"Free Speech Elitism" Ethics Lecture by Dr. Mary Anne Franks

Thursday, November 02, 2017
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type
Academic Featured Event
Dr. Lara Denis
Philosophy Department

"Free Speech Elitism"
Ethics Lecture by Mary Anne Franks
Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law 
Legislative and Tech Policy Director, Cyber Civil Rights Initiative

Thursday, November 2, 2017, 7 p.m.
Lower Evans Hall, Rooms ABC

The benefits of free speech are well-known. Speech can reveal truth, allow for individual expression, and enable democratic self-governance. But the costs of free speech are also considerable. Speech can promote deception, violate privacy, and incite violence. Neither the benefits nor the costs of speech are equally borne across society. If protecting the speech of the powerful requires silencing the speech of the less powerful, can this really be called free speech?

Dr. Mary Anne Franks is a law professor at the University of Miami School of Law, where she teaches First Amendment law, criminal law and procedure, family law, and law and technology. Dr. Franks is also the Vice-President and Legislative and Tech Policy Director of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating online abuse and discrimination. Dr. Franks has worked extensively both with members of Congress and state lawmakers on privacy and harassment legislation as well as with leading tech companies on online abuse policies. She is the author of the forthcoming book, The Constitutional Cult: Speech, Guns, and Civil Libertarianis(Stanford 2018). Her work has appeared in scholarly publications such as the California Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, and the Illinois Law Review, and in popular press publications such the Atlantic, TIME Magazine, and the Huffington Post. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Dr. Franks also holds doctorate and master's degrees in literature from Oxford University, where she studied on a Rhodes Scholarship.

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