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U Of T Profs Say That Jordan Peterson Is Building "A Climate Of Fear And Intimidation"

Jordan Peterson said he was building a website that identifies courses and professors likely to turn students into "social justice warriors."

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University of Toronto faculty say a colleague's plan to build an online database of academics he disagrees with has created "a climate of fear and intimidation."

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U of T psychology professor Jordan Peterson, who often rails against political correctness and progressive causes, has said he wants to create a website that identifies "postmodern neo-Marxists" in academia.

As first reported by PressProgress, Peterson has said in videos and public appearances that he wants to lower the enrollment in courses that have been "corrupted" or that lead students to become "social justice warriors." These include gender studies, ethnic studies, sociology, and anthropology.

In a July 3 livestream for subscribers to his Patreon crowdfunding page, Peterson described his plans to build a website that would let students upload course descriptions and enter professors' names to see if they are to be avoided.

“I have absolutely no regrets about going after the postmodern neo-Marxists as hard as I possibly can and I am certainly not done doing so," Peterson said.

View this video on YouTube

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On Friday, the University of Toronto Faculty Association released a statement condemning Peterson's planned website, although it did not name him directly.

The faculty association "is alarmed to learn that a web site may be under construction that is designed to place under surveillance certain kinds of academic content," reads the statement.

"Instructors of the potentially targeted courses believe that their autonomy as educators may be under threat. The proposed website has created a climate of fear and intimidation."

The faculty association's executive group says it's seeking a meeting with the university's provost to "express our deep concern about this threat to our members."

On Sunday, Peterson said plans for the website are "on hiatus" after deciding it could exacerbate political polarization.

I considered building such a website but put plans on hiatus as I talked it over with others and decided it might a… https://t.co/3GWC1QWfMw

Peterson came to prominence last year after he refused to use the preferred gender pronouns of his students. He has since become a star of the online right, with about half a million YouTube subscribers and thousands of paying fans on Patreon, where he earns more than his university salary.

Although he has criticized the alt-right, Peterson has been embraced by Canada's far-right Rebel Media. Peterson was set to appear at an August event that included Faith Goldy, the former Rebel Media host whose praise for white nationalist marchers in Charlottesville and a subsequent appearance on a neo-Nazi podcast led to her dismissal from the Canadian website. (The event was subsequently cancelled.)

UPDATE

This article has been updated to include Jordan Peterson's statement about the fate of the proposed website.

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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