Monday November 13, 2017

Toronto university professor says controversial website 'on hiatus'

Jordan Peterson says his proposed website to out 'post-modern neo-Marxist' classes is on hiatus.

Jordan Peterson says his proposed website to out 'post-modern neo-Marxist' classes is on hiatus. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Story transcript

University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson says he's halted plans to launch a website to expose certain university classes as "indoctrination cults," saying it "might add excessively to current polarization."

Peterson, whose profile rose in right-wing circles after his outspoken refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns, announced the decision in a tweet on Sunday.

In August, Peterson told CTV's Your Mornings he was working with developers to design artificial intelligence software that would scour university curriculums for what he considers "post-modern neo-Marxist course content."

"I'm hoping that over about a five-year period, a concerted effort could be made to knock the enrolment down in postmodern neo-Marxist cult classes by 75 per cent across the West," he said at the time. "So our plan initially is to cut off the supply to the people that are running the indoctrination cults."

Several of his U of T colleagues spoke out against the site, saying it would foster a climate of harassment.

One of those professors, physicist A.W. Peet, told As It Happens host Carol Off on Friday the proposed website was "morally wrong."

In a letter to the administration, senior faculty at the Women's and Gender Studies Institute said it "presents a serious case of harassment, fostering unsafe work and study conditions for students, faculty and staff."

The University of Toronto Faculty Association also spoke out about the website, which Peterson now says is "on hiatus."

On Saturday, he told the Globe and Mail: "No such site exists, and the site was only trying to provide people with information."