FIRE Uses New Technologies to Protect Free Speech

By January 22, 2009

Part of FIRE’s effectiveness in combating censorship on campus is our ability to get the word out and harness the public’s justified outrage. As technology changes, FIRE adapts. Administrators should be warned that we are now reaching students and the public in new ways through Facebook ads and Twitter.

FIRE is using Facebook ads to make students and alumni aware of abuses on their campuses and at their alma maters. Currently, we are targeting Brandeis University, Tufts University, Michigan State University, Lone Star College, and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Thousands of students and alumni associated with the schools where we have major cases will now be informed through Facebook when their administrations are out of line.

FIRE’s Twitter account also keeps our supporters up with what we’re saying, doing and reading. Users can sign up for Twitter and receive real-time messages through their phones, instant messaging services, and the Twitter website. Following FIRE on Twitter is a great way to get quick updates on new developments in FIRE cases, learn about new posts to The Torch, and keep up with the state of free speech on campus.

This all is in addition to the work FIRE already does through traditional media, The Torch, and the Campus Freedom Network’s Facebook page, group, and cause. When college administrators censor their students, it’s now more likely than ever that FIRE supporters will be instantaneously notified through a variety of new media tactics in FIRE’s ever-growing arsenal of public awareness.