A breakdown of protected versus unprotected speech in the wake of the riot on Capitol Hill. Can free expression advocates support punishment for incitement to violence while still supporting the legal protections for “hate speech” or other offensive speech? And why do we protect offensive speech in the first place?
A timeline of free expression issues that arose following the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests for racial justice.
Canceling a book encourages those who seek to silence their critics, producing more pressure on publishers, which will lead to more cancellations. The best defense for democracy is a strong commitment to free expression.
A school district in Vail, Arizona, is considering removing Slaughterhouse Five from classroom teaching after a parent complained about references to sex.
A timeline tracking the free expression concerns raised by emergency measures enacted to contain and manage the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.
A Louisiana library removed LGBTQ books from the children's section after receiving several complaints.
NCAC asked Chloe Bauer and Sungjoo Yoon, former students in the Burbank Unified School District, to tell us why they felt the District was wrong to remove five classic books from classrooms.
Former students in the Burbank Unified School District explain why they felt the District was wrong to remove five classic books.
Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, Theodore Taylor's The Cay, and Mildred Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, challenged in Burbank Unified School District.
In a case seen as a test of whether text-only fiction can be considered legally obscene, the host of erotic fiction archive Mr Double faces seven obscenity charges.
New resource guides teachers and school administrators navigating book challenges.
North Carolina lawsuit demands that public schools protect one religious viewpoint above others by banning Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X.
A California school district removed the novel Ghost Boys, which tells the story of a Black boy shot by police, from its curriculum.
NCAC is deeply concerned by Zoom, Facebook and YouTube's recent censorship of an academic forum due to the affiliation of one of the speakers with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
As part of NCAC’s virtual Celebration of Free Speech and Its Defenders Benefit, we are happy to announce the Let Me Speak Design Contest Series, a collection of three unique art contests: Becky Albertalli Fan Art Portugal The Man Boycott the Book Ban Logo NCAC Youth Free Expression Film Contest Logo Each contest is an opportunity for artists and designers [...]
NCAC has joined a coalition of two dozen organizations calling on Congressional leaders not to reauthorize several expired provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorities by adding them as amendments to a must-pass appropriations bill or other emergency legislation. In a letter sent to Congress on September 14, NCAC and the other organizations argue that these controversial measures [...]
NCAC, joined by ten organizations, is protesting a Texas school district’s decision to remove from a school website an editorial cartoon that was part of a class assignment because it criticizes the use of violence against Black people over the course of American history, including violence by police. The assignment was canceled after the National Fraternal Order of Police complained [...]
One of the most common complaints of students who come to NCAC for assistance is that they have been threatened with discipline for something that they said on social media. In an important decision that greatly reduced the power of school officials to “reach into a child’s home and control his/her actions” and speech, a panel of the Third Circuit [...]
When a school board in Alaska voted in April to remove five classic books from a high school reading list, it had no idea that it would outrage many in the community as well as several alumni of the school who are now rock stars. Although the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board reversed its decision a month later, the controversy [...]
NCAC has joined Open the Government and two dozen organizations in urging Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to rescind an order to hospitals requiring them to send daily COVID-19 data reports to HHS, a change that creates urgent concerns about transparency, accountability, and the politicization of data. In a letter sent to Azar on July 23, NCAC [...]
On August 3 and 4, two students at North Paulding High School in Dallas, GA, posted pictures to social media showing students in crowded hallways where social distancing was clearly impossible. Most students were not wearing masks. Unsurprisingly, the pictures immediately became a topic of discussion in the national media. In response, the school suspended the students on the grounds [...]
Editors Note: This statement was first published by NCAC and Defending Rights and Dissent on July 17, 2020. It was re-published on July 30, 2020 to reflect new developments and 45 additional co-signatories. Unidentified federal law enforcement agents in Portland, Oregon, have detained protesters, whisking them away in unmarked cars. This shocking practice is evocative of repressive methods used by [...]
NCAC is asking the University of Kentucky (UK) to cancel recently announced plans to remove a 1930’s-era mural depicting aspects of Kentucky history, including slavery. Some students have demanded its removal because they consider it demeaning to people of color on campus. In 2018, the university commissioned an installation by Karyn Olivier, a noted Black artist, that was painted above [...]
NCAC has joined several free speech organizations in supporting Oberlin College’s appeal of a $44 million libel judgment that threatens the free speech rights of its faculty and students. They filed an amicus brief in an Ohio appeals court on June 5. The case grew out of the arrest of three African American students in 2016 for attempted theft at [...]
WINDSOR, VT -- The Mt. Ascutney School District Board has removed Windsor School Principal Tiffany Riley from her position after she stated on her personal Facebook account that she disapproved of some of the tactics used by some Black Lives Matter activists. In response, NCAC has written to the school board urging them to rescind their decision to remove Ms. [...]
President Donald Trump is once again attempting to interfere with the publication of a book that he believes is critical of him. On June 16, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in an effort to block the June 23 release of The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, a book by John R. Bolton, Trump’s former national [...]
On June 15, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and PEN America joined in protesting Zoom’s decision to close the account of Humanitarian China, a U.S.-based nonprofit that promotes the development of human rights in China. Zoom acted at the request of Chinese officials who wanted to suppress a virtual meeting commemorating the [...]
Editors Note: NCAC, joined by 55 organizations, released the following statement on June 8, 2020. The American people have witnessed the bravery of health care providers and other essential workers who have put their lives on the line to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Now that we face another national crisis following the death of George Floyd, it is important to [...]
Rhetorically framed as defense of free speech, the President’s Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship, is exactly the opposite: an attempt to intimidate social media platforms into yielding to the president’s views of what speech should be allowed online. While we agree that social media platforms “function in many ways as a 21st-century equivalent of the public square” and share [...]
As misinformation proliferates, protests escalate, and the 2020 U.S. presidential election looms, how much should social media companies regulate the content on their platforms? Rules and regulations are changing as social media giants are figuring out how to wield their unprecedented power over information. As an organization committed to free expression, we welcome efforts to provide more information, alternative sources [...]
NCAC has signed three letters urging state and local officials to uphold First Amendment rights during the protests over the death of George Floyd. It has joined Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and 16 other press freedom, journalism, and civil liberties organizations in calling on Governors Tim Walz of Minnesota, Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York, and [...]
Update 5/27/2020 – The online marketplace Redbubble has reinstated the sale of the editorial cartoon that criticizes President Trump. Original Post 5/27/2020 – The National Coalition Against Censorship has joined the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) and other free speech organizations in calling for the online marketplace Redbubble to resume the sale of an editorial cartoon that criticizes President [...]
Free speech is under fire across the United States following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. The protests that have erupted in hundreds of communities have been met by police officers who often fail in their duty to uphold the First Amendment right to assemble for the purpose of demanding change. Television cameras have [...]
Following widespread protest by local citizens and national groups, including National Coalition Against Censorship, an Alaska school board has voted 6 to 1 to rescind its decision to remove five classic works of fiction from the reading list for 11th grade English classes. Students will once again be able to read: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya [...]
On May 19, 2020, an international coalition of arts and free expression organizations, including the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), IBEX Collection, Article19, PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection (ARC), International Arts Rights Advisors, and Freemuse, launched Don’t Delete Art, a virtual gallery showcasing work which is banned or restricted on social media. The gallery, whose curators include frequently-censored artists [...]
NCAC has joined a coalition of more than 50 civil liberties, civil rights and government transparency organizations in urging Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to include civil liberties reforms in the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020, a bill that would extend surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act which expired in March. The coalition’s [...]