Cyberflashing: 70 Women On What It’s Like To Be Sent Unsolicited Dick Pics

Cyberflashing: 70 Women On What It's Like To Be Sent Unsolicited Dick Pics

You’re standing on a busy train when your phone buzzes: someone’s trying to AirDrop you some pictures. Photos of an erect penis, it turns out when you check the thumbnails. You don’t know who is sending them, where they are in proximity to you, or why they are doing the digital equivalent of exposing themselves in public. But you do know that what’s not OK in real life isn’t OK on your phone either.

For more than six months, HuffPost UK has been reporting on cyberflashing – the sending of unsolicited sexual images via AirDrop or other social platforms such as Facebook Messenger or Snapchat – hearing from women across the UK who have found themselves targeted. There is no law that directly addresses this “digital flashing” in England and Wales, although it has been illegal in Scotland since 2009. And, while the Women & Equalities Committee recommended the government introduce an image-based abuse law to criminalise cyberflashing, the government has rejected those plans .

That means many women do not know if, or how, they can report cyberflashing when it happens, leaving numbers of reports relatively small. (You can report incidents on public transport by texting the British Transport Police on 61016). Certainly, many women have told HuffPost that they have been victims of cyberflashing – in the last six months we have heard from 70 victims, more than 90% of whom say they did not report the incident.

Here we publish the words of all 70 women. We have included their name, age, where they are from and where they were cyberflashed. We also asked what they thought about the incident when they reflected on it afterwards. Rosalie Falla (L to R), Mollie Davis, Rachelle Romeo. Jess Shepherd, 28, Manchester, on AirDrop at a restaurant.

“It made me feel really violated. I felt very exposed that I could be sent something in the middle of the day without warning.”

Isabella Smith, 20, Birmingham, on AirDrop in a university lecture theatre.

“I’ve heard of this happening to people but I never thought it would happen in a lecture hall. That is meant to be a safe place.”

Rachelle Romeo, 34, London, on Instagram and Facebook.

“I don’t see how the government think the guard of glass on a screen differentiates the impact of a man in a mac walking down the street suddenly opening it [and] exposing himself.”

Rehema Figueiredo, 25, London, on AirDrop on the London Underground.

“I wasn’t convinced it was worth reporting it to the police or that they’d take it seriously. I’ve reported worse things to them and nothing has come of it.”

Mollie Davies, 21, Cardiff, on Snapchat at home.

“Why do men think we want them? What are we actually expected to do with them? Because whether they realise it or not, we don’t get off on it.”

Chloe Matthbury, 28, Leeds, on AirDrop on a train.

“I felt pretty vulnerable for the rest of my trip and it was scary not knowing who it was but that they might be looking at me or potentially follow me off the train.”

Natalie Richardson, 26, Leeds, on Snapchat on a train.

“The likelihood someone actually wants to receive a dick pic is like 1%. I was mostly shocked and disgusted as well as embarrassed other people might have seen that content on my phone screen.”

Lindsay Coldrick, 37, from York, over email at home.

“What gives men the right? It is disgusting. They think it makes them a man but it just doesn’t.”

Rosalie Falla, 22, the Channel Islands, on Twitter at a friend’s house.

“I was initially shocked and found it funny as I was around friends, but when I was walking alone back to my flat, I became aware that this man lived in my area and I felt almost unsafe.”

Gail Watt, 37, London, on AirDrop on the London Underground.

“It is the same as physical exposure and it should be treated as such.” Jess Shepherd (L) and Kate O’Sullivan (R). Kate O’Sullivan, 37, Edinburgh, on AirDrop on an aeroplane.

“It felt like this was another harassment women just have to absorb. It should work like any indecent exposure.”

Suzy Bennett, 41, Devon, on Facebook Messenger and Twitter.

“I felt frightened, ashamed, confused and just pushed it to the back of my mind. It is only now I realise it’s not ok and just hope that man did not go on to hurt someone.”

Jenny Briggs, 27, Bristol, on AirDrop on a train.

“I was so shocked to be sent those kind of images whilst I was in such a public and safe setting.”

Holly Burgess, 31, London, on AirDrop on the London Underground.

“It’s not funny, it’s not sexual, it’s not inviting. It’s disrespectful, ignorant and disgusting.”

Kelly Gardner, 37, Leicester, on AirDrop on a train.

“I changed my iPhone name to John’s work phone and the dick pics stopped immediately. Over time, it has now just become second nature to protect my identity as a woman.”

Hannah Al-Othman, 33, London, on AirDrop on the London Underground.

“If this offence isn’t covered by existing laws, then it should be legislated for as it’s not acceptable. If cyberflashing itself was a specific criminal offence then more people would report it.”

Sophie Bork, 26, Brighton, on AirDrop on a bus.

“After what happened, I just hate the idea of turning my AirDrop on, even momentarily, and being bombarded again.”

Amy Martin, 25, London, on AirDrop on the street.

“The normality of this sexually aggressive behaviour is such that I am not massively surprised [when it happens] and over time I have built up a defence mechanism of laughing it off. But at its core it is very invasive.”

Lisa Downs, 44, Bath, on AirDrop in a station.

“It might sound dramatic, but it happened once too many times in that station to be a coincidence. I’m just convinced whoever is doing it waits for women to pass through that place and then pounces.”

Natasha Harpley, 39, Norwich, on Facebook Messenger.

