Summary: The First Amendment

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According to James Madison, “Congress shall make no law…. abridging the freedom of speech….” The First Amendment was written in 1789 and it has worked for decades. However, after the introduction of internet in human’s daily life, the society is now challenged with the idea of government’s role in monitoring the internet content. With situations that include threats, substance unsuitable for children, and online malicious behavior, there is a need for government’s regulation on people’s speech.
Government is called to dictate internet content when one incites people to violence with his speech, however, it needs to be a true threat which includes immediacy and an actual intent. For instance, during the Vietnam War, a man expressed that “if he got drafted, his first bullet would be for President Johnson.” The Court detected no threat nor any real intent in the context, therefore, the government had no need to monitor what was being said. If the speech did not pose any likely threats but was regulated by the government, one’s freedom of
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In 2013, a 12-year-old girl ended her life by jumping off of a factory after being bullied on social media for months. She was threatened with words such as “if you haven’t killed yourself yet, would you please just die,” and she had searched on the internet “how many Advil do you need to take to die.” It is at times like this that the government should monitor the conversation on social media or even personal account. When government detects an individual searching for ways of suicides through search engine, it should pay a closer attention to his/her online behavior and reach out to organizations that are capable to help him/her when sensing the urgency of actions. With government’s intervention in people’s daily speech, one might not be cyberbullied and a suicide might thus be

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