If it's only a tiny nudge, why are we talking about it?
Why is it important for a teacher to give a harsh detention to the first student who challenges their authority, or for countries to defend their borders strictly rather than let it slide if someone encroaches just a few kilometres?
An expectation is being set here. Worse, an expectation has been set that threats of protest are a legitimate way to influence decision-making in our community. You have ceded authority to Slate by obeying their smear-piece on Hanson. Hanson is one of our people, you left him hanging in favour of what Slate thought.
EA people are, IMO, being naïve.
talk of blackmail suggests an appeal to clear-cut principles like "blackmail is (almost) always bad"
One ought to invite a speaker who has seriously considered the possibility that blackmail might be good in certain circumstances, written blog posts about it etc.
The more time someone spends talking to a variety of community members (and potential future members), the more likely they are to have an accurate view of which norms will best encourage the community’s health and flourishing.
Correctness is not a popularity contest, it feels like this is an intellectual laundering of groupthink. Also, if you promote a particular view, that *changes* who is going to be a member of the community in the future, as well as who is excluded.
For example, the EA community has decided to exclude Robin Hanson and be more inclusive towards Slate journalists and people who like the opinions of Slate; this defines a future direction for the movement, rather than causing a fixed movement to either flourish or not.
I think the issue here is attempting to unilaterally disarm in a culture war. If your attitude is "let's through different elements of the situation and see it through the eyes of the people" , and their attitude is "let's use the most effective memetic superweapons we have access to to destroy everyone we disagree with", then you're going to lose and they are going to win.