“It needs much more publicity to both change the law and public perception. It’s still deemed more serious when it [flashing] happened in person.” Dahaba Ali Hussen (L to R), Natasha Harpley, Jenny Briggs Ella Whiddet, 23, London, on AirDrop on a train.

“I felt jittery for the rest of the journey and kept looking at the men seated and standing around me. I thought about it quite a lot for a long time afterwards.”

Dahaba Ali Hussen, 25, London, on Facebook Messenger.

“I think some men still see sex as a power tool and use unsolicited dick pics to shock or intimidate women.”

Jaimé Carter, 31, Brighton, on Airdrop at Gatwick airport departure lounge. “I felt violated and looked around to see if I could see any indication of who it might be. I wondered what sort of person could think anyone would want this.” Amy Sutton, 26, Kent, on Facebook Messenger. “I was so embarrassed, no one ever sent me anything like this before.” Dawn Finch, 50, Hertfordshire, on AirDrop on a train. “It made me feel nervous about travelling to be honest. This was a hugely busy commuter train with standing room only. It wasn’t a bar or a club, not a dating app. Just a 50-year-old woman on a 7.30am train to work.” Gemma Hall, 28, Essex, on AirDrop at a bus station. “Women need to be told about cyberflashing, to help protect themselves against it. Otherwise we’re all in the dark.” Lauren Smithe, 31, Liverpool, on AirDrop on a train. “I was just minding my own business I don’t understand why this happens to women when they’re not doing anything to invite such behaviour?” Melanie Macleod, 29, London, on Facebook Messenger. “What the punishment should be I’m not sure but I do think it should be made clearer to men how it makes the receiver feel.” Sophie Meehan, 20, Canterbury, on AirDrop at a train station. “The man was so close to me. It was so intimidating. It was terrifying. I could feel my phone vibrating against my ear as he sent me more images.” Lynn Anderton, 57, the Wirral, on Facebook Messenger. “I’ve had enough dick pics on Facebook Messenger to host a Tate exhibition. I think for some men it has become their calling card.” Melanie Macleod (L to R), Dawn Finch, Sophie Meehan. Daisy O’Byrne, 18, Chelmsford, on Facebook Messenger. “He said: ‘I really want to bend you over and spank you.’ ‘Do you like being choked when you’re having sex?’ ‘Do you want to see a video of me wanking?’” Jessica Cooke, 20, Newcastle, on AirDrop on a train. “I felt so vulnerable as I knew he was getting a kick out of making me feel so uncomfortable.” Ellie Clifford, 23, London, on AirDrop in the cafeteria at London City University. “I felt totally violated, and then paranoid. I was looking around trying to figure out who it was. It’s so horrible and made me feel really uncomfortable.” Mared Parry, 21, Wales, on Facebook Messenger. “It was only later I realised how predatory that cyberflashing behaviour was.” Ariane Sherine, 38, London, on Twitter. “I felt utterly violated and shaken up. When I posted about the incident on Twitter, two guys following me made jokes like ‘It’ll never stand up in court’, which made me feel worse.” Meredith Sneddon, 28, Colchester, on AirDrop on a bus. “I felt incredibly violated. That someone felt it was acceptable to send this to another person. But also very vulnerable that someone could use digital technology in such an aggressive and reprehensible manner.” Nancy Roberts, 42, Cornwall, on AirDrop on a train. “Why are men still doing this? I just don’t understand what they get out of it apart from upsetting women. Maybe that’s what they want.” Naomi*, 53, Sussex, on Twitter. “I was unsurprised, and resigned to be honest. Not really shocked, just disappointed by men in general. I wish men would stop this behaviour.” Vicki Scott, 19, Guildford, on Facebook Messenger. “I had never seen a penis erect before I was sent that, or had never been sent a sexual image so I was terrified but learnt that nothing could be done.” Emily Whitehead, 29, Derbyshire, on AirDrop in Matlock town centre. “I was just a bit shocked to see it pop up on my screen unexpectedly. But then couldn’t help but laugh that someone thinks I’d want to see that. I know some people would be really offended but luckily I can just brush it off.” Ellie Clifford (L to R), Meredith Sneddon, Emily Whitehead. Carolanne Irvine, 25, Glasgow, on Twitter at work. “I know so many other people who have had the exact same thing happen to them. It happens so often in fact.” Elanor King, […]

Niki Lauda, Triple Formula One World Champion, Dies Aged 70

Niki Lauda, Triple Formula One World Champion, Dies Aged 70

Three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70.

The Austrian racing great “passed away peacefully”, his family said on Monday in a statement reported by the Austria Press Agency.

His comeback from a near-fatal crash made him a global symbol of resilience and determination.

Lauda was so badly injured in the accident at the 1976 German Grand Prix that a priest gave him the last rites as he lay in a coma.

His Ferrari had slammed into a barrier and then burst into flames as it spun back onto the track, where an oncoming car hit it again. By the time he was pulled from the wreckage, his face, scalp and right ear were severely burned and his lungs scorched.

Just six weeks later, his burns bandaged and raw, he was racing again, vying to retain his Formula One world title. It remains one of the sport’s most memorable acts of courage and defiance.

“It was the most terrifying weekend,” he told Reuters in 2013, in a late admission about how scared he was to race so soon after cheating death. He finished fourth that day.

Tributes poured in for Lauda, who later become a racing team executive and airline entrepreneur.

British racing driver Jenson Button called him a “legend”.

His family added in their statement: “His unique successes as a sportsman and entrepreneur are and remain unforgettable.

