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Free speech on the internet: The road ahead

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My (O’Leary for News‘) review of Timothy Garton Ash’s Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World, here:

1. The United States has created a global “First Amendment” space for the internet, in the sense that Americans tend to assume that the default position is freedom rather than control. “For the hours you are online, you have virtually emigrated to the United States”. Recent loss of US control means loss of this default position, which is likely to be keenly felt elsewhere.

2. “When it comes to enabling or restricting global freedom of expression, some corporations have more power than most states. Were each user of Facebook to be counted as an inhabitant, Facebook would have a larger population than China.”

Ash divides the world of the internet into dogs (government), cats (IT companies), and mice (users). He says, “The biggest cats are more powerful than all but the very biggest dogs.” A telling incident: … More.

3 Replies to “Free speech on the internet: The road ahead

  1. 1
    News says:

    Instapundit has just been deleted from Twitter. They act fast when they get a chance.

  2. 2
    News says:

    Also: Lots of companies happy to help censor. It’ll be a booming business soon, and a boon to government:

    Canadian firm helping Bahrain censor

  3. 3
    News says:

    Update: SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
    TWITTER HAS UNBLOCKED MY ACCOUNT ON CONDITION OF DELETING THE OFFENDING TWEET. But lest I be accused of airbrushing, it’s preserved here. Still planning on quitting Twitter, though, after making a few points.

    UPDATE: From Nick Gillespie at Reason: In Defense Of InstaPundit’s Glenn Reynolds. “Whatever you think of the tastefulness of his suggestion regarding the protesters in Charlotte, the idea that he is seriously inciting any sort of actual or real threat is risible.”

    [But this is not a long term solution to abandoning the internet to failed states.]

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