Free Speech Case Studies


Celebrity Death in the Media

Celebrity Death in the Media

How should you cover a deceased celebrity who was both loved and hated?
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Sex, Drugs, and Hijabs on Netflix

Sex, Drugs, and Hijabs on Netflix

[CASE STUDY]: Is Netflix's "Elite" a case of creative filmmaking or Muslim stereotyping?
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Freedom Of Skepticism and the President

Freedom Of Skepticism and the President

How skeptical should leaders be of experts during a pandemic?
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Gaming Platforms and Shocking Speech

Gaming Platforms and Shocking Speech

[CASE STUDY]: What could go wrong with Twitch's efforts to police speech on its platform?
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Doxing in the Name of Public Health

Doxing in the Name of Public Health

[CASE STUDY]: What ethical concerns accompany the use of internet shaming in the age of COVID-19?
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Fighting (Online) Fire with Fire?

Fighting (Online) Fire with Fire?

[CASE STUDY]: What are the ethics of using counterspeech to fight online harassment?
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Written In Only to Be Excluded?

Written In Only to Be Excluded?

[CASE STUDY]: What does the treatment of diversity in Game of Thrones teach us about the ethics of film?
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Are there Bigger Fish to Fry in the Struggle for Animal Rights?

Are there Bigger Fish to Fry in the Struggle for Animal Rights?

[CASE STUDY]: Is PETA right that our anti-animal sayings do more harm than good?
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Images of Death in the Media

Images of Death in the Media

[CASE STUDY]: What ethical challenges arise when the media uses images of the dead?
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Misinformation, Social Media, and the Price of Political Persuasion

Misinformation, Social Media, and the Price of Political Persuasion

What are the ethical implications of banning paid political ads from Twitter?
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More cases coming soon!


Case studies produced by the Media Ethics Initiative remain the intellectual property of the Media Ethics Initiative and the University of Texas at Austin. They can be used in unmodified PDF form without permission for classroom use. For use in publications such as textbooks and other works, please contact the Media Ethics Initiative.