Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Whose Free Speech?

Free Speech in Cyberspace

“Because [Internet companies] traffic in speech—rather than, say, corn syrup or warplanes—they make decisions every day about what kind of expression is allowed where. And occasionally they come under pressure to explain how they decide, on whose laws and values they rely, and how they distinguish between toxic speech that must be taken down and that which can remain. . . .”

“One of the challenges of the digital age . . . is that speech articulated in one part of the world can spark mayhem in another. Can the companies that run those speech platforms predict what words and images might set off carnage elsewhere? Whoever builds that algorithm may end up saving lives.” 
—Somini Sengupta, writer, “Free Speech in the Age of Internet,” The New York Times, Sept. 22, 2012 
• Editorial Comment: In cyberspace, can they hear you scream?

• Yesterday’s WORD: Did you miss yesterday’s WORDs from famed curmudgeon newsman H.L. Mencken on the dubious character of newspapers? Click here.

Pewetole Dusk

1 comment:

  1. The problem I have with the way many people are framing this debate is that they're focused on the disagreeable speech rather than the violent actions of the people who object to the disagreeable speech. If we try to regulate speech so that it doesn't offend people willing to respond with violence, then we've effectively given them control over our public debate.
    —Brian Bowling