Free Speech Week


Gene Policinski is chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and senior vice president of the Institute’s First Amendment Center. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @genefac.

October 22nd is Free Speech Week 2015—and a major debate over free speech has just broken out.

Thanks to the First Amendment, we are free to compliment, cajole, deny or decry. And if you’re looking for something immediate that calls out for more free and unfettered discussion, join this newest national debate over anonymous speech on the web.

On Wednesday, a coalition of women’s and civil rights groups announced a campaign to pressure colleges, through the U.S. Department of Education, to go on the offensive—pardon that reference—against anonymous social media applications like Yik Yak, which allows students to send social media messages within a specific university’s virtual community.

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