2017 Free Speech Essay Contest Winners

This year we received close to 300 essay submissions for our Hope and Stanley Adelstein Free Speech Essay Contest. We are happy to announce this year’s winner for the following prompt.

Social media platforms are no longer just a way to connect with friends, but are increasingly used as a way to share news and discuss current events. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have come under fire for failing to protect users from hate speech, while simultaneously facing backlash for failing to protect free speech. Given these contradictory perspectives and the increased prevalence of social media, should social media platforms weigh the value of ensuring the safety and accountability of users versus ensuring the free speech of users?


11/12 grade

1st place: Vinay Bodapati, Solon High School

2nd place: Molly Gleydura, Hathaway Brown

3rd place: Autumn Lily Faithwalker, Laurel School

Honorable Mention: Joseph Sierputowski, St. Ignatius; Isaiah Paik, University School


9/10 grade

1st place: Julianna Ciccarelli, Mayfield High School

2nd place: Natalie Grace Sipula, Andrews Osborne Academy

3rd place: Tess Kelly, Orange High School

Honorable Mentions: Tara McClenaghan, Holy Name; Sophie Stenroos, Mayfield High School

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