“His tireless drive, his straightforwardness and his courage remain an example and standard for us all. Away from the public gaze, he was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather. We will miss him very much.”

Lauda was also mourned by F1, who tweeted: “Forever carried in our hearts, forever immortalised in our history.

“The motorsport community today mourns the devastating loss of a true legend.” Rest in peace Niki Lauda.

Forever carried in our hearts, forever immortalised in our history. The motorsport community today mourns the devastating loss of a true legend.

The thoughts of everyone at F1 are with his friends and family. pic.twitter.com/olmnjDaefo — Formula 1 (@F1) May 21, 2019 The McLaren Formula One team said: “All at McLaren are deeply saddened to learn that our friend, colleague and 1984 Formula 1 World Champion, Niki Lauda, has passed away.

“Niki will forever be in our hearts and enshrined in our history.”

Apart from reconstructive work on his eyes and eyelids he opted against cosmetic surgery on the burns that disfigured him. Instead he covered much of them with a baseball cap that became his trademark, charging sponsors to put their logo on it.

“Sure, people change their tits and ass and whatever. In my case there could be something done but I wouldn’t. Because this is a fact of life and that’s it,” he said.

Over the past few decades, Lauda twice underwent kidney transplants, receiving an organ donated by his brother in 1997 and a kidney donated by his girlfriend in 2005.

In August last year, he underwent a lung transplant that the Vienna General Hospital said was made necessary by a “serious lung illness.”

He was released for rehabilitation nearly four months later but was back in hospital in January with influenza.

The doctor that performed the transplant, Walter Klepetko, confirmed his death early on Tuesday morning, the Associated Press reported.

Born to a wealthy Vienna family, he defied its wishes to pursue a racing career.

Lauda’s grandfather, who was on the supervisory board of an Austrian bank, even blocked his own firm’s sponsorship deal with his grandson. The family rebel took out loans to fund his early years.

Lauda is survived by his second wife Birgit, and his children, Max, Mia, Mathias, Lukas and Christoph.

The Waugh Zone Tuesday May 21, 2019

The Waugh Zone Tuesday May 21, 2019

The Cabinet meets this morning to discuss Theresa May’s ‘bold, new’ offer to get her Brexit deal through Parliament a fourth time. And although the Labour-Tory talks are dead, some of the items on their agenda are not. We already have a zombie government and a zombie Parliament, so it’s fitting that plans believed buried in the secretive cross-party negotiations are now coming back from the grave.

After a meeting between the PM and key ministers (one described it to me as a ‘mini-Cabinet’) yesterday, a new form of words on a temporary customs ‘bridge’ to the next general election is expected to be floated today for inclusion in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB). This was something Corbyn’s negotiating team rejected, but the calculation is that it could persuade a serious number of Labour backbenchers to get on board.

As ever, whenever May tilts towards one group of MPs, she risks losing others. And some Brexiteers in Cabinet like Liam Fox, Penny Mordaunt and Andrea Leadsom have already had to swallow some big compromises. This morning, Leadsom was sent on the airwaves to put the government’s case. Yet when asked on the Today programme if she would herself vote for the bill if it included a fresh customs shift, she hinted she’d rather quit: “I will want to see that it delivers Brexit.” In normal times, a Cabinet minister pressuring the PM in public would be extraordinary. Now, it’s a fact of political life.

David Davis, already suffering from severe buyer’s remorse after backing May’s deal at her third attempt, said yesterday: “This is not a great new offer; it’s a great new concession [to Labour]…if we pass that act, it opens things up so that the successor to the prime minister will have their hands tied.” And that’s even before he’s actually seen the thing. As I said yesterday, the idea of committing to future EU workers’ rights is already producing a backlash among some Tories.

The process, as well as the substance, will be discussed today too. Some ministers still think ‘definitive’ votes could somehow occur during the passage of the WAB. But Labour MPs backing a public vote last night rejected the plea from Matt Hancock and Fox to just support the bill at second reading in order to amend it later. As Peter Kyle told me, if a ‘confirmatory ballot’ is not ‘attached’ the the face of the bill, it “hasn’t a hope in hell”.

Emily Thornberry told the Today programme that May and her Withdrawal bill were both doomed: “It’s almost as though she needs to have a dignified way of leaving. It’s almost like she’s setting up her own political version of the last rites.” Let’s see who’ll act as the priest. 2. PHIL YER BOOTS

Philip Hammond knows his Chancellorship will almost certainly end with a new leader, and he’s clearly decided the mission of his remaining time in government is to stop a no-deal exit. When pre-briefed extracts of his CBI speech landed last night, they felt like a pre-emptive strike at today’s Cabinet discussion on whether to spend more cash on no-deal prep. “All the preparation in the world will not avoid the consequences of no deal,” was a broadside at those (including Brexit secretary Steve Barclay) who want more spending on contingency plans.

But, as we report, what was even more obvious was that this was Hammond sticking the boot into no-deal leadership candidates like Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab . “There is a real risk of a new Prime Minister abandoning the search for a deal, and shifting towards seeking a damaging no-deal exit as a matter of policy,” he will tell the City tonight. This would be an attempt to ‘hijack’ the 2016 referendum and ‘knowingly inflect damage’ to the economy. Strong stuff indeed. In response, allies of Boris point out he has always been very clear that the UK can and will get a deal, but no-deal shouldn’t be taken off the table in negotiations with Brussels.

