Patreon responded to backlash after banning YouTuber, Sargon of Akkad (Carl Benjamin).
Canadian psychologist, Jordan Peterson posted screenshots of Patreon’s defence of Benjamin’s ban on Twitter.
The above explanation from Patreon begins by reinforcing its condemnation of hate speech. (which is stated in their Community Guidelines. They allege that Akkad used racial and homophobic slurs when addressing the group.
After reading the statement, here is my conclusion. While Akkad used slurs against white supremacists (and, quite possibly homophobes, too), in using the slurs, Akkad, possibly unintentionally reinforced the idea that people of colour and the LGBTQ+ community are inferior.
Was Sargon of Akkad really guilty of hate speech?
When I first heard about Akaad’s ban, the exact reason why wasn’t clear to me. Now that I know a little context, here is my take. If Akkad was expressong agreement with the white supremacists, then yes, that would be appalling. However, if the statements were ironic and Akkad was simply using their bigotry against the white supremacists, then Patreon jumped the gun.
Should Akkad have had his account pulled?
Should’ve Patreon shut down Sargon of Akkad? Here’s why it’s a concern. Free speech aside, Patreon has become a way in which independent vloggers, artists and writers, etc can potentially make a living from their work. So, the question becomes, does Patreon have the right to cut a revenue stream from one of their creators? Therefore, the question becomes, a person’s career be thrown under the bus ecause of one piece of content when the intention is questionable?
Wouldn’t it be better to let patrons protest by pulling their support? Honestly, I think it’d be a better way.
Aside from potential patrons, as I said in a previous post, one thing I’ve comw to admire about the U.S. is how their First Amendment has created a culture of debate, especially on YouTube. I have no doubt that Kyle Kulinski or The Young Turks or David Pakman would smack down any bigoted or otherwise outrageous claims.
Backlash against Patreon continues
A number of Patreon creators have revolted and voluntarily closed down their accounts in revolt. Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson have left Patreon and used other means of raising revenue, such as Bitcoin.
Will this controversy cause Patreon to backtrack, like they did after introducing fees? Only time will tell.
Psssst. Self promotion alert! If you like my blog, you can support me on Patreon. patreon.com/glycerinequeenmedia. You will be acknowledged and thanked on a future post. 😀