Friday, January 06, 2012

Campus Speech Codes

No one knows more about them than the folks at FIRE:
Activists embarked on a campaign in the 1980s to eradicate hurtful, bigoted and politically incorrect speech by enacting speech codes at universities across the country. Although the movement presented itself as a forward-thinking way to make campuses welcoming, the initiative stood in stark contrast to the celebrated “free speech movement” of the 1960s, whose proponents understood that vague exceptions to free speech were inevitably used by those in power to punish opinions they dislike or disagree with. And unfortunately the effort gained momentum as prestigious institutions passed speech codes...

Overly broad harassment codes remain the weapon of choice on campus to punish speech that administrators dislike.
Do you think the originators of these speech codes knew what they were doing, or did they genuinely have good intentions?

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