take the yellow pill:

defend free speech

free speech basics

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects your right to speak and express. This means the government, in all its forms, has limited ability to stop you from expressing yourself.

protected speech

You are free to express a variety of messages and ideas in many ways.

 

This includes: new ideas, positive messages, knowledge and research, peaceful protest, curse words,  hate speech, offensive language, offensive messages, opinions, dissent, agreement, or indifference.

 

You can express via speech, silence, your attire, literature, and audio and visual media.

unprotected speech

Very few types of expression have been determined, by the Supreme Court, to fall out of the protections of the First Amendment. Speech is generally not protected in cases where the speech could arguably, or does, interfere with the rights of other people.

 

The following does not encompass all speech that can be censored, but provides a basis for understanding speech that is not protected by the First Amendment.

 

Obscenity:

Communicating offensive sexually explicit content that is without arguable literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

 

True Threats + Intimidation:

Communicating a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence.

 

Expressing a threat to a person or group of persons with the intent of placing the victim(s) in fear of bodily harm or death.

 

Inciting Imminent Lawless Action:

Expression attempting to convince receptive listeners to take immediate unlawful action.

 

Harassment:

Expression that is both unwelcome or discriminatory on the basis of gender or another protected status, and so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it can be said to deprive the victim(s) of access to or create a hostile environment.

time, place, manner

Although there are limited restrictions on content, speech and expression may be regulated by when, where, and how it occurs.

 

Policies and laws enacting speech zones, time frames, and noise or manner restrictions are generally constitutional. these regulations must be content-neutral when applied.

 

These types of laws and policies can be neutral peacekeeping tools or used as means to hinder, hide, or silence speakers.

fees + security

Speakers cannot be charged differing fees, based on the content of their speech, to speak in public venues.

 

Speakers generally have a right to safety and security while speaking. The cost of necessary security may not be pushed onto a speaker.

prior notice

Speakers do not have to provide prior notice to the government or to the public of their intent to speak.

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