Free Speech Tracker

The Free Speech Tracker is an online tool for monitoring Free Speech challenges and controversies across the United States in education, civil society, and government.  

The Tracker is an integral part of the Free Speech Project, founded at Georgetown University in the summer of 2017 with major support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It has since attracted additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation. Georgetown continues to host the project and provides significant encouragement and support for the nonpartisan educational endeavor.

With the Tracker, we aim to provide a real-time, factual glimpse into the Free Speech issues sweeping public and private spaces around the nation. The map that accompanies it offers a large-scale visualization of national trends. 

Each day, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is exercised, tested, and debated in countless ways. While it would be impossible to create a comprehensive catalog of all incidents, the Free Speech Tracker offers a compilation and analysis of interesting and revealing ones — some emblematic of a broader debate and others admittedly eccentric. Collectively they tell a story about the state of speech in the United States today.

The Tracker is provided free to the general public in the hope of generating interest in broad Free Speech issues, as well as specific controversies. Designed to be apolitical, as far as possible the Tracker tries to avoid labels and judgments of the speech it discusses. New incident summaries will be continuously uploaded, and existing ones brought up to date as appropriate. If we are missing something, we hope you will let us know.

The list of tracker entries is filtered by the current geographic bounds of the map frame, so to filter tracker entries to a specific region, simply pan and zoom the map to that region.

Tracker Entry Map

Use the arrow keys to pan the map when the map frame is in focus, and the zoom buttons to zoom. The zoom buttons are located after the tracker entry markers.


The entries on the Free Speech Tracker can be classified into many themes, including the 12 listed below; most entries relate to several different themes. Click on a box to bring up a list of entries related to that theme, or select two or more to narrow the list down. You may also click or unclick the categories below this box to make the lists specific to Education, Civil Society, Government, or any combination of the three.



Tracker Entries