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Fact Sheets

FEPP Fact Sheets give thumbnail facts about controversial free-expression issues. They are carefully researched and annotated so that readers can check the underlying sources. They are regularly updated.

Political Dissent and Censorship
In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and of U.S. government efforts to combat terrorism by often secretive or constitutionally dubious means, questions have arisen about the scope of First Amendment protection for political dissent. This Fact Sheet outlines the history and constitutional status of political protest, and the free-speech implications of government surveillance and secrecy today.

Media Democracy
The companies that own the mass media have a powerful influence over our culture, our political system, and the ideas that inform public discourse. This set of interlocking fact sheets gives background on broadcast and cable conglomerates, Internet access and WiFi, the First Amendment and media regulation, and the movement for media reform.

Sex and Censorship
Where did the exception to the First Amendment for "obscenity" originate? What other ways have government officials found to control erotic speech? And why do some of them continue to do so, in the face of ever more sexual explicitness all around us? FEPP's newest fact sheet summarizes the history and current status of restrictions on sexual expression in America.

Media Violence
What are the actual effects of "media violence" on human behavior? Despite the claims of some psychologists and politicians, the research results have been weak and ambiguous, with most experiments failing to support the hypothesis that viewing media violence leads to bad behavior.

Internet Filters
Despite well-documented problems of overblocking, Internet filters are now widely used in schools and libraries. FEPP's fact sheet summarizes the most salient facts about filters.

The Free Expression Policy Project began in 2000 as a project of the National Coalition Against Censorship, to provide empirical research and policy development on tough censorship issues and seek free speech-friendly solutions to the concerns that drive censorship campaigns. In 2004-2007, it was part of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. Past funders have included the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, the Open Society Institute, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

All material on this site is covered by a Creative Commons "Attribution - No Derivs - NonCommercial" license. (See You may copy it in its entirely as long as you credit the Free Expression Policy Project and provide a link to the Project's Web site. You may not edit or revise it, or copy portions, without permission (except, of course, for fair use). Please let us know if you reprint!