Law When Does Free Speech Go Too Far?  

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8.3k votes 814 voters 7k views 19 items

List Rules Vote 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.

list ordered by

1
513 117
Inciting panic and violence with misinformation.

Source

2
499 114
Threatening physical violence against another person or group.

Source

3
450 139
Using it to limit someone else's free speech.

Source

4
388 141
Recruiting for a terrorist group and espousing its beliefs (e.g. ISIS).

Source

5
385 170
Passing off fake news as the truth when you have a large audience or platform.

Source and source

6
216 270
Using slurs that apply to someone else's identity or group when you have a large audience.

Source and source

7
198 259
Espousing views that support the ideology of a known hate group.

Source

8
173 250
Displaying known hate-group symbols.

Source

9
203 333
Nothing; freedom of speech is absolute.

Source and source

10
130 246
Using slurs that apply to someone else's identity or group.

Source and source

11
125 278
Burning or desecrating a religious or political icon (e.g. the Bible or the American flag).

Source 

12
118 271
Criticizing or making fun of the children of political figures.

Source

13
93 263
Criticizing someone's physical appearance as a punchline.

Source

14
82 263
Promoting conspiracy theories when you have a large audience or platform.

Source

15
57 271
Depicting religious figures when doing so is sacrilege (e.g. Muhammad).

Source

16
56 283
Engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience (e.g. kneeling during the National Anthem).

Source and source

17
44 276
Using slurs that apply to your own identity or group.

Source

18
46 296
Criticizing the military.

Source

19
49 321
Criticizing the government.

Source