In Response to: On Free Speech [6]

Oh, the irony. The November 2022 PAW opens with President Eisgruber ’83 extolling the virtues of free speech, and the heartening statement that “we do not trust any official [...] to decide which ideas or opinions should be suppressed and which should not.”

And yet, that same PAW reports that the Board of Trustees announced in May 2021 “its intention to dissociate from, or cut all business ties with, companies engaged in climate disinformation [emphasis added]” — presumably, opinions about climate change that the trustees disagree with. 

Later in that same PAW, in a column ironically titled “Free Speech” (On the Campus), Princeton announced changes to its policy of imposing “no communication” orders on students because of, in one case, a student’s presumed “harmful mistruths and mischaracterizations” about pro-Palestine activists.  

Seems like, as with George Orwell's Animal Farm pigs, all speech is equal, but some speech is in practice more equal than others.