexit Party and CEO of a property investment fund management firm Aileen McColgan, barrister specialising in discrimination law Xinrong Zhu, assistant professor in marketing, Imperial College London Business School Daniel Korschun, Associate Professor and Marketing Department Head at Drexel University in Philadelphia
04/08/2353m 49s

What is “the patriarchy”?

Where does the term “patriarchy” come from and how has it been used through history? Adam speaks to Lucy Delap, professor in modern British and gender history at the University of Cambridge.
01/08/236m 18s

Barbie and the patriarchy

What is 'the patriarchy' and does it still exist in the UK today?The Barbie movie’s portrayal of the patriarchy and a world in which men have all the positions of power has triggered debate on social media around whether the UK is a patriarchal society. According to Barbie's friend Ken, patriarchy is when “men on horses run everything”. According to history, Marxist scholars first described the patriarchy as a system that favoured men over women and characterised it as integral part of the capitalist system. Years later, in the 1970s, it became a focal point for feminist activists who campaigned for equal rights and representation for women. In Britain today, though, when many of the laws that gave more power to men have been overturned, is there still a system in place that gives men more power than women? Is the word useful? We explain the history of the phrase and fact-check the ways in which people across the debate measure gender equality.Contributors: Charlotte Proudman, campaigner and barrister specialising in gender based violence cases Mike Bell, creator of the website Equi-law which researches disadvantages experienced by men and boys Lucy Delap, Professor of Modern British and Gender History at the University of Cambridge Kelly Beaver, CEO for UK & Ireland at Ipsos
28/07/2353m 40s

Cultural appropriation and Afro wigs

Abba fans were asked not to wear Afro wigs over claims they are 'culturally insensitive'. It led to a debate online about cultural appropriation. What counts as cultural appropriation and why? How can people appreciate things from other cultures without being accused of appropriating?
31/03/2354m 2s

Covid vaccines and misinformation

A speech by Andrew Bridgen MP about Covid vaccines was taken down from YouTube after accusations it contained misinformation. It’s led to a debate about where freedom of speech ends and misinformation begins. What counts as misinformation? And who decides?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Lucy Proctor, Phoebe Keane and Ellie House. Editor: Emma Rippon
24/03/2354m 4s

Sex education and schools

After sex education was made compulsory in England in 2019, many schools started bringing in external companies to teach the subject. But with no formal regulation, a vast range of lessons are being offered and some providers refuse to let parents know what's being taught. It's led to some misinformation spreading online and a debate about whether some things are too explicit to learn at school. Archive from British Pathe, David Rosler via the British Film Institute and the Netflix series Sex Education.
17/03/2354m 2s

Blasphemy laws and free speech

The cover of a Quran was torn in a school in Wakefield, Yorkshire and four students were suspended. The next day, police were called after the boy involved in the incident received death threats. It lead to debate online about whether our laws should protect religious people from offence, or should uphold free speech. We'll get to the bottom of what went on and explore how you balance respect for religion with free speech?
10/03/2354m 10s

Body positivity and fat

The word 'fat' has been removed from a new range of Roald Dahl books. It's a sign our conversation about obesity and body image has become increasingly sensitive.Many body positivity activists have reclaimed the word 'fat' while promoting more diversity in the body shapes and sizes we see in our media. But some accuse the movement of denying the health risks associated with being overweight. Is it true we can be healthy at any size? Where did the body positivity movement come from? And should we be worried about the return of size 0 fashion?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Lucy Proctor, Phoebe Keane and Ellie House. Editor: Emma Rippon
03/03/2353m 54s

Asylum seekers and the far right

Thousands of asylum seekers are currently housed in hotels around the UK as they wait for their claims to be processed. The government has a huge backlog and are spending millions of pounds a day on the accommodation.Local residents have started to mount protests near the hotels, prompting claims from commentators and counter-protestors that they are 'far right'. What does that term mean? Are these protestors really 'far right'. And to what extent is the extreme right on the rise across the country?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Lucy Proctor, Phoebe Keane, Ellie House and Octavia Woodward. Editor: Emma Rippon
24/02/2354m 7s

15-minute Cities and Freedom

How talk of low traffic neighbourhoods and traffic filters became a heated debate about freedom. When Oxfordshire county council announced plans to implement six traffic filters across the city, it caused such controversy that even people in America were posting on social media about the restrictions they might impose. The council said they received death threats due to the misinformation swirling online, often from people outside of Oxford. So why have the discussions online become so heated?
17/02/2353m 55s

