And yeah, I'm fine with Reddit shutting down the incels subreddit, along with all of the other hate subreddits they killed. I wouldn't want to host that stuff in my place of business either. But thinking that actually stopped those movements is like declaring the car fixed because you taped over the "Check Engine" light.
Teens Automatically Assume Censored Speech Is Both Truthful And Compelling
If a member of Congress took to the floor, held up a copy of my last book, and said, "I implore Americans to stop buying and reading this filth. It features depravity I cannot describe in public, and at one point there's a river of disembodied butts," Amazon's stock of it would be sold out in minutes. Convince Amazon to drop the book, and readers would get it from indie bookstores. Convince the publisher to stop printing it, and bootleg copies would appear. Seize those and burn them, and illicit online downloads would thrive. "It's the book They don't want you to read!"
In this environment, in which all of these voices are clamoring to be heard, censorship is the best advertising. Hell, I had no idea Charles Murray was even still alive until that protest made headlines. I wonder how much his book sales spiked that week?
For the first time in human history, there are no gatekeepers on information. I mean, there is a gate, and you're free to close it if it makes you feel better, but it's like thinking a barbed wire fence can keep the humidity out of your yard. Your gatekeeping is therefore purely symbolic, an effort to send a message. And whether you like it or not, the message you're sending is "These ideas are super cool and interesting."
Remember, the human brain craves novelty, new experiences that push the envelope. Young people crave rebellion, to do the opposite of whatever their teachers and grown-ups demand. Tell them that a book/video/ideology has taken things "too far," and their ears perk up. That's why most of these groups -- especially the toxic, cultish ones -- sell themselves as a rebellion. It's why every single shitty one, from racists to pick-up artists, boast that their worldview is the "red pill" from The Matrix, showing you the real world They don't want you to see. "They try to shut us down, because they know we threaten their power structure!"
And ask yourself: In a sci-fi movie, when someone powerful is trying to block someone else from spreading a message, which one is usually the hero, and which is the villain?
Alright, so if we can't shut it down from the speaker's end, we have to go to work on their audience. But that also isn't so easy ...
Public Shaming Doesn't Work
For most of human history, you could control an idea from the audience end, not by convincing them it was incorrect, but by convincing them it was shameful to believe it. "A good boy does not ask such questions."