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Anil Dash @anildash
, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
So @sama has articulated the way many guys in Silicon Valley feel about "free speech". It's not a very sophisticated or informed view, but it's pretty common and he's influential, so it's worth identifying why it's dangerous and wrong.
First, the rhetoric of some of the most wealthy & powerful people in the history of the world being "unable to say" things is ridiculous. What they mean is, "when I say these things that others find dangerous or harmful, I get mean responses". Which is... actual free speech.
Then let's take Sam's most awful example: "it’s possible we have to allow people to say disparaging things about gay people if we want them to be able to say novel things about physics". Well, guess what? The lives of gay people matter more than novel physics. More than money.
Now here's the critical logical failure: @sama frames the risk of hate speech as whether it will "convince any reasonable people that such a statement is true". This is where things become actually dangerous, in ways he is unwilling or unable to understand.
The _true_ danger when powerful people cut checks to those who will openly malign gay people (or women/PoC/the disabled/other underrepresented groups) is this: Will it embolden those who will commit violence against these groups?
It's not a thought exercise about what *reasonable* people will do. It's about whether providing resources, support & institutional backing to hatred increases the likelihood of marginalized people being victims of violence. (Answer: it does.)
This is a concern because _this has actually happened_. Mainstream, big-name VCs have cut checks or provided resources to white supremacists. To bigots of all stripes including, of course, men who commit sexual harassment. Concerned about free speech? Stop funding violent men.
But ultimately, even accepting this framing of the argument is obviously conceding an intellectually dishonest assertion. Compare to the death threats & rape threats that women/PoC in Silicon Valley face when they speak up about abuses. This is the "free speech" problem to solve.
[CN: violent anti-semitism] If you don't understand the way Altman's naivety is dangerous, read about how today's Nazis want to exploit exactly this naivety to gain recruits & push for genocide.…
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