Perspectives on the First Amendment

The Impact of Generation on Free Speech Freedoms


  • Shayna Schulman University of Florida



First Amendment, free speech, hate speech, age, generation


Given the constitutional protection of free speech under the First Amendment, to what extent does the American public support that hate speech can be banned while still protecting free speech? The First Amendment states that “congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.” This project analyzes published data from the Cato Institute Free Speech and Tolerance Survey (2017) to determine the role that Americans' generation plays in their support of a hate speech ban. Individuals of various generations differ in their experiences with world events, politics and social norms. These differences can impact views on free speech. Preliminary analysis by the Cato Institute shows that younger generations are more likely to support that hate speech can be banned while still protecting free speech than older generations. Current scholarship lacks a depth of research in this area. As such, this project establishes relationships concerning views on hate speech that are a novel contribution to this field of study.


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Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education