Support the news

Figuring Out Free Speech At Harvard17:10
Download

Play
This article is more than 2 years old.

With guest host Anthony Brooks.

Harvard revokes acceptances from 10 students who shared offensive messages on Facebook. Are they curbing hate, or censoring free speech? A little of both?

Rowers paddle down the Charles River near the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., on March 7. (Charles Krupa/AP)
Rowers paddle down the Charles River near the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., on March 7. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Guests

Joan Vennochi, columnist at the Boston Globe. (@Joan_Vennochi)

Stuart Taylor, writer and co-author of "The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities." (@staylor5448)

From The Reading List

Harvard Crimson: Harvard Rescinds Acceptances for At Least Ten Students for Obscene Memes — "In the group, students sent each other memes and other images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children, according to screenshots of the chat obtained by The Crimson. Some of the messages joked that abusing children was sexually arousing, while others had punchlines directed at specific ethnic or racial groups. One called the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child 'piñata time.'"

Boston Globe: Harvard draws the line on free speech -- "Many will agree these students crossed a line and forfeited the right to engage in unfettered debate, at least at Harvard. But what’s the next line of unacceptability? What if a private Facebook chat involved a screed against Elizabeth Warren, expressed support for a Muslim travel ban, or labeled as fascist Harvard’s effort to ban social clubs? Private schools write their own discipline codes. But with this action, Harvard is sending a message with a classic free-speech chill: You can say anything — but not here."

WBUR: At Harvard, Memes — Good And Bad — Spark An Uproar — "As a matter of university policy, the decision to revoke offers of admission is final. But this decision leaves behind questions of where to draw the line in a campus environment that students like Morris describe as sometimes stifling in its policing of speech."

This segment aired on June 6, 2017.

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news