Lies and Counterspeech


Past Event

Lies and Counterspeech

February 16, 2022
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

In his plurality opinion in United States v. Alvarez, Justice Anthony Kennedy claimed that, “in a free society [the proper] remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true.” The idea that the best remedy for bad speech is more speech underpins a great deal of First Amendment law. But when it comes to lies and deception, is it true? To what extent can speech—disclosures, warning labels, fact checks, apologies, and/or counterspeech generally—defang the lie? And to what extent may the government constitutionally require private speakers to engage in this kind of counterspeech under contemporary precedents? Is counterspeech a realistic solution to the problem of mass public deception today? These are the questions that this roundtable will address.


  • David Pozen, Columbia Law
  • Amy Kapczynski, Yale Law
  • Yochai Benkler, Harvard Law

Moderated by Genevieve Lakier, Knight First Amendment Institute

Contact Information

Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University