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Online Speech, Restrictions on

Speech is commonly defined as the communication of ideas. Online speech is the Internet-enabled version, broadening the audience at little cost to the speaker. In the early days of the Internet, this was seen as strengthening the public sphere. Although the promise of an Internet-enabled democratic revival lingers on, so do types of speech that many fear and detest: pornography, hate speech, and threats. Beyond the uncontested realms of human trafficking and the production of child pornography, however, speech that is targeted by legislation or social sanction as impermissible differs by jurisdiction owing to cultural factors and the needs of the state. Although jurisdiction is not always easy to determine in matters of electronic bits rather than matter, efforts to restrict are made in various ...

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