Delilah and cancelling songs

A row over whether it's appropriate for the Tom Jones classic song Delilah to be sung at Welsh Rugby matches because it depicts violence against women. Some claim that domestic violence spikes around rugby matches, making the song even more inappropriate. Others point to the long British and American tradition of songs about murder and question whether a song can provoke domestic abuse. Should we impose modern values on culture from the past? Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Lucy Proctor, Phoebe Keane, Ellie House and Octavia Woodward. Editor: Emma Rippon
10/02/2354m 6s

Trans women and prisons

The Scottish Prison Service is under fire for sending a trans woman who raped two women to a female prison.That has brought the ongoing battle about whether trans women should be in women's prisons to the top of the social media agenda. Some argue that men's prisons are not safe for trans women. But others say that biological males should never be in women's prisons.Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Lucy Proctor, Phoebe Keane and Ellie House Editor: Emma Rippon
03/02/2353m 48s

Neurodiversity and autism

What is neurodiversity and how has it changed the way we talk about autism? Is it always helpful for people who are autistic and their families? As video app Tik Tok became more and more popular, so too did the use of #Neurodivergent. Videos using this hashtag have racked up 6.6 billion views. Many people who are autistic use this hashtag when posting positive experiences, to help improve understanding amongst their followers. But some say that social media is fuelling an epidemic of people self-diagnosing and that this is damaging for autistic people. Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Lucy Proctor, Phoebe Keane and Ellie House Editor: Emma Rippon
27/01/2353m 41s

Brit Awards and gender

The Brit Awards were gender neutral for the second time this year - which meant there was no best male or best female artist award.Over the last week the reaction to the all-male nomination list for Best Artist has been fierce, with many women outraged at the lack of female representation.Is the music industry ready for gender neutrality? Does inclusivity come at the expense of women?Presenter: Victoria Derbyshire Producers: Lucy Proctor, Phoebe Keane and Ellie House Editor: Emma Rippon
20/01/2353m 51s

Harry and Meghan

The revelations in Prince Harry's book Spare have dominated the news and the nation's conversations, with many people taking sides. For some, Harry and Meghan represent a couple who speak their truth and challenge racism, sexism and attitudes towards mental health. For others, they have betrayed their family and are emblematic of a privileged, navel-gazing world view. Why have the Duke and Duchess of Sussex become such symbols?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Lucy Proctor, Phoebe Keane and Ellie House Editor: Emma Rippon
13/01/2354m 18s

Milk and protestors

Direct action against dairies, animal cruelty, and the climate crisis.Animal Rebellion protestors have blockaded dairies, making the case for a “plant-based future”. They say the dairy industry is a key contributor to the climate crisis and is based on cruelty and exploitation. Online, opponents say they want to choose what they eat and that the direct action is counter-productive. Are the claims made by protesters true? And why is milk such a touchy subject in this country?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin & Lucy Proctor Researchers: Ellie House & Octavia Woodward Production co-ordinator: Jacqui Johnson Music: Oskar Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
23/09/2254m 1s

'Woke' police

Accusations that the police are spending time dancing the Macarena at Pride parades instead of controlling crime stepped up this week following a report by a think tank. Critics say the police are being political by taking the knee at Black Lives Matter marches and prioritising policing Twitter over policing the streets. Others say community engagement is key and that it’s all about resources. Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin & Lucy Proctor Researchers: Ellie House & Octavia Woodward Production co-ordinator: Jacqui Johnson Music: Oskar Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
02/09/2254m 20s

Trigger warnings

'Upsetting content' warnings at universities: a harmless courtesy or oversensitivity?Some higher education institutions are accused of 'wokery' and pandering to 'snowflake' students because texts now sometimes come with notes saying some students may find the content distressing. People in favour of such warnings see them as an unintrusive way of respecting students’ mental well-being. But what does 'triggering' actually mean? What do students think about trigger warnings? How did they end up on university campuses? And do they actually work? Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin & Josephine Casserly Researcher: Octavia Woodward Production co-ordinator: Brenda Brown Music: Oskar Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
26/08/2253m 44s

Fast fashion and class

The argument about whether shopping "sustainably" is a privilege not everyone can afford.People online are debating whether contestants from ITV’s Love Island should be signing mega-bucks deals with clothes companies that sell people stuff cheaply and often - so-called fast fashion. Others claim it's a bit rich for the well-off to lecture everyone else about what's in their wardrobe? We’ll look at how fast fashion got turbo-charged, see if the stats on climate change and fashion add up, explore how fashion and social class have interacted over the years, and ask if “sustainable fashion” is an oxymoron. Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin & Josephine Casserly Researcher: Ellie House Production co-ordinator: Brenda Brown Music: Oskar Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
19/08/2254m 4s

