As college campuses across the United States grapple with questions surrounding the power and limits of free expression, a new Gallup-Knight Foundation survey of U.S. college students provides a view into how attitudes about the First Amendment on college campuses are evolving and what that means for our democracy.

The study, sponsored by Knight Foundation, the American Council on Education, the Charles Koch Foundation, and the Stanton Foundation surveyed 3,014 U.S. college students, including an oversample of 216 students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). It builds on a 2016 study by Gallup, Knight Foundation and the Newseum.

While U.S. college students show strong support for the First Amendment, many also approve of limits on speech to foster an environment where diverse perspectives are respected. These competing views and habits can have an effect on the freedoms that the First Amendment guarantees. Understanding them will help to preserve our most fundamental rights into the future.

Here are 8 findings that stood out to us:

1. Free expression is important, but so is diversity

2. Students support free speech, but increasingly favor limits

3. Confidence in the security of First Amendment rights is dropping

4. Political conservatives are seen as less able to express their views

5. Some students say shouting down speakers and using violence is sometimes acceptable

6. Social media can stifle free expression

7. Students believe social media companies should be responsible for limiting hate speech

8. Trust in the media varies depending on political affiliation

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