Tag: Freedom of Speech and Expression

The Fight Over Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is a bedrock of the modern American university. And lately, it seems to be coming under fire from all directions. For many scholars, the biggest danger is at public universities in Republican-controlled states like Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis has led the passage of laws that restrict what can be taught and spearheaded […]

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Amazon’s ‘Expats’ Was Filmed in Hong Kong, But People Can’t Watch It There

At the height of Hong Kong’s Covid restrictions, the government gave Nicole Kidman and several others a rare exemption from the weeks of hotel quarantine required for travelers so that they could film a series about the malaise of privileged expatriates. That series from Amazon Prime, “Expats,” which stars Ms. Kidman, aired its first two […]

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College Is All About Curiosity. And That Requires Free Speech.

I have served happily as a professor at Yale for most of my adult life, but in my four-plus decades at the mast, I have never seen campuses roiled as they’re roiling today. On the one hand are gleeful activists on the right, taking victory laps over the tragic tumble from grace of Harvard’s president, […]

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Barnard College’s Restrictions on Political Speech Prompt Outcry

Three weeks after the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Barnard College in New York posted a statement on its departmental website in support of the Palestinian people. Below the statement, the professors posted links to academic work supporting their view that the struggle of Palestinians […]

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New York City Schools Will Teach About Antisemitism and Islamophobia

New York City will offer new curriculum materials on antisemitism and Islamophobia in its public schools and train principals and teachers on how to have difficult conversations about politically charged issues, officials said on Monday in response to criticism that the system has done too little to address the Israel-Hamas war. In higher education, colleges […]

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When States Try to Take Away Americans’ Freedom of Thought

Universities have always been a home for the world’s great arguments. Professors and students are supposed to debate the issues of the moment, gaining understanding of the other side’s views, refining and strengthening their positions, and learning how to solve problems. Argument thrives in a culture of openness, and maintaining that culture ought to be […]

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Opposing D.E.I. Does Not Mean Opposing Diversity

There are few national conversations more frustrating than the fight over D.E.I. Short for “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” the term — like the related progressive concepts of wokeness and critical race theory — used to have an agreed-upon meaning but has now been essentially redefined on the populist right. In that world, D.E.I. has become […]

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Lawsuit Challenging University of California’s D.E.I. Statements Is Tossed

The Latest A federal judge threw out a lawsuit that challenged the University of California system’s requirement that applicants for faculty positions must file diversity statements. The court, which issued the ruling on Friday, did not rule on the merits, but said that the plaintiff lacked standing to sue because he never actually applied for […]

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M.I.T.’s President Has Weathered the Storm, for Now

As the presidents of Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania were pushed out of their jobs in recent weeks, it was an open question whether the president of another prestigious institution, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, would suffer the same fate. But Sally Kornbluth, who testified alongside her two colleagues in a tense congressional hearing […]

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Harvard President’s Resignation: The Word That Undid Claudine Gay

In retrospect, Claudine Gay’s fate was sealed by a single word. (She resigned the presidency of Harvard on Tuesday, just six months into her tenure.) It wasn’t “plagiarism” or “genocide” — the fearsome fighting words most publicly associated with her case — but rather a careful, neutral piece of language that struck some listeners as […]

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‘It’s State Propaganda’: Ukrainians Shun TV News as War Drags on

Since the early days of Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022, the people of Ukraine have had access to a single source of television news — an all-day broadcast packed with footage of Ukrainian tanks blasting Russian positions, medics operating near the frontline and political leaders rallying support abroad. The show, Telemarathon United News, has been […]

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They Said ‘I Do’ in a Moscow Prison

Nadezhda Shtovba did not wear a white dress to her wedding. There were no bridesmaids or groomsmen. She and her husband, Yegor, did not exchange wedding bands either — rings are banned in Butyrka prison. That is where Yegor Shtovba has spent the past 15 months in pretrial detention. In September 2022, he had read […]

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Wisconsin University Chancellor Fired Over Pornographic Videos With His Wife

The chancellor of a state university in Wisconsin was fired this week after posting pornographic videos with his wife online. The University of Wisconsin System’s Board of Regents unanimously decided to dismiss the chancellor, Joe Gow, who had led the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse since 2007 and was its longest-tenured leader since the 1960s. Carmen […]

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Columbia Symbolized Campus Strife Over the Israel-Hamas War. What Changed?

