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Free Speech

Freedom of speech is a foundational American right.

Hate speech is a terrifying reality for far too many Americans.

But who decides:


  • whether speech should be heard or censored?

  • what constitutes hate speech?

  • which viewpoints should be silenced?

These are incredible difficult questions -- and conversations -- that all citizens need to reckon with.   Frighteningly, algorithms -- not humans -- are increasingly being tasked with these decisions.  They have the power to decide what is fact or fiction, what topics are worthy of debate, and which speakers should be encouraged, discouraged, or silenced. These algorithms now police the public square and generally do so poorly.

The IDH's Free Speech initiatives focus on giving the power and freedom of speech back to humans, while determining how to balance (1) vigorously protecting our fellow humans from dangerous hate speech and (2) ensuring that tech companies honor our First Amendment rights.

The IDH understands that free speech is important for democracy to flourish, but we also recognize that hate speech is a real problem that inflicts real-world harms. Our initiatives around free speech focus on providing digital spaces with a framework for determining hate speech without limiting constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights.​​

hate speech v. free SPEECH Victories




  • Kare-11 (Minneapolis Local News) interviewed the IDH about our efforts for a more just and equitable digital future!

  • The IDH joined ACLU MN, the Institute for Aesthetic Advocacy, Reclaim the Block, and Saftey Not Survillance for the "Plugging In" community education event highlighting digital ethics, technological privacy, and more.

  • Check out the online gallery space for "Digital Rights are Civil Rights," an online art exhibit showcasing the intersection of digital ethics and civil rights, with a particular focus on racism and systemic oppression.

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