Tag: Freedom of Speech and Expression

Esper Claims Defense Dept. Is Improperly Blocking Parts of His Memoir

On Nov. 8, Mr. Esper emailed his successor, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, about his concerns. When he submitted the manuscript for review in May, Mr. Esper wrote, he was confident it contained nothing that was classified or compromised national security, a view he still holds. But when the office returned the manuscript to […]

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Hong Kong’s Pillar of Shame Is More Than a Statue

For nearly a quarter of a century, the Pillar of Shame has stood on the campus of Hong Kong University — a 26-foot-tall commemoration of the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Last month, the university ordered the pillar’s removal. The order is a striking blow in the government’s ongoing campaign to erase the memory […]

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My Book Was Censored in China. Now It’s Blacklisted — in Texas.

I am working on a book that is partly about race, and, as a liberal centrist, I am anticipating a critical reception from both the right and the left. Ideological censorship in the form of shunning, hate-mailing and cancellation has come to pervade both poles of American social politics, but I had in some ways […]

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Trying to Blur Memories of the Gulag, Russia Targets a Rights Group

MOSCOW — In the days after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the upheaval and uncertainty that gripped Russia were accompanied by a liberating climate of openness, in which free expression, historical examination and political dissent could flourish. But in the two decades since Vladimir V. Putin took power, the government has steadily rolled back […]

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The ‘Woke’ Student Is Just a Scapegoat

Last week news outlets and social media were abuzz with the announcement of plans to establish a university dedicated to the “fearless pursuit of truth” and “forbidden courses.” The new school, the University of Austin — not to be confused with the fully accredited public University of Texas at Austin — is being created by […]

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Conservatives Are Trying to Ban a Growing List of Books

Virginia’s Spotsylvania County School Board this week voted unanimously to have books with “sexually explicit” material removed from school library shelves. For two members of the school board, this didn’t go far enough; they wanted to see the books incinerated. “I’m sure we’ve got hundreds of people out there that would like to see those […]

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The Show Goes On, Even After China Tried to Shut It Down

BRESCIA, Italy — With a week to go before his first solo exhibition, the Chinese-Australian artist Badiucao was in head-down work mode: installing the show during the day, and sharpening hundreds of pencils with a knife at night. Set closely together, the pencils — 3,724 in all — were part of an installation in the […]

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Hong Kong’s M+ Museum Is Finally Open. It’s Already in Danger.

HONG KONG — M+, Hong Kong’s sprawling new contemporary art museum, ran into problems from the start. Billed as Asia’s premier visual institution, it was four years behind schedule and an undisclosed amount over budget. Several top executives departed during the decade-long development period. At one point, an 80-foot-wide sinkhole formed on the construction site. […]

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They Say Colleges Are Censorious. So They Are Starting a New One.

In the interview from his new headquarters in Austin, Dr. Kanelos said that “people are self-censoring and not having the kind of vivid discussions that used to be the hallmark of higher education — there’s just been a kind of flattening.” He said this was being felt not just by faculty but by students, “who […]

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Bans on Critical Race Theory Threaten Free Speech, Advocacy Group Says

Governments and school boards have wide leeway in setting curriculums in K-12 public schools, where courts have generally held that teachers do not have the same degree of academic freedom as those in universities. But many of these bills, PEN argues, are written so vaguely that they may chill a broad range of speech. “This […]

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Report Says Critical Race Theory Bans Threaten Free Speech

Governments and school boards have wide leeway in setting curriculums in K-12 public schools, where courts have generally held that teachers do not have the same degree of academic freedom as those in universities. But many of these bills, PEN argues, are written so vaguely that they may chill a broad range of speech. “This […]

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In Florida, a Firestorm Over Silenced University Professors Grows

A decision by the University of Florida to bar three professors from testifying in a lawsuit against the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis has ballooned into a political and public relations firestorm, one that could grow as other professors consider whether to step forward with stories of university pressure. Since Friday, when the university’s decision […]

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What to Do About Facebook, and What Not to Do

“At a minimum,” said Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor who is now one of its most vocal critics, regulators should ban second and third party uses of the most intimate data, “such as health, location, browser history and app data.” Privacy rules are one of the primary ways European regulators have attempted to curb […]

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Rivals on World Stage, Russia and U.S. Quietly Seek Areas of Accord

MOSCOW — It might seem as if little has changed for Russia and the United States, two old adversaries seeking to undercut each other around the world. Russian nuclear-capable missiles have been spotted on the move near Ukraine, and the Kremlin has signaled the possibility of a new intervention there. It has tested hypersonic cruise […]

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Florida Bars State Professors From Testifying in Voting Rights Case

Three University of Florida professors have been barred from assisting plaintiffs in a lawsuit to overturn the state’s new law restricting voting rights, lawyers said in a federal court filing in Friday. The ban is an extraordinary limit on speech that raises questions of academic freedom and First Amendment rights. University officials told the three […]

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How a Mistake by YouTube Shows Its Power Over Media

LONDON — The email subject line that arrived at 10:19 a.m. on Tuesday carried some of the worst information a small online news outlet can receive: “Novara Media we have removed your channel from YouTube.” Novara had spent years using YouTube to attract more than 170,000 subscribers for its left-leaning coverage of issues like climate […]

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Republicans Assail Garland Over Justice Department Schools Memo

Republicans berated Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on Wednesday over the Justice Department’s initiative to address threats of violence and harassment directed at school administrators, teachers and school board members, incidents that have increased as education has become a culture war battleground. The barrage of criticism from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee came one […]

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Facebook Is Bad. Fixing It Rashly Could Make It Much Worse.

