Facebook Free Speech Page Denies Free Speech

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A Facebook page has been created "in light of the recent event at UC Irvine in which 11 members of the Muslim Student Union @ UCI were arrested for attempts to silence and censor a speaker whose views they disagreed with. Free speech is NOT negotiable!"

Too bad the page does not practice what it preaches.

"[T]his is a group of free speech, and you can't post anything on the wall!," observed Facebook user James Lager. "BRILLIANT!"

Most of those leaving comments seem to side with the UC Irvine officials who took action against the students who disrupted a Feb. 8 UCI Student Center lecture by Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the U.S.

"As upsetting as it was, I'm glad to see the University respond, finally," wrote Faith Schames. "I've been to several events, on various campuses, where the hecklers ran the show, and the administrators, event organizers, whatever, didn't have any backbone."

UC Irvine School of Law dean Erwin Chemerinsky, who later claimed the shouting students violated Oren's right to free speech, also receives shout-outs on the Facebook page.

"Thank you for being a voice of reason about a very important topic!" comments Karen Sommer. "We need this kind of leadership at UCI."

The disruptive students, who hail from Irvine and Riverside's UC campus, do not receive much love on the page.

"A friend of mine from Israel told me that the event made the news over there," writes Joe Wolf. "What a beautiful light these students have painted for UCI on the international front."

"[T]his is the kind of behavior that continues to perpetuate the situation rather than provide for a diplomatic outcome and resolution," adds Nurit Wildenberg Stites. "What poor taste!"

Given this audience, Lager deserves credit for at least trying to mount a defense for the other side.

"See this for what it was," he informs, "an OPPRESSED group of people upset at UCI for sponsoring an event with the ambassador."


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