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Mercer University School of Law

2022

Mercer Law Review

First Amendment

Articles 1 - 6 of 6

Full-Text Articles in Law

Social Media, Section 230, And Free Expression, Russell L. Weaver Mar 2022

Social Media, Section 230, And Free Expression, Russell L. Weaver

Mercer Law Review

Throughout history, as new communications technologies have been developed, they have been controlled by “gatekeepers” who had the power to decide who could access those technologies. Although Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in the Fifteenth century was revolutionary and ultimately led to major innovations in science and technology, as well as to dramatic societal changes, Gutenberg’s invention was not accessible by everyone. Because printing presses were expensive, only wealthy individuals could afford to own and operate them, and those few individuals had the power to control who could use their technologies to mass communicate. Many of the technologies …


Social Media Platforms And Free Expression: An Introduction, Eric J. Segall Mar 2022

Social Media Platforms And Free Expression: An Introduction, Eric J. Segall

Mercer Law Review

On Friday, October 8, 2021, the Mercer Law Review hosted a virtual Symposium on “Social Media Platforms and Free Expression.” This important topic could not be timelier. With the Right calling for regulation of Facebook and Twitter in order to stop the removal of conservatives from their platforms, to the direct effect of social media on our elections and our politics, the worldwide spread of this technology has brought with it new and difficult legal issues regarding freedom of expression and social harms. Congratulations to the Mercer Law Review for addressing these controversial and complex questions.


Social Media And Democracy After The Capitol Riot, Or, A Cautionary Tale Of The Giant Goldfish, Seth Oranburg Mar 2022

Social Media And Democracy After The Capitol Riot, Or, A Cautionary Tale Of The Giant Goldfish, Seth Oranburg

Mercer Law Review

Lately, people have been finding giant pet goldfish in lakes across America. You may see these tiny fish swimming in bowls at the county fair, but left alone in a lake or large pond, where they are dropped perhaps by a well-meaning child, they can grow to 20 pounds or more—and destroy ecosystems. The goldfish is a cautionary tale that has been told time and again in different forms, like Pandora’s box.

On January 6, 2021, a somewhat organized group of rioters overran and briefly took control of the U.S. Capitol. Social media clearly played a role in the riots …


To Be Seen But Not Heard: How The Internet’S Negative Impact On Minors’ Constitutional Right To Privacy, Speech, And Autonomy Creates A Need For Empathy-By-Design, Jon M. Garon Mar 2022

To Be Seen But Not Heard: How The Internet’S Negative Impact On Minors’ Constitutional Right To Privacy, Speech, And Autonomy Creates A Need For Empathy-By-Design, Jon M. Garon

Mercer Law Review

This Article reviews the rights of individuals younger than eighteen to engage in their daily activities, now often mediated through online service providers, learning management systems, and other technological intermediaries. Unlike prior generations, modern adolescents must navigate the complex world of online society in addition to their family life, school day, and the time they spend away from school at work or in social activities.

This project includes concerns over bullying and harassment, contractual rights, social media policies, child pornography laws, revenge pornography laws, and end-user license agreements.


The Protection Of Freedom Of Expression From Social Media Platforms, András Koltay Mar 2022

The Protection Of Freedom Of Expression From Social Media Platforms, András Koltay

Mercer Law Review

Social media platforms have overturned the previously known system of public communication. As predicted at the outset, the spread of the public Internet that started three decades ago has resulted in a paradigm shift in this field. Now, anyone can publish their opinion outside the legacy media, at no significant cost, and can become known and be discussed by others. Due to the technological characteristics of the Internet, it might also be expected that this kind of mass expression, with such an abundance of content, would necessitate the emergence of gatekeepers, similar in function to the ones that existed earlier …


Amazon’S Prime Reliance On The First Amendment’S Free Expression Protections In Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc., V. Amazon.Com, Inc., Avery Hart Hayes Mar 2022

Amazon’S Prime Reliance On The First Amendment’S Free Expression Protections In Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc., V. Amazon.Com, Inc., Avery Hart Hayes

Mercer Law Review

Is freedom of expression sometimes more important than one’s reputation and religious inclusion? Spoiler alert—the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals says yes.

The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” Defamation law has existed for centuries; however, it was not until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s that the Supreme Court of the United States considered defamation law in conjunction with the First Amendment. Since then, the protections of the First Amendment are especially heightened when it comes to published criticism of public officials and public figures. The rationale …