There are very few exceptions to the First Amendment, and a “true threat” is one of them.
But defining a true threat isn’t easy. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court first examined true threats in the 1969 case Watts v. United States, it’s been a messy doctrine. The court didn’t provide a definition of a true threat until many years after Watts, and even then questions still remained.
Tribalism and group polarization are on the rise. So too are rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide. On campuses, professors and students are afraid to speak out. And on social media, outrage mobs rule the day.
How did we get here?
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff to discuss his new co-authored book with New York University professor Jonathan Haidt, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.”
It’s a social science detective story [...] » Read More
How should we think about speech rights in the age of artificial intelligence and advanced robotics?
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by First Amendment scholars Ronald Collins and David Skover. They are the authors of the new book, Robotica: Speech Rights & Artificial Intelligence.
From the printing press to the internet, advances in communications technology often upset the established order and spawn demands for censorship. There is little reason to suspect advances in artificial intelligence will be treated differently. As free speech advocates, how should we respond to these demands?
To [...] » Read More
On this episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we chat with lawyer and free speech activist Jacob Mchangama. He is the founder and CEO of the Danish think tank Justitia, a visiting fellow at FIRE, and host of Clear and Present Danger: A History of Free Speech.
Our conversation focuses on the origins of Mchangama’s interest in free speech issues, the 2005 Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, the [...] » Read More
On this episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we discuss President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court and what it might mean for the First Amendment. We also review Anthony Kennedy’s legacy, the free speech cases from this past Supreme Court term, and Justice Elena Kagan’s contention that some of her colleagues are “weaponizing the First Amendment.”
The guests on today’s show are:
Paul Sherman: Senior attorney, Institute for Justice
Bob Corn-Revere: Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine
Walter Olson: Senior fellow, Cato Institute
You can subscribe and listen to So [...] » Read More
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we take a trip down memory lane. We are joined by FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff, Samantha Harris, and Will Creeley to discuss memorable cases from FIRE’s 19-year history.
You can watch a video of this conversation on FIRE’s YouTube channel:
The United States is unique in its protection of what some might label “hate speech.” Of course, certain expression is unprotected, like incitement to imminent lawless action and true threats. But expression that is deemed merely offensive or hateful is generally protected.
On this episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we welcome back to the show former ACLU president and New York Law Professor Nadine Strossen. She is the author of “HATE: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship.” In this new book, she argues that America’s broad protections for hateful speech are [...] » Read More
In February, Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber announced that he will distribute copies of “Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech” to all Princeton students and faculty as part of the university’s annual “Pre-read” program.
On this episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, our guest is Princeton professor Keith Whittington, who is the author of “Speak Freely.” We discuss the latest campus free speech news at Princeton and across the county.
We are also joined by FIRE Vice President of Policy Research Samantha Harris, who is a Princeton alumna and professor Whittington’s former [...] » Read More
So to Speak podcast: Debating ‘Is there a campus free speech crisis?’ with Sullivan, Haidt, Nossel, Sachs, & Foster
Is there a campus free speech crisis?
In March, FIRE staff discussed the question. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we put the question to others and feature audio from a live debate that occurred on May 8 in New York City.» Read More
Anthony Comstock is a name that has become synonymous with censorship in America.
In 1873, he founded the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, and his career led to the confiscation or incineration of more than 3 million pieces of allegedly “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” material.
On this episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we speak with Fashion Institute of Technology Professor Amy Werbel about her new book, “Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock,” and the legacy of Comstock’s “Comstockery.”
You can subscribe and [...] » Read More