Social Media And Freedom Of Speech

1430 Words 6 Pages
The main issue in our case is the issue of freedom of speech. Josh posted his controversial opinion on social media, which did not threaten anyone but was a very rude thing to say. Though Josh had freedom of speech, his tweet could have been misinterpreted as a threat. Otherwise, it was not within the school’s right to suspend Josh over his choice of words. The social issues that are going on in this case are not only freedom of speech, but the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. According to various studies, 15 to 20 percent of students have experienced rape on college campuses throughout the country. Though Josh was not advocating for such a horrible crime, he did state that he thought female students were “asking for it.” There …show more content…
Now looking at the ethical issues, what Josh said is very out of line, but that does not mean that he should be punished for his words, especially if his words were said on social media and outside of school. Although there are several courses of action the school may take in addressing this issue, they decide a harsh, swift punishment is necessary. The dean of the university is immediately enraged by Josh’s comments about the women on campus. When Josh exclaims he acted righteously under his 1st amendment right of free speech, the dean acts out of anger and suspends Josh for an entire year. This course of action may come into ethical questioning. One view is that Josh was not incorrect in the fact that he was within his rights to post the comments. Although they may have been offensive and a bad representation of the university, he never issued any kind of direct threat from the tweet. Is it fair for Josh to be put on academic suspension for a whole year because the dean finds the tweet in poor taste and bad representation of the school? From a consequentialist perspective, does the punishment given to Josh reflect his actions? A consequentialist would most likely not take the side of …show more content…
Freedom of speech on college campuses is a major issue on college campuses today. What is the difference between hate speech and free speech? Josh’s comments could be considered hate speech. According to the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, the definition of hate speech is something that offends, threatens or insults different groups (Nockleby, p. 1277-1279.) With this definition of hate speech, one could see how Josh’s words could be taken as hate speech. Josh specifically called girls “teases” and commented that “they were asking for it.” The American Civil Liberties Union disagrees that it is wrong for universities to adapt codes or policies prohibiting speech that offends certain groups. They state, “The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects speech no matter how offensive its content. Speech codes adopted by government-financed state colleges and universities amount to government censorship, in violation of the Constitution. And the ACLU believes that all campuses should adhere to First Amendment principles because academic freedom is a bedrock of education in a free society.” So where is the line? One could argue that as long as the speech, hateful or not, doesn’t incite any violence, it is within someone’s legal right to say it. The First

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