David Hudson Jr., Belmont University College of Law: Free Speech or Censorship?

Extract from David L. Hudson Jr.’s article “Free speech or censorship? Social media litigation is a hot legal battleground”

The now-retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in an opinion on a 2017 First Amendment case, called the cyber age a revolution of historic proportions, noting that “we cannot appreciate yet its full dimensions and vast potential to alter how we think, express ourselves, and define who we want to be.”

Kennedy said cyberspace, and social media in particular, was among the “most important places … for the exchange of views.” He compared the internet to a public forum, akin to a public street or park. Although Justice Samuel A. Alito concurred in the opinion, he also chastised Kennedy for his “undisciplined dicta” and “unnecessary rhetoric.”

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