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Is there a liberal case for no-platforming?

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Via Newtown GrafittiNo platforming is the practice of denying speakers the opportunity to speak at certain venues because of the views they espouse or are expected to espouse. De-platforming is the related practice of trying to remove or prevent a speaker from speaking, after they have been invited to speak or have begun to speak. In this context, ‘speaking’ can be interpreted broadly to include any opportunity given to someone to express their views to an audience (for example, a newspaper opinion writer could be de-platformed).Although both practices can occur anywhere that speakers are provided with a platform — witness the 2018 controversy about Steve Bannon at the New Yorker festival — they are most commonly associated with university campuses. There have been several well-known incidents over the past few years in which protesters (usually student groups) have tried (sometimes with limited success) to deny speakers a platform on university campuses. Some of the best known examples include: Milo Yiannopolous at UC Berkeley, Charles Murray at Middlebury College, Maryam Namazie at Goldsmiths University, Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Brandeis University, and Germaine Greer at Cardiff University.If they succeed, both no platforming and de-platforming are, in effect, partial forms of censorship. They do not completely prevent certain points of view from being expressed (there are, after all, many platforms), but they do prevent them from being expressed at specific times and places. In liberal thought, there is a general presumption against content-based censorship of this type. The most famous defence of free speech in the Western tradition comes from John Stuart Mill. In chapter 2 of On Liberty, Mill argued that we ought to allow for the expression of all points of view because this was a way of getting at the truth. To justify content-based censorship we have to assume a level of epistemic authority on the part of the censors that we should be inclined to doubt. Academic. . .

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News source: Philosophical Disquisitions

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