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

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

Pros
Cons
  • 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.

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

  • You cannot kill a bad idea by suppressing it. By suppressing bad ideas, you make them seem alluring.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. Alt-Right speakers obtain a fairly concrete kind of social and political capital from being granted speaking appearances, which in turn seems to be able to be cashed in deeper in the political arena. E.G. Richard Spencer's appearances translating into political positions within special interest groups.