Free speech vs. hate speech

Yesterday’s topic was about book banning and censorship. How about hate speech and censorship? Where should we draw the line on free speech?

Here’s an article about a protest that took place in Tokyo a few days ago, outside of Twitter’s office.

At Twitter’s Tokyo Office, Protesters Stomp on Hateful Tweets” (from Global Voices)

That’s one way to protest. Another way is with humor. Like the “Mean Tweets” segment on Jimmy Kimmel. People read mean tweets about themselves. One way to deal with bullies is to laugh at them.

Here’s one with President Obama, done right before the election. His response to the last tweet is depressing to see now, but I do miss his sense of humor.

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Teach your children well

Here’s a good story about educational videos and programs, and why it’s important to find out what your audience needs and wants. This story includes an article, an audio clip with transcript, and a few short videos.

“When Elmo And Big Bird Talk To Refugees”

(from NPR, 5/5/17)

The goal of this new Sesame Street content is to

‘ “bolster children’s resiliency” as well as improve their language, math and early reading skills.’

And to help children think about inclusivity and in

“understanding that they have big feelings and that there are things they can do to manage those feelings or emotions.”

This makes me think of a folk song from 1969 or 1970: “Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Here’s a live version. (lyrics)

Real ⇄ Fake

“Storytelling is what engages us, not facts and figures.”

YES! YES! YES!

This is why I encourage you, students,  to add good discussion questions and your own opinions and experiences into your weekly portfolio pages.

There’s a lot to talk about in this video, including “fake news” and what we believe on the internet … the importance of citing your sources … the difference between fact and fiction. And the motivation behind video editing (or news media decisions). Is it to manipulate the audience?

And BRD students, the correct answer to “Where did you find that information?” is NOT “The internet.” Can you explain why?

Another discussion question: What do you like and dislike about nature documentaries?


I’m taking a break from posting on this Topics site for Golden Week. I’ll be back with more topics on Monday, May 8th, but there are lots of topics in the archives if you’re looking for English input.


☀️ ENJOY YOUR GOLDEN WEEK ☀️