Author: Richard Hanania

Lessons of the Pinker Affair: The Problem with the Academy is False Beliefs, Not Intolerance

Earlier this summer, over 600 signatories signed an open letter to the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), denouncing Steven Pinker for “speaking over genuine grievances and downplaying injustices, frequently by misrepresenting facts, and at the exact moments when Black and Brown people are mobilizing against systemic racism and for crucial changes.” I tweeted a link to the letter, and was glad to see my tweet gain traction as people were able to see the absurdity of the charges for themselves. They're coming for Steven Pinker for his "public support for David Brooks," not condemning Bernie Goetz enough, denying an incel shooting as evidence of the patriarchy, and "co-opting" the work of a black scholar, which I think means citing him. https://t.co/7wb3JqJkb1 pic.twitter.com/9mYpkyM2DG — Richard Hanania (@RichardHanania) July 3, 2020 I had largely forgotten this episode, when in early September I received a Google Scholar alert saying that my name had appeared in an academic article. Instead of being a reference to an academic paper I had written, as I expected, it was a citation to …

It Isn’t Your Imagination: Twitter Treats Conservatives More Harshly Than Liberals

This is a response to “Who Controls the Platform?“—a multi-part Quillette series authored by social-media insiders. Submissions related to this series may be directed to pitch@quillette.com. Many conservatives believe that social media companies are biased against their views. This includes Donald Trump, who last year accused Twitter of “shadow banning” Republicans, and promised to “look into this discriminatory and illegal practice.” A few months later, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made a categorical denial of any bias while testifying before Congress: Let me be clear about one important and foundational fact: Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules. We believe strongly in being impartial, and we strive to enforce our rules impartially. Recently, Mr. Dorsey appeared on two different podcasts, on which he similarly denied any bias against the right. Not everyone is convinced. A June, 2018 Pew poll found that 72% of Americans believe that social media companies censor views they don’t like, with members of the public …