Is Patreon justified in “deplatforming” any use of their platform? Did they follow their own policies and procedures in Sargon’s case?
It is fascinating how people frame things differently nowadays. Two decades ago, prior to the advent of social media, there was no presumption that every individual has a fundamental right to relay their opinions utilizing others ‘platforms. Fast forward, and, there are many online sites that let anybody to publish on their platform, with no queries asked in advance (O’Brien and Lex). As such, people have actually come to think that utilizing these platforms is a human right. It is not. Rather, it is a privilege. Therefore, in my opinion Patreon is justified in “deplatforming” any use of their platform if they feel the person fails to adhere to its guidelines of engagement. In Sargon’s case, Patreon did not follow its own policies and procedures. This is because they failed to notify Sargon about their intention to deplatform him.
What do you think of the response from some popular (and not as popular YouTubers/bloggers) like Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, and Dave Rubin – where they call for a departure from Patreon?
In my opinion, Harris, Peterson & Rubin’s are over-reacting when they call for a departure from Patreon. Interestingly, Peterson and Rubin now say they are mulling over developing an alternative to Patreon which would be more respectful of the free speech of the creator (Mastrine). The reaction of these YouTubers/bloggers is uncalled for because they have overlooked the issue of freedom of association; it includes, among other things, the right to not associate with individuals one does not want to be associated with. For this reason, if Patreon, does not want to be associated with racism and sexism, they should not be forced to do so.
Is this a Big Deal or a tempest in a teapot? Does the debate impact you in any way? Do you care? Will this matter in a year? In other words – what are the lasting impacts, if any?
I think that the issue at hand is a tempest in a teapot, meaning that it is a small matter that has been blown out of proportion. The anti-feminist going by the name Sargon of Akkad was kicked off Patreon’s site for utilizing racist language (Bowle). Patreon’s action is justified since it does not want to be associated with any form of discrimination, including racism. The debate impacts me in that it reminds me of the importance of freedom of speech and association, and the need to not abuse these liberties. In my opinion, this issue will not matter in a year. This is because people will have moved to other issues.
Bowles, Nellies. “Patreon Bars Anti-Feminist for Racist Speech, Inciting Revolt.” Breaking
News, World News & Multimedia – The New York Times, 26 Dec. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/12/24/technology/patreon-hate-speech-bans.html.
Mastrine, Julie. “Prominent Patreon Creators Leave Site Over Political Bias. Should Big Tech
Uphold Free Speech?” AllSides, 4 Jan. 2019, www.allsides.com/blog/prominent-patreon-creators-leave-site-over-political-bias-should-big-tech-uphold-free-speech.
O’Brien, Christian, and Lex Villena. “The Sargon of Akkad Ban.” DIET OF WORMS,
14 Dec. 2018, www.dietofworms.us/transcripts/2018/12/14/the-sargon-of-akkad-ban.