Law When Does Free Speech Go Too Far?  

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8.5k votes 829 voters 7.1k 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

523 118
Inciting panic and violence with misinformation.

506 117
Threatening physical violence against another person or group.

458 141
Using it to limit someone else's free speech.

391 144
Recruiting for a terrorist group and espousing its beliefs (e.g. ISIS).

388 172
Passing off fake news as the truth when you have a large audience or platform.

217 276
Using slurs that apply to someone else's identity or group when you have a large audience.

Source and source

200 263
Espousing views that support the ideology of a known hate group.

175 254
Displaying known hate-group symbols.

207 336
Nothing; freedom of speech is absolute.

131 250
Using slurs that apply to someone else's identity or group.

128 280
Burning or desecrating a religious or political icon (e.g. the Bible or the American flag).

121 272
Criticizing or making fun of the children of political figures.

95 265
Criticizing someone's physical appearance as a punchline.

82 267
Promoting conspiracy theories when you have a large audience or platform.

60 274
Depicting religious figures when doing so is sacrilege (e.g. Muhammad).

58 286
Engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience (e.g. kneeling during the National Anthem).

46 279
Using slurs that apply to your own identity or group.

48 298
Criticizing the military.

50 325
Criticizing the government.