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Thursday, November 02, 2017

Study: Support for Free Speech Eroding

A new study examining the country's views on free speech found that 62 percent of students feel they are prevented from saying things they believe, and right-leaning views have taken the hardest hit.

Emily Ekins, the director of polling at the libertarian Cato Institute who conducted the study, told the Washington Free Beacon that both Republicans and Democrats reported it is their more conservative views they are wary of sharing, demonstrating that the left-of-center controls "social power."

Liberals reported feeling uncomfortable saying they thought Confederate statutes shouldn't be taken down; that supporting the First Amendment doesn't equal racism; or that identity politics has gone too far.

Meanwhile, 50 percent of students say the dominant political view on campus is liberal.

Sixty-one percent of students think colleges owe to their students to expose them to all types of viewpoints, but 57 percent think colleges have an obligation to protect its students from offensive speech and ideas. A full 70 percent think it is morally unacceptable to say offensive things.

The Cato study, titled "The State of Free Speech and Tolerance in America," breaks down respondents' familiarity with social-justice keywords, support for hate speech statutes, and views on disciplinary action for student protesters who disrupt speakers.

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