Commentary: The Persuasion Principle in Campus Speech

Luca Gazianis
Harvard Political Review

Excerpt: You may have never heard of the “persuasion principle” — the idea that the government may not restrict speech out of fear that it will persuade people to engage in harmful, hateful, or even illegal conduct.

What does this bear for our social culture of free speech? Of course, almost nobody would argue that our culture should be as tolerant of speech as our laws must be. Nonetheless, can we glean insights from First Amendment doctrine, through the persuasion principle, that are useful for contemporary conversations on free speech?