Freedom of speech is fundamental in a democratic society. It means that a person or a community can express their opinion or ideas without fear of retaliation or censorship. But what happens when the opinions expressed are unpopular, violent or dangerous? Whether expressed in person, or through social media, words can have a powerful effect on our sense of safety, inclusion or exclusion, and equality or inequality. What is “hate speech?” Who decides what speech is protected, and what is not? Who regulates social media content? What is the impact on individuals and communities who are silenced? Explore the complex history of first amendment freedoms of speech, expression and assembly in America.
Gail Rhodes is a PhD student and an adjunct professor at the Cronkite School with more than 16 years of professional experience working as a television reporter. She worked for the Fox Sports Network in Chicago and helped to launch the Comcast Sports Network. Rhodes has been an adjunct professor for Cronkite since 2014, where she teaches advanced television sports reporting, and advanced topics in sports media. Her doctoral studies focus on the intersection of sports culture, media and society.