In the few days since I first spoke about the furor evoked by Jason Sanford’s criticism of a specific subforum of Baen’s Bar, the discussion boards sponsored by Baen Books, for encouraging armed insurrection and white supremacy, a good bit has happened*.
One notable outcome is that DisCon has removed Toni Weisskopf as a Guest of Honor, making this statement:
DisCon III condemns the violent and hostile content found within Baen Books’ forums. We also cannot condone the fact such content was enabled and allowed to ferment for so long. We want to make it clear abusive behavior is not, and will not be, tolerated at DisCon III. Such behavior goes entirely against our already established policies concerning inclusivity and creating a welcoming environment for our members, which can be found here: https://discon3.org/about/inclusion/.
We knew simply saying those words with no actions to back them up would be unacceptable. Too often, we have seen individuals and organizations say they are on the right side of issues yet do nothing to act on those words. We knew we had to take a hard look at our own position and take action based on our established policies.
As a result, after discussion with her, we have notified Toni Weisskopf we are removing her as a Guest of Honor for DisCon III.
Many authors and some con-runners have weighed in on the choice, from all sides of the fence.
Some of the writers championing free speech are, in my opinion, working from a notion of a past version of the Internet, the world of the Well and lively debate and intellectual exchange and alla that. That ignores the fact that nowadays speech on the Internet has been weaponized, used by world powers as part of today’s fourth-generation warfare.
It cannot be mentioned often enough that the events of January 6, the ones Republicans and other conservatives are working so hard to downplay and erase, was not a case of a rowdy bunch busting up a Starbucks. It was an organized effort that destroyed and stole government property, in which people died and it would not have taken much more for a pre-planned section of that mob to use the chaos in order to kidnap and kill government officials. Camestros Felapton illustrates the problems with this skewing of the…