Online justice and rape

Rape allegations about a footballer have led to debate online and protests in real life.A woman who says she was raped by a Premier League footballer put her allegations and evidence for them online. On social media some people have tried to pick holes in her account and demanded anonymity for people accused of rape. Others are outraged that the player hasn’t been suspended by his club. In real life, an aeroplane banner protest said “Kick rapists off the pitch”. What’s the law on identifying rape suspects? How common are false allegations of rape? And do people actually understand the law on rape? Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin & Lucy Proctor Researcher: Ellie House Production co-ordinators: Maria Ogundele & Helena Warwick-Cross Music: Oskar Jones Editors: Hugh Levinson & Penny Murphy
12/08/2254m 4s

Drag queens and libraries

The row over drag queens reading stories to children.A spate of protests outside libraries has focused attention on the idea of drag queen story hours - drag queens reading stories to young children in libraries and other public spaces. For some, it’s the perfect way to build acceptance of LGBTQ+ identities, plus it’s fun and fabulous for the children. For others, it risks exposing young minds to adult entertainment and complex themes of sex and gender.Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin & Lucy Proctor Researcher: Ellie House Music: Oskar Jones Editor: Hugh Levinson
05/08/2253m 50s

Race and representation

The England women’s football team has been on our screens a lot, but the team has attracted criticism for only fielding white players in the quarter finals. That sparked a discussion around what the right levels of representation should be on screen and in public life. Is it true that you can’t be what you can’t see?Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin & Lucy Proctor Researchers: Ellie House and Octavia Woodward Production Coordinator: Brenda Brown Studio Manager: Chris Murphy Music: Oskar Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
29/07/2254m 39s

Gaslighting and relationships

Love Island has sparked debate about gaslighting and narcissism.The reality TV show Love Island has once again ignited discussion about the way men treat women in relationships. Two domestic violence charities called out what they called gaslighting and coercive control. Meanwhile on social media a wider conflict about these new terms has rumbled on.Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Josephine Casserly & Lucy Proctor Researcher: Ellie House Production Coordinator: Brenda Brown Studio Manager: Hal Haines Music: Oskar Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
22/07/2253m 40s

Free speech and online harm

Hopefuls for the Conservative Party leadership have been talking about the Online Safety Bill. One candidate said the planned attempt to make tech companies do something about content that is legal but harmful amounts to ‘legislating for hurt feelings’. And social media had a lot to say. A comedian and an academic discuss.Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Chloe Hadjimatheou & Lucy Proctor Researchers: Ellie House & Octavia Woodward Production Coordinator: Brenda Brown Studio Manager: Chris Murphy Music: Oskar Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
15/07/2254m 14s

Cars and the climate

The battle between gas-guzzlers and environmentalists. Motorists have been staging go-slow protests on motorways over how expensive it is to get everywhere. Meanwhile, environmental protestors have been letting down the tyres of the biggest gas-guzzlers to stop them going anywhere. They want people to give up their cars, but drivers don’t like being told what to do. It’s getting people angry on social media. Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Simon Maybin & Lucy Proctor Researchers: Ellie House & Octavia Woodward Production Coordinator: Brenda Brown Studio Manager: Hal Haines Music: Oskar Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
08/07/2254m 6s

White privilege and schools

This week, parents are voicing concerns about the way the concept of white privilege is being taught in schools.How did the conversation about white privilege go mainstream in the UK? Where did it come from? The BBC's Home Editor Mark Easton shares some data on the experiences of different ethnic groups in Britain. And a teacher grapples with whether you can tell poor pupils that they're actually privileged. Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Lucy Proctor & Simon Maybin Researcher: Ellie House & Octavia Woodward Production coordinator: Brenda Brown Studio Manager: Hal Haines Music: Oskar Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
01/07/2253m 37s

Trans rights and free speech

Why is the conversation about trans rights and women's rights so toxic?This week, two sports governing bodies decided that trans women should not compete in women's categories. Other sports announced they would review their policies. There's a row about that, but beneath that is a deeper argument about how the tensions around gender identity are discussed and debated. Presenter: Adam Fleming Producers: Lucy Proctor & Simon Maybin Researcher: Ellie House Music: Oskar Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
24/06/2253m 39s

Introducing AntiSocial

Where there are angry-face emojis, AntiSocial brings understanding. Context, facts, views that will make you think - and NO SHOUTING.
17/06/222m 6s
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