Often, yours truly has expounded (okay, ranted) upon the term “narrative,” which is just an artful euphemism for “lie.” A device drawn from fiction, as opposed to non-fiction, it facilitates lying by eliding the need for providing the facts and proving the truth of one’s assertions. Consequently, it is a boon to propagandists, who can harp on a “narrative” ad nauseum to provoke and persuade the public to do as the purveyor of the lie seeks.Read More
Free speech has long been one of the most sacred American values. Until recently, commitment to free speech in general was bipartisan and widespread. Almost every American from every political persuasion valued free speech.
There used to be some debate on the margins. Conservatives were wary of extending free speech protection to corrosive things like pornography, and liberals were wary of official speech endorsing religion. But, as recently as the 1990s, neither side believed its opponent should be censored, and the idea of exempting “hate speech” from the normal rule against censorship did not have much traction.Read More
President Joe Biden’s administration has recently taken unprecedented action to exert influence over Americans’ digital lives, including broadband internet, net neutrality, social media and artificial intelligence (AI).Read More
Free speech battles over Hamas terrorism against Israeli civilians and the Jewish state’s military response aren’t just roiling college campuses such as New York University, which is investigating its law school’s student body president for using her office to blame Israel.Read More
The Supreme Court on Friday took up Missouri v. Biden, the free speech case challenging the Biden administration’s efforts to censor content on social media, while issuing a pause on a preliminary injunction granted by a lower court.
Republican attorneys general from Missouri and Louisiana sued the Biden administration over its communications with social media companies related to the suppression of online speech, arguing it violated the First Amendment. District of Louisiana Judge Terry A. Doughty issued an injunction in July blocking certain parts of President Joe Biden’s administration from colluding with social media platforms to censor content online. The Supreme Court paused the injunction, but agreed to take up the case, according to the court order.Read More
A Space Force reservist filed a lawsuit against the Air Force, Space Force and the Department of Defense on Tuesday alleging he faced unlawful punishment for speaking out against cancel culture and progressive policies during a private event.
First Liberty Institute, law firm Winston & Strawn and the Ave Maria School of Law Veterans and Servicemembers Law Clinic filed the lawsuit on behalf of Jace Yarbrough, who in 2021 was invited to speak at a retirement ceremony for SMSgt Duane Fish allegedly in a personal capacity, according to a press release. After an unnamed Navy member present at the ceremony complained about the contents of the speech, the Air Force censured Yarbrough, now a Major in the Air Force Reserve and attorney.Read More
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) released a survey Wednesday that revealed a hostile free speech environment at colleges and universities.
Among students, 56% expressed concern about their reputation being damaged because of someone misunderstanding something they’ve said or done, according to the survey. The survey also revealed that attempts to de-platform speakers that students don’t like at the worst five campuses for speech had an 81% success rate and that de-platformings are on the rise on campuses, with 52 incidents in 2022, up from 36 in 2021.Read More
Elon Musk purchased Twitter vowing to make it friendlier to free speech, and repeatedly aired its dirty laundry through the release of the Twitter Files that chronicled past censorship efforts. But months later with the 2024 election on the horizon, the company now known as X is in the market for applicants for some disinformation-fighting jobs.
And that has some free-speech advocates alarmed.Read More
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Thursday that favors the request of the National Institute of Family Life Advocates (NIFLA) to block Illinois’ new law targeting pro-life pregnancy ministries.
Judge Iain D. Johnston, of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, issued a preliminary injunction in the case of National Institute of Family Life Advocates v. Raoul to put a halt to Illinois’ new law.Read More
The National Institute for Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), in conjunction with two Vermont pregnancy centers and their attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), have filed a complaint against the state of Vermont “for the unconstitutional attack launched against pregnancy centers in the state” resulting from a law that “suppresses the free-speech rights of faith-based pregnancy centers,” ADF said in a press release.
ADF attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday that describes the case as “a challenge by pro-life pregnancy services centers and their membership organization to a state law that unconstitutionally restricts the centers’ speech and provision of services.”Read More
“If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history.”
