I’ve elevated to its own post (here) a comment from reader Ed Kroc on yesterday’s post, “Shenanigans in Illinois. 2: DePaul University bans yet another speaker“. In that post I cited FIRE’s (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s) “Disinvitation Database,” which comprised 308 cases of individuals being disinvited from speaking at colleges since 2000. A quick scan of the data suggested that the relative proportion of disinvitations prompted by protests from the left versus from the right had increased in recent years. I asked if a reader might analyze this, and Ed complied.
It looks as if I were right, though there’s no formal statistical analysis yet. (One way is to simply divide the years in half and do a 2 X 2 chi-square analysis of disinvitations from each side in the first versus second eight years. There are, of course, caveats, the most serious of which is noted below:
Ed’s original comment is below:
Here’s that plot you were looking for (should be hosted at this link.
I only used data from actual disinvitations, not from attempted disinvitations. There is no statistical evidence of a nonzero trend for disinvitations from the right. There does appear to be a significant increasing trend for disinvitations from the left, even if you exclude the very influential year 2016.
Caveats: as far as I can tell, this data is essentially self-reported; i.e., if no one reports an incident, then it doesn’t show up in the database. It could be people are paying more attention to censorship from the left recently, which would explain the trend. Or it could be that people are not reporting censorship from the right as much as they used to for some reason. Etc….