free speech

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Trump's Twitter Blocks Violate First Amendment: Advocacy Group

Free-speech advocacy group says excluding people is 'unconstitutional'

(Newser) - Blocking people on Twitter is a feature many use liberally to keep their feeds friendly. But should public officials like President Trump be allowed to exclude users in the same fashion? Absolutely not, says the Knight First Amendment Institute, a non-partisan group founded last year at Columbia University that's... More »

Man Fined $4K for Giving the Thumbs-Up on Facebook

Could be a first in Switzerland, or anywhere

(Newser) - Be careful what you like online, especially if you're in Switzerland—it may get you in trouble for defamation. In what Fortune reports could be a first, a court there has fined an unidentified man the equivalent of more than $4,000 after he liked defamatory comments on Facebook... More »

Comments on God Could Spell Trouble for Stephen Fry

Irish police are investigating Fry's 2015 interview for blasphemy

(Newser) - Funnyman Stephen Fry may be in hot water in Ireland for comments made during an interview where he candidly calls out someone not to be trifled with on the Emerald Isle: God. Irish police are investigating Fry's February 2015 interview on the RTÉ show The Meaning of Life as... More »

Government Wants Info on Anti-Trump Twitter Account

Twitter has sued the government to protect the anonymous user

(Newser) - Twitter has sued the federal government after US Customs and Border Protection demanded user information for an account critical of the Trump administration, the Verge reports. Multiple Twitter accounts claiming to be run by disillusioned members of various government agencies sprung up following Trump's inauguration. One of them, @ALT_uscis... More »

Violent Protests Shut Down Milo Berkeley Talk

Yiannopoulos accuses left of being scared of free speech

(Newser) - A talk by far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California-Berkeley had to be called off Wednesday night as protesters smashed windows, ignited fireworks, and chucked bricks and Molotov cocktails. The university blamed the violence on 150 "masked agitators" it accused of disrupting otherwise peaceful protests against the... More »

After Newspaper Endorses Clinton, Death Threats

'Arizona Republic' continues to fight for free speech with 'compassion,' 'bravery': publisher

(Newser) - Meet Kimberly, Nicole, and Phil. They're on staff at the Arizona Republic, per a Sunday editorial written by Mi-Ai Parrish, the conservative newspaper's publisher. And they're the ones who've been dealing with the vitriol and calls for violence since the Republic endorsed Hillary Clinton for president... More »

Game Developer Sues Online 'Harassers' for $18M

Digital Homicide founders say they've been stalked, harassed, and threatened online

(Newser) - Carping about a video game online to other players may be routine in the gaming world, but being sued by the game's developer isn't. But that's what may be in store for some online commenters who complained about Arizona's Digital Homicide Studios, a game-maker founded by... More »

Parents Furious After NC Teacher Tramples Flag

Lee Francis has been suspended; some want him fired

(Newser) - A history teacher says his lesson on free speech came with the unintended caveat that free speech isn't always guaranteed after it landed him a suspension. Students at Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, NC, say Lee Francis was discussing a court case that determined flag desecration was... More »

Sheriff Raids House to Find Online Critic

'If you're gonna lie about me ... I'm gonna come after you'

(Newser) - Jerry Larpenter, sheriff of Louisiana's Terrebonne Parish, appears to have launched a crackdown—on critics of Jerry Larpenter. The Intercept reports that six of Larpenter's deputies raided another police officer's home this week in a bid to find the author of the ExposeDAT blog, which calls itself... More »

Online Threats Against Cops Lead to Numerous Arrests

And that's bringing up free-speech concerns

(Newser) - People around the country are being arrested for anti-cop social media posts in the wake of last week's violence, and that's raising questions about the limits of free speech. A Connecticut man was charged with inciting injury when he called for the killing of police in a Facebook... More »

Man's Flag Burning Fires Up Internet, Gets Him Arrested

But it wasn't Bryton Mellott's free-speech exercise alone that brought the heat

(Newser) - In almost 30 years, the Urbana Police Department hasn't had to enforce a flag desecration statute on the books, but that changed Monday with the arrest of a 22-year-old Illinois man, Forbes reports. Bryton Mellott posted pictures on Facebook Sunday showing him burning the American flag (only one image... More »

Judge: Hotel Sex Parties Are Not Free Speech

A hotel owner sued a Connecticut town and police force and lost

(Newser) - A small Connecticut community that Patch.com reports is ranked 31st in the state for its number of Ashley Madison users (more than 5%) is making the news again, this time for prevailing in a lawsuit brought on by the owner of a hotel that allegedly hosted sex parties visible... More »

Let's Not Glorify Pamela Geller

Kathleen Parker: She isn't celebrating free speech, she's abusing it

(Newser) - Pamela Geller, the provocateur who organized the Muhammad cartoon contest that led to claims of the first ISIS attack on US soil, would have us believe that she's a stout defender of free speech. How sad the Founding Fathers must be, writes Kathleen Parker at the Washington Post . After... More »

Kansas Might Make It Easier to Prosecute Teachers

Educators may soon be on the hook for using 'harmful materials' in lesson plans

(Newser) - Kansas Democrats said they were caught "unprepared" by a discussion on a controversial bill, and now it's too late to make any amendments before it goes to a final vote. Senate Bill 56 would make it easier to prosecute teachers and school administrators in Kansas who use "... More »

French Police Question Boy, 8, Over Terrorism Remarks

He wouldn't participate in moment of silence at school

(Newser) - Just how on edge is France after the Charlie Hebdo attack ? This might provide a clue: Police in Nice questioned an 8-year-old boy for a half-hour because he refused to take part in a moment of silence at his school and instead praised terrorists, reports AFP . “In the... More »

French Comic Arrested for 'Defending' Paris Terrorist

Dieudonne held for controversial Facebook post: cops

(Newser) - Dieudonne M'bala M'bala has been accused of hate speech by his government before. Now the controversial French comedian has been arrested for "defending terrorism" after a Facebook post in which he appeared to be sympathizing with the man who killed four people in a kosher supermarket and... More »

Teen Punished for Saying 'Bless You' in School: Report

School says Kendra Turner caused disruption

(Newser) - A high school senior in Tennessee says she was placed in in-school suspension because she said "bless you" after a fellow student's sneeze. Kendra Turner tells WMCTV her teacher told her that "bless you" is language for church. "She said that we're not going to... More »

Court to Town: No, You Can't Outlaw Criticism

Town of Ruidoso banned 'negative' comments about government

(Newser) - Imagine a world where people could say only nice things at your local town meeting—by law. If that world sounds just a wee bit problematic to you, you're on the same page as US District Judge James Browning, who yesterday struck down a rule that the village of... More »

Big Supreme Court Rulings Are Coming

Decisions due on TV, environmental rules

(Newser) - It's a big week for the Supreme Court, which wraps up its term next Monday. We'll be hearing from the justices on a number of key cases that have been argued since January, ranging from ObamaCare to free speech. USA Today outlines the highlights; this week's decisions... More »

Church Pulls 'Hell' Sign After Police Probe

Attleborough Baptist Church's sign was seen as 'hateful'

(Newser) - A Baptist church has agreed to take down a sign about hell after police investigated the message as a "hate incident," reports the Daily Mail . It all started when a passerby in Norfolk, England, complained about the sign, which suggested non-Christians would burn in hell, showing flames below... More »

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