Law When Does Free Speech Go Too Far?  

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8.2k votes 797 voters 6.7k 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
506 113
Inciting panic and violence with misinformation.

Source

2
491 111
Threatening physical violence against another person or group.

Source

3
443 134
Using it to limit someone else's free speech.

Source

4
383 136
Recruiting for a terrorist group and espousing its beliefs (e.g. ISIS).

Source

5
379 167
Passing off fake news as the truth when you have a large audience or platform.

Source and source

6
212 266
Using slurs that apply to someone else's identity or group when you have a large audience.

Source and source

7
195 255
Espousing views that support the ideology of a known hate group.

Source

8
171 245
Displaying known hate-group symbols.

Source

9
202 326
Nothing; freedom of speech is absolute.

Source and source

10
129 241
Using slurs that apply to someone else's identity or group.

Source and source

11
124 273
Burning or desecrating a religious or political icon (e.g. the Bible or the American flag).

Source 

12
117 266
Criticizing or making fun of the children of political figures.

Source

13
92 258
Criticizing someone's physical appearance as a punchline.

Source

14
80 260
Promoting conspiracy theories when you have a large audience or platform.

Source

15
57 265
Depicting religious figures when doing so is sacrilege (e.g. Muhammad).

Source

16
55 279
Engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience (e.g. kneeling during the National Anthem).

Source and source

17
44 270
Using slurs that apply to your own identity or group.

Source

18
46 290
Criticizing the military.

Source

19
47 317
Criticizing the government.

Source