Past Meetup

Do we need to tweak the "freedom of expression" part of the First Amendment?

This Meetup is past

17 people went

Carrollwood Cultural Center

4537 Lowell Road · Tampa, FL

How to find us

We meet on the second floor in the meeting room beside the elevator.

Location image of event venue


The First Amendment guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.

However, this was before Twitter and Facebook. So where is the line for free speech, and who gets to determine it?

Because of recent incidents, Facebook has updated it's policy:
"We do not allow hate speech on Facebook because it creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion and in some cases may promote real-world violence.

We define hate speech as a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disease or disability. We also provide some protections for immigration status. We define attack as violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation."

Should everyone be free to say anything? Apple, Facebook and Youtube, banned Jones from their platforms and removed his content. The companies’ actions had intensified mounting debate over the role of tech companies in policing controversial content on their platforms, while upholding the principle of free speech.

"The families of two children killed at the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut filed suits against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Tuesday. The families are seeking more than $1 million for defamation, relating to Jones' repeated claims on his widely popular radio show that the shooting was staged in order for left-wing politicians to push gun control laws.' This heartless and vile act of defamation reignited the Sandy Hook 'false flag' conspiracy and tore open the emotional wounds that [the family] has tried so desperately to heal,' the lawsuit for the family of deceased 6-year-old Jesse Heslin said.
Another, brought by the family of Noah Pozner, also 6 at the time, read: 'Our clients have been tormented for five years by Mr. Jones' ghoulish accusations that they are actors who faked their children's deaths as part of a fraud on the American people. Enough is enough.'

The charges relate to Jones' use of his Infowars radio program to continuously push the theory that the Sandy Hook shootings did not occur, even going so far as to say interviews with Pozner's mother had been doctored, and that she was lying about her son's death.
Both lawsuits allege that Jones' actions have inspired others to make death threats against their families.

Jones was faced with a similar suit in June 2017. The far-right radio host was sued by the owner of Washington DC pizzeria Comet Ping Pong after Jones' claims that the restaurant was at the center of a child-porn conspiracy dubbed "Pizzagate" prompted a man to threaten the pizzeria with a loaded rifle. In that instance, Jones retracted his claims and apologized."

Does Trump have the right to take away security clearances from his critics based on criticism of him? Or can he deny reporters from what he deems "fake news" organizations access to press conferences?

Can Twitter take down Trump's tweets when they contain obvious "falsehoods"?