All of this is to say that even before videos surfaced revealing his endorsement of pedophilia, Yiannopoulos’s derangement was obvious. Anyone who did even a cursory Google search would have quickly concluded that giving him a platform was a bad idea. But the Berkeley College Republicans gave him a platform anyway, and they were not alone in that choice.

In short, campus groups helped make Yiannopoulos and his alt-right sympathies more popular, and gave him the attention he craves in spades. But their actions couldn’t be justified then and can’t be justified now, no matter how much media attention they yielded.

None of this is restricted to the lead-up to the turbulent 2016 election. For the fall of 2017, Columbia University’s College Republicans plan to host alt-right popularizer Mike Cernovich as well as the English Defence League’s Tommy Robinson. If other groups copy them, Yiannopoulos may come to look relatively benign in comparison.