Patreon, Censorship, and the Self-Inflicted Wound
2021 is quickly shaping up to the be the Year of the Censor. Already this year we’ve seen the best of our journalists driven out of high-profile positions and going independent.
From Glenn Greenwald being forced out at the company he helped found, The Intercept, to Matt Taibbi leaving Rolling Stone, the days of the independent voice in media is being driven underground.
Even with them gone to newcomer Substack, that hasn’t satisfied the gatekeepers of political correctness, who want them unable to even make a living.
If they can silence voices that large, then it has chilling implications for smaller voices.
For a creator like me there is real risk tying my livelihood to a platform like Patreon whose history with hosting controversial material is spotty to say the least.
Patreon has been walking this path for a couple of years now but with its recent spate of bans it is quickly morphing into a company without a future, a company with a permanently damaged brand.
And, for the record, I consider this a real shame.
What began as a platform for creators to bypass the publishing gatekeepers that guys like Taibbi and Greenwald fought the good fight against for years has, sadly, morphed into a platform more interested in sanitizing the creative drive of budding artists rather than nurturing it.
I say this as a person who saw Patreon as my best option when I went independent back in early 2017. Even then there were signs that “Cancel Culture” would reach deeper and deeper into alternative media.
What started with the de-platforming of ‘alt-right Nazis’ during the 2016 presidential campaign, quickly escalated into the war on disinformation from gadflies and performance artists like Milo Yiannopolous and Alex Jones.
Jones was targeted because of his coverage of the Sandy Hook tragedy. He was a test case to gauge the level of public pushback against removing a dissident voice from the public forum.
Patreon lost major revenue streams from people like Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin over Patreon’s treatment of Carl “Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin. Rubin would go on to build a Patreon alternative, Locals, in response.
By the end of the Trump Administration Big Tech censorship kicked into high gear, further extending the argument about protecting public safety from ‘bad information’ into the public health narrative surrounding COVID-19.
And this is what got major investigative journalists like Whitney Webb, John Corbett, Venessa Beeley and others re
Article from LewRockwell