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Jordan Peterson announces 'Free Speech Platform ‘Thinkspot’'

llien

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An upcoming free speech platform promises to provide users the best features of other social media, but without the censorship.

The subscription based “anti-censorship” platform “Thinkspot” is being created by popular psychologist Dr. Jordan B. Peterson. It’s being marketed as a free speech alternative to payment processors like Patreon in that it will “monetize creators” and as provide a social media alternative to platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

Peterson discussed Thinkspot with podcaster Joe Rogan on June 9, emphasizing a radically pro-free speech Terms of Service. He described that freedom as the “central” aspect saying, “once you're on our platform we won't take you down unless we’re ordered to by a US court of law.”

That will be a profound contrast to platforms that ban users for “misgendering” people who identify as trans, or for tweeting “learn to code” at fired journalists.

The only other major rule on comments he mentioned was that they need to be thoughtful. Rather than suggesting that some opinions are “off limits,” Peterson said they will have a minimum required length so one has to put thought into what they write.

“If minimum comment length is 50 words, you’re gonna have to put a little thought into it,” Peterson said. “Even if you’re being a troll, you’ll be a quasi-witty troll.”

All comments on the website will have a voting feature “and if your ratio of upvotes to downvotes falls below 50/50 then your comments will be hidden, people will still be able to see them, if they click, but you'll disappear.” He later added a caveat saying that was still being mulled over and that “We don't know if 50/50 is right.”

The platform, with its subscription-based service, will also directly subsidize content creators.
Peterson said that a handful of major free speech proponents including Dave Rubin, Michael Shermer are on board to be beta testers for Thinkspot.

Peterson’s daughter Mikhaila spoke encouraged podcast listeners to sign up as testers for the platform in its current beta phase, before the intended August 2019 launch.
“We’re in desperate need for a platform that doesn’t arbitrarily decide to throw people off because of random crowd mentality,” she said.

On Twitter, Peterson also called for beta testers on June 10, “Per the Joe Rogan podcast this week, I'm backing a new platform called thinkspot, currently in Beta. Get on the waitlist here, exciting announcements coming very soon. http://thinkspot.com.“

newsbusters


https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/techwatch/alexander-hall/2019/06/12/jordan-peterson-announces-free-speech-platform-thinkspot



 

Tesseract

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“If minimum comment length is 50 words, you’re gonna have to put a little thought into it,” Peterson said. “Even if you’re being a troll, you’ll be a quasi-witty troll.”

All comments on the website will have a voting feature “and if your ratio of upvotes to downvotes falls below 50/50 then your comments will be hidden, people will still be able to see them, if they click, but you'll disappear.” He later added a caveat saying that was still being mulled over and that “We don't know if 50/50 is right.”
:/

whatever floats yer boat, bucko

only thing worse than moderated content, culling it down with unreasonable standards that nobody asked for

i hope it succeeds, but that hidden feature sounds like dopey elitist garbage

all platforms are corruptible

(and thinkspot isn't very worthy, thinkpot would have been better)
 
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kiiltz

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A minimum word count won't amount to much unless it they have some sort of system that can differentiate words into legible sentences and even then:

FUCK YOU I WONT DO WHAT YOU TELL ME
FUCK YOU I WONT DO WHAT YOU TELL ME
FUCK YOU I WONT DO WHAT YOU TELL ME
FUCK YOU I WONT DO WHAT YOU TELL ME
FUCK YOU I WONT DO WHAT YOU TELL ME

MOTHERFUCKERS

UH

UH

UH

UH
 

gunslikewhoa

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The only other major rule on comments he mentioned was that they need to be thoughtful. Rather than suggesting that some opinions are “off limits,” Peterson said they will have a minimum required length so one has to put thought into what they write.

“If minimum comment length is 50 words, you’re gonna have to put a little thought into it,” Peterson said. “Even if you’re being a troll, you’ll be a quasi-witty troll.”

All comments on the website will have a voting feature “and if your ratio of upvotes to downvotes falls below 50/50 then your comments will be hidden, people will still be able to see them, if they click, but you'll disappear.” He later added a caveat saying that was still being mulled over and that “We don't know if 50/50 is right.”
You better do a lot of mulling, sir.
 
