Rights in the News: Facebook Censorship Lands University of Chicago in Hot Water

March 26, 2010

As Adam wrote yesterday, it was gratifying to see the Star-Telegram give such a hearty endorsement to the recent court victory upholding the First Amendment rights of students at Tarrant County Collegea nice exclamation point on the paper’s important coverage of this free speech issue from very early on.

Just winding up as TCC winds down, of course, is the latest controversy at the University of Chicago, following revelations that an investigator from the university’s police department coerced student Joseph "Tex" Dozier to remove a Facebook post in which he jokingly remarked about dreaming that he had assassinated a professor as part of a covert Israeli force. The Wired Campus blog at the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Philadelphia Bulletin are among the early reporters on the controversy. (You can also read about it on Dozier’s blog.) Appropriately, the twittersphere has also been buzzing with this story, with nods especially to Undergrad Review and Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer, who have tweeted the news to their more than 35,000 followers. Torch readers can visit our case page to learn more about this case, and can write University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer to encourage him to do the right thing and protect free speech at the U of C.

Meanwhile, I had fun yesterday with Casey Mattox’s "Sweet Sixteen of Liberty" alternative NCAA bracket using commitment to free speech as its chief criterion for success. I wish I could say liberty wins every time, but so far the results have been mixed, with West Virginia and Kentucky going his way, and Syracuse and Xavier succumbing to the forces of darkness, so to speak. Perhaps tonight will be better.