Public Domain The First Amendment applies to public colleges and universities. But that hasn’t stopped one public college in my home state of Massachusetts, UMass Lowell, from instituting a policy that blatantly restricts the free speech rights of students and staff alike.
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) highlighted UMass Lowell’s “acceptable use” policy for its monthly series spotlighting egregious free speech violations on campuses. This policy applies to all school-provided computers, but also any networks and/or services connected to the university, such as email or campus wifi. It provides the use of any such technologies to transmit or access “offensive material.”
This is deeply problematic and constitutionally suspect. After all, what, exactly, constitutes “offensive?”
For example, is a student who receives right-wing news sources in their email inbox violating it? It’s safe to say that many of the views commonly expressed in conservative media are considered “hate speech” by many woke campus administrators—but they’re also protected expression under the First Amendment.
“The Supreme Court has explicitly held, time and time again, that speech cannot be restricted by the government merely because it offends others,” FIRE points out. “In spite of such clear precedent, colleges and universities routinely ban offensive speech in campus speech codes, especially in IT policies. Whether a person is burning a flag at a protest or advocating for (or against) flag burning on Twitter, a ban on ‘offensive’ speech calls for impermissible viewpoint discrimination.”
FIRE also says this speech code is ripe for abuse and gives it their “red light” rating, reserved for the worst anti-speech policies.
“UMass Lowell couldn’t possibly take action every time someone views or retweets something subjectively offensive over university wifi — every single student, and probably every professor, would be on trial,” FIRE says . “But a policy like this makes it all too […]
Yes, We Need Your Help
I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
Many in this nation are struggling right now even though we weren’t struggling just a few years ago. I’m not alone. But I wake up every morning and operate the sites we’ve been able to build because there’s really no other choice. I refuse to be beholden to Big Tech like so many other conservative news outlets, which is why you won’t see Google ads here. With that said, it’s often challenging to pay the bills and it’s even harder to expand so we can get the America First message out to a wider audience.
The economic downturn has forced me to make a plea for help. Between cancel culture, lockdowns, and diminishing ad revenue, we need financial assistance in order to continue to spread the truth. We ask all who have the means, please donate through our Giving Fuel. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to expand our reach so the truth can get to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
We currently operate:
- NOQ Report
- Conservative Playlist
- Uncanceled News
- Based Underground
- Five other conservative news sites
I would even be willing to entertain investments and partnerships at this stage. I’ve turned them down in the past because editorial purity is extremely important. I’ll turn them down again if anyone wants us to start supporting RINOs or avoid “taboo” topics like voter fraud, vaccines, or transgender supremacy. But I’d talk to fellow America First patriots who want to help any (or all) of our 10 news sites. Hit me up at jdrucker (at) substack (dot) com if you’re interested.
For those who have the means and just want to help keep the mission of spreading a conservative, Christian message to the nation, please consider a generous donation.