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

Perspective Writers' Votes
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No-platforming exacerbates divisions among students because those who support the visiting speaker will feel as if their viewpoints are being shut out by the majority.

Pros
Cons
  • A more productive and democratic way to deal with the divisions is to confront them head-on by allowing diverse viewpoints, so long as these viewpoints are peacefully presented.

  • The often wildly-exaggerated rhetorical justifications for 'no platform' actions can promote marginalization, vilification and hatred directed at students of perceived controversial or innovative thought.

  • No-platformers do not speak for all members of their social group but act as if they were entitled to do so.

  • No-platforming creates a slippery slope wherein those who hold the dominant political narrative are afforded the power to dictate what can and cannot be discussed.

  • The message of the divisive speaker is what produces the division. Whatever occurs as a result of denying entry to a divisive speaker only helps manifest what already exists.

  • Conflict should not be seen as intrinsically negative. If managed appropriately, it may reveal unaddressed issues crucial in creating a more tolerant space.

  • Universities cannot possibly represent all the students' opinions equally and it is not their job to do so.

  • Uninviting a speaker does not equal shutting out a viewpoint. Students can still voice and defend their opinions in other discourses themselves, even if the person affected by no-platforming doesn't appear in public.

  • When these viewpoints target other members of the university community, those feelings are of relatively smaller importance.