Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Free Speech in the Digital Age$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Susan J. Brison and Katharine Gelber

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190883591

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190883591.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2019

“Not Where Bodies Live”

“Not Where Bodies Live”

The Abstraction of Internet Expression

Chapter:
(p.137) 8 “Not Where Bodies Live”
Source:
Free Speech in the Digital Age
Author(s):

Mary Anne Franks

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190883591.003.0009

John Perry Barlow, one of the founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), famously claimed in 1996 that the internet “is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.” The conception of cyberspace as a realm of pure expression has encouraged an aggressively anti-regulatory approach to the internet. This approach was essentially codified in U.S. federal law in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which invokes free speech principles to provide broad immunity for online intermediaries against liability for the actions of those who use their services. The free speech frame has encouraged an abstract approach to online conduct that downplays its material conditions and impact. Online intermediaries use Section 230 as both a shield and a sword—simultaneously avoiding liability for the speech of others while benefiting from that speech. In the name of free expression, Section 230 allows powerful internet corporations to profit from harmful online conduct while absorbing none of its costs.

Keywords:   CDA 230, Backpage, online harassment, corporations, moral hazard

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .