Jordan Peterson starts new content-sharing, free speech platform “Thinkspot”


As was promised in the aftermath of the infamous “Patreon purge,” Jordan Peterson has announced his free-speech platform, Thinkspot. Peterson, Dave Rubin, Sam Harris and various other members of the Intellectual Dark Web had been ruminating on the question of alternatives to Patreon after becoming disillusioned when several creators, notably Carl Benjamin, were banned from the platform.

Vague explanations and deceptive reasoning from the platform’s runners, particularly from the CEO Jack Conte, were the last straw since it appeared patently obvious that Patreon was willing to ban people based on ideology.

With the age of technology comes the reality that many people are building careers online, and their livelihood depends on their ability to create and share their content. As big tech companies become more transparent with their ideological bias and more influential in the political scene, prospects look grim for some who don’t necessarily toe the politically correct line. Obviously, this poses serious problems for those who want to engage in the battle of ideas and hinders the discourse in general.

Peterson’s new platform might very well offer something of an antidote for some of the cultural ailments afflicting us.

Peterson envisions it as a “collaborative community where individuals can explore ideas in a thoughtful and respectful manner. The platform is an intellectual playground for censorship-free discourse.”

According to Peterson, the platform will have a “radically pro-free speech Terms of Service.” He went on to say that “once you’re on our platform, we won’t take you down unless we’re ordered by a US court of law.” So creators will likely be immune from any mob or outrage machine, in other words.

It will provide a subscription service like its competitors and subsidize their creators directly. So far, advocates for free speech and fellow IDW members like Dave Rubin are set to be beta testers for the platform.

To encourage a robust exchange of ideas, Peterson hopes to create a culture of civility that will try to shift online discourse away from incessant trolling.  In order to do this, one of the only rules in terms of expression regards comments. Emphasizing the need for “thoughtful” comments, Peterson says that there will be a minimum required length to impel people to put more thought into what they write and post. One of the other features is a voting one which emphasizes ratios. As Peterson explains, “If your ratio of upvotes to downvotes falls below 50/50 then your comments will be hidden, people will still be able to see them, if they click, but you’ll disappear.”  

Brian Feldman of NY Mag has described the platform as a “place for people who know how to be racist and sexist in a more dog whistley way.” According to him, the effort is “very important to Peterson because he and his alt-right fan base need a safe space online to share controversial opinions and practice free thought.”

Well, if Feldman disabused himself of pathetic cynicism and smugness and actually read a thing or two, he’d recognize the lunacy of that smear.

He’s accurate when it comes to one thing, though. More than ever, we have needed a space to be able to share and exchange ideas without fear of reprisal, browbeating, and clampdowns. For the sake of the West’s cultural and political future, we need to inject enthusiasm for healthy Socratic debate and intellectual exploration.

This is a step in the right direction. And if people like Feldman can get over themselves, perhaps he’ll contribute to the respectful and much needed discussions that are bound to take place on the platform. I’m sure Peterson and Co. would love to have him.

Liberal MPs are jumping ship in droves as Trudeau continues to hobble the economy

Diane Francis: Come October, the Liberals will pay the price for Trudeau’s economically suicidal policies

Many of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal MPs have announced they are leaving or won’t run for re-election.Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Diane Francis

June 13, 2019


Now that Justin Trudeau has tasted ‘de-platforming’ directly, he should help stop itJustin Trudeau’s ‘annus horribilis’: All the reasons why the October election can’t come soon enoughOur energy industry is in crisis, but Trudeau is too busy doing damage control over SNC-Lavalin to act

If polls are any indication, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading for the exit this fall but many of his Liberal MPs have already announced they are leaving or won’t run for re-election.

The departures began even before the SNC-Lavalin scandal erupted this year. In September, Ontario Liberal (and former Air Force officer) Leona Allesley crossed the floor to join the Conservatives because of disagreements with the government’s handling of the economy and foreign affairs.

“Here at home, we see large amounts of capital investment leaving Canada while tax structures, federal infrastructure problems and politics prevent us from getting goods to market, and deter companies from expanding and undermine our competitiveness. For the first time in many years, Canadians don’t believe that tomorrow will be better than today and that their children’s future will be than theirs,” she said in a statement after crossing the floor.

“Beyond our borders, our position remains vastly diminished. Our foreign policy is disconnected from our trade relationships and our ability to deliver on our defence commitments is undermined by politics,” she added. “We must recognize that foreign policy, trade, defence, and our economy all depend on each other and can’t be viewed separately.”

Her concerns hit the nail squarely on the head as Trudeau has continued to hobble the economy and mishandle foreign affairs. Deficits have soared, taxes have increased, promises to meet the 2 per cent NATO guideline have been ignored, pipeline projects have idled, a ruinous green agenda has been imposed, and he and his government have worsened relations by undiplomatically hectoring China, Latin American states, and the United States about their failings.

In September, Bill Casey, Cumberland-Colchester MP, announced he wouldn’t run in 2019, as did West Nova MP Colin Fraser who claimed he wanted to serve the community in other ways. Translation: Disappointment.

Before 2018 ended, longstanding Ontario MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj, then, in January, Scott Brison of Nova Scotia and Nicola Di Iorio announced they were out. That month, the Jody Wilson-Raybould scandal hit the headlines, then dogged the PM for weeks, obliterating what was left of Trudeau’s “sunny-ways” brand.

She quit the cabinet after being pressured for months by Trudeau and his PMO henchmen — Gerald Butts and Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick — to derail the SNC-Lavalin prosecution. She refused and quit the cabinet, as did Ontario MP Dr. Jane Philpott. Weeks later, they were unceremoniously expelled from the Liberal party.

In February, more Liberal MPs announced their “retirements”: Mark Eyking of Nova Scotia; T.J. Harvey of New Brunswick, and John Oliver of Oakville. And in March, Celina Caesar-Chavannes quit the party to sit as an independent reportedly over conflict with the prime minister, saying she won’t seek re-election. Following that, Don Rusnak of Thunder Bay, Nova Scotia six-termer MP Rodger Cuzner, Ontario MP and former military chief Andrew Leslie, and Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, MP for West Vancouver said they were out.

Now we know the “sunny ways” masked the same old, autocratic, cronyism that has allowed the Liberals to dominate the civil service, crown corporations, favour Quebec, and reward their banking, legal and corporate sympathizers. And we also know that Trudeau is as much of a free enterpriser as was his late father who drove Canada’s economy into the ditch after wrecking Alberta’s oil industry.

Justin Trudeau followed the advice of Gerald Butts, a serial job-killer who advised Ontario to spend recklessly and ram through a “green” agenda that has harmed its engine of growth, auto manufacturing. Then the two targeted Canada’s engine of economic growth, oil and gas.

Thankfully, Canada remains a fossil fuel giant, four provinces have elected pro-business Tory governments and the Liberals are going to pay a price for their economically suicidal policies as well as their favouritism toward Quebec.

When it’s enough already, it’s enough already.