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Brian Adam

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Why is the Nick Hanauer talk not posted?

I haven't been a member for long, but I've been watching TED talks for years now consistently checking in for new videos. Frankly, the talks have gotten a little bland in the past few months. Then I hear through the grapevine of Nick Hanauer's lecture and how Mr. Anderson has decided to censor it. I'm extremely disappointed in the decision. This is an issue on the mind of many people in America and those interested in American politics and economics. It's an something that deserves to be heard by many more people than the elite TED audiences, and what better way to spread this worthy idea than posting the lecture online, sooner rather than later. The cited reason for omitting the lecture was that it was "too political." I have to say that is a terrible excuse. When has TED attempted to remain apolitical? Speakers have discussed societal ills like poverty and war; Jonathan Haidt has put forth an explanation of the psychological differences between the Republicans and Democrats; Sam Harris proposed science can substitute religion as a source of morality, and very early on in TED's history Richard Dawkins was allowed to promote militant atheism; other hot button political issues like contraception and climate change have been discussed here (often more than once); and all of these speakers had the video of their quite political talks posted. All of a sudden we can't view here a perspective on the issue of income inequality from Mr. Hanauer? I seem to remember Richard Wilkinson discussing a very similar topic posted back in October 2011. Mr. Anderson, I think a more substantial explanation is in order regarding your decision not to post Mr. Hanauer's talk online other than it being "too political." I can't speak for anyone else, but I see the decision as an act of cowardice reflecting on the organization as a whole. It suggests that we, the public, have lost TED as a forum for intellectual discussion and consideration regarding important issues, political or otherwise.

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  • May 21 2012: Not only has TED not posted the original talk but now they are censoring these posts. I wrote a reply to a post, where I criticized TED, accused them of kowtowing to their wealthy benefactors and that they find this kind of talk threatening. Well they deleted not only my response but the whole thread. They will probably censor this whole conversation as well. Don't be surprised if all of this gets deleted.

    Here is the title to the talk that has been removed:

    See what else is happening with the conversation "Is TED censoring talks as too partisan such as Nick Hanauer's TED talk on income inequality and job creation myths? If so, why?":
    http://www.ted.com/conversations/11530/is_ted_censoring_talks_as_too.html
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      May 21 2012: Alex, when duplicate conversations are created, we remove them and ask the authors to instead join the original conversation. Nothing sinister intended. :)

      Thanks,

      Aja B.
      TED Conversations Team

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