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matt404au

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The downvoting into oblivion feature is a mistake but I think he will learn and adjust. Take away downvotes altogether because they are the most toxic feature of reddit and play a big role in the general negativity of the place. GAF made a wise choice in having only positive/funny reactions.

I’m not sold on the 50 word minimum as sometimes the short and sweet one liners are the most valuable contributions that set a light-hearted, welcoming tone. Not everything has to be all serious all the time and it can actually be quite exhausting. If they can get the culture right, the platform will effectively police itself and discourage lazy driveby yikesing without the need for moderator intervention.

I think with the kind of people that would be attracted to a free speech platform, they’d be off to a strong start in terms of culture anyway but undoubtedly the envious trolls and bad actors will try to tear it down from within, just like the Reeflakes have tried (and failed miserably) to do here going on 18 months now. I won’t be joining as GAF is all I need for now and I hate social media anyway, but I’ll be keeping a keen eye on how it plays out. This could be a very good thing for not just America but the whole world. Free speech for all!
 

DKehoe

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Interesting that the free speech platform is already discussing methods to introduce restrictions. Having a fully free speech platform isn’t as simple as it sounds. I’ll be curious to see how it develops though.
 
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llien

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Discussed restrictions, however, are of mechanical kind.

It could fly even if it simply does what other platforms do.
The key here would be getting users onboard.

As for downvoting etc, since there are no mods, there needs to be a way to get rid of shitty posts.
Perhaps the best way would be to count upvote as, say, +20, downvote as -1. This way, controversial opinion that still get some traction, will do fine.
 

kiiltz

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What's the point of this if they're going to introduce downvote hiding? It just means that largely unpopular ideas are going to get drowned out. It makes no sense and needs to be the first thing they remove.
I think in this case Peterson is probably thinking of his followers on his subreddit and YouTube channel, places that both have this feature and I get the feel that there's an implied expectation that it'll be used appropriately (spoiler alert: it won't).

I don't mind the guy and he's pretty forward thinking in how he uploads his lectures to YouTube but this whole thing just suggests to me that he doesn't fully comprehend the scale of the internet or is turning a blind eye to it.

No one with adequate experience would even consider a word count given that spam and copy/pasta exists. I highly doubt Peterson of all people would be the one to figure out how to effectively eliminate that.

He also seems to thinks that trolls, a word I've now come to detest due to corruption and bastardization, are only capable of one word sentences and doing more makes you a little bit more than a troll or "quasi-troll" as he puts it. Real trolls, the ones that started the whole "trolling is an art form" meme and not the 13 year old kids that spam the N word with a hard R, are more than capable of 50 words.

But yes I agree, downvotes need to be obliterated from the internet and fuck Reddit for turning the internet into an echo chamber. I'm not even happy with upvotes but I guess I'm willing to compromise there.
 
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kiiltz

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I can already go to 4chan for free speech anyway, and saucy gifs
What ISP are you with because Telstra and Optus doesn't let me and I'm mad at the government for taking away my shitposting time and Chinese cartoons.

inb4 VPN and pass
 
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Ulysses 31

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I was wondering what he was doing with all that money he is getting. Super happy that he is putting it to good use :)
Dude makes 200K from his private practice alone each month, all the book deals van crowdfunding are nice bonuses to him. :lollipop_grinning:
 

Cunth

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What ISP are you with because Telstra and Optus doesn't let me and I'm mad at the government for taking away my shitposting time and Chinese cartoons.

inb4 VPN and pass
Really? They still block it? I’m with some small local one
 
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matt404au

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I think in this case Peterson is probably thinking of his followers on his subreddit and YouTube channel, places that both have this feature and I get the feel that there's an implied expectation that it'll be used appropriately (spoiler alert: it won't).

I don't mind the guy and he's pretty forward thinking in how he uploads his lectures to YouTube but this whole thing just suggests to me that he doesn't fully comprehend the scale of the internet or is turning a blind eye to it.

No one with adequate experience would even consider a word count given that spam and copy/pasta exists. I highly doubt Peterson of all people would be the one to figure out how to effectively eliminate that.

He also seems to thinks that trolls, a word I've now come to detest due to corruption and bastardization, are only capable of one word sentences and doing more makes you a little bit more than a troll or "quasi-troll" as he puts it. Real trolls, the ones that started the whole "trolling is an art form" meme and not the 13 year old kids that spam the N word with a hard R, are more than capable of 50 words.

