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How Did a Mob’s Attack on the Capitol Become Part of the Free-Speech Debate?

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Photograph by Jim Watson / AFP / Getty

After the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, several social-media companies banned a host of far-right figures, as well as President Trump. The move provoked an outcry among conservatives, many of whom accused those companies of violating users’ First Amendment rights. The country’s ever-present disagreements over what, exactly, constitutes free speech have taken on new urgency in this era of little-regulated social media, disinformation, exhortations to violence, and so-called cancel culture. Andrew Marantz joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the future of free speech in our splintered nation.

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