Massachusetts Institute of Technology: New Postering Policy Includes Formation of “Rapid Response Team” to Decide Viewpoints Permitted on Campus


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Case Overview

On October 12, 2023, MIT sent out a notice instructing students who “believe the content of a poster, chalking, or similar display violates Institute policy” to “leave it alone, take a photo, and report your concerns to the Institute Discrimination & Harassment Response Office (IDHR) or the MIT Hotline.” On October 18, MIT announced the implementation of a new campus postering policy, including a “rapid response team” of high-level administrators assigned the power to review any postings on campus and remove them based on their content or viewpoint. FIRE wrote to MIT on November 1, informing it that appointing a team of administrators to determine acceptable viewpoints runs counter to the institution’s promises of free expression. FIRE urged MIT to employ only viewpoint-neutral posting policies and implement them in a viewpoint-neutral manner to uphold its commitment to protect free speech on campus.