What happens when a man is cornered into social nonexistence and deprived of the means to sustain his family? Contrary to the beliefs of blank slatist ideologues, who are despicable in their own right, we all have the choice between good and bad. Always. That is, precisely, the moral dimension of humanity --without which humans would simply not be humans. That said, the circumstances surrounding a bad decision (i.e. extenuating causes) are usually taken into consideration, at least in a legal system, when imposing a punishment. But they never erase the commission of a crime because, again, we all have a choice.
With that out of the way, I want to bring to the fore The Owen Benjamin Non-Syndrome, a half divertimento - half analytical tool to be used in order to measure how putrid and beyond redemption Western society is. The coinage of the term comes from Owen Benjamin, the comedian notoriously banned from Twitter a year or so ago for pushing the envelope on the Silicon Valley robber barons, among other things.
Owen wasn't a darling of the radical left currently in control of tech, media, and the educational system, to put it mildly; but, honestly speaking, he wasn't a threat to the establishment at all. Nobody is, really, but particularly a comedian isn't. What happened later was, for a lack of better words, terribly hard to digest. For some, it was Owen simply becoming edgier in order to make up for his lost income. But others saw deeper than that; they saw, in the world of social media, the real world equivalent of a minor arrested for jaywalking being thrown into a jail infested with rapists and mass murderers. And what happened thereafter was what you would expect. Owen became unhinged. Wherever you are in the conspiracy theory spectrum, you know perfectly well that for a right leaning person there's no quicker death sentence than to toy with antisemitism. Benjamin went head on into it, earning the love and admiration of the /pol/ board at 4chan but, frankly speaking, digging his own grave towards the rest of the world. Could we say that he had the extenuating cause of being driven to that by the ostracism forced upon him by the political correctness-mad techno-establishment? This is where I believe that every man has a choice, that even if you're held to a bonfire and pushed to commit heinous acts, there's always a choice. For the love of heaven, Benjamin could have forged for himself, using the social media ban, a powerful brand as a fighter for free speech, just as Tommy Robinson or Laura Loomer, to name a few. Instead, he went to the extreme.
And this, amigos, is where The Owen Benjamin Non-Syndrome comes from. We can take the above and jump into the easy conclusion that extremism is caused by marginalization. But this rule falls flat by its own weight once extrapolated into (i) augmented platform or (ii) the left. Would Owen Benjamin turn moderate if he would have been given a bigger soapbox from where to shout? Possibly. Or possibly not. But the rule of thumb is that conservative leaning personalities, once they gain notoriety and, with it, a bigger platform, tend to polish up their arguments so as to maintain their base but also to widen it for a larger audience, effectively magnifying their message. Think of Candace Owens or Jordan B. Peterson for a sec. Their initial stridence gained them a wide appeal and, slowly, they fine tuned their discourse into one more palatable to the masses.
However, the complete materialization of the Non-Syndrome comes from extrapolating to the left. Do left leaning personalities become more radicalized when ostracized or, instead, given a megaphone? Here's the thing. The social media giants are so far left that the few right leaning employees they have live in fear of opening their mouth, as one of the robber barons themselves admits. Henceforth, the first scenario doesn't exist. You name it: jihadists, violent antifas, radical trans activists, or Democrats, they all are bulletproof when it comes to social media bans. Instead, they are celebrated! So, the first scenario of our question doesn't apply. Let's move to the second then: Do left leaning characters become more radicalized when handed the megaphone? You bet! The Owen Benjamin effect works diametrically in the opposite direction when the person in question is a progressive lunatic. Twitter is full of them. The more spotlight they're given, the more outlandish their hatred and vitriol become. They call for firings, bans, boycotts, castration, and even assassination, and that's just the start. As they become emboldened, they're as smooth as a pint of acid. Hell, they even get a pat in the back and get elected to the U.S. Congress! Nothing Owen Benjamin has said in this last, terminal stage of his delirium is too different to what Ilhan Omar has said.
So, The Owen Benjamin Non-Syndrome exists, and its maxim is: if you want to drive a conservative to the radical right, silence him, but if you want to drive a progressive to the radical left, tolerate their escalating malice. That's how rotten the system is. In the meantime, the Mark Zuckerbergs, Jack Dorseys, and Sundar Pichais of the world continue to shovel money for their shareholders while creating and curating content to spoon feed you with what and how you ought to think.