That is what federal judge Terry Doughty wrote in his decision ordering a number of Biden administration officials and agencies from communicating censorship requests to social media companies.Read More
Robert Kennedy, Jr. is an expert on government suppression of free speech, just not in the way that many who are only familiar with him since 2020 may think.Read More
Charges were dropped this week regarding Christian street preacher Damon Atkins who was arrested for speaking negatively about an LGBTQ pride-flag-raising he attended at Reading, Pennsylvania City Hall on Saturday.
“After review of the video of the incident, including body-worn cameras, and a review of the case law, we did not believe we could prove a criminal case of disorderly conduct,” Berks County’s District Attorney’s office said in a statement.Read More
The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston denied 12-year-old Liam Morrison’s request this week for a temporary injunction or restraining order to block his school from prohibiting expression of his view that “there are only two genders” before the court issues its final decision. “MFI [Massachusetts Family Institute] recently filed suit to vindicate the rights of this brave Middleborough 7th-grader to wear a shirt to school that simply stated ‘There Are Only Two Genders,’” the pro-family organization said in a press statement sent to The Star News Network. “After being censored by his school, Liam’s case went viral. MFI has partnered with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to file a federal lawsuit against the school.”Read More
The Pennsylvania State University has reportedly yet to answer a Philadelphia-based free-speech nonprofit’s request that the school confirms adherence to freedom of association.
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) asked Penn State to do so after a brief disagreement this spring between administrators and the College Independents. This student group hosts political discussions featuring “a wide variety of viewpoints.”Read More
In his report Wednesday that the University of Colorado (CU Boulder) is facing backlash for a statement on its “Pride Office” website that claims misgendering people can be considered an “act of violence,” legal scholar Jonathan Turley observed that when schools declare opposing views to be “violence,” they allow professors and students to “rationalize their own acts of violence or censorship.”Read More
Massachusetts middle school student Liam Morrison was reportedly told again to remove his shirt Friday, one that said, “There Are Censored Genders,” which he wore to protest his school’s alleged decision to censor his right to free speech.
Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) said it is now preparing to take legal action on behalf of Liam and his parents “to vindicate Liam’s right to speak truth in a culture inundated by lies.”Read More
A federal court on Wednesday ruled that local authorities wrongly forbade political activists from gathering candidate-petition signatures at Fort Hunter Park in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Last June, the Keystone Party of Pennsylvania’s candidate for state House District 104 Dave Kocur worked alongside party board member Kevin Gaughen in asking park visitors to sign petitions to get Kocur on the ballot. Park security guards directed them to stop. After the activists refused, citing their constitutional right to free expression in a public forum, Dauphin County Parks Director Anthea Stebbins ordered them to desist, explaining that the county disallows any political activity at Fort Hunter.Read More
A Pennsylvania legislator is asking her colleagues cosponsor a measure to police “unwelcome” speech on social-media platforms.
In a memorandum describing her emerging bill, state Representative Darisha Parker (D-Philadelphia) wrote that her policy “would require social media network companies to establish and maintain effective and transparent complaint procedures for reporting hate speech content.” She further stated the legislation would “mak[e] it clear that hate speech is unwelcome on social media in Pennsylvania.”Read More
On Wednesday, hundreds stopped by Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) tables on 9th Street in South Philadelphia this weekend for two things Philadelphia has generated lots of over the years: cheesesteaks and liberty.
FIRE, a Philadelphia-based institution since its founding in 1999, held the “Free Cheesesteaks for Free Speech” event as part of a larger $3.1-million pro-free-expression campaign featuring broadcast ads, billboards and digital promotions. The group, which initially focused on fighting speech restrictions on college campuses and recently broadened its mission to include other forums, hopes the effort will raise awareness of ongoing battles to honor the text and the spirit of the First Amendment.Read More
S.686, the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act or the appropriately titled “RESTRICT Act” could be used to censor any website in America, not just TikTok.Read More
After two Pennsylvania lawmakers last week called for cancelling upcoming conservative appearances at the University of Pittsburgh, a politically diverse array of voices are responding in favor of free speech.
