Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Web Secret 601: the Intellectual Dark Web

I have been watching the #MeToo movement from my perspective as a woman molested in her teens by a family friend, and a prior career as a certified sexual harassment prevention trainer.

While I cheer the downfall of the Epsteins and Weinsteins of this world, and a climate in which women feel empowered to come forth, I am concerned about the way corporations and not for profit institutions are handling many of the accused: immediate termination and accompanying career annihilation.

From my vantage point, the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" is out the window. And firing the perpetrator seems to be the only option.

Before #MeToo, this is how accusations were handled in the organizations I worked with:
  1. The person was accused
  2. Individuals accused of breaking the law eg accusations of rape - were turned over to the police - not to be fired but to be investigated and potentially sent to prison.
  3. Employees accused of making insensitive comments, and lesser offenses were investigated.
  4. If the accusations were verified and not egregious, they were educated and given a final warning that a repetition of the offense would result in being fired.
These days, whether on the left or the right, there aren't very many people open to nuance, or living in the grey.

This got me interested in the emergence of a controversial group of individuals, the Intellectual Dark Web.

The core principles of the group are:
  • A willingness to engage in conversations with people who have different beliefs and political viewpoints
  • Rejection of identity politics (and a recognition that it has become the dominant ideology in mainstream media discourse)
  • Ideas worth listening to
  • Honoring of freedom of speech
  • People who don’t want them to speak their truth and try to silence them
Critics argue the group is a collective of public personalities who oppose what they see as the dominance of progressive identity politics and political correctness in the media and academia.

It's more complicated than that.

That's the problem, it's all more complicated.

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