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

Perspective Writers' Votes
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No-platforming hinders productive discourse.

  • Universities should be upfront about how they are limiting discourse by No-Platforming. Then only the desirable people would be attending, but what would that achieve for development of intellect. Deal with criminal behaviour as such, but don't fear or ban ideas themselves!

  • If no-platforming is a policy and not an exceptional act of civil protest, it continuously allows and normalizes to rule out unwanted opinions. As a policy it over-generates exclusion from discourse and loses its political expressiveness.

  • No-platforming assumes offensive speech before it occurs, which leaves no room for rehabilitation and progress. It would be more adequate to publicly oppose speakers, also by university officials, if a discriminating statement is made.

  • No-platforming can backfire by limiting the speech of moderate voices to the benefit of more extreme ones, if the no-platformers boycott or cede the event to the speaker they are protesting.

  • The meaning of productive discourse is to present opposing views. If no-platforming removes those with oppressive views from participating, their views remain unchallenged, thus being more likely to convince those who may be persuaded by that kind of rhetoric.

  • When people start to relinquish someone's right to speak — before actually knowing what they are going to say — they create an environment based on political, emotional or personal judgements rather than free and fair communication. To discover new and interesting truths there should be no dressing down of a person's identity before actually listening to them.

  • In each case of no-platforming, there is room for both protest and productive discourse. If critical masses of activists approach situations with either goal, both will add to productive discourse rather than detracting from the opportunity.

  • The loss of some productive discourse is a reasonable cost to avoid spreading hateful speech.

  • Speakers who are no-platformed at a particular university can find alternative platforms (like Bindel's video), fostering productive discourse through other channels.

  • This implies that those being no-platformed are interested in productive discourse. But this is not always the case. Many of them are provocateurs who have no intention of engaging in real dialogue.

  • Attention is scarce resource. There is not enough time to expose students to constructive views and ideas to give time to destructive ones.

  • There is no opportunity for productive discourse with a fascist whose main goal is to mislead, distract, manipulate, and take advantage of any semblance of reason. Fascists benefit from leading others to believe they are reasonable and then spreading hateful, false ideas.