Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, a best-selling author, podcaster, and clinical psychologist, often faces criticism for his public takes on culture and politics by those who disagree with his stances.
Peterson has more than six million subscribers on his YouTube channel and a combined 15 million followers between YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, where he has posted hundreds of videos since 2013 sharing his views on everything from perfecting your craft to critiques of lockdown policies and the politicians who supported them.
This week, the Ontario College of Psychologists (which is not actually a college but rather a government-run agency that serves as a regulating tool for psychologists) ordered Peterson to undergo mandatory social media communications re-training, following his retweets of content critical of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
If he refuses, the agency states that they will suspend his license to serve as a licensed clinical psychologist.
Their reasoning? Approximately one dozen people internationally reported his public statements on Twitter and on podcasts over a four-year period, claiming that they were harmed by exposure to his views.
Peterson has pointed out that none of those who reported are current or former clients of his — though many falsely claimed that they were.
This is not the first time he has been targeted by the Ontario College of Psychologists; Peterson stated that it began soon after his YouTube channel gained popularity. It is, however, an escalation that now puts his professional license at risk.
This is a cut-and-dry case of professional retribution for political speech. Patients are not at risk of malpractice due to Peterson’s public statements. The College should rescind its demands that Peterson comply with retraining.