Yet just as May risks losing some MPs whenever she reaches out to others, so too does Boris. Nigel Farage yesterday pointed out Johnson had actually voted for May’s deal (Raab too lost his unique selling point by backing it). Despite his Vote Leave role, several Brexiteer backbenchers just don’t trust him. Some think he’ll ask for a further extension from Brussels. Will Bojo do a ‘Nixon in China’ and surprise people with a deal proposal that can unite his party?

At the One Nation Caucus in the Commons last night, ex-minister Richard Benyon told me: “I bet every leadership candidate from whatever part of the Conservative spectrum will espouse the words ‘One Nation’. Our job is to make sure they mean it.” But Boris’s liberal hinterland even has the power to appeal to some of these ‘moderate’ Tories. It was notable the way several of those present (apart from Margot James) refused to explicitly attack no-dealers. Nick Watt went much further on Newnsight , revealing some One Nation members could endorse Johnson. Soon afterwards, Johnson himself tweeted support for the One Nation mini-manifesto.

There are clearly some Boris fans who are determined to get him on the ballot of any leadership race. Under current rules, MPs pick two contenders to put to party members. Now, PolHome and the Daily Record report that the executive of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers and the party’s ruling board are to consider calls to double that number to four. The Sun says Boris even has legal advice supporting the idea. With a huge field of runners (Penny Mordaunt yesterday attacked Jeremy Corbyn repeatedly), will the Tories have a Labour-style contest to give members more choice?

It’s not unthinkable that Tories like Nicholas Soames and Michael Heseltine could rally round a Johnson leadership, if he made clear no-deal was not his strategy. After all, in social background as well as on social policy, they’re close to the Johnsonian worldview. Yet Hezza himself yesterday blotted his Tory copybook by explicitly saying he would vote for Lib Dem Bill Newton Dunn in the Euro elections.

Heseltine can’t have been that surprised to have the Tory whip suspended, but that didn’t stop Soames from telling Channel 4 News his suspension was a ‘stupid, bovine thing to do’. However, Jonathan Isaby at BrexitCentral reports that Tory HQ has decided not to actually suspend him as a party member. The reason? It doesn’t want to suspend members who ‘lend’ their support to Farage’s Brexit Party. Actively campaigning for a rival party is the line that can’t be crossed, apparently.

Speaking of whom, Paul Crowther, 32, has been charged with common assault and criminal damage after Farage had a milkshake thrown at him in Newcastle, Northumbria Police said this morning. The ex-UKIP leader has a big rally in London tonight so all those hacks who couldn’t brave venturing to the north and midlands can see for themselves the Farage effect.

Meanwhile, as I tweeted last night, Channel 4 News has been banned from attending all future Brexit Party events. The programme was told this Trump-style media blacklisting stemmed from an incident involving access to a Leave Means Leave rally 6 weeks ago. But it wasn’t actually informed of the ban until after it aired its report last Thursday on Farage being bankrolled by Arron Banks to the tune of £450,000.

Jess Phillips is calling for protest exclusion zones around schools as activists target a headteacher who backs LGBT equality lessons. Watch Phillips take on this activist yesterday.

It’s certainly true that No.10 is very worried about the break up of the UK under any no-deal Brexit. But Labour too is worried about the electoral boost the Euros will give to not just the SNP but to Plaid Cymru. A new YouGov/ITV poll in Wales has put Plaid Cymru ahead of Labour for the first time. The Brexit Party was first on 36%, followed by Plaid on 19% and Labour falling 15 points in a month to 15%.

Expect more Brexit-related rows as British Steel in Scunthorpe today tries one last time to avoid collapse. SkyNews reports the government is considering asking the official receiver to oversee an insolvency process in a move that would mean that Whitehall becomes more involved. The firm has lowered its request for an emergency loan from £75m to £30m. Will that be enough? Expect a possible urgent question in the Commons. If you’re reading this on the web, sign-up HERE to get the WaughZone delivered to your inbox.

Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Paul Waugh( paul.waugh@huffingtonpost.com ), Ned Simons ( ned.simons@huffingtonpost.com ), Rachel Wearmouth ( rachel.wearmouth@huffpost.com ) and Jasmin Gray ( jasmin.gray@huffpost.com ) and Arj Singh ( arj.singh@huffpost.com ) HuffPost is part of VerizonMedia and on 25 May 2018 we will be introducing a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy which will explain how your data is used and shared by VerizonMedia. Learn More .

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Why It’s Vital We Young People Vote In These European Elections

Why It's Vital We Young People Vote In These European Elections

Millennials have become the generational scapegoat for everything wrong in our society. Failing industries? Blame Millennials. Unemployment? Young people just can’t be bothered to get off their phones. The housing crisis? It’s all those entitled twenty-somethings wasting their money on avocado on toast brunches rather than saving up.

I for one, however, am immensely proud to be part of this generation. Quite unlike our reputation for being self-obsessed digital addicts, we are an increasingly active, politically-mobilised cohort willing to take a stand on issues we believe in. Take a look at the discussion on climate change – for years ignored and shoved under the table, it took a teenage girl and a group of students around the world to bring the topic back to mainstream attention. Less than a year before this, survivors of the Parkland shooting turned their protest against gun violence into one of the biggest mass demonstrations in American history.

