University of San Diego: Administrators Send Campus-Wide Email Criticizing “Objectionable” Social Media Posts


University of California, San Diego

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Case Overview

On April 26, 2024, four University of San Diego administrators and “Leaders of the Associated Student Government” sent an email to the campus community regarding posts on the social media app Fizz. The email criticized the assertedly inappropriate and offensive nature of the posts, some of which were subjectively racist, bigoted, and demeaning. The email also implied that, although Fizz promises anonymity, university administrators may unmask users (or seek to have them unmasked), and said investigation and punishment of “problematic” posts would follow. FIRE wrote USD on May 31, explaining this course of action would violate both California’s Leonard Law and USD’s commitment to free speech, because free speech principles protect offensive and even hateful speech, as well as the right to speak anonymously.