Tim Squirrell is a PhD candidate in Science and Technology Studies at the University of Edinburgh. His research focusses on construction and negotiation of authority and expertise on the internet, with a focus on fitness and nutrition communities.

New Video: is Sunlight Really the Best Disinfectant?

New Video: is Sunlight Really the Best Disinfectant?

It’s been a busy few weeks of thesis writing and trying to find a job that will keep me fed and relatively free of existential angst for the next 1-3 years, so I haven’t had time to continue my foray into the world of YouTube Content Creation.

Until now.

All of my friends happened to be away on the same weekend, so I’ve put into words some thoughts I’ve been having for quite some time about whether - for those of us interested in stemming the rising tide of fascism and neo-Nazism exemplified by the US-based alt-right - it’s better to “debate” or “deplatform” Nazis and fascists.

When I worked at the Cambridge Union during my undergraduate years, I was for the most part of the opinion that we ought to engage them in earnest debate and try to defeat them that way. I became disillusioned as I slowly realised that even the best-intentioned event planning tended to place speakers on a pedestal and give them an undue amount of power and legitimacy that meant that it was difficult (though perhaps not impossible) to adequately challenge them.

Having spent the last few years working in a field that can variously be described as Internet Studies, Social Media Studies, Science and Technology Studies, and Platform Politics, a further concern has entered my vision. That is, when you give a platform to a fascist it feeds them new audience members they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. Even if they come over extraordinarily poorly in one context, people who visit their YouTube channel are given a much more polished presentation where they can then redeem themselves outside of the glare of the intolerant liberal left.

This video contains these observations, as well as a few more. I hope you find it useful. If you like it, please do like/comment/subscribe, as much of the foot traffic I get from YouTube is broadly quite reactionary and negative, and tends to leave comments telling me to kill myself or commenting on how much of a cuck I am.

Oxford Union to give Platform to Steve Bannon

Oxford Union to give Platform to Steve Bannon

New Video: The 'hoax' that was just a fraud

New Video: The 'hoax' that was just a fraud

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