Krasno v. Mnookin

A case challenging the suppression of speech on a public university’s social media accounts

On March 17, 2023, the Knight Institute filed an amicus brief on behalf of itself, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in a Seventh Circuit case challenging the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s censorship of animal advocacy. Among other practices, the university uses Facebook’s and Instagram’s optional keyword-blocking tools to automatically hide comments containing words or phrases associated with animal advocacy.

The Knight Institute’s brief explains that the vibrancy and integrity of online public forums are threatened when government actors exclude disfavored views and describes the growing use of keyword blocking to suppress criticism among public institutions. It argues that the university’s use of keyword blocking to censor speech related to animal advocacy discriminates based on viewpoint and is an unreasonable way of implementing an off-topic rule in a limited or nonpublic forum.

Status: Amicus brief filed March 17, 2023. The appellee’s brief is due April 21, 2023.

Case information: Krasno v. Mnookin, No. 22-3170 (7th Cir.).

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