free speech

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Professor Who Decried 'Racist' Barbara Bush Gains Support

Including from a Fresno State lecturer demoted for a tweet about Trump

(Newser) - Free speech activists are lending support to a Fresno State professor threatened with possible disciplinary measures after referring to Barbara Bush as an "amazing racist," who is "still fabulous, thanks for checking in." Randa Jarrar on Wednesday tweeted "love to all of you who have... More »

Ingraham Returns to Fox, Goes Whole Hog on Free Speech

The 'Left' is trying to 'silence conservatives,' host said Monday night on 'The Ingraham Angle'

(Newser) - Laura Ingraham returned to her Fox News show Monday night, as promised by the network, after a week off from the controversy over her snarky tweet toward Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg. But although Ingraham didn't mention the hubbub directly, Deadline notes she was back Monday in "full... More »

One Country Just Banned 'Fake News'

But critics say Malaysia is really just muzzling media, putting lid on scandal ahead of elections

(Newser) - Malaysia passed a new law Monday prohibiting "fake news," a move critics fear will be used to silence dissent ahead of elections, reports the AP . Despite criticism from opposition lawmakers that the legislation will lead Malaysia closer to dictatorship, the bill was approved after heated debate, with 123... More »

Man Says Hometown Smells Like 'Rancid Dog Food,' Gets Sued

Josh Harms wins free-speech lawsuit

(Newser) - An Iowa man threatened by city officials with legal action for saying on a website that his hometown smelled like "rancid dog food" has won a free-speech lawsuit, the AP reports. Josh Harms, represented by the ACLU of Iowa, filed suit in US District Court earlier this month asking... More »

Florida Gadfly Beats the Odds, Gets Back to Supreme Court

Florida resident Fane Lozman returns with a different fight against his home city

(Newser) - Given how many cases the Supreme Court rejects, it's quite a coup if one of your own legal fights ends up being argued there. On Tuesday, Florida resident Fane Lozman had the odds-defying distinction of seeing his second case there in five years. The former commodities trader won his... More »

Comedian's Husband Sues After She Mentions Him in Show

She says he's trying to silence her

(Newser) - The future of comedy could depend on how much of a sense of humor British judges have when dealing with an unusual defamation lawsuit, legal experts say. Comedian Louise Beaumont says her estranged husband is suing her for mentioning him in her stand-up show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last... More »

America, Give Your Pastor the Finger With Impunity

Court overturns man's conviction for flipping the bird in church

(Newser) - Georgia's highest court has reversed the conviction of a man who was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after he held up his middle finger and shouted at his pastor during a service, the AP reports. The unanimous opinion issued Monday says David Freeman's behavior amounts to speech... More »

Wisconsin Mom Says Swearing at Son Is Free Speech

Ginger Breitzman is appealing jail sentence

(Newser) - The Wisconsin Supreme Court is deciding whether a mother's profane tirade against her 14-year-old son for burning popcorn amounted to free speech. Ginger Breitzman, 44, argued this week that her language wasn't inciting violence or a true threat and therefore is protected speech, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.... More »

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 »

Coulter Supporters Rally After Berkeley No-Show

Even some opponents voiced free-speech concerns

(Newser) - Ann Coulter didn't turn up in Berkeley Thursday night, where hundreds held a raucous but largely peaceful demonstration in her absence and lamented what they called the latest blow to free speech in the home of America's free speech movement. The conservative pundit's canceled appearance at the... 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 »

Court: No, You Can't Curse in Spanish on Your Vanity Plate

Free speech does not cover Maryland man's right to MIERDA

(Newser) - An appeals court has ruled that Maryland officials did not violate a driver's right to free speech by recalling a vanity license plate that displayed an offensive Spanish word. The Maryland Court of Appeals unanimously decided Friday that the words conveyed on a state-issued license plate constitute "private... 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 »

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