The nicest thing you can say about the Health Misinformation Act, proposed in July by the Democratic senators Amy Klobuchar and Ben Ray Luján, is that it means well. The internet has been a key accelerant of widespread myths, misunderstandings and lies related to Covid-19; Klobuchar and Luján’s bill would force online companies like Facebook […]

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The Moral Chasm That Has Opened Up Between Left and Right Is Widening

This hypothesis, Voelkel and Brandt contend, has its roots in research that emphasizes that people’s thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors are strongly influenced by the ideological groups they identify with and is consistent with work suggesting that people’s ideological identifications function like a group identification. According to this view, liberals and conservatives may selectively and flexibly […]

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Victims of Charlottesville Rally Argue the Violence Was Planned

The violent rally started with a mob of men brandishing burning torches in the heart of an American city while chanting racist, antisemitic slogans, and it ended with a woman murdered, scarring a nation. Now, more than four years later, a civil trial starting on Monday in Charlottesville, Va., will revisit those unsettling events. The […]

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Long Arm of Russian Law Reaches Obscure Siberian Church

ABODE OF DAWN, Russia — High on a hilltop bathed in the autumnal colors of pine, birch and larch trees, Aleksei Demidov paused for a few minutes of quiet prayer. He was directing his thoughts to his religious teacher, known as Vissarion, hoping he might feel his energy. As he prayed, a cluster of small […]

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M.I.T.’s Choice of Lecturer Ignited Criticism. So Did Its Decision to Cancel.

CHICAGO — The Massachusetts Institute of Technology invited the geophysicist Dorian Abbot to give a prestigious public lecture this autumn. He seemed a natural choice, a scientific star who studies climate change and whether planets in distant solar systems might harbor atmospheres conducive to life. Then a swell of angry resistance arose. Some faculty members […]

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How the Nobel Peace Prize Laid Bare the Schism in Russia’s Opposition

MOSCOW — If you lived in Putin’s Russia, what compromises would you make? Dmitri A. Muratov, a Moscow newspaper editor, has made his choice. He accepts donations from a business tycoon with Kremlin connections, refuses to publish articles about the personal lives of the Russian elite, and has petitioned President Vladimir V. Putin to help […]

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A Blackface ‘Othello’ Shocks, and a Professor Steps Back From Class

“Of course, facing criticism for my misjudgment as a professor here is nothing like the experience that many Chinese professors faced during the Cultural Revolution,” he wrote. “But it feels uncomfortable that we live in an era where people can attempt to destroy the career and reputation of others with public denunciation. I am not […]

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What Does a University Owe Democracy?

And, perhaps most serious of all, “an unmistakable pulse of dogmatism has surfaced on campus.” Though Daniels doesn’t think there’s a full-blown speech crisis on campus, he recognizes that something is badly amiss when, according to a 2020 Knight Foundation survey, 63 percent of college students feel “the climate on their campus prevents some people […]

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Lawmakers See Path to Rein in Tech, but It Isn’t Smooth

WASHINGTON — “Facebook and Big Tech are facing a Big Tobacco moment,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, said this week when a whistle-blower testified about how the social media company’s products harmed teenagers. “I think that that’s an appropriate analogy,” Senator Cynthia Lummis, Republican of Wyoming, added later. The whistle-blower’s testimony, and the thousands […]

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What if We’ll Never Truly Be Free?

Produced by ‘The Ezra Klein Show’ Maggie Nelson is a poet, critic and cultural theorist whose work includes the award-winning 2016 book “The Argonauts.” Her newest work, “On Freedom,” pierces right into the heart of America’s founding idea: What if there’s no such thing as freedom, at least not freedom as a state of enduring […]

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I Designed Algorithms at Facebook. Here’s How to Regulate Them.

That era seems quaint now. Our social media feeds are full of unbidden and fringe content, thanks to social media’s embrace of two key technological developments: personalization, spurred by mass collection of user data through web cookies and Big Data systems, and algorithmic amplification, the use of powerful artificial intelligence to select the content shown […]

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Lars Vilks, Known for Muhammad Caricature, Dies in Crash in Sweden

Lars Vilks, an artist and free speech activist whose cartoon depiction of the Prophet Muhammad on the body of a dog in 2007 made him the target of numerous assassination attempts, was killed in a car crash in Sweden on Sunday, the police said. Mr. Vilks, who had been under police protection since 2010, was […]

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Cancel Culture: Are We Overreacting?

Joel FeiginGoleta, Calif.The writer is professor emeritus of music composition at the University of California Santa Barbara. To the Editor: Michelle Goldberg argues that older liberals complaining about cancel culture are upset because they used to be cool young lefties and now they aren’t. There is surely some truth to this. At least at universities, […]

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