Censorship and Identity: Free Speech For Me But Not For You?

Free speech is no longer presumed to be an unquestionable virtue. In 2017, through ‘I find that offensive’ tropes, trigger warnings and no platforming – free speech is now explicitly queried, dubbed an outdated absolute, or worse is seen as a ruse to excuse hate speech against minorities. A person’s words or ideas are now considered secondary to identity, and it’s considered illegitimate to express opinions unless you are part of an identity group affected by any given issue. As a result, increasing numbers of people have found their speech curtailed. How should free speech activists respond to such new challenges? Are identity politics the new tool of censorship and, if so, how should we respond?

In this riveting debate, filmed at the Battle of Ideas 2017, the speakers are: Professor Frank Furedi, Nick Gillespie, Jodie Ginsberg, Trevor Phillips, Toby Young and the chair is: Claire Fox.

Battle of Ideas session details