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The Internet has been romanticized as a zone of freedom. The alluring combination of sophisticated technology with low barriers to entry and instantaneous outreach to millions of users has mesmerized libertarians and communitarians alike. Lawmakers have joined the celebration, passing the Communications Decency Act, which enables Internet Service Providers to allow unregulated discourse without danger of liability, all in the name of enhancing freedom of speech. But an ...
The Internet has been romanticized as a zone of freedom. The alluring combination of sophisticated technology with low barriers to entry and instantaneous outreach to millions of users has mesmerized libertarians and communitarians alike. Lawmakers have joined the celebration, passing the Communications Decency Act, which enables Internet Service Providers to allow unregulated discourse without danger of liability, all in the name of enhancing freedom of speech. But an unregulated Internet is a breeding ground for offensive conduct.
At last we have a book that begins to focus on abuses made possible by anonymity, freedom from liability, and lack of oversight. The distinguished scholars assembled in this volume, drawn from law and philosophy, connect the absence of legal oversight with harassment and discrimination. Questioning the simplistic notion that abusive speech and mobocracy are the inevitable outcomes of new technology, they argue that current misuse is the outgrowth of social, technological, and legal choices. Seeing this clearly will help us to be better informed about our options.
In a field still dominated by a frontier perspective, this book has the potential to be a real game changer. Armed with example after example of harassment in Internet chat rooms and forums, the authors detail some of the vile and hateful speech that the current combination of law and technology has bred. The facts are then treated to analysis and policy prescriptions. Read this book and you will never again see the Internet through rose-colored glasses.
[This book] is for those who care how the internet has complicated privacy, speech and reputation, and for those who may have to rescue it from itself.
— Liz Else
If the evils of the internet are to be addressed without jeopardizing its benefits, an approach of just this sort is what's needed.
— Michael Kerrigan
The internet may be "offensive," and in some instances so repellent that international pressures can operate. But privacy, with its attendant injunctions, lacks any common definition that works in a global digital context, as this remarkably useful book—detailed, thoughtful debate at a level we haven't begun to approach yet in this country—irresistibly shows.
— Peter Preston
Levmore and Nussbaum collected 13 stimulating and highly readable essays by leading legal scholars and social observers that describe the cultural roots of cyberspace misconduct and suggest possible solutions. The contributors present varied perspectives about the proper balance between free speech and protection of the vulnerable. These authors generally value vigorous social and political discussions in cyberspace. However, they worry that freeing online posters from legal penalties for deleterious statements and from the social norms that restrain individuals from injurious speech in the bricks and mortar world results in excessive amounts of harmful, low-value communication. They propose numerous creative approaches to encourage civility, ranging from new torts to compensate victims to structural changes, such as revised search algorithms to guide users away from cyber-cesspools.
— T. H. Koenig
Introduction Saul Levmore Martha C. Nussbaum 1
I The Internet and Its Problems
1 Speech, Privacy, and Reputation on the Internet Daniel J. Solove 15
2 Civil Rights in Our Information Age Danielle Keats Citron 31
3 The Internet's Anonymity Problem Saul Levmore 50
4 Objectification and Internet Misogyny Martha C. Nussbaum 68
5 Believing False Rumors Cass R. Sunstein 91
6 Reputation Regulation: Disclosure and the Challenge of Clandestinely Commensurating Computing Frank Pasquale 107
7 Youthful Indiscretion in an Internet Age Anupam Chander 124
8 Academic Administrators and the Challenge of Social-Networking Websites Karen M. Bradshaw Souvik Saha 140
9 Cleaning Cyber-Cesspools: Google and Free Speech Brian Leiter 155
10 Privacy, the First Amendment, and the Internet Geoffrey R. Stone 174
11 Foul Language: Some Ruminations on Cohen v. California John Deigh 195
12 Collective Privacy Lior Jacob Strahilevitz 217
13 Privacy on Social Networks: Norms, Markets, and Natural Monopoly Ruben Rodrigues 237