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Thursday, October 12, 2023

Is this cancel culture (Again)?

The president of NYU's SBA sent a message, as President, to the student body placing "full responsibility" for the terrorist attack in southern Israel on Israel. Winston & Strawn withdrew her employment offer. It also appears there is a move to try to remove her as President.

Cancel culture? Orin Kerr (who believes such a thing exists) has several thoughtful Twitter threads. He argues that the line between the expressive act of imposing consequences on someone's speech and cancellation involves the tendency to react too quickly to the speech, to construe ambiguous statement ungenerously, and to ignore historical context. That is consistent with arguments tying it to proportionality--"cancellation" is often disproportionate to the objected-to message.

I would note that the usual "cancellation is the worst thing ever and a violation of free speech norms" voices on the right are, as always, silent when the targeted/canceled speaker comes from the left. 

Posted by Howard Wasserman on October 12, 2023 at 10:25 AM in First Amendment, Howard Wasserman | Permalink


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