And yet, our enthusiasm for political activism hasn’t always translated to turning up to vote. Over the last few years, young electoral participation has been frequently lacklustre. Take a look at the 2016 Brexit referendum – despite approximately 73% of 18-24-year-olds supporting Remain, just under two-thirds of young registered voters are thought to have cast their ballot (which, despite being higher than previous estimates and close to the expected average, is still considerably less than the 90% of registered over-65s). In the American presidential elections a few months later, youth turnout was even lower – around 50% – and lagged strongly behind that of Baby Boomers , who were overwhelmingly more supportive of Donald Trump . With the European elections coming up soon, the expectations for young voter participation in the UK are pretty poor, with only 19% of 18-24-year-old Brits turning up at the last set in 2014, compared to 53% of those aged 55 and over.

The dichotomy between our level of engagement on the streets and the polling booth has a variety of potential reasons. We’re busy, overworked and frankly disillusioned with political institutions, all factors which are likely to drive people away from turning up to vote. Add to this the fact that Brits generally haven’t come out in huge numbers to cast their ballots at the quinquennial European elections, which this year are all the more unexpected given our delayed Brexit date, and the outlook for young people isn’t looking very good.

But this time more than ever, it is vital for our generation to vote in this Thursday’s elections, as the results could have an enormous impact on our future.

Whichever people end up represent us at the European Parliament can have a pretty big influence in our lives. As such, given the turbulent times we’re facing both in the UK and the world at large, here are three major reasons why it is crucial for young people to vote in these elections.

To keep the far-right out of the European Parliament

Far-right populism is a growing scourge across the West, with ruthless opportunists playing on people’s genuine fears and economic grievances to whip up hatred against immigrants and other minorities. For some reason, such parties tend to do even better in the European elections than national ones. While the BNP have never been able to send an MP to Westminster, they managed to get Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons elected to the European Parliament in 2009. Likewise, the last European elections saw 24 Ukip MEPs voted to represent us in Brussels, making them the leading party. This year, not only do we have Farage back in full-force vying to keep a hold on his €8,000+ (pre-tax) monthly MEP salary , but we also have the joys of convicted fraudster and thug Tommy Robinson, alt-right YouTuber Carl Benjamin and anti-LGBT former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe among the many other candidates seeking a coveted European parliamentary seat. Whether it lurks inside the ranks of the polished, re-branded Brexit Party or in the more openly populist UKIP, the hard-right is a major political force in this election. As young people, we’re overwhelmingly against the vision presented to us by the various Farages and Robinsons. We champion diversity, welcome multiculturalism, and stand against intolerant, bigoted values. If we turn out in large numbers, we have the power to keep the far-right as far away from the European Parliament as possible.

To have our voices heard on Brexit

What will happen with Brexit is still a mystery to us all, and even more unclear is whether we’ll ever end up having a second referendum or “People’s Vote” to give our final say on the matter. Not only do the vast majority of young people think Brexit is a bad idea , but we also realise that leaving without a deal would be economically and socially disastrous. The prospect of a “WTO exit” becomes increasingly likely if the Brexit Party, currently topping the polls, ends up winning the largest share of votes in this European election, as Westminster will likely take such a victory as a strong political signal. As such, it’s essential that we have our voices heard on the matter by voting solidly pro-European party lists in our individual constituencies. Some may choose to overlook the Labour Party’s muddled Brexit policy and vote for some of its decidedly pro-EU lists, while others may point to RemainVoter.com for tactical voting based on Britain’s five overtly anti-Brexit major parties (Liberal Democrats, Change UK, Greens, Plaid Cymru and the SNP). Whatever your decision, it’s so important to get out and vote for pro-European lists to send a powerful message and stop Farage’s new crew from topping the elections once again.

To fill the European Parliament with progressive, pro-environmental MEPs who care about our future

The future for our generation looks uncertain at best, and rather bleak from many points of view. If emissions of greenhouse gases continue at predicted rates, we’re looking at a temperature increase of 1.5°c by circa 2030-2052 . Climate change arguably poses the biggest risk to our planet today, and requires a cross-border, transnational effort in order to be successfully tackled. What’s more, with high housing prices, an increasingly competitive job market, years of austerity policies and the dark legacy of the Great Recession, young people today are presented with significant economic concerns which make us anxious about many aspects of our future. In this time and age, it is incredibly important that we send progressive, pro-environmental MEPs to Brussels who have the interests of our generation at heart, and will use this huge platform to defend our needs and rights.

As the UK prepares itself to vote in these European elections this Thursday, it is imperative that as young people we don’t miss this huge opportunity to have our voices heard. This may very well be the last time we get to vote in these elections, and a large part of how the next years shape up will be down to us. Our future is finally in our hands – now is the time for us to take back control of it.

Jeremy Kyle Show: Ofcom Says ‘Alarm Bells’ Were Ringing About Certain Shows’ Practices Prior To The Programme’s Cancellation

Jeremy Kyle Show: Ofcom Says 'Alarm Bells' Were Ringing About Certain Shows' Practices Prior To The Programme's Cancellation

Ofcom has revealed that it had concerns over programmes including The Jeremy Kyle Show and Love Island , prior to the former being taken off air.

The daytime show was axed earlier this month following the death of Steve Dymond , a week after he was filmed for an episode.

Dymond reportedly took a lie-detector test on the programme to convince fiancée Jane Callaghan he had not been unfaithful, but they split after he failed it. Jeremy Kyle Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has revealed it will look at the use of lie detector tests on TV shows, as it said ITV has requested more time to report back on what happened on The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Speaking at a parliamentary enquiry into reality TV, Ofcom chief executive Sharon White told MPs: “We will be looking at lie detectors and other tools used by the production companies, as to whether … it’s fair treatment for vulnerable individuals.”

