The Importance Of No Platforming

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No platforming is a prevalent occurrence in our modern day society, and for a new university student like myself, it is of key importance to be educated on the matter. For the unaware, no platforming is summarized succinctly in the Free Speech Debate as, “A strategy that asserts a person or an organization should not be given a platform to speak within a certain social space”. 1 Throughout the 6 person debate, compiled of students who themselves are the exact demographic that practice no platforming, we hear many excellent and intriguing arguments as to why no platforming should or should not exist at universities. At its core, the argument for no platforming is that spreading hate speech from a position of power should not be considered freedom…show more content…
The first speaker solidifies this point when saying, “The right to free speech refers only to freedom from prosecution, so it doesn’t give you the right to force your ideas onto others, and doesn’t give you the right to be listened too by anyone”. 2 The arguments from the opposition are as convincing, and filled with persuasive points. The largest argument repeated through the debate is essentially that, “The problem with no platform today is the lack of such a definition for harm. What we see instead is the justification of no platforming on the basis of a variety of complaints, including feeling uncomfortable, or offended or threatened”. 3 With harm being such a subjective term, we can never truly agree on what is harmful, which leaves us with the question of who should be non platformed and who should be allowed to speak freely. Kennedy 2 The students who are pro no platforming made well prepared points that were delivered effectively, however not all were extremely convincing. The first speaker denied the opposition's belief that “The views that we consider to be wrong, to be intolerant and harmful are…show more content…
An additional supporting argument used was the likening of platforming to the system of incarcerating criminals. I paraphrase the second speaker’s argument, where he said the reason we should evade no platforming because not everything is offensive to everyone is similar to not incarcerating anyone because we may sometimes have innocent people in jail. 6 I find this argument much less convincing than the others used, as the relationship between these two things is minimal at best. As the opposition said, there is a strict system of judicial process that happens to ensure innocent people are not imprisoned for wrong reasons. I personally found the students debating against no platforming more convincing, as their arguments were prepared very well, and were delivered even better. The team really justified that harm is such a subjective feeling by using points like, “The subjective experience of womanhood, for example, is unknowable to any man”. 7 This excellent example illustrates that we can not possibly experience everyone’s point of view, and we can therefore never truly
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