Free Speech and Hate Speech on Social Media

Social media platforms are scrambling to define acceptable speech online. What is hate speech? Why is hate speech finding especially fruitful ground in social media, and what harms are being caused by it? Who should decide the difference between free speech and hate speech?

SCI Director Dr. Erroll Southers joined a panel moderated by NBC4 reporter Beverly White to discuss the challenges of addressing hate speech online while also protecting the First Amendment. Dr. Southers was joined by Theodore Boutrous from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Barry McDonald, a professor at Pepperdine Law School; and Rick Eaton, a senior researcher at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Watch news coverage of the panel for more information.

Safe Communities Institute

The Safe Communities Institute (SCI) at the USC Price School of Public Policy continues a more than 60-year tradition of research, interdisciplinary education, and collaboration to advance sustainable “whole-of-community” public safety strategies, policies, and programs. SCI takes a holistic approach to encouraging and informing public safety efforts through collaboration between all public safety disciplines and the communities they serve.

Officer Spotlight - El Monte Police Chief Ben Lowry was a 20-year law enforcement veteran who was appointed to lead the El Monte Police Department in June 2022. Tragically, Chief Lowry passed away in October. He was 45. Thank you Chief Lowry for your service. Read more.

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