Moving events online due to protests is still a heckler’s veto

June 06, 2024 1 min read

Jessie Appleby
FIRE

Excerpt: Despite the real benefits of virtual meetings, they are not a replacement for real life. At its best, they facilitate meetings and communication that otherwise could not have occurred. But a screen cannot replicate the experience of an in-person gathering. In short, virtual events and in-person events are not interchangeable.

Yet many universities have started treating them as such. In recent years, FIRE has seen schools increasingly rely on the availability of virtual meeting platforms to evade their constitutional and other free speech obligations to provide sufficient security for events to proceed without sustained disruption.

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