Join First Amendment Watch and Foundation for Individual Rights (FIRE) for a virtual taping of the So to Speak Podcast with Jacob Mchangama, author of “Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media” in conversation with Greg Lukianoff, Professor Stephen D. Solomon, Sarah McLaughlin, and host Nico Perrino.
Smartmatic, a voting technology company, sued MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for defamation on January 18th. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, begins, “Crazy like a fox. Mike Lindell know exactly what he is doing, and it is dangerous.”
A federal judge ruled on January 21st that the University of Florida cannot bar faculty members from testifying against the state in a voting-rights case. In late October of 2021, the university came under fire when it blocked three political science professors from serving as expert witnesses in the voting-right case, claiming it violated the university’s conflict of interest policies.
A professor at a public university in Michigan was suspended with pay after posting a profanity-laced video to his incoming students. Professor Barry Mehler, a history professor at Ferris State University, posted the 14-minute long video that begins with him wearing an astronaut helmet over a face mask, and tells his students they are “vectors of disease,” and that “it is dangerous to breathe the air.”
Ruth Shalit Barrett, a freelance writer who wrote a piece for The Atlantic about how some wealthy parents are pushing their children into niche sports in an attempt to get them into Ivy League schools is suing for defamation. The lawsuit, filed on January 7th in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, claims that The Atlantic and editor Donald Peck, “unlawfully smeared” her and damaged her reputation and career.
Disinformation is more pernicious and widespread today than at any other point in history, largely because of social media and the Internet. For instance, it is now widely known—and verified by the U.S. intelligence community—that Russians interfered with the 2016 presidential election.