The Supreme Court will hear an array of legal arguments involving social media’s free speech wars this term with a series of dicey cases that could reshape how public officials and U.S. government agencies operate online. On Tuesday, the court will hear oral arguments in the first two of those cases, which both ask whether public officials can constitutionally block their constituents on social media — one of those cases at its core centers on a lakeside city manager in Michigan who decided he would block someone posting what he called “creepy” smiley emoji’s on his Facebook page amid criticism of the manager’s COVID-19 response.
The conflict echoes the media giant’s First Amendment fight against Ron DeSantis over the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The outcome of a case in federal court could help decide whether the First Amendment is a barrier to virtually any government efforts to stifle disinformation.
A new audit warns that Facebook may be “driving people toward self-reinforcing echo chambers of extremism.”
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) will introduce legislation today that would give consumers grounds to sue companies like Facebook or Twitter over accusations of selective censorship of political speech.
A number of Facebook’s recent decisions have fueled a criticism that continues to follow the company, including the decision not to fact-check political advertising and the inclusion of Breitbart News in the company’s new “trusted sources” News tab. These controversies were stoked even further by Mark Zuckerberg’s speech at Georgetown University last week, where he tried—mostly unsuccessfully—to portray Facebook as a defender of free speech. Discussing all this are Alex Stamos, former chief technology officer of Facebook, veteran tech journalist Kara Swisher, Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain, and Stanford researcher Kate Klonick.
Rich people have free speech rights. Do the corporations they run? That question is destroying democracy.
The top U.S. communications regulator on Tuesday declined to criticize President Donald Trump’s attacks on broadcasters. In his first public appearance since Trump tweeted that Comcast’s NBC and other broadcasters should lose their licenses for reporting “fake news,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai instead noted that his agency could not do what the president wanted.
A new survey explores Americans’ views on hate speech, political correctness, Nazi-punching, job terminations for offensive speech, and much more.
The Media Institute and the Motion Picture Association of America, announced today that MPAA Chairman-CEO Chris Dodd will be the chair of the 2013 Advisory Council for Free Speech Week […]
What strikes me about the arguments of gun advocates is how similar they are to the ones that I and other free speech advocates regularly make. For instance, they say the answer to too much gun violence is more guns. We say the answer to false, hateful and pernicious speech is more speech. Maybe you just can’t cherry pick the Bill of Rights.
The bad news in the Rush Limbaugh controversy is that while some people are recommending that the FCC take him off the air or think he should be prosecuted; and after a number of his advertisers have been cowed into dropping his show, most of the media and journalism organizations one might expect to defend him have remained silent. Looking beyond the campaign against Limbaugh, one can see that this and kindred efforts aren’t going to end well for freedom of speech.
This anti-Limbaugh movement is starting to look like a mob. Other radio personalities without Rush’s bank account or following may pull back from lusty debate for fear they could be the next target of advertiser boycotts. And it will give TV broadcasters one more reason to avoid political speech (or anything else) that would rile viewers and risk unhappy advertisers. Not that they need another reason. Perhaps conditioned from all those years operating under the fairness doctrine, TV stations for the most part have acted as if it were still in effect.
We’ve always had terrible examples to defend. And Rush Limbaugh has given us another stellar specimen of vulgar discourse. But defend it we must. Not the hateful, demeaning and discomfiting words. But the right of our colleague — the social commentator — to be heard. And the right of the people to decide.