Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Coe on Anonymity and Pseudonymity: Free Speech's Problem Children @pcoelaw

Peter Coe, Aston University, is publishing Anonymity and Pseudonymity: Free Speech's Problem Children in the Media & Arts Review. Here is the abstract.

Through comparative analysis of United States, English, German and European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence, this article considers the viability of relying exclusively on either speaker or audience interests to underpin a free speech right within the context of anonymous and pseudonymous social media and online speech. It argues that this approach, which has hitherto been applied in these jurisdictions, can lead to a ‘double-edged sword’: on the one side, pursuant to audience interests, people may be dissuaded from participating in the exchange of information and ideas, because their anonymity or pseudonymity is not protected; on the other side, a constitutionally protected right to free speech based entirely on speaker interests could inadvertently protect unwanted and damaging speech.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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