Deplatforming and shunning as a way to maintain social peace

Nov 2014
237
ph
#1
I know that people criticize shunning or deplatforming for suppressing thought, but is it an example of a crude method by society of keeping the social peace and preventing the spread of harmful ideas? for example, even if not by law, people and society deplatforming all the time, like if you work for a large company, you cannot just expect to publicly advocate for genociding jews and black people because this will reflect poorly on the company, isn't this still a form of shunning even though this is done by a private company? Another example is how an advocate for NAMBLA is excluded from polite society, as a means to keep harmful ideas from infecting normal sane people, isn't this a form of good shunning? I guess my point is that from a cultural point of view, maybe shunning should be viewed as a tool instead of being something bad in itself?
 
Oct 2012
458
#2
I know that people criticize shunning or deplatforming for suppressing thought, but is it an example of a crude method by society of keeping the social peace and preventing the spread of harmful ideas? for example, even if not by law, people and society deplatforming all the time, like if you work for a large company, you cannot just expect to publicly advocate for genociding jews and black people because this will reflect poorly on the company, isn't this still a form of shunning even though this is done by a private company? Another example is how an advocate for NAMBLA is excluded from polite society, as a means to keep harmful ideas from infecting normal sane people, isn't this a form of good shunning? I guess my point is that from a cultural point of view, maybe shunning should be viewed as a tool instead of being something bad in itself?
The problem is, who decides what are harmful ideas?
 
Jun 2017
2,555
Connecticut
#3
I think this is super important. Harmful ideas need to be repressed to prevent giving them an air of credibility and the whole line of "who decides what are the harmful idea's", really just speaks to society having come to value their right to say whatever they please over whether or not experts or facts correlate with it. Naturally experts would be the answer here, but once these idea's have been given platforms and a large percentage of the population believes them Pandora's box has been opened and all of a sudden an empirically false idea then becomes a political position which means that means expert repudiation will only come across as bias, rather than experts shooting down an insane idea.

That being said many groups in society have taken the deplatforming route for the most nominal things largely due to unempirical unprovable things like whether something is offensive or not rather than whether or not something is false, harmful or potentially harmful(things that can actually be proven)and the backlash towards this oversensitivity has created a hostility to any deplatforming regardless of justification.The truth is in an ideal world it's not deplatforming because the ideas don't get a platform in the first place, when you have the conversation about deplatforming it means it's already too late and people will see the attack of an idea they heard or bought into as an attack, whereas if society just did it's job they would not hear the idea in the first place and wouldn't care.
 
Oct 2012
458
#4
I think this is super important. Harmful ideas need to be repressed to prevent giving them an air of credibility and the whole line of "who decides what are the harmful idea's", really just speaks to society having come to value their right to say whatever they please over whether or not experts or facts correlate with it. Naturally experts would be the answer here, but once these idea's have been given platforms and a large percentage of the population believes them Pandora's box has been opened and all of a sudden an empirically false idea then becomes a political position which means that means expert repudiation will only come across as bias, rather than experts shooting down an insane idea.

That being said many groups in society have taken the deplatforming route for the most nominal things largely due to unempirical unprovable things like whether something is offensive or not rather than whether or not something is false, harmful or potentially harmful(things that can actually be proven)and the backlash towards this oversensitivity has created a hostility to any deplatforming regardless of merit.The truth is in an ideal world it's not deplatforming because the ideas don't get a platform in the first place, when you have the conversation about deplatforming it means it's already too late and people will see the attack of an idea they heard or bought into as an attack, whereas if society just did it's job they would not hear the idea in the first place and wouldn't care.
Harmful ideas?? Experts??? This is madness!!! What ideas should be repressed, please tell.
 
Aug 2010
15,222
Welsh Marches
#5
"Harmful ideas need to be suppressed to prevent giving them an air of credibility" - that says it all really, who is going to determine what ideas are harmful? And is it really possible to suppress any ideas in the first place, they simply fester and become more harmful than if they are openly discussed.

"The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error." John Stuart Mill
 
Oct 2012
458
#7
Climate change denial. This failure to prevent this view from becoming mainstream might end up being humanity's most fatal mistake.
Not going to defend climate change denial , but is this the only one, or do you think that not accepting the scientific consensus of the time should be deplatformed or outright forbidden in general?
 
Last edited:
Jun 2017
2,555
Connecticut
#8
Not going to defend climate change denial , but is this the only one, or do you think that not accepting the scientific consensus of the time should be deplatformed or outright forbidden in general?
Depends on the harm. Schenck v US gives great insight into this sort of logic at least from a US balancing the First Amendment perspective. Climate denial shouldn't be deplatformed because it's against the scientific consensus it should be deplatformed because of the tangible consequences of rejecting that. There are others too but that is the most cut and dry one(like I said once the idea has the platform it's going to viewed as a legitimate position and this inherently leads to "well who are you to decides what's true") with the most cut and dry consequences. People always talk about what the harm of a debate is and I think the best way to explain it is to imagine a room where everyone believes the consensus and have them see a debate, regardless of the merit of the positions just by the issue being given a platform it is almost certain a larger minority will leave that debate believing the falsehood. Much to lose and not a lot to gain by allowing these idea's a platform when the media does their two arguing talking heads format just the act of doing so is given it credibility.

View freedom and speech being used as an excuse to say anything the equal of viewing gun rights as an excuse to shoot anyone or your due process rights as an excuse to go on a carefully planned crime spree. I think what's lost on people who think this is a radical way of thought is how previous generations took genuine care for the truth as a given.
 
Oct 2012
458
#9
Depends on the harm. Schenck v US gives great insight into this sort of logic at least from a US balancing the First Amendment perspective. Climate denial shouldn't be deplatformed because it's against the scientific consensus it should be deplatformed because of the tangible consequences of rejecting that. There are others too but that is the most cut and dry one(like I said once the idea has the platform it's going to viewed as a legitimate position and this inherently leads to "well who are you to decides what's true") with the most cut and dry consequences. People always talk about what the harm of a debate is and I think the best way to explain it is to imagine a room where everyone believes the consensus and have them see a debate, regardless of the merit of the positions just by the issue being given a platform it is almost certain a larger minority will leave that debate believing the falsehood. Much to lose and not a lot to gain by allowing these idea's a platform when the media does their two arguing talking heads format just the act of doing so is given it credibility.

View freedom and speech being used as an excuse to say anything the equal of viewing gun rights as an excuse to shoot anyone or your due process rights as an excuse to go on a carefully planned crime spree. I think what's lost on people who think this is a radical way of thought is how previous generations took genuine care for the truth as a given.
That is actually a well made point. If ""Shouting fire in a crowded theater " is not free speech then why should ""Shouting there is no fire in a burning theater " be.
I am still not convinced though.