US students ‘becoming more tolerant’ of free speech

Paul Basken
Times Higher Education

Excerpt: US university students appear to be growing somewhat more tolerant of controversial speakers on their campuses, according to an annual free speech survey. Students have become slightly less supportive of shouting or violence to deter public speakers, and slightly more willing to self-censor their own comments, the advocacy group known as Fire said in its annual College Free Speech Rankings.

Still, the group said, the overall numbers remain high. Its online survey of nearly 45,000 students nationwide found 62 per cent endorse the idea of shouting down a speaker, and 20 per cent agree with using violent tactics. Those numbers were down from 66 per cent and 23 per cent the previous year.