I have read what the report actually says, how it was received by positively by such sources as The Guardian in addition to various critiques by people such as Tim Pool, Sargon of Akkad, Some Back Guy, and Styxhexenhammer666. My critique, it appears, still stands as valid as when I posted it. You do bring up points which need addressing but this does not change the questionable arguments or ‘evidence’ presented by Rebecca Lewis in this report. Even if, as you claim, the ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ aspect of this report is only surface level — this could easily be construed as constituting guilt by association. Journalist Tim Pool, for example, has responded to this report by criticizing his inclusion on this chart. He is not right-wing, he is a left-libertarian. His video response[1] includes an analysis of a portion of the report in which Lewis has strung together statements by Pool in a misleading (and rather unclear) fashion.

While Lewis does mention differences between classical liberal, libertarian, and conservative in her report, her analysis tends to blur such distinctions generally speaking. People who appear in her report and are connected on the chart have a wide variety of political opinions. I would argue that she is attempting to smear alternative media sources through trying to associate them with the odious views of the few alt-righters actually addressed. Sargon of Akkad and Roaming Millennial did each talk with Richard Spencer. This does not, in any sense, mean they agree with him. In fact, many on the graph strongly disagree with him, including both Sargon of Akkad and Roaming Millennial. Jordan Peterson has taken a very strong stand against the identity politics of the radical left and radical right. He referred to the alt-right people in Charlottesville last year as ‘pasty-faced morons.’ The alt-right oppose Peterson. I am not too familiar with Spencer himself (I find his perspective to be of no real value) but I came across a video by a far-right individual named ‘Golden One’ who said that Peterson is a roadblock to the alt-right, not a pathway. For more on Peterson’s rejection of the alt-right and the alt-right’s rejection of Peterson, consider the points made in the following compilation by PSA Sitch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSrv-m51Tfs&t=434s

Your differentiation between ‘guilt by association’ and ‘giving credence to those with such inflammatory beliefs’ seems to be hair-splitting at best. I would also take issue with what you describe as ‘giving credence.’ The way to challenge extreme views is not through censorship but through dialogue. Suppose someone denies the existence of a series genocide. Instead of preventing that person from speaking, prepare a solid counter argument complete with mountains of evidence. Engaging someone in dialogue is not giving credence to all or any of their positions.

One can hop from videos of one particular political position to that of another. For example, I see ‘Young Turks’ recommendations in my feed (for some reason) even though I am libertarian/somewhat conservative. In other words, one can find pathways to a variety of different political platforms. This point is, as it appears in Lewis’s report is one-sided at best. I think the example linking Shapiro to Spencer is a solid example of this. Linking a libertarian-leaning, Jewish conservative to an authoritarian, antisemitic ethno-nationalist actually undermines the very arguments Lewis tries to make. The more I re-read this report, the more I think it is a poor attempt by old media sources to try to clamp down on their competition.

De-platforming does not make ideologues or odious belief systems go away. It merely pushes them underground. The way to destroy reprehensible beliefs, such as those of Spencer, is through dialogue. I would also remind you that both the far-left and the far-right are united in their efforts to constrain freedom of speech. Spencer said himself that he does not support free speech and is only using that issue to push back against the left.

Constraining freedom of speech, even for those spewing the vilest garbage (like the infantile and pathetic alt-right), will do more harm than good. Sure, it may be all right so long as the people you want to do the regulating end up doing the regulating but you have to assume that your bitterest opponents may one day get into positions of institutional power. Look behind any ideals for the power structures attached. I am troubled by those on the left who would allow themselves to be intoxicated by the highest ideals while assuming that bestowing more power to de-platform will not come back to haunt them. Take a left-leaning example -Secular Talk. I have watched enough of his videos to know that he is facing demonetization problems. Who’s to say leftists like him will not be de-platformed next. As much as I dislike Alex Jones, de-platforming a conspiracy theorist does more to strengthen his position (and convictions) than discredit or undermine him.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-A_aNMe1Wk&t=1201s

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