The Corner

Bias Reporting Debate

Eugene Volokh raises some fair and thoughtful points to the effect that William and Mary’s anonymous bias reporting system may not necessarily deserve condemnation. I agree that there are times when anonymous reports are legitimate, as for example when students hand in teaching evaluations of their professors (of course, the consequences in that case are mild in comparison to the potential results of a bias report, the results are public, and the number of students able to report creates a kind of check on excess). At the same time, Paul Mirengoff at Powerline points out that the context for what constitutes bias at William and Mary has been set by the Wren Cross episode. (Mirengoff is not writing in reply to Volokh, but I think it’s a useful juxtaposition.) We may well need more information on context, as Volokh points out. At the same time, it’s clear that the Wren Cross episode is already the crucial background stirring up concern at William and Mary over the bias reporting code. I think the folks who already feel outraged and intimidated by the removal of the Wren cross see the anonymous bias reporting system as a tool to be deployed against them.


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