Free speech has 'real world implications,' editorial board argues

University of Pittsburgh’s student-run newspaper The Pitt News recently published an editorial about limiting 'hate speech.'

The article argues that hate speech can incite 'heinous crimes against innocent speakers.'

University of Pittsburgh’s student-run newspaper The Pitt News recently published an editorial about limiting “hate speech.”

The piece, titled “There needs to be a limit on hate speech,” argues that “alt-right speakers” should not be invited to campus due to “hateful content.”

“While the First Amendment does protect people and give them the ability to say what they want, this doesn’t mean they always should,” the editorial board wrote. “While we do have free speech, hate speech — especially hate speech to gain monetary value — should be restricted, as it allows people to continue saying hateful things without fear of repercussions.”

[RELATED: Princeton course accuses ‘far right activists’ of abusing free speech to ‘justify’ hate speech]

The article cited Alex Jones, Kanye West, Andrew Tate, and Milo Yiannopoulos as speakers who engage in “hate speech.”

The editorial board argues that such speakers on campus “can lead to people acting on this speech and committing heinous crimes against innocent people.”

“Just because free speech is protected doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have real world implications,” the board continued. “There has to be more limits on hate speech to prevent further physical violence and hate crimes which occur as a direct result of such rhetoric.”

[RELATED: These are the top 10 worst schools for free speech this year]

University of Pittsburgh student Shayla Behnke, however, disagrees with the editorial board’s claims.

“The First Amendment should be able to be executed in its entirety,” Behnke told Campus Reform. “Just to be clear, I don’t condone hate speech or hate of any kind, I just acknowledge and respect the Constitution and what it protects fully.”

Sal Zuber, another UPitt student, told Campus Reform that grouping speakers under one label is “irresponsible.”

“People who are affected by speech to the point of taking radical action need to be counseled, not shielded because shields always fail,” he said, “and lacking critical thinking and decision making skills in favor of living in a bubble is irresponsible.”

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Pittsburgh and The Pitt News Editorial Board for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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