Following the death of Dymond, Ofcom asked ITV to give them information within five working days.

The Ofcom boss told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee: “Obviously, given the seriousness of what happened … we were very quickly in touch with ITV on the Monday, as soon as we heard the news and had asked ITV for a report within five working days about what process they had followed…

“ITV have now asked for more time to complete their inquiries.”

The death of Dymond came amid calls for Love Island to be cancelled following the deaths of two of its stars.

White said that “alarm bells” had been ringing for some time about particular shows.

“We have been particularly concerned about what’s happened to participants after the programmes, so as well as the most recent tragedy with Steve Dymond, alarm bells were particularly rung with the two suicides, Love Island, some months after the broadcasts,” she said. The Guardian Ofcom announced, following the Jeremy Kyle controversy, that it had already been looking at the possibility of tightening up the rules on reality TV and safeguarding the welfare of its participants.

White said “it had been on the cards for some time”, telling MPs: “We’ve got a job to do to make sure that the broadcasters responsible for the duty of care have got enough guidance to ensure that such tragic events don’t happen again.

“I have a question about whether there’s more that needs to be done after transmission, particularly given, as we saw with Love Island, it can be months and months and months before the media and social media pressure is building and very significant on some of the participants.”

She added: “The high risk prize events or the use of a lie detector or a particular editorial tool may not be appropriate for the under-18s and others needing special support.”

She denied the regulator was acting “too late” by looking at bringing in “clearer guidance”, saying. “As the situation has evolved, I think we are all more conscious of some of the negative side of this.”

The fifth series of ITV’s Love Island will begin next month and once again feature a group of young people looking for love in the villa.

Following previous concerns over the wellbeing of participants, ITV has extended the pre and post-show assistance offered to Islanders and they will now receive training on things including the management of their finances and social media.

“The key focus will be for us to no longer be reliant on the islanders asking us for support but for us to proactively check in with them on a regular basis,” a spokesperson said in March. After Jeremy Kyle, We Need To Talk About How Game Show Contestants Are Treated

Jeremy Clarkson Says Cancelling Jeremy Kyle Has Taken Away ‘Plaything’ Of ‘Fat, Unintelligent Brexiteers’

Jeremy Kyle Show Death Sparks Parliament Inquiry Into Reality TV

Three men attacked a gay couple in their own store

Three men attacked a gay couple in their own store

CCTV footage of the attack in Chile (Photo: YouTube) Three men brutally attacked a gay couple in Navidad, Chile on Saturday (18 May).

CCTV footage shared by leading LGBTI rights organization Movilh shows three men attacking Sergio Acosta (25) and José Luis Campos (33).

Acosta and Campos, who own an electronics store, told Movilh the men shouted ‘faggots’ and other homophobic insults.

Footage shows the three men grabbing, punching, kicking and pulling the hair of the two men. One of the attackers became confrontational after demanding a replacement for a product he had bought from the shop.

According to Movilh, local police detained the three men. But, they later released them with only a fine.

President of Movilh, Gonzalo Velásquez, said the case showed that hate laws should be reformed.

He said it was important to include violence based on sexuality even if it was not the primary reason for the attack.

Chile introduced laws introducing harsh penalties for LGBTI hate crimes after the death of Daniel Mauricio Zamudio Vera in 2012.

Four men beat and tortured Zamudio for several hours in a park in Santiago. He died three weeks later. LGBTI rights in Chile

Chileans overwhelmingly support LGBTI rights in the South American country. But violence is still an issue there.

A recent survey showed 65% of Chileans above the age of 18, supported marriage equality. That’s a seven point jump since February.

On trans issues, 67% of people agreed a person should be able to transition without surgery or approval for a medical board. But only once they’ve changed their gender markers on official documents such as national ID cards and passports.

Chile currently offers civil partnerships to same-sex couples. The previous president introduced a bill to legalize love but the new Chilean president recently stated legalizing same-sex marriage is not a priority .

But LGBTI people regularly face discrimination and violence in Chile . Hate crimes

In January, at least two men in Chile were violently attacked and tortured in two seperate homophobic attacks.

One man had his head held under hot water in a hot tub. Attackers allegedly stomped on the other man’s genitals, burnt cigarettes on his hand and hit him on the head with a large stone.

Attackers allegedly forced José David Muñoz Vargas, 52, into the hot tub because of his sexuality.

Muñoz Vargas was rushed to a nearby hospital with severe burns.

A 24-year-old man was also attacked in a suspected hate crime on New Year’s Day in the coastal city of Valparaíso.

The man told Movilh he was travelling in a car with his attackers and at about 8pm the men became violent.

‘The men then began to insult him because of his sexual orientation, as well as to beat him and torture him.

The alleged attackers then drove the young man to Laguna Verde, a salt lake in the Andes Mountain. There they began to violently beat and torture him.

They stomped on his genitals, burnt cigarettes in his hands and beat him on the head with a rock. He fell unconscious and woke up the next day ‘disoriented and lost’.

Hong Kong’s subway bows to pressure, will show same-sex advert

Hong Kong's subway bows to pressure, will show same-sex advert

This advert featuring a same-sex advert was initially banned from Hong Kong’s subway (Photo: Facebook) Hong Kong’s railway system on Tuesday (21 May) said it would display an advert featuring a same-sex couple.

