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Freedom of expression research focuses on the rights of communicators to send and receive messages and actions that inhibit those rights. Free expression scholarship often focuses on freedom from government constraints on communication, as the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bars Congress (later interpreted to refer to the government, generally) from abridging free expression. Researchers also analyze constraints on expression imposed by private actors, such as corporations or empowered groups in society. Constraints that are examined include censorship of messages, penalties imposed after messages are communicated, and policies or actions that cause a chilling effect because communicators censor themselves rather than risk adverse consequences. Freedom of expression research may consider the right to any form of verbal or nonverbal communication from talking to tweeting ...

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