Arguments Against Internet Censorship

787 Words4 Pages
"The main way our Constitution operates is to protect the basic liberties of the American people by keeping powers, such as the government, in check. Freedom of speech is renowned as an ultimate western ideal along with its counterpart, Freedom of the Press. In Lovell v. City of Griffin (1938), Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes defined the press as ""every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion."" This right has been extended to newspapers, books, plays, movies, and video games. In Branzburg v. Hayes (1972), Freedom of the press was further defined as ""a fundamental personal right"", not confined to newspapers and periodicals. From these interpretations, the Government is disallowed by the Constitution to monitor…show more content…
The term “Shouting fire in a crowded theater”, arose in the Schenck v. United States case (1919) which issued that the defendant 's speech opposing the military draft of WWI was not protected by the Constitution. The metaphor in question was the paraphrased opinion of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. and is commonly referenced to explain the censorship of speech with malicious or harmful intent. Considering this, one may inquire if the Government, as dictated by the free speech law, is allowed censor internet speech on the ground of inciting violence. The simple answer is yes, violent threats made over the internet is not protected under the free speech law. However, complexity arises when it comes to defining violent…show more content…
A brief backtrack into history: during the French Revolution, authorities explicitly used their power to censor opinions they didn 't like during the Reign of Terror. In 1798, the U.S. Congress passed the Sedition Act in order to punish false statements about the Government made with malicious intent. The law was used to suppress the opinion presented by the Federalist administration. In more modern times, our Government commits questionable and even illegal acts -- the level to which we are informed of these acts is non-exclusive and dependent on media outlets. A staggering amount of the time, we are unaware of what is happening in politics because issues are selectively covered. We the people are third party recipients of the actions of those above us. Moreover, the information we receive isn’t exclusively correct or valid, and we are, for the large part, left in the dark about the motivations and actions of our political

More about Arguments Against Internet Censorship

Open Document