Students Keep "No Platforming" Contentious Speakers. Should They Stop?

Perspective Writers' Votes
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As a political tactic, no-platforming is ineffective.

  • The no platforming of speakers is a slippery-slope. The policies and tactics used to silence social justice movements' opposition can eventually be used against them.

  • People cannot be familiar with good counter-arguments to a position they've never heard. This leaves supporters of the no-platformed with more developed arguments and the illusion that there are no good counter-arguments.

  • No-platforming makes people with oppressive views less visible to mainstream society. As a result, oppression (like sexism and racism) appears less prevalent, causing ignorance and complacency about the severity and seriousness of those issues.

  • When 'no platforming' prevents a controversial figure from speaking, it creates additional media coverage and reaches audiences far wider in mainstream media than would occur otherwise.

  • No-platforming might even be counterproductive where speakers manage to gain sympathy because they appear as victims of censorship or oppression.

  • The proliferation of social media makes it easy for everyone to access free platforms which reach millions of people. Thus, no-platforming would not stop students or organizations from a widespread audience.

  • Protests can make activists suffer from bad press, especially if they are associated with violence.

  • No-platforming emboldens those groups we seek to censure and crystallizes their negative views. A far stronger position is to give them a platform and thoroughly dismantle their arguments in public. To fail to do so is a kind of social and academic cowardice unbecoming of any great democracy.

  • No-Platforming will only make the person being silenced more determined to get their message out.

  • No-platforming allows the Right-Wing to build a credible victim complex wherein Americans think the right-wingers are oppressed rather than doing the oppressing. Letting them talk while something more fun on campus deprives them of an audience is a more effective tactic.

  • No platforming is not necessarily a political tactic as a defensive one, it is primarily an act to defend students who may feel persecuted by a speaker's more harmful rhetoric or views ,anti-LGBT or racist speakers, for example.

  • No-platforming might not to be an effective tactic to limit a contentious person's impact, but it is an effective tactic in a positive way: It demonstrates a clear stand against discriminating positions. By taking action, instead of only using words, the message against discrimination is far more clear.

  • The more hate speech is given an audience, the more normalized it becomes within a culture, and the larger its followers grow. No-platforming is an effective method of stifling the number of followers of hate speech by taking away an audience.

  • In the context of the large-scale propaganda machine that is modern TV news-entertainment, intellectual prestige and celebrity may translate very quickly into tangible political power.