Respecting Context: A New Deal for Free Speech in the Digital Era

This source preferred by Argyro Karanasiou

Authors: Karanasiou, A.

Editors: Basu, S. and Karanasiou, A.

Journal: European Journal of Law and Technology

Volume: 3

Issue: 3

ISSN: 2042-115X

This paper discusses the significance that context seems to be holding for free speech adjudication; realizing its context helps to adjust the right's protective scope in an appropriate manner. More importantly, framing speech within a context determines the balancing act performed in cases of clashing with other rights. As it is argued here, the digital era has framed free speech in a new context, which seems to challenge our present legal approaches. This paper highlights the need to perceive the new digital context and appropriate our current views in the light of digitization. Namely, it is suggested that free speech adjudication should take into account the specific architectural traits of the internet, which are dominant in the digital context. This argument put forth should not be taken to imply further that a hands-off approach should be followed online; on the contrary this paper calls for re-establishing the link between law and context, which seems to have been overlooked online. Highlighting this link will enable a better understanding of free speech in the digital era and will provide proper guidance for deciding the right's trade-offs with competing rights online, predominantly intellectual property and privacy. The paper urges for a new deal for free speech online: a balancing act based on its digital context.

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