Location: New York
Date: Friday 29th October
This year’s Bitcoin 2021 conference was the biggest event in Bitcoin’s history, with over 12,000 people coming together in Miami.
I was there to host one of the most hotly anticipated events called ‘Banking the Unbanked’ which saw my friend Alex Gladstein interview Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Jack didn’t disappoint when he began by stating “Bitcoin changes everything… I don’t think there’s anything more important to work on in my lifetime.”
Yet, the session is perhaps best known for the fact that activist Laura Loomer came to the stage and heckled Jack. Laura wanted a conversation with Jack about censorship, in light of the fact she has been banned from Twitter (amongst other platforms and services such as Facebook, Uber and PayPal).
She was encouraged to leave, but before she did I promised to hear her out at a more appropriate time, so here we are.
Whatever you think of Laura, ‘deplatforming’ is one of the most contentious issues in society today. It cuts to the heart of the debate around free speech and American’s first amendment rights. Should we have limits on speech?
Or is ‘hate speech’ misapplied to muzzle acceptable discourse? Who decides on what is acceptable or not? And can private organisations remove voices from their platforms when they have become the world’s town square?
Laura has tested these arguments in the courts by suing Twitter, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter.
In this interview I talk to far-right political activist Laura Loomer. We discuss racism and religious discrimination, debanking and deplatforming, and the limits of free speech.