In the weeks after Oct. 7, Columbia University was the scene of rising tensions over the Israel-Hamas war on American college campuses. A Jewish student said he was assaulted after putting up posters of hostages. Pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian students accused one another of support for genocide in a series of heated protests and counter-protests. But […]

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Kerala Cinema Offers a Subtler View of India

It is an Indian film without song and dance. The lovers don’t share a word, their main interaction a fleeting moment of eye contact in the monsoon rain. There are no car chases and no action stunts. The men are vulnerable. They cry. And yet when “Kaathal — The Core,” a film in the Malayalam […]

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Substack Says It Will Not Ban Nazis or Extremist Speech

Under pressure from critics who say Substack is profiting from newsletters that promote hate speech and racism, the company’s founders said Thursday that they would not ban Nazi symbols and extremist rhetoric from the platform. “I just want to make it clear that we don’t like Nazis either — we wish no one held those […]

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Defending Free Speech Is Not ‘Moral Relativism’

This claim is a Christianized cousin of the secular idea that defending the free-speech rights of those with whom you vehemently disagree is, in essence, providing aid and comfort to racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia. In this view, your role as a citizen is first to determine whether any given speech meets with your moral […]

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Wang Gang’s Egg Fried Rice Video and Free Speech in China

The United States is entangled in an emotional debate about antisemitism and free speech on college campuses. The latest speech debate in China is about a chef’s video on how to make egg fried rice. Egg fried rice is a staple of Chinese home cooking and one of the first dishes many Chinese learn to […]

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Trump Asks Full D.C. Appeals Court to Review Gag Order in Election Case

Lawyers for former President Donald J. Trump asked the full federal appeals court in Washington on Monday to consider whether a gag order in the criminal case in which he stands accused of plotting to overturn the 2020 election should be further narrowed or thrown out. The request for a hearing in front of the […]

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Jeff Koons Killed Her Review

Koons did not reply to several requests for comment made by telephone and email to his studio and his gallery, Pace. Golan’s criticism of the Rail over the handling of her essay is one of several recent cases in which writers have accused a publication of yielding to pressure from a subject or killing a […]

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How ‘After School Satan Club’ Is Shaking Things Up

Earlier this week, a flier began circulating online about a new organization coming to Chimneyrock Elementary School in Cordova, Tenn., about 17 miles east of Memphis. “Hey Kids!” it read against a backdrop of colored pencils. “Let’s Have Fun at After School Satan Club.” The club was organized by The Satanic Temple, a group that […]

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Sag Harbor Santa Is Fired Over His Views on Israel-Hamas War

In the months since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, disputes over the boundaries of political expression have cost prominent people their jobs in fields like show business, publishing and academia. Last week, these clashes left another famous figure suddenly out of work: Santa Claus. This very 2023 Christmas tale took place in Sag Harbor, […]

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The Fall of Penn’s President Magill Brings Campus Free Speech to a Crossroads

The toppling of the University of Pennsylvania’s president, Elizabeth Magill — four days after her testimony before Congress on whether to punish students if they called for genocide — was a victory for those who believe that pro-Palestinian protesters have gone too far in their speech. To many Jews, protest slogans like “intifada revolution” and […]

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State Dept.’s Fight Against Disinformation Comes Under Attack

A Republican-led campaign against researchers who study disinformation online has zeroed in on the most prominent American government agency dedicated to countering propaganda and other information operations from terrorists and hostile nations. The agency, the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, is facing a torrent of accusations in court and in Congress that it has helped […]

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So Far, No Major Fallout for M.I.T. President After Contentious Testimony

While governing boards at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania weighed their presidents’ fates in tense closed-door meetings this month, the board at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology swiftly issued a statement of unequivocal support for its president, Sally Kornbluth. Faculty leaders, department heads and deans at M.I.T. soon followed with their own endorsements of […]

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Antisemitism and Free Speech Collide on Campuses

Nicholas Confessore contributed reporting. The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle […]

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Campus Speech Codes Should Be Abolished

The tentative, lawyerly answers given last week by three university presidents at a House committee hearing investigating the state of antisemitism on America’s college campuses have generated widespread revulsion across the partisan divide. When none of the presidents — representing Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania — could muster a […]

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Even in Washington, Weasel Words Will Only Get You So Far

Gail Collins: Hey Bret, would you hate it if I asked for a couple of predictions for 2024? Bret Stephens: Gail, it would be better if you asked me for my prediction for the year 2112. That way, hardly anybody will remember how wrong I was and I won’t be around for them to remind […]

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The Right and Wrong Ways to Deal with Campus Antisemitism

As I watched the presidents of Harvard, M.I.T. and the University of Pennsylvania struggle last week to respond to harsh congressional questioning about the prevalence of antisemitism on their campuses, I had a singular thought: Censorship helped put these presidents in their predicament and censorship will not help them escape. To understand what I mean, […]

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Penn’s President Resigns, After Her Responses About Antisemitism

The president of the University of Pennsylvania, M. Elizabeth Magill, resigned on Saturday, four days after her testimony at a congressional hearing in which she seemed to evade the question of whether students who called for the genocide of Jews should be disciplined. The announcement, in an email sent to the Penn community from Scott […]

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