Liberal Sam Harris is a man that wears many hats. He is a very popular author, philosopher, neuroscientist, critic of religion, public intellectual, and podcast host.
He also has the 13th most popular account on Patreon.
In case you aren't familiar, Patreon is a media platform that gives business tools to artists, writers and creators and lets them run a subscription service that allows them to raise money from their supporters or "patrons."
On Sunday Sam Harris made a powerful stand while leaving the platform.
After the continued attack on conservative content creators, Harris left Patreon.
Patreon is dead as a business, and the Valley will take note. https://t.co/mbw8cK0shK
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) December 17, 2018
Barrett Wilson at The Post Millenial wrote about the issue:
Benjamin was booted from Patreon after a video surfaced of him deriding Neo-Nazis by using a racist term in an ironic way. Whatever you may think of Benjamin’s language in the video, it was not in violation of Patreon’s policies. Benjamin was well within his right to express himself, and the fact that he was deplatformed for exercising free speech as opposed to committing some kind of harmful action is problematic to say the least.
This tweet from YouTuber and writer Benjamin Boyce sums up exactly why what happened to Benjamin matters to other creators and consumers:
Hey @Patreon: when you do stupid things, it's the little guy's bottom line that takes the hit—exponentially more than yours does. pic.twitter.com/5gpsaaYxrJ
— Benjamin🪂Boyce (@BenjaminABoyce) December 10, 2018
Patreon CEO Jack Conte went on the popular YouTube show The Rubin Report last year to assure creators that they could trust him to not punish people for their speech. In this appearance, Conte successfully convinced creators that Patreon would not cave to ideological pressure and would defend free speech. Most remained convinced until “The Sargon Incident.”
Many creators and patrons have since expressed frustration and disappointment in the platform. They see the banning of Benjamin as a betrayal. Indeed, many have already abandoned Patreon for SubscribeStar, an alternative crowdfunding platform.
While Sam Harris is not a conservative, he is not a fascist either. This move has made him a hero of free speech in many circles.
People on Twitter are talking about it non-stop.
Wow... @SamHarrisOrg has walked away from @Patreon due to the deplatforming of voices he *disagrees* with.
This is going to be the trend in 2020. I predict platforms will emerge that lean more toward the @ACLU’s stance on free speech (ie protect the speech you don’t like). pic.twitter.com/2puFDd1pzP
— [email protected] (@Jason) December 17, 2018
— Sam Harris (@SamHarrisOrg) December 17, 2018
Much respect to Sam Harris for taking a stand for what he believes in, even if it's not a popular move in the circles he runs with.