Free Speech Case Studies


A Tool for Racial Equality or Cancel Culture?

A Tool for Racial Equality or Cancel Culture?

Should Yelp be in the business of branding businesses as racist?
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Stopping the Spread of Anti-Vax Memes

Stopping the Spread of Anti-Vax Memes

Should platforms censor anti-vaccination memes to help end the pandemic?
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Newsroom Objectivity in the Age of Black Lives Matter

Newsroom Objectivity in the Age of Black Lives Matter

What does objective reporting mean in covering the Black Lives Matter protests?
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The Ethics of Op-Eds

The Ethics of Op-Eds

Should newspapers run controversial or offensive op-ed pieces?
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TikTok, Time to Snitch

TikTok, Time to Snitch

Is it ethical to use TikTok to shame fellow students in a pandemic?
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Quelling Interference or Dissent?

Quelling Interference or Dissent?

Did Tumblr's purge of Russian misinformation accounts go too far?
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Putting the President in Check

Putting the President in Check

Should Twitter factcheck Trump's misleading tweets?
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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

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

What could go wrong with Twitch's efforts to police speech on its platform?
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Picturing Justice for Kalief Browder

Picturing Justice for Kalief Browder

What ethical concerns arise when Jay-Z attempts to document injustices in the American justice system?
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Doxing in the Name of Public Health

Doxing in the Name of Public Health

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?

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?

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?

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

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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The Different Species of the Online Catfish

The Different Species of the Online Catfish

What ethical complexities circle around catfishing and online deception?
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To Release or Not to Release

To Release or Not to Release

What are the ethics of films that portray political assassinations in India?
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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.