Representatives Jessica Benham (D-Carrick) and Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), who co-chair the state House LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, denounced the state-related university for permitting the presence of speakers who oppose liberal views of transgenderism. The guests they find objectionable include Cabot Phillips, senior editor of the The Daily Wire news organization, who is scheduled to speak this Friday; Riley Gaines, a former college swimmer and critic of biological males competing in women’s sports, who will appear on March 27; and Michael Knowles, a Daily Wire commentator, who will debate transgender economist Deirdre McCloskey on April 18. All speakers are being sponsored by student-led associations.Read More
College campuses in recent years have created “bias response teams” to respond to student concerns over bias or controversial speech, with hundreds of them established nationwide.
However, free speech advocates have challenged the legitimacy of the teams, fearing that they can chill or limit constitutionally protected speech.Read More
SOMERS, Connecticut – Stanford University School of Medicine Professor Jay Bhattacharya, M.D. said in an interview with The Star News Network Friday that Americans “should be asking” whether diagnostic code data now being utilized to identify patients who were either never vaccinated or not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be used “illegitimately.”
Bhattacharya responded to a question about the recent implementation in the United States of new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) diagnostic codes that requires doctors at clinics and hospitals to ask patients about their COVID mRNA vaccination status.Read More
A free speech watchdog group Thursday morning named several prominent colleges and universities to its list of the top ten worst colleges in the country for freedom of speech based on specific times the institutions reportedly violated students’ and faculties’ rights.
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) named Hamline University, Collin College, Emerson University, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Loyola University New Orleans (NOLA), Texas A&M, Pennsylvania State University, Emporia State University, Tennessee Tech University and the University of Oregon as the worst institutions for free speech in its 12th annual report, shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. The report detailed the worst cases of censorship the watchdog faced at higher education institutions in 2022.Read More
After the tiered releases of the Twitter files, many suspicions have been thoroughly confirmed. Namely, social media monopolies like Facebook and Twitter worked hand-in-glove with the FBI, as well as other government agencies, to suppress accounts and censor stories they jointly deemed misinformation, disinformation, or otherwise harmful to the country during the 2020 election.
The most significant malfeasance arises from the coordinated campaign to suppress the New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop. The laptop exposed in great detail Hunter’s dissolute lifestyle, along with his role as the family “bag man” for various overseas financial interests.Read More
In a speech this past week, former President Donald Trump vowed that if reelected he will make a point of ending the federal government’s censorship of Americans’ free speech.Read More
America’s increasingly powerful Spanish-language media outlets have largely ignored coverage of critical free speech issues, such as Twitter’s censorship of the New York Post ‘s investigation into Hunter Biden’s laptop, and in instead they have focused on stories that negatively expose Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, according to an analysis of ADN America.Read More
The University of Idaho (U of I) paid $90,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by three Christian students and a faculty advisor who claimed the university violated their right to free speech.
The lawsuit was filed after the university issued no-contact orders prohibiting Peter Perlot Mark Miller and Ryan Anderson, all members of the Christian Legal Society (CLS), and faculty advisor Professor Richard Seamon from interacting with a law student who disagreed with a CLS requirement that all members define marriage as between a man and a woman, according to the lawsuit’s text. U of I rescinded the no-contact orders in a settlement in favor of the legal society, ADF announced in Wednesday’s press release.Read More
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments starting next week in what could be a landmark case centered on a Colorado small business owner’s free speech rights.
Lorie Smith, owner of graphic design company 303 Creative in Littleton, Colo., is challenging the state’s public-accommodation law, which she argues is compelling her speech. Smith wishes to create wedding websites only for straight couples, citing her religious beliefs.Read More
Pennsylvania state Representative Christopher Rabb (D-Philadelphia) this week proposed a bill to establish an “Election Integrity Board” that would monitor politicians rhetoric regarding electoral matters and “combat” what the panel deems “disinformation.”
In a memorandum seeking cosponsors for his legislation, the far-left lawmaker who represents Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy neighborhoods lamented the nomination in the 2022 primary of over 100 individuals he considers “election-denying candidates.” He blasted them for asserting what he insists are “unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud” and opined that “our elections are highly secure.” He suggested that politicians and hopefuls who raise concerns about such issues create unnecessary doubt in the minds of the electorate.Read More
United States Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) hit the airwaves to connect the recent assault on Paul Pelosi with “fascism” and “white nationalism.” She insists that both are now ubiquitous. And both prompt increasing politically motivated violence. (Ocasio-Cortez remains oblivious to the greatest sustained political violence in our recent history; the 120 days of Black Lives Matter and Antifa-fueled rioting, arson, looting, and mayhem of summer and fall 2020—often cheered on or defended by public officials and social media.)
