We’ve talked about free speech a lot on this podcast, typically from the perspective of what you CAN do. This week, we discuss what you SHOULD do, as Aaron and Jason discuss Youtube’s recent demonetization of conservative shock jock Stephen Crowder. In the first half, Aaron raises the question of “it was a joke” being used as a defense for egregious behavior, and what psychology can tell us about the dangers of using humor as a mask for prejudice. Jason brings up the importance of defending the right to free speech, even when that right is misused, because of the importance of freedom of ideas in a functioning society. In the second half, Jason and Aaron discuss the massive power that platforms like Youtube have over their customers, and how big platforms have demonstrated irresponsibility regarding how, when, why, and who they choose to demonetize. Aaron discusses the empirical results and how they suggest that support for such demonetization is a function of authoritarianism and belief content, while Jason reminds us again how important it is that we engage with controversial and “dangerous” ideas in order to broaden our minds and test our beliefs.
A piece from the Bulwark saying that just because we can defend Crowder doesn’t mean we should: https://thebulwark.com/just-because-you-can-defend-steven-crowder-doesnt-mean-you-have-to/
A Quillette article discussing the censoring of people like Crowder by big tech companies: https://quillette.com/2019/06/06/against-big-tech-viewpoint-discrimination/