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Poll: Over half of Americans say First Amendment is too lenient on hate speech and should be 'updated' to reflect today's 'cultural norms'


'The findings are frankly extraordinary'

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Over half of Americans — 51 percent — say the First Amendment "goes too far in allowing hate speech" and should be "updated" to reflect today's "cultural norms," a new poll revealed.

The survey was conducted last month by the Campaign for Free Speech, which said the results "demonstrate just how vulnerable free speech protections are in the United States."

What else did the poll find?

The poll also found that 48 percent of Americans believe that hate speech should be against the law. The only age group with a majority agreeing with that were millennials (51 percent). In addition, 54 percent of respondents said a consequence for hate speech should be "possible jail time."

In addition, 57 percent of Americans said the "government should be able to take action against newspapers and TV stations that publish content that is biased, inflammatory, or false." Fewer respondents (46 percent) agreed that possible jail time should be an option for such offenders.

What did else did the Campaign for Free Speech have to say?

"The findings are frankly extraordinary," Campaign for Free Speech executive director Bob Lystad told the Washington Free Beacon. "Our free speech rights and our free press rights have evolved well over 200 years, and people now seem to be rethinking them."

He added to the paper that, "I think [our findings] are fueled in large part because of a rise of hate speech, but traditionally, hate speech is protected in the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has upheld that principle time and time again."

Lystad also told the Free Beacon that "hate speech should be condemned, but legally, the answer to speech we don't like is more speech, not censorship."

The paper said the Campaign for Free Speech surveyed just over 1,000 respondents.

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