The deplorable violent attack on Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), has been described as the logical reification of increasing bitter political discourse. Shrill accusations spread even as full details of the attack are still not known. But the general picture of the assailant is one of an unhinged conspiracy freak of all flavors. He seems to have been a lunatic, drug-crazed white supremacist and anti-Semite, a former hemp jeweler, and nudist, who was either homeless or was living in a cluttered hippie-like commune in Berkeley plastered with pride and BLM flags.Read More
On the day Elon Musk took over Twitter, the social media platform flagged a post by Just the News Editor-in-Chief John Solomon aboutt Florida Gov. GOP Ron DeSantis’ administration asking for a police probe into a Democrat politician’s whistleblower complaint about voting irregularities.
Solomon argues Twitter action Thursday night unfairly flagged the post – with the note “Warning: this link may be unsafe” – and is asking Musk, who has vowed to stop the platform from unjustly censuring content, to intervene.Read More
Two California doctors filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to block a California law signed by Governor Gavin Newsom (D) last week that threatens the free speech rights of physicians to provide full informed consent to their patients about the risks of COVID-19 mRNA shots and benefits of early treatment with off-label drugs.
The new law threatens to punish doctors who do not support the government’s established narrative, called the “scientific consensus,” on COVID-19 with revocation of their license, and livelihood.Read More
National medical associations that have been infiltrated by radical leftists wrote to Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland this week requesting the Department of Justice (DOJ) “do more” to block the views of those who spread “disinformation” regarding transgender surgeries for minors and to “take swift action to investigate and prosecute all organizations, individuals, and entities responsible.”
Journalist and author Christopher Rufo posted the letter from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Children’s Hospital Association to Garland.Read More
The private consortium that reported election “misinformation” to tech platforms during the 2020 election season, in “consultation” with federal agencies, targeted several news organizations in its dragnet.
Websites for Just the News, New York Post, Fox News, Washington Examiner, Washington Times, Epoch Times and Breitbart were identified among the 20 “most prominent domains across election integrity incidents” that were cited in tweets flagged by the Election Integrity Partnership and its collaborators.Read More
Oh, look! The liberals are interested in free speech all of a sudden.
It took state legislatures’ passage of laws to shield little kids from indoctrination on transgenderism — not to mention on hating America — to rouse the Left from its censorious stupor, but now its various mouthpieces are voicing outrage over the “inconsistency” of the attempts of conservatives — the paladins of free speech — to limit what can be taught in public school classrooms. Are those Emersonian hobgoblins we see dancing about?Read More
Documents obtained by America First Legal (AFL) reveal “concrete evidence” of how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) colluded with the social media giants to promote the Biden administration’s COVID-19 propaganda and censor Americans’ free speech, AFL reports.Read More
The Biden Administration’s Department of Education (DOE) is making plans to reverse Title IX regulations that had been implemented by the Trump Administration to more greatly protect free speech rights in education.
The Daily Caller reports that the soon-to-be-unveiled rewrite by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), focusing on Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, will roll back the Trump-era rules dictating that public schools, from K-12 to college, must investigate claims of sexual misconduct in a fair an unbiased manner. The rules implemented by President Trump allowed greater rights to both the accused and the accuser in such cases, including the right to be represented by counsel, the ability to cross examine witnesses, and the presumption of innocence.Read More
An increasingly disturbing feature of American politics is the routine suppression of major news stories that reflect poorly on candidates favored by the Fourth Estate. The most egregious example in recent years occurred in October of 2020 when corporate news outlets and social media platforms colluded to bury a New York Post article on Hunter Biden. Fortunately, some stories just aren’t susceptible to such censorship. Inflation is a case in point. It can’t be hidden from the voters because soaring prices shout the bad news from every grocery store shelf and gas pump in the nation.Read More
In 2018, Congress unanimously passed legislation, H.R. 3359, that authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to disseminate information to the private sector including Big Tech social media companies in a bid to combat disinformation by potential foreign and domestic terrorists.
