Hi, thunderf00t. I understand that you see Freethought Blogs as unrepresentative of the wider skeptical community in terms of its views on the problem of sexism in said community. That could indeed be the case, by whatever definition you use for FTB and the community at large (who’s included? who’s excluded? are we only counting the bloggers themselves, or also the commenters? and so on) and methods you use to quantify their stances on a given issue. But I don’t think your latest YouTube-based survey succeeds in demonstrating this.
You asked your YouTube subscribers whether they agree more with your initial post on sexual harassment, or with PZ Myers’ response, and requested that they rank their position on the question from 0 to 10 – 0 for full agreement with PZ, and 10 for full agreement with you. Out of 127 respondents, most agreed with you strongly. You took this as evidence that the views of Freethought Blogs in general are “widely unrepresentative of the wider rationalist community” on the issue of sexism.
I don’t believe the results of your poll are actually evidence of that. You claimed that “this puts FTB on a trajectory to be more of a fringe group that is intolerant of non-conformity”. However, the respondents to your video were a self-selected sample. The people who watch your videos tend to be… people who watch your videos. And out of those people, the ones who responded are the ones who take the time to listen all the way through your videos, and decided to leave a comment. This can be expected to skew toward agreement with you.
I would expect similar results in my favor if I polled my subscribers on whether they agreed more with me, or with someone I was currently having a dispute with. My viewers choose to watch my videos because they tend to agree with me, and this would be reflected in the results. While I certainly expect that my viewers are all perfectly rational and able to consider any issue fairly, accurately and even-handedly, this obviously isn’t always the case in reality. I assume the same holds true for your viewers as well.
While your survey does show that some people dissent from PZ’s stance on the issue, this doesn’t actually mean that his views are unrepresentative of the wider skeptical community. It’s possible that they could be, but your poll isn’t particularly strong evidence of this. It also doesn’t mean that the views of your respondents are representative of the skeptical community. FTB could be “fringe” in terms of its collective stance on the issue, but so could your respondents. Your survey doesn’t give us reason to think either of these possibilities is more likely than the other, because there are no grounds to assume that your viewers are representative of the community as a whole, however you choose to define it. And your policy that “The thunderf00t channel is essentially a 100 % free speech zone, with no conformational bias due to blocking/ banning people”, though admirable (and one I share), is simply not enough to ensure this. Even if PZ’s views “are widely unrepresentative of the wider rationalist community”, your latest post doesn’t show this.