But yes I agree, downvotes need to be obliterated from the internet and fuck Reddit for turning the internet into an echo chamber. I'm not even happy with upvotes but I guess I'm willing to compromise there.
Totally agree on downvotes. Upvotes, however, are critical to the ability of a forum to self-regulate.
 

xandaca

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Sounds like Gab but with a minimum word count. Not sure how many people will go for having to put fifty words into every post when brevity and convenience are at the core of successful social media platforms. Downvoting is a bad idea, too: better to either remove up/down votes altogether - for one thing, they represent the kind of shallow engagement Peterson seems to be against - or promote heavily upvoted posts rather than effectively removing the downvoted ones. Both encourage pandering to popular opinion, but the former is only highlighting where the latter is censorship by committee. Anyway, Peterson's popular and has a lot of reach, but I'm far from convinced he's popular enough to get an entire social media platform off the ground. He's still 'only' got 1.2m twitter followers, for instance.
 

mcz117chief

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Sounds like Gab but with a minimum word count. Not sure how many people will go for having to put fifty words into every post when brevity and convenience are at the core of successful social media platforms. Downvoting is a bad idea, too: better to either remove up/down votes altogether - for one thing, they represent the kind of shallow engagement Peterson seems to be against - or promote heavily upvoted posts rather than effectively removing the downvoted ones. Both encourage pandering to popular opinion, but the former is only highlighting where the latter is censorship by committee. Anyway, Peterson's popular and has a lot of reach, but I'm far from convinced he's popular enough to get an entire social media platform off the ground. He's still 'only' got 1.2m twitter followers, for instance.
How did facebook and youtube start though? Word of mouth has all the power when it comes to social platforms.
 

Barnabot

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So how long until people start claiming this platform as the same thing as they labelled GAB once the crazier left starts discussing with people who are not 100% aligned to their ideas?
 
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kiiltz

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Totally agree on downvotes. Upvotes, however, are critical to the ability of a forum to self-regulate.
In the interest of discussion, would you be able to elaborate on what you mean by critical?

In my own experience the only thing upvotes essentially did was eliminate the "This" posts and on my last forum, which was self regulated, the general feel towards it was "I like Likes because then I don't have to quote someone". It was treated as a quality of life feature rather than anything that was strictly needed. Granted, that was on a forum made up of about 30 regulars over the years so that could be different in your eyes. (Just as an FYI, we weren't exactly BFFs, we initially started off as a place to poke fun at another forum/get away from their draconian mods).

Personally, I see upvotes in the same regards as Facebook's Likes, in that while yes, there are certainly some benefits to it like gauging community opinion and response, there's still a significant amount of people who both intentionally and unintentionally abuse it for e-points. On the other side of the coin, there are the cynical types that are more than ready to accuse a post of fishing for (You)'s.

There's also the danger of forums having a habit of segwaying into hiveminds and/or cliques (it gets even more complicated when you add outside factors like Discord/Steam Chat/IRC to the mix) which isn't necessarily a bad thing in itself but does entertain the possibility of diluting the integrity of the system. An innocuous example would be two cat posts, equally cute but one getting less upvotes/likes because the other has a group behind it.

Lastly, there are the people that will sometimes ironically use the feature lol (I'm guilty of this sometimes).

So that said, other than the obvious intent, I don't really see what upvotes do except streamline posts and make them convenient which isn't always a good thing. Let me reiterate though, my feelings on them aren't that strong enough to raise a huge kerfluffle over it but if I had to choose, I'd prefer not having them.
 

Tesseract

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the biggest danger is discord i think, it's too easy to get cliquey with people when you hear their voice
 
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Weiji

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The payments part of this is the most important. Hopefully it’s well featured and can take recurring contributions. One time donations won’t help content creators much.
 

Bolivar687

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“If minimum comment length is 50 words, you’re gonna have to put a little thought into it,” Peterson said. “Even if you’re being a troll, you’ll be a quasi-witty troll.”
 

