Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson has announced that he is creating an alternative social media platform called “Thinkspot.”
Who is Jordan Peterson?
Peterson is a psychology professor at the University of Toronto. He has frequently spoken out against censorship.
What’s the story?
On June 9, Peterson announced during an episode of his own podcast that his planned social media platform, Thinkspot, already had a Beta version. He tweeted after the interview that he would have further “exciting announcements coming very soon.”
Speaking with comedian Joe Rogan, Peterson said that people like Milo Yiannopolous, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and Tommy Robinson, a British political figure who campaigned against Muslim integration in the United Kingdom, should be allowed to be on social media platforms because they were “interesting.” Robinson was arrested last year for live-streaming inside a courthouse during a trial after being warned that it was illegal to do so.
He said that it was a “terrible assumption” to think that “if you give someone like that [with a differing opinion] a platform then you must agree with them, simply because you’re conversing with them.”
Peterson said that on Thinkspot “once you’re on our platform we won’t take you down unless we’re ordered to by a U.S. court of law.”
The site purports to be “an intellectual playground for censorship-free discourse.” It will start off as invitation-only.
Thinkspot will also allow users to downvote comments into being hidden, although Peterson was not clear on what the threshhold for this would be. Initially, he had said that if more than half the votes were negative, then added, “We don’t know if 50/50 is right.” He also considered having a minimum comment length of 50 words “so that even if you’re a troll, you have to be a quasi-witty troll.”
Does this sound familiar?
In December, Peterson announced that he wanted to launch his own version of the crowdfunding website Patreon after it banned several far-right figures including Milo Yiannopoulos. At that point, no name or description had been announced. He appears to have been referring to Thinkspot.