Joanne Donovan


This conversation is closed.

Has anyone else noticed something strange going on at TED lately?

Is TED, as an open, political forum in decline?

I was disturbed to see the Nick Hanauer talk about the falsehoods in right wing political rhetoric and despite a robust protest, it has still not been aired. In fact very little of a political nature has been shown on TED of late and I 'heard' the administration pulled one Tim Colgen's of conversations, despite protest.

Further, I also note the TED administration has removed our 'favourite members' lists. This has disabled us from following each other into conversations of communal interest and of course, from collaborating on an ideological level.

I feel the ugly face of censorship has reared its head. Is TED, as an open impartial forum over? Was it ever really there in the first place?

  • Jun 17 2012: You can imagine many will harbor a huge combination of mixed feelings over your question. At risk of getting moderated out I will post the link to YouTube for Nick Hanauer's link here: >> TED kindly posted that link on YouTube May 17 and the apparent intent was to bifurcate connection to the video. Apparently Chris Anderson (and others??) felt the talk was too partisan-sounding to "endorse" via TED but they still wanted it to circulate once released. I will say that Robert Reich echoes Hanauer's sentiments offered here and Reich also refers to the same idea as "Eccles realization" (Marriner Eccles) in the 1930's (Reich: Supercapitalism) The middle class has been contracting for 30 years or more. Income stratification has certainly increased steadily over more than 3 decades. So the Eccles/Reich/Hanauer notions may be extended to: (1) Middle-class contraction and Upper-class elevation over the course of decades is a policy result, can not possibly reflect meritocracy > The trends are far too broad to reflect meritocracy and (2) If there is no middle class around to buy goods and services, then even upper echelons MUST eventually cannibalize themselves (not just cannibalize the middle class). Seen in this way, the idea is arguably much much broader, much more academic, and not so much partisan. Hanauer believes very fervently about what he is saying; but he is also tacitly acknowledges that both parties have sustained policies that have contracted the middle class over many years. He never says it; but if you're talking about the middle class actually disappearing (which it gradually is); clearly you're talking MUCH bigger than the 2012 elections. The overarching Eccles/Reich/Hanauer theme does make sense to me.
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    Jun 17 2012: Hi Joanne,
    1. You've already been part of this conversation on Nick Hanauer's question. So please, again read Chris Anderson's response to this question on his blog: before posting redundant conversations.
    2. Everyone is welcome to participate in TED Conversations as long as they respect our Terms of Use:
    3. Follow a favorite member feature has not been censored or disabled like you say. It's just has not been developed yet.
    If you have any questions, please contact us at
    Thank You,
    TED Conversations Team.