Why The Public is Confused about Censorship

DATE: May 24, 2023

TIME: 10:15 - 11: 15

LOCATION: FARISH AUDITORIUM, Providence Public Library

A presentation at the Rhode Island Library Association

Presenters: Catherine Morris, Program Director for COURAGEOUS RI & Pamela Steager, Director of Community Engagement of COURAGEOUS RI

Book challenges to libraries are skyrocketing as the volume of attempted censorship efforts is unprecedented. Intimidation tactics have been used in local communities and these demands for censorship of library materials have become more well-organized and well-funded. Conflict entrepreneurs are eager to exploit public misunderstanding of the First Amendment and other laws that regulate free expression for political or economic gain. And then there’s the practice of ostracizing, boycotting, shaming, or shunning people who have acted or spoken in an unacceptable manner. It’s sometimes called ‘cancel culture.’ Public opinion research shows that some American adults believe that both content moderation and cancel culture are a form of censorship. Learn how librarians can help people develop a solid understanding of censorship, content moderation and cancel culture in public discourse today