Controversial TED Talk of the Day

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"Big ideas" conference TED came under fire today for apparently censoring a TED talk about income inequality and tax policy by Seattle-based venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, but TED founder Chris Anderson is saying that's not exactly what happened.

Apparently, the reason that Hanauer's talk wasn't posted to the TED website wasn't because -- as the speaker himself posited -- "[my] arguments threaten an economic orthodoxy and political structure that many powerful people have a huge stake in defending." It's because it just wasn't good enough.

Anderson:

[The censorship] story [is] so misleading [that] it would be funny […] except it successfully launched an aggressive online campaign against us. [...] [It's actually] a non-story about a talk not being chosen, because we believed we had better ones, [that] somehow got turned into a scandal about censorship. Which is like saying that if I call the New York Times and they turn down my request to publish an op-ed by me, they're censoring me.

Ouch.

Despite not making it to the TED site, Hanauer's talk is now online (and, judging by the audience reaction, it was actually quite well received).

[tnw]