Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, September 27, 2018, at 11:30 a.m., the Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “The State of Intellectual Freedom in America.” At the hearing, witnesses will share their stories about alleged political bias, including alleged bias by social media companies on the Internet and college administrators on college campuses targeting professors.

This hearing follows two recent House Judiciary Committee hearings on the filtering practices of social media platforms. The first entitled, “Filtering Practices of Social Media Platforms” and the second, entitled, “Facebook, Google and Twitter: Examining the Content Filtering Practices of Social Media Giants.” At the hearings, Members examined the metrics social media platforms use to moderate content, how filtering decisions are made, and whether viewpoints have been silenced on some of the most popular and widely used platforms.

Witnesses for the hearing are:

Panel I:

  • Dr. Mike Adams, Professor, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
  • Dr. Peter Wood, President, National Association of Scholars
  • Mr. Mike Simkovic, Professor of Law and Accounting, USC School of Law
  • Dr. Tim Groseclose, Professor, George Mason University

Panel II:

  • Mr. Jim Hoft, Founder and Editor, The Gateway Pundit
  • Ms. Adriana Cohen, Syndicated Columnist, Boston Herald Radio Host
  • Mr. Jeremy Tedesco, Vice President of U.S. Advocacy, Alliance Defending Freedom
  • Mr. Ari Waldman, Professor of Law, New York Law School
  • Mr. Harmeet K. Dhillon, Esq., Partner, Dhillon Law Group, Inc.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the statement below in advance of this hearing.

Chairman Goodlatte: “Freedom of speech is a core American value that is protected in our Constitution. Our Founding Fathers understood the importance of knowledge in society and sought to encourage the discourse of ideas, not stifle them. Unfortunately, Americans today have witnessed a disturbing trend in our society in which one group or another, through open hostility or subtle bias, attempts to silence beliefs they disagree with. Particularly in spaces that champion open dialogue – like the Internet and college campuses – these acts run counter to notions of free speech.

“Intimidation and bias have led to the exclusion of certain kinds of thinking on college and university campuses across the country and online. This week, the Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee will examine the state of intellectual freedom in the United States and will hear firsthand from witnesses who have been silenced for their political beliefs. The purpose of this hearing is to explore these concerns and the potential effect this exclusion has on our understanding of free speech and democracy.”

Media Guidance: This hearing will take place in 2237 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at judiciary.house.gov.  Camera crews wishing to cover must be congressionally credentialed and RSVP with the House Radio-TV Gallery at (202) 225-5214.

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