The Mass Rapid Transit (MTR) system’s advertising agent made the announcement 24 hours after it emerged it was initially banned.

The city’s LGBTI groups launched hand-holding campaigns in protest.

‘We have been in contact with the relevant advertising agency and have just confirmed to the agency that the advertisement in question can be displayed at MTR stations,’ a JCDecaux spokeswoman said in a statement, according to the South China Morning Post.

Hong Kong’s largest airline, Cathay Pacific, last week launched an LGBTI-inclusive advertisement as part of its rebrand.

A poster at the airline’s headquarters shows two men holding hands on a beach with ‘Move beyond labels’ written underneath.

The MTR corporation on Monday (20 May) shifted blame to its advertising agency JCDecaux.

A statement said it had asked JCDecaux to consider MTR’s ‘commitment to equal opportunities and diversity when it considers advertisements in the future.’

The city’s only openly-gay lawmaker Ray Chan hit back by saying MTR said ‘a statement reaffirming its commitment to diversity is not enough’.

He said, as a public corporation, MTR had a responsibility to make a public explanation and apology. He also threatened to hold a mass hand-holding protest.

Hong Kong’s latest LGBTI group, Hong Kong Marriage Equality (HKME), launched a ‘move beyond discrimination’ campaign in response. Done the right thing

HKME co-founder Jerome Yau on Tuesday told Gay Star News they were ‘delighted the MTR had ‘done the right thing’.

‘HKME hopes that this is the beginning of a more welcoming attitude from MTRC and its associated vendors’.

Chan, meanwhile, urged the MTR and JCDecaux to set up clear guidelines so it didn’t happen again.

Both Yau and Chan called on the Airport Authority to also allow the ad. LGBTI rights in Hong Kong

Chinese society puts a lot of emphasis on heterosexual families and there are no legal anti-discrimination protections.

Hong Kong does not recognize same-sex marriages. And, the city only decriminalized gay sex in 1991.

What’s more, many LGBTI citizens do not come out to their family and colleagues.

In July last year, however, Hong Kong’s LGBTI had a reason to celebrate . The Court of Final Appeal ruled the immigration department must recognize overseas same-sex marriages when issuing spousal visas.

Also, earlier this year, two gay men won the right to challenge laws banning same-sex marriage.

Tati Westbrook ‘completely regrets’ how she went about James Charles feud

Tati Westbrook 'completely regrets' how she went about James Charles feud

Tati Westbrook and James Charles. | Photo: Tati Westbrook / YouTube Beauty video blogger Tati Westbrook is finally ending her public feud with fellow YouTuber James Charles.

The 37-year-old took to Twitter last night (20 May) to release her last public statement on her very public call-out and fall out from her former friend.

‘I have been in communication with James Charles through an intermediary for the last week,’ she wrote in a screenshot. ‘And we believe that it is in the best interest of our community, our viewers and our own mental health to put this matter to rest.’

She then added: ‘For that reason, I will not be making any further public comments and I hope and pray that no one else will make anymore hurtful statements on my behalf.

‘In my original video, I felt the need to publicly breakup with James with a warning call loud enough for him to hear. I was attempting to explain my upset and concerns so that everyone would understand my position and end the speculation that it was all over vitamins.

‘Over the last eight years, I have built my career based on honesty, integrity and trying my best to do what I thought was right. The toxicity and chaos that ensued over the last 10 days was absolutely not my goal, as it was a fight that I was almost certain to lose,’ she said. Addressing the feud in private

Westbrook then said: ‘Although I do not regret raising my concerns, I completely regret the way I went about saying them, I could have and should have found a better way.

‘Even in this moment, I still have so many things I’d like to clear up, however the continued call for “receipts” is nothing more than a call for never-ending bloodshed. As such, I’m setting aside my overwhelming need to be understood and will continue my conversations with everyone in private.

‘I hope that our community is somehow strengthened from all of this madness and that we will all strive to hold ourselves and each other to a higher standard.

‘To my audience, I need you to know that I’m blessed to have your support and love making videos for you guys. I’m truly sorry for all of the hate this brought to our doorstep. I love you and look forward to returning to my regular content soon,’ she wrote. So what started it all?

The feud started two weeks ago, when Tati Westbrook uploaded a now-deleted YouTube video entitled Bye Sister.

In the video, Westbrook blasts Charles over his collaboration with a rival hair vitamin product, despite the two being good friends. She said she felt ‘betrayed’ and ‘lost’ by the collaboration.

Westbrook also took the opportunity to show her disgust in Charles allegedly trying to ‘turn’ straight men gay.

After the very public call-out, Charles lost millions of subscribers to his YouTube channel. He immediately posted an apology video entitled Tati.

A week later, he then posted a video with ‘receipts’ on the feud and addressed the numerous allegations in a video entitled No More Lies. It has more than 34 million views, at the time of writing. In a particularly heartfelt moment, Charles spoke about the mental and emotional toll the feud had taken on him.

‘The last few weeks of my life have literally been the most painful time I’ve ever had to deal with,’ Charles said. ‘And my head and brain, for a hot minute, went to a place so dark that I didn’t think I was going to come back from.

‘I can’t believe I just admitted that on camera,’ he added. Jeffree Star weighs in

Over the course of the public feud, fellow YouTuber Jeffree Star also become involved in the drama. He sent tweets to Charles and called him a ‘danger to society,’ among other things.

He took to YouTube on Sunday (19 May) to post a video entitled Never Doing This Again.

