On this episode of Let’s Know Things, we talk about free speech: what it means, where it’s going, and why we can’t seem to agree about how to apply and enforce it.
There’s a particular focus on how it applies within schools, as that’s been a hot-button topic, but is also an excellent microcosmic means of understanding the larger picture.
- The US Constitution
- Schoolhouse Rock’s take on the Constitution (if I’m being honest, it’s not their best work)
- The Bill of Rights
- Some valuable expanded definitions: constitutionality, constitutional crisis, presumption of constitutionality, constitutional law
- The “Free Speech” Charade
- A pretty decent overview of speech freedoms allowed for each country in the world, though there may be some bias there, so this is a good backup reference. And closely tied to this element of the discussion: The Press Freedom Index
- A piece about the Charlie Hebdo attacks and the right to offend
- A good reference for some of the philosophical arguments about the freedom of speech
- Some causes of misinformation, and an interesting sub-link of that: a list of common misconceptions
- A quick guide to online defamation from the EFF
- This is an excellent book (by one of my favorite authors) that made me seriously re-think ever joining a dog-pile online: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
- The difference between libel and slander
- The Guardian’s growing list of articles on Europe’s Right to be Forgotten ruling
- And a solid New Yorker piece on the subject
- “Trolling: An art involving getting the largest reaction from the most obvious — but not offensive — comments, without the victim realizing you are a troll.” via Urban Dictionary
- My preferred troll can grow back hacked-off arms
- Much of the trolling that has real-world implications (besides just enraging those looking to become enraged) is against women (a lot, lot, lot of it) and minorities (also a disturbing amount of stuff like this and this)
- An excellent example of a government or person in power cracking down on freedom of speech for personal gain is Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his abuses of journalists and citizens and seizing of opposition newspapers
- A good cause and wonderful organization that shockingly few people know about, by the way, is Reporters Without Borders
- A timelines of US whistleblowers (also: Edward Snowden’s Twitter account is on point)
- Anti-trigger warning & safe zone piece from the Washington Post, and another from them about the right to bear arms
- An explanation of what the Citizen’s United case did and why it matters
- The study I mentioned about Millennials being more likely to think it’s okay to sacrifice some speech freedoms if it means less public bigotry, misogyny, racism, etc (though here’s a response-piece from NY Magazine that pours a little bit of cold water on how shocking those results might seem at first)
- An interesting new development on the topic of free speech zones
- Sorry in advance: Two Baby Eagles Ate a Kitten While Pittsburgh Watched
- And a nice big-picture summary of free speech around the world
- More about your host, my list of books, and my contribution page
- My YouTube show, Consider This
- The Let’s Know Things Facebook page
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