Miku Miku

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"thinkspot is a collaborative community where individuals can explore and exchange ideas in a thoughtful and respectful manner. The platform is an intellectual playground for censorship-free discourse. "
Thoughtful and respectful eh? I guess we'll see. I don't know how they can possibly advertise that people will be respectful if they only moderate when ordered by a court of law. Maybe it'll be thoughtful compared to twitter, but not by much.

Is this twitter, or is it facebook, or is it a video player like youtube, or is it a payment crowdfunding site like patreon? Or is it all of it?
 
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Sakura

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Eh, the fifty word limit and downvotes hiding posts doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
I feel like people would downvote just because it is something they disagree with. If the site ends up leaning right (or left but I doubt this) then I fear you would have posts disappearing just because one side outnumbers the other. If he really wants to have that feature, then maybe it would be good to have a requirement to reply with a reason as to why you are downvoting.
 
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autoduelist

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The 50 word limit and the 50/50 rules will go away fast. That sounds like a classic case of people over thinking and over designing a system before it goes live. The people who will support this project will demand stuff like that goes away.
 
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merlinevo

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Not a fan of replacing a broken system with another broken system. The downvote and you'll disappear simply turn the discussion into an echo chamber since most people will gang up on ideas they don't like. I don't think it is any better replacing left censoring with potential right censoring.

This just seems like a badly thought out get rich quick scheme that many conservative personalities do to profit from their userbase. Fox commentators have them, youtube personalities have them, and Rush Limbaugh has it.

The only way this will gain popularity is if it was free, there is a surge of twitter/youtube deflectors to the platform, and if the platform can weed out bad posts from good posts without resorting to censorship.
 

Kenpachii

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Problem 1:

50 words is to long, people don't care about typing long lists of text. Get ready for endless amounts of these reactions:

I disagree

( Small story for 50 cap words, don't bother to reading it, copy past in your own comments if you want )
Once upon a time there was a 50 cap on words and it was really annoying.
etc etc etc

Problem 2:

Subscription based, i get why he does this in order to get rid of advertisers that can basically be taken them hostage like youtube. But it will kill off most of the public also as result and limits the information in it.

Problem 3:

Get ready for lots of neo nazi people advertising on it. ( like the real one ) where he gets direct backslash from the moment he removes it.

He will soon realize that he will have to allow things over other things which basically makes him the same as all the other company's out there. no free speech. It will directly backfire.

In other words i don't see a future in this type of platform.

Problem 4:

50/50 doesn't work, while we have posters here that are extremely anti trump and shit on him wherever they can. i do appreciate to read them for the simple fact it makes me think about both sides reasons. When 90% is right or left leaning on that website it will become a cult because why post anything that gets hidden anyway the next day because it's not populaire.

Netherlands already has a few forums working that way and frankly it's horrible. needs to go directly.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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N4G used a "bubble system" many years ago.

It was a great way to reinforce group-think.

Problem 1:

50 words is to long, people don't care about typing long lists of text

Problem 2:

Subscription based, i get why he does this in order to get rid of advertisers that can basically be taken them hostage like youtube. But it will kill off most of the public also as result

Problem 3:

Get ready for lots of neo nazi people advertising on it. ( like the real one ) where he gets direct backslash from the moment he removes it.

He will soon realize that he will have to moderate it and will result in people being against it.

In other words i don't see a future in this type of platform.
Peterson is just treating his platform like a platform. Web design companies, third-party developers, webhosts, etc all operate on this principle.

If they didn't, you wouldn't have nearly as much pornography scattered across the internet as you do now, because believe me, folks will try to leverage the host to bring down a website's content.

Speaking of which, I wonder if they'll allow pornography as long as it adheres to associated laws. :pie_thinking:

The tricky part will be the algorithms. It's one thing to host content. It's another thing to inadvertently recommend neo-Nazi videos to your customers.
 

Idiocracy

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Reality will punch him in the face sooner rather than later.

The smartest thing I have heard from free speech advocates is that it contains an individual moral obligation speak up against false information, if even a majority of adherents believed this I would be optimistic. In the current political discourse this will devolve into a shitshow.
 

oagboghi2

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People are over thinking this. Who gives a crap about 50 words or whatever. It's a alternative to patreon, not Twitter or Facebook. The website isn't mean for general conversation, or to steal traffic from Reddit.

Look at Patreon. No one talks there. They just fund the creator they like, maybe leave a thanks and move on.