According to the agency’s website, CISA says it “rout[es] disinformation concerns” to “appropriate social media platforms”: “The [Mis, Dis, Malinformation] MDM team serves as a switchboard for routing disinformation concerns to appropriate social media platforms and law enforcement.”Read More
Pennsylvania State Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Philadelphia) this week announced to colleagues his proposal for public funding of some state-legislative campaigns.
The measure would require a candidate to have raised at least $10,000 from “small-dollar donors,” meaning those who have contributed between $1 and $200. State Rep. Boyle would allocate payments to hopefuls amounting to six times the total small-dollar contributions they’ve amassed.Read More
Over half of the U.S.’s private and public colleges encourage students to snitch on each other, according to a report released Monday by a free speech non-profit.
Of the 821 higher education institutions surveyed, 56% of them are reported to have some form of a “Bias Reporting System” (BRS), according to the report from Speech First (SF), a free speech member organization. The report surveyed 441 private schools, or 23% of all private four year colleges in the U.S. and 380 public schools, or 49% of the country’s four-year public universities.Read More
When the far-right website Infowars was banned by all the major tech platforms in 2018, mainstream media outlets didn’t come to the defense of founder Alex Jones, whom they described as a conspiracy theorist.
Two years later, the same outlets had a similar non-response when Big Tech imposed another media ban — this one on the New York Post, one of America’s oldest and most well-established newspapers.Read More
Here’s your first clue Twitter is not really a business with a fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value – when Elon Musk made a public offer to buy the company for $54.20 a share (roughly $40 billion) the company’s management not only turned down the offer, but began to work on a poison pill defense aimed solely at Mr. Musk, who is already Twitter’s largest shareholder.
According to reporting by the New York Times, some investors and Wall Street analysts said that Mr. Musk’s offer of $54.20 a share was too low, and that he would need to go to at least $60 a share to appeal to shareholders. That would be 25 percent higher than the share price when Mr. Musk announced this month that he had acquired a 9 percent stake in Twitter.Read More
In a refreshing religious liberty result from the world of academia, free speech won and preferred pronouns lost.
A professor at Shawnee State University, in Portsmouth, Ohio, will be able to honor his conscience as a Christian who believes God created human beings as male and female and that a person’s sex cannot change, and will not be required by the school to compromise that belief when addressing students.Read More
In a move that has sent shockwaves through Silicon Valley, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk, who became Twitter’s largest shareholder Monday, will now be a member of the company’s board of directors.
“I’m excited to share that we’re appointing [Musk] to our board! Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board,” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said Tuesday.Read More
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has questioned Twitter’s commitment to free speech, has taken a 9% stake in the social media platform, making him its largest shareholder.
Musk bought 73.5 million shares worth $2.9 billion, based on the closing price Friday, the Associated Press reported Monday.
However, what Musk intends to do as a result of the purchase remains unclear.Read More
A free speech event hosted at Yale University that featured both conservative and progressive speakers was shouted down last week by over 100 far-left radicals from the university’s law school.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the panel was hosted on March 10th by the Yale Federalist Society, and featured Monica Miller of the left-wing American Humanist Association, and Kristen Waggoner of the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom. The purpose of the panel was to demonstrate that even two activists with such different political beliefs could agree on several things when it comes to the assault on freedom of speech in America today, as both groups had been involved in at least one Supreme Court case together dealing with violations of the First Amendment, when the Court sided with a Christian student in a Georgia university who was initially forbidden from preaching on campus.Read More
Pennsylvania state Rep. Mike Puskaric (R-Jefferson Hills) indicated Wednesday he will urge state agencies to ditch social-media platforms he says engage in censorship.
In a memorandum asking fellow representatives to cosponsor his upcoming resolution, the Pittsburgh-area legislator argued that especially large information-technology companies violate the state and federal constitutions when they make politicized publishing decisions. He insisted government institutions and officials should respond by cancelling their accounts on such sites and signing onto more permissive online venues instead.Read More