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A quick roundup of recent free speech stories in the news

May 25, 2022 by Casey Mattox

Whether in education, business, media or the courts, free speech is in the news. Here’s a round-up of some of the free speech stories and articles that caught my eye this week:

  • The Department of Homeland Security must have heard from you! The agency just announced they’re stopping the ill-conceived Disinformation Governance Board. Check out AFP’s statement.
  • Jeffrey Rosen, president of the National Constitution Center (NCC), wrote in The Atlantic about the ways that free speech can be applied to online communities, regarding Elon Musk and Twitter. Rosen argues:

    Although private companies are not required to follow the First Amendment, nothing prevents them from doing so voluntarily. And in Twitter’s case in particular, there are strong reasons to believe that the First Amendment should presumptively govern. All four of the main principles that have historically guided the Supreme Court in interpreting the First Amendment apply just as powerfully to social-media platforms as they do to governments.

  • Is the corporate world growing tired of outrage culture? Last week, Netflix updated its corporate culture memo for the first time in nearly five years – to add an anti-censorship section. My favorite quote: “If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”
  • Some good news about campus free speech in the states: This month, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law the Forming Open and Robust University Minds (FORUM) Act), which eliminates existing (and unconstitutional) “free speech zones.” While a “free speech zone” might sound like a good thing, it actually means that the rest of the campus — sometimes over 99% of the campus — is NOT free for speech. This makes Georgia the 22nd state to enact these kinds of laws protecting students and scholars!
  • At the federal level, civil liberties leader FIRE is weighing in on Health and Human Services (HHS) Department rulemaking regarding health misinformation. FIRE has submitted a public comment and urged HHS to keep in mind First Amendment protections. Learn more here.

‌Our First Amendment and the free speech it protects impact us across every aspect of our life, and these articles illustrate that. People who know and exercise their civil liberties — people like you — play a vital role in protecting them for everyone.

Civil liberties are the solution to uncivil times. Join the defense of Free Speech:

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