• Police Scotland has responded to Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s criticism of Scotland’s new Hate Crime law. It said that while they “have received complaints in relation to [her] social media post,” they were “not assessed to be criminal.” Independent (LR: 2 CP: 3)
  • The social media post in question, posted on X, formerly Twitter, began with Rowling listing several trans-identified biological men, including some convicted of child rape and possession of illicit images of children. FOX News (LR: 4 CP: 4)
  • She then set her sights on Scotland’s Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021, which criminalizes “stirring up hatred” due to age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Euronews
  • She wrote: “I’m currently out of the country, but if what I’ve written here qualifies as an offense under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment.” New York Post (LR: 5 CP: 5)
  • Responding to the police statement, Rowling posted on X that she hopes “every woman in Scotland” who wishes to speak on the matter will “be treated equally under the law” no matter their “profile or financial means.” Independent (LR: 2 CP: 3)
  • Under the law, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, a person can be charged with a crime if they say or do something that “a reasonable person would consider to be threatening or abusive.” BBC News (LR: 3 CP: 5)

Right narrative:

  • This bill was obviously created to punish working-class people with less power than Rowling. So, while Rowling may be safe from veritable thought police, that doesn’t mean regular people will be able to call a man a man and a woman a woman. This law protects the delusional at the expense of free thinking, and its vague nature seems to have been written so that, sooner or later, both women and men could face charges.
    NEW YORK POST (LR: 5 CP: 5)

Left narrative:

  • Nothing in this bill states that what Rowling said, or even misgendering more generally, would be a crime. Not only will the police face a high bar when it comes to who violates the law, but the law itself also protects free speech surrounding these exact topics. Just because hateful rhetoric is reported and investigated doesn’t mean that the police will actually handcuff people for speaking their minds.

Nerd narrative:

  • There’s a 5.7% chance that Scotland will leave the United Kingdom before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
    METACULUS (LR: 3 CP: 3)