Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Mass Communication and Media Arts


Freivogel, William


This research examines why hate speech towards minority groups, or individuals is constitutionally protected, while defamatory speech towards individuals is not protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. There are laws prohibiting racial and sexual harassment in an education setting or workplace environment, as well as libel and slander laws that punish defamation of someone’s character. Defamation, like hate speech, can originate from a place of hate. Why isn't hate speech automatically considered unprotected speech under the First Amendment, just like defamation?