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Articles on Free speech

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Democrats and Republicans in Congress have asked sharp questions of social media CEOs as lawmakers consider changes to landmark internet legislation. Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP

What is Section 230? An expert on internet law and regulation explains the legislation that paved the way for Facebook, Google and Twitter

A terse piece of legislation from 1996 has been credited with creating the internet as we know it – and blamed for the flood of misinformation and other ills that have come with it.
Donald Trump at a press conference to announce a class action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, Google and their CEOs. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Trump can’t beat Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in court – but the fight might be worth more than a win

Former President Trump is asking the courts to do what tycoon Trump once would have denounced: tell some of America’s most powerful corporations that they have no choice who they do business with.
A statue in honour of U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith, left, and John Carlos is seen on the campus of San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif. The pair of sprinters were expelled from the Olympics in 1968 after they raised their fists on the medals stand to protest racial inequality in the United States. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

The Olympics are ‘on the wrong side of history’ when it comes to free speech

The International Olympic Committee’s Rule 50 still restricts the freedom of speech of athletes, despite the recently relaxed stipulations. A respected Olympian says the IOC must change its policy.
South Africa’s Pretoria News didn’t dress itself in glory with its false decuplets story. This picture was taken following Nelson Mandela’s death in 2013. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

False story about decuplets was a low point for journalism: how to fix the damage

Tighter controls are not the answer; the opportunity should be used to think differently about trust and journalism. It is critical to enable audiences to distinguish reliable, verified information.
A Supreme Court ruling on free speech does nothing about toxic online discourse. Francesco Carta fotografo/Moment via Getty Images

Free-speech ruling won’t help declining civil discourse

A Supreme Court ruling about a student’s free-speech rights won’t stem the torrent of crude, disrespectful speech in American society.
Eugene Debs, at center with flowers, who was serving a prison sentence for violating the Espionage Act, on the day he was notified of his nomination for the presidency on the socialist ticket by a delegation of leading socialists. George Rinhard/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

Free speech wasn’t so free 103 years ago, when ‘seditious’ and ‘unpatriotic’ speech was criminalized in the US

Free speech is a long American tradition – but so are attempts to restrict free speech. A First Amendment scholar writes about measures a century ago to silence those criticizing government.

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