Posts Tagged: free speech

David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: 21 Poems That Shaped America (Pt. 12): “Shine, Perishing Republic”

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Vive le resistance déjà vu, you say? Are we only a nation that forgets, a United States of Obliviousness?

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Liberal Censorship

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In May, Portland’s school board voted to ban textbooks that questioned the severity and human causes of climate change, drawing criticism not only from the right, but from free-speech advocates as well: “Social studies texts accurately describing the political debate around fossil fuels and climate change, for instance, would presumably contain comments from individuals who […]

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Peter Thiel’s War on Free Speech: A Rumpus Roundup

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Last week, tech billionaire Peter Thiel admitted to funding lawsuits against Gawker Media, including the lawsuit brought by Hulk Hogan. Hogan won a $140 million judgment against Gawker after the site published a small portion of a recording of Hogan having sex with a friend’s wife and talking about eating too much sushi. Suspicions of […]

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Reading the Fine Print

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Traditional publishers provide many services for authors, including fact-checking and obtaining permission for intellectual property. Self-publishing platforms don’t provide these services, and because of a recent court ruling, aren’t responsible for mistakes made by authors. The National Law Review looks at the landmark case, and how it removes liability for the publishing platforms: The ruling […]

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Playboy to Focus on Writing

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Ray Bradbury, Joseph Heller, Margaret Atwood, Jack Kerouac, and Kurt Vonnegut all found homes for their stories in Playboy. Now the publication better known for the highly photoshopped pictures of naked women plans to focus on its articles—by March 2016, the magazine will do away with nude pictures. Playboy’s articles have always been a source of […]

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Who Watches the Watchmen (and Women)?

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The New Yorker looks at books that examine the blurry lines around intolerance, political correctness, and free speech. The authors ask if the very people policing intolerance and hate speech are themselves being intolerant and stifling free speech: [The authors] argue that what might seem like hypersensitivity is actually a form of political combat. Borrowing from […]

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Ellen Pao: A Rumpus Roundup

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On Friday, Ellen Pao resigned as CEO of Reddit, one of the largest sites in the world by traffic. She left amid a controversy created by efforts to civilize an online community often seen as hostile towards women and other groups. Reddit is more than just a singular message board system. It is comprised of […]

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Lost in Translation, Lost in Context

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PEN America generated quite a controversy when it decided to honor French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo. Six authors called for a boycott of the gala and circulated a petition slamming the organization. Other authors, like Salman Rushdie, criticized the critics. Despite all the back-and-forth, the one perspective that seemed missing from the discussion was that […]

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Controversial Comics

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Cartoonists tend to stick together because they have to; . . . their work is disproportionately singled out for suppression both abroad and in the U.S., while at the same time often regarded as not “serious” enough to deserve a full-throttle defense. Neil Gaiman, Art Spiegelman, and Alison Bechdel talk with Salon about why they […]

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Rushdie Slams Withdrawn PEN Panelists

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PEN America announced on Sunday their intention to honor Charlie Hebdo’s surviving staff with the Freedom of Expression Courage award at their May 5 Gala. The novelists Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner, and Taiye Selasi have withdrawn as hosts of the ceremony, claiming the French magazine promotes hate speech and […]

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This is Solidarity

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Author V.V. Ganeshananthan reflects on her choice to attend the 2009 Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka, just 500 kilometers from violent conflict. Ganeshananthan explains why she “refused to disappear” despite a boycott of the festival organized by Reporters Without Borders, protesting the suppression of free speech in that country. She asks, “If my brother […]

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