At least before lockdowns started, there was an increasing trend of students using social media to organize the physical blocking of speakers who they disagreed with from attending events on campus.
The results of a new survey has now revealed shocking revelations about what US college students think about violence as a way to shut down speech. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Real Clear Education, and College Pulse conducted a survey across 55 colleges across the US and asked 20,000 students about free speech issues in their campuses.
Surprisingly, almost one out of five students that have taken the survey were fine with deploying violence for shutting down someone’s speech in cases where they disagreed with the speaker.
They were also questioned if blocking people from attending events was acceptable.
“While 57% of students say their college would defend a speaker’s right to express his or her views in the case of a controversy over ‘offensive’ expression, a disturbingly large minority, 42%, believe their college would punish the speaker for making the statement.”
The survey revealed that nearly 20 percent of students were okay with violence to shut down speech and stop an event. Going deeper into the details reveals that one percent of the students are under the impression that “violence” is acceptable in all cases, with three percent saying that violence is acceptable in some cases, and thirteen percent saying that violence can be acceptable in rare cases only.
Summing it up makes it clear that 17 percent of students endorse violence in at least some cases to shut down speech. Moreover, the concept of free speech in students is influenced by their political ideology.
“Students’ assessment of free speech on campus is, at least in part, driven by their political ideology, and whether or not they align with the majority viewpoint at their college.