Carnegie Mellon University: Professor’s tweet wishing Queen Elizabeth ‘excruciating’ death results in calls for punishment

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: Carnegie Mellon University

On the morning of September 8, 2022, amid speculation about Queen Elizabeth’s then-impending death, Carnegie Mellon University Professor Uju Anya tweeted: “I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating.” The tweet was met with criticism, including from prominent public figures such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, as well as calls for CMU to punish Anya. Within hours, Twitter deleted Anya’s tweet for violating its rules. That same day, CMU released a statement condemning Anya’s tweet, reiterating the university’s free speech promises, but not ruling out investigating or punishing her. FIRE wrote CMU reminding the school that its commitment to free expression precludes it from punishing or investigating protected speech. FIRE also publicly criticized Twitter’s overly censorious rules and their arbitrary enforcement.