3 min read

Kerim’s Triptych for Sunday, December 31st

Kerim’s Triptych for Sunday, December 31st

Welcome to Kerim's Triptych, a free newsletter that delivers 3 items to your email inbox, 3 times a month.

If you find yourself sharing something you found here, please be so kind as to let people know you learned about it from Triptych (the newsletter, not just me). Thanks!

If you didn't intend to subscribe, or you don't want to receive these anymore, there is an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

Item 1: BirdWeather

BirdWeather is a visualization platform that... is continuously listening to over 200 active audio stations around the world and is actively plotting their results in a user-friendly map interface. We built BirdWeather to be a living library of bird vocalizations accessible to users via online map tools.

Item 2: YouTube Journalism

Photo by Ishan Tankha
Photo by Ishan Tankha

An important article by Sonia Falerio about India’s changing media landscape:

Posting videos that offend the government and its followers risks jeopardizing YouTubers’ livelihoods. In some cases, the backlash can spill over into physical violence.

In November, the government also proposed a broadcasting bill to regulate online content. The bill leans heavily on the country’s decades-old program code, which was introduced in 1994, when India experienced its first content flood with the cable TV boom. Among other things, the code prohibits cable TV programs that “criticise, malign or slander any individual in person or certain groups.”

(The bill has since passed, during a session of parliament in which over 140 opposition members were absent, having been suspended during a session that also discussed key changes to election law and the criminal code.)

Item 3: Substack Nazis

Finally, I wanted to share this newsletter about Substack’s Nazi problem as a way of thanking all of you who agreed to pay to support this newsletter. Thanks to you, I’m able to host this newsletter on Ghost instead of Substack. Not only does it make me feel better to not be supporting a platform which hosts Nazis, but your support has encouraged me to keep this newsletter going. Thanks!

Substack would like you to believe that making judgments about content “for the sole purpose of sexual gratification,” or content promoting anorexia, is different than making judgment about Nazi content. In fact, that’s not a neutral, value-free choice. It’s a valued judgment by a platform that brands itself as not making valued judgments. Substack has decided that Nazis are okay and porn and doxxing isn’t. The fact that Substack is engaging in a common form of free-speech puffery offered by platforms doesn’t make it true.

The suggestion that Hanania was not an overt racist before his pseudonymous background was published is an argument, but a very bad one. McKenzie has a choice of whom to invite on his podcast. McKenzie could have invited David Duke or Nick Fuentes, who are also prolific contributors to the public discourse, but selected Richard Hanania. Presumably McKenzie thinks that Hanania is a plausible, within-the-Overton-window voice and the others aren’t. That’s a value judgment that Hanania’s racism is inside-the-circle, and it’s one that promotes Hanania. Moreover, McKenzie’s choice to accept Hanania’s deeply dubious confessional to “reforming” also reflects a value judgment — a judgment in favor of slack-jawed credulity, in my view.


Wishing everyone a happy New Year! 🎉🎊🎇