University of Chicago: Facebook Photo Album Censored for “Disrespect

By August 28, 2013

The University of Chicago promotes freedom of expression in its Student Manual, writing, "At the University of Chicago, freedom of expression is vital to our shared goal of the pursuit of knowledge." However, when student Andrew Thompson posted photographs of his ex-girlfriend on Facebook.com within an album entitled "[Name of ex-girlfriend] cheated on me, and you’re next!" Thompson was asked to delete the post. The Dean of Students in the College, Susan Art, informed Thompson that his ex-girlfriend had come to her and complained, and that the album needed to be removed. After deleting the album, Thompson asked if the school was allowed to prohibit internet speech, and was told by Art that the Student Manual gives her the ability to censor "disrespectful" speech. FIRE contacted the University, and was eventually told that since FIRE was not threatening litigation, the University of Chicago did not want to engage in any further discussion regarding the issue.