Here’s an Update on my TEDx Talk Being Released

Yeah, I’m with you. I thought my TEDx Talk would be released at this point. I can, however, provide something of an update for now.

Ironically, the six other talks that were performed live online have all been published by the TED organization and can be found both on their TEDx YouTube channel and at They really were all terrific and I urge you to check them out. I also wrote an article about the event HERE.

As for this TEDx speaker? My speech was “flagged.”

But…but…why, Josh?

Good question, and I don’t have the exact answer.

The TED organization sends out a very long list of rules to follow when giving a speech, both for the person doing the TEDx Talk and the organizers hosting the event. Some are clearly black and white, like I couldn’t try to sell my books in the speech. Others are quite gray, like to avoid stating as fact something that it is debatable. I think that is why they won’t allow talks about quantum physics.

My talk was about pornography addiction. Is pornography addiction real? Of course. However, the DSM, the bible for the mental health diagnostic community (thankfully most mental health practitioners are not devout followers), does not recognize pornography addiction as a condition yet. So, is pornography addiction real? I hate to admit it, but there is an argument to be made at this point in time that it’s a gray area. It’s probably made even grayer by the fact that I’m not a licensed mental health professional. I’m just a good looking guy in a cool cowboy shirt.

It may have been something else I said. Or my over-the-top theatrical opening. The only thing the TED organization said was that it was under review.

Nick Caito photo

Could It Be Killed Off?

“Highly unlikely,” as Gorilla Monsoon used to say. One of the organizers of the TEDxHartford event told me that they think most get a rubber stamp from someone who is basically trained to just call to attention anything that may nudge up against a line. If a talk is singled out, others within TED will watch and see if it needs a flag.

Some of the best speeches have flags. They are just warnings to the public that what you may hear is controversial, triggering, not scientifically provable or otherwise in some kind of dispute. That’s ironic, because the tag line of TED and TEDx is “ideas worth sharing” but that’s a debate for another time.

The amazing dude who coached me in this process had his speech flagged in 2018 because he spoke of hypnotism but isn’t a medical professional. I saw a video the other day that simply warned of “opinions about abortion” and another had the disclaimer, “NOTE FROM TED: This talk contains discussion of the speaker’s personal experiences with violence, abuse, suicide, and addiction. Some viewers may find elements of this talk to be distressing or objectionable.”

So Here We Are

I was told the TED organization took time off at the end of the year and looking at the YouTube page, that seems correct. Whereas upwards of 40 videos are posted most weekdays during the year, only about 10 have gone up since before Christmas.

I’m not worried it’s not going to appear. It will. I don’t know when. I hope it’ll be in the next couple of weeks. And when it does, yes, I will let you know. Boy, will I ever let you know. My advice would be to not only follow my website, but to follow me on at least one other form of social media (where you will see other sides of me) and I’ll let the world know when it’s there. Until then, all I can do is practice patience.


Twitter: @paddictrecovery
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10 thoughts on “Here’s an Update on my TEDx Talk Being Released

  1. Huh, interesting. I wonder if they’ll ever end up letting you know what specifically got flagged. In terms of a diagnosis, I just found a couple of TED Talks on food addiction, and that’s not in the DSM either.

    1. We may be able to deduce the issue based on whatever flag I get, or it may be very generic. I don’t really care because I think it’s like the trigger warning on most blogs…people barely notice it.

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