Ticketing company Eventbrite has rescinded its services for Genspect’s upcoming conference following an activist’s complaints over views they allege the conference will platform. Eventbrite should not allow themselves to be bullied into censorship, says Jonathan Ayling, Chief Executive of the Free Speech Union.
“When any tech company gives into censorship, they simply set themselves up to be bullied into enacting further censorship in the future. If anyone disapproves of Genspect’s conference, they don’t have to buy a ticket or attend. But no one should deny anyone else’s right to do so.
“The activist not only called for Eventbrite to pull the plug but claimed that healthcare practitioners who attend the conference risk professional consequences. As outlined in the attached legal opinion by Nicolette Levy KC, these claims have no factual or legal basis and are simply designed to bully and intimidate participants out of attending.
“Regulated professions enjoy the protections of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and are not subject to any criminalisation of “wrongthink”. We consider it essential that professional bodies work to uphold the right of their members to a diversity of views. They shouldn’t join with those who seek to censor them; they should encourage discussion and debate.
“Despite activist’s attempts to cancel this event, Genspect is pressing on and within hours has set up on a new ticket distribution site. We applaud them for not succumbing to bullying. Everyone has a right to be able to share their views and hear others express theirs.”