• Politics

When Does Free Speech Go Too Far?

List RulesVote up the cases in which you believe free speech does not apply. Vote down the cases that you believe should be protected.

Like most things US Constitution-related, interpretations of the First Amendment – particularly what constitutes free speech – are both abundant and varied. The staunchest constitutionalists might tell you that there is no limit to freedom of speech; that's the point of ensuring it in the first place. Others, however, might say that there's a clear and definitive difference between free speech and hate speech, and the latter is not protected by the former.

Free speech becomes even murkier to interpret when things like comedy, religion, and patriotism are considered alongside it. Are there inappropriate or indefensible uses of free speech? Are there instances or situations where it doesn't apply?

Vote up any situations to which you believe free speech does not apply.

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  • 1
    670
    157

    Threatening physical violence against another person or group.

  • 2
    667
    171

    Inciting panic and violence with misinformation.

  • 3
    604
    189

    Using it to limit someone else's free speech.

  • 4
    526
    180

    Recruiting for a terrorist group and espousing its beliefs (e.g. ISIS).

  • 5
    501
    223

    Passing off fake news as the truth when you have a large audience or platform.

  • 6
    295
    362

    Using slurs that apply to someone else's identity or group when you have a large audience.

  • 7
    264
    345

    Espousing views that support the ideology of a known hate group.

  • 8
    249
    340

    Displaying known hate-group symbols.

  • 9
    278
    402

    Nothing; freedom of speech is absolute.

  • 10
    181
    334

    Using slurs that apply to someone else's identity or group.

  • 11
    161
    362

    Criticizing or making fun of the children of political figures.

  • 12
    164
    379

    Burning or desecrating a religious or political icon (e.g. the Bible or the American flag).

  • 13
    144
    339

    Promoting conspiracy theories when you have a large audience or platform.

  • 14
    138
    353

    Criticizing someone's physical appearance as a punchline.

  • 15
    95
    374

    Depicting religious figures when doing so is sacrilege (e.g. Muhammad).

  • 16
    84
    403

    Engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience (e.g. kneeling during the National Anthem).

  • 17
    66
    369

    Using slurs that apply to your own identity or group.

  • 18
    74
    411

    Criticizing the military.

  • 19
    71
    441

    Criticizing the government.