Free Speech Case Studies


How to Use Case Studies in Your Class

How to Use Case Studies in Your Class

How to use case studies to integrate ethics content and skills in your classes.
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When Actors Become Characters

When Actors Become Characters

What are the ethics of fictional works created by fans that involve real people as characters?
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Filtering Out Cyberbullying

Filtering Out Cyberbullying

What are the ethical issues raised by Instagram's efforts to filter out cyberbullying?
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To Catfish or Not to Catfish?

To Catfish or Not to Catfish?

What are the ethical problems with "catfishing" online?
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Values Preserved in Stone

Values Preserved in Stone

[CASE STUDY]: What are the ethical issues surrounding Confederate memorials?
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Boldly Going Where Studios Have Gone Before

Boldly Going Where Studios Have Gone Before

When does fan fiction cross the line from inspired creativity to unethical stealing?
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AI and Online Hate Speech

AI and Online Hate Speech

Can AI save us from online hate speech? Or will it learn our worst traits?
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No Comment

No Comment

What are the ethical issues involved in closing news website comment sections in a democracy?
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#MeToo and the Arts

#MeToo and the Arts

[CASE STUDY]: What happens when the #MeToo movement meets the artworld?
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When Comedic Stereotypes Cease to Be Funny

When Comedic Stereotypes Cease to Be Funny

[CASE STUDY]: Do humorous - but stereotypical - characters like Apu from "The Simpsons" cross ethical lines?
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Doxing and Digital Journalism

Doxing and Digital Journalism

When can journalists reveal the identity of controversial social media users?
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Finsta Fad

Finsta Fad

What are the real ethical issues raised by fake Instagram accounts?
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Anonymity, Doxing, and the Ethics of Reddit

Anonymity, Doxing, and the Ethics of Reddit

What ethical issues are created in Reddit's attempts to clean up its act?
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Fake News, Fake Porn, and AI

Fake News, Fake Porn, and AI

What are the ethical issues involved in the use of AI in creating fake video content?
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Ethics and Artistic Appropriation

Ethics and Artistic Appropriation

[CASE STUDY]: What are the ethical issues raised by reframing the meaning of public artworks?
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Suicide, Fiction, and Ethics

Suicide, Fiction, and Ethics

[CASE STUDY]: What are the ethical issues raised by Netflix's "13 Reasons Why"?
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Bullying our First Amendment?

Bullying our First Amendment?

What are the legal and ethical implications of bullying by text message?
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Free Speech and the Ethics of Protest

Free Speech and the Ethics of Protest

[CASE STUDY] What are the ethics of free speech and controversial protests?
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Ethics and the Tweeter-in-Chief

Ethics and the Tweeter-in-Chief

What are the ethical issues with President Trump's use of 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.