‘This will be one of the most important videos I ever upload,’ he said. ‘Things are getting crazy, dangerous and we need to have a conversation.’

He then added: ‘For hours yesterday, it took me back to the old Jeffree and I was in a very dark place.’

Star goes on to explain that he ‘mishandled’ his friendship with Charles: ‘I inserted myself into something publicly that I shouldn’t have.

‘I’m willing to bite the bullet and let anyone think what they want, but today I will not be posting voice memos, I will not be posting text messages, I will not be exposing anything more. This has to stop.

‘I am embarrassed by my own actions,’ he said. Star then revealed: ‘There’s a lot of questions about my tweets and I want to say that I regret them. I don’t regret much in my life but I regret hitting the send button because they were bigger and louder that I imagined.

‘I do want to come clean and say that I do regret sending those tweets.

‘So, moving forward, I want to let you guys know something: I am done. I am done with the tea and the drama and I don’t want to be involved in anyone’s situations anymore. This was a huge wake up call to reel me in.

‘I’m embarrassed for myself.

‘All the stuff I said, I will be sorry for until the day I die,’ he said. See also

Many gay men are guilty of fetishizing straight men, but we need to stop

‘Makeup should be for everyone’: Why this new brand for men doesn’t work

Celine Dion shares kiss with James Corden in hilarious Carpool Karaoke

Celine Dion shares kiss with James Corden in hilarious Carpool Karaoke

Celine Dion and James Corden. | Photo: The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube Celine Dion is the latest celebrity to appear in the passenger’s seat for James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke.

The 51-year-old Canadian singer hopped into the car for the hugely popular The Late Late Show with James Corden segment.

‘I just have a day off once a year,’ Dion says, as she enters the car. ‘And you’ve called me on that day!’

The pair drive off together and as Corden starts to make conversation with the eccentric singer, she breaks out into song for every answer.

Then comes the singing to some of Dion’s greatest hits. First up is It’s All Coming Back To Me Now and this is where they share a kiss.

During the line ‘If I kiss you like this’, Dion turns to Corden and demands: ‘Give me a kiss!’

Chaos ensues for the rest of the car ride, with Corden handing out pairs of Dion’s 10,000 shoes to random people on the street, as well as Dion singing a dramatic rendition of kids song Baby Shark. But the pièce de résistance of the segment actually comes about when Corden and Dion get out of the car and get on a boat at the Bellagio Fountains.

As the boat ferries them across the water, Corden wraps his arms around Dion and they reenact the famous Titanic scene between Jack and Rose on the deck. Celine Dion sets the record straight

Celine Dion made headlines last month when romantic rumors surrounded the singer and dancer Pepe Munoz.

There was only one problem with this rumor: Munoz is gay.

The iconic singer set the record straight about their supposed romance as she announces her first world tour in over a decade. The back up dancer is, in fact, her friend.

Talking to Extra , the My Heart Will Go On singer said: ‘At first, I felt for him quite a bit. Pepe is gay, and at first I think some people did not know that.

‘The thing is that he’s my best friend and we dance together and he did so much for me and even just holding my hand… it’s something that I haven’t had for a long time… A hug from a 6″ 3′ man, it was wonderful… and people really thought there was a romance going on.’

Dion’s husband, René Angélil, died in 2016 from cancer. The pair were married for 22 years.

The star announced a World Tour, but the dates released so far are only in North America.

She will be starting in Quebec City, Canada, on 18 September, before heading to two other Canadian cities. The rest of the tour will be in the US, ending in Las Vegas.

Her residency in Vegas is ending in June. See also

David Burtka on adjusting to life with kids: ‘You have to be open to change’

David Burtka on adjusting to life with kids: 'You have to be open to change'

Moldova Pride met by religious counter-protest supported by president [From left to right] Neil Patrick Harris, Harper Grace, Gideon Scott and David Burtka. | Photo: dbelicious / Instagram David Burtka revealed having kids changed everything in his life with actor Neil Patrick Harris.

The 43-year-old actor and professional chef appeared on Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast yesterday (20 May).

Burtka revealed some of the struggles the famous couple faced after the birth of their twins, Harper Grace and Gideon Scott, born via surrogate in 2010.

‘The hardest age was I think zero to one,’ Burtka said. ‘With twins, literally, I don’t even remember. It’s a haze. The lack of sleep is just beyond.

He then added: ‘You can’t function as a human being. I think that only around three I started to go “I think I start to become a normal person again”.’

Burtka revealed becoming parents put ‘strains’ on his relationship with Harris.

‘After five, six, seven – seven is when Neil and I started connecting again,’ he added. ‘Which is a really big deal.’ David Burtka: ‘It’s like a snow globe’

David Burtka continued: ‘We were together for a while before the kids came so you have this bond and then the kids come and it shakes it all up, it’s a snow globe.

‘And it really puts how you guys see each other as parents, and your relationship changes, you change as people… and you have to just be open to change and know that things take a different turn,’ he said. Burtka cautioned against looking back on how you were as a couple without kids and comparing it to how you are now.

‘I think this is when a lot of people get into trouble with marriages,’ he said. ‘I think they realize, “Oh he’s not the person he was 10 years ago”

‘Well, of course he’s not, and you have to be open to that and accept that, and realize that there’s an unknown out there,’ he said.

David Burtka also spoke about staying in touch with their surrogate, as well as teaching their kids not to be picky with food.

Listen to the full episode on Spotify , iTunes or Android . See also