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#FreeSpeech in the News: Dec. 13, 2016

As the Citadel of Free Speech here in Cleveland, we work to protect and promote the basis of our democracy by sharing related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century. Here's what's making the news - and what you should know about - this week.

 

“Geert Wilders, the Dutch Freedom Party leader who’s targeting an election win next year amid the ride of populism sweeping Europe, was found guilty of inciting discrimination with comments about Moroccan immigrants, but the judges in the case imposed no penalty.”

Free Speech ‘Martyr’ Found Guilty of Discrimination, Not Hate, Bloomberg

 

“The State Department standard… conflates criticism of Israeli policies with anti-Jewish hatred shutting down debate.”

The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act would damage free speech rights on campus, Los Angeles Times

 

“We think it’s prudent at this point to at least take candidate Trump – now President-elect Trump – at his word.”

Trump’s attacks on free speech and the open Internet send a huge web archive fleeing to Canada, Los Angeles Times

 

“It’s hard to see how these standards could be transplanted to the campus of a public university committed to a robust exchange of views and subject to the free-speech provisions of the 1st Amendment.”

Undermining free speech on campus, Los Angeles Times

 

“As many observers have noted, it defines, for the purpose of investigations into alleged civil-rights violations on campus, anti-Semitism in a way that plainly violates the First Amendment.”

The Anti-Anti-Semitism Bill the ADL is Pushing Is (Still) Such a Free-Speech Mess, New York Magazine

 

“This list is clearly an effort to intimidate professors from speaking truth to power.”

Is the Professor Watchlist a Threat to Free Speech?, The New York Times

 

Social-media platforms are finding it harder to mouth free speech platitudes (and enjoy the corresponding cultural benefits) while at the same time actively curating a sanitized media feed.”

The Future of Free Speech on Social Media Looks Grim, reason.com

 

“As Trump’s constitutionally contemptuous comments about flag burning illustrate, he supports free speech the same way he supports trade: with preferential exceptions designed to protect the people he cares about most.”

Trump’s Problem With Free Speech, reason.com

 

“Freedom of speech is valued in Europe, but not to the degree it traditionally has been valued in America. Germany prohibits Holocaust denial, as well as other forms of hate speech, which are protected by the First Amendment in the U.S. – so long as they do not incite violence.”

The War on Free Speech Escalates, reason.com

 

“Over the last nine years, the number of institutions that don’t seriously threaten speech has tripled to 27. Several colleges including the University of Wisconsin have adopted policies that affirm (at least in theory) their commitment to free speech.”

Free Speech on the Quad, The Wall Street Journal

 

“Since 2014, there has been a disturbing surge in the number of invited campus speakers being repeatedly interrupted or actually prevented from delivering a public lecture. A startling share of these silencing efforts have been directed at Israelis or other speakers sympathetic to Israel who have run afoul of the growing anti-Israel movement on campuses.”

Students are shouting down pro-Israel speakers – and silencing free speech, The Washington Post

 

“Hillary Clinton’s calls during the presidential campaign to amend the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United is evidence that the Democratic Part is a greater threat to free speech rights than Republican Donald Trump, said the chief or media conglomerate Time Warner.”

Democrats were real free-speech threat of 2016 campaign, says Time Warner CEO, The Washington Times

 

Balancing is essential; the consequences of unjustified limitations of free speech are antithetical to a democracy. On the other hand, speech has the potential of harming. The adage ‘words kill’ is neither amorphous nor abstract… Speech must be handled with sensitivity, intelligence and honesty. When reasonable to assume speech will cause harm to others, we should prevent it. If unclear whether speech will result in harm, it must be protected; otherwise over-reach is the inevitable and problematic result.”

Law professor Amos Guiora: ‘Time to revisit limits on free speech’ following Trump win, The Washington Times

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