On January 6th, President Donald Trump held a rally near the White House and urged his supporters to march on the Capitol where members of Congress were certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. “We’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you,” he said. “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”There is no doubt that Trump’s speech was inappropriate, imprudent, rash, offensive, and even repugnant. But, it is more difficult to determine whether Trump’s comments constitute incitement to imminent lawless action, a type of speech not protected by the First Amendment.
In the wake of the deadly mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the country’s Prime Minister is leading an effort to stamp out extremism online. The “Christchurch Call” asks for “collective, voluntary commitments" from governments and online service providers to stop the spread of extremism. The non-binding doctrine has been signed by 18 countries, including France and Canada, and by five tech companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. The Trump administration, however, declined to sign the Christchurch Call, citing free speech concerns.