Fighting Against The Hateful Side Of Podcasting [S3E11]
Call me being too woke, P.C., a social justice warrior, a part of cancel culture, or whatever you like. But I think it’s high time we podcasters started taking some responsibility for the hate speech that’s littered around our podcasting playground. And make the decision to be a part of the cleanup process.
But when it comes to hate speech, I’m not really interested in the “how do we identify what is truly hate speech” discussions. Anyone entering that argument with a dictionary in hand is just a [beep] trying to hide behind words.
This isn’t a free speech issue. I’m a big fan of free speech. In the United States of America and many, many other countries, we have the right to free speech. But that right extends only to governmental restrictions on our free speech. Uncle Sam can’t stop someone from saying hateful shit. But individuals and corporations can show that same asshole the door.
I have an idea on how we can start to make a dent in the problem unique to podcasting. The concept isn’t difficult to grasp. And, frankly, not all that controversial to anyone without “Esq.” on their business card. Here it is:
Podcast hosting companies need to state -- loudly and succinctly -- that they will not stand for hate speech on their platforms.
That’s it. Because the question of “Do we want to support hate speech on our platform?” really has only one reasonable answer.
Purveyors of hate speech know what they’re peddling and are always on the lookout for places that seem welcoming to their hate. Podcast media hosting companies that make a clear and concise statement will see those purveyors of hate to move on, hopefully occupying smaller and smaller portions of the internet.
For our part, we can -- and should -- report hate content to the hosting companies when we find it. It’s not hard to figure out which hosting company serves the media file.
And if the hosting company fails to respond to our complaint or hides behind a legal shield, refusing to take action, we can show that hosting company the door ourselves. It’s really, really easy to move podcast hosting platforms.
I assure you I’m not taking vague aim at any one hosting platform. This is a systemic problem that every podcasting hosting company needs to address. Chances are, every single podcast hosting company is unknowingly hosting hate speech on their platform. So every podcast hosting company needs to take action.
Let’s ignore the slippery slope for now. Because right now, we need to crawl up to the top of the slope and strongly encourage our podcast media hosting companies to take a stand against hate. And that’s not a stance any reasonable, rational person should be afraid of taking.
(Except, maybe, for lawyers. But that’s their problem. And job, as a matter of fact.)