Freedom of Speech

This episode of Crash Course in Politics provides a general overview of your First Amendment right to free speech. Theoretically, this right allows you to critique the government without fear of retaliation. But it’s essential to remember that not ALL speech is protected equally under the First Amendment, and it only applies to the government. Therefore, just because you have a right to free speech doesn’t mean your private employer, for instance, can’t fire you for something you say (unless your work for the government and then things get a bit more complicated). Discussed are significant Supreme Court cases that have brought us to our current definition of free speech, and some of the more controversial aspects of free speech – like hate speech.

Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:

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