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Internet

Law and Economics

2009

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Free Speech And The Myth Of The Internet As An Unintermediated Experience, Christopher S. Yoo Sep 2009

Free Speech And The Myth Of The Internet As An Unintermediated Experience, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In recent years, a growing number of commentators have raised concerns that the decisions made by Internet intermediaries — including last-mile network providers, search engines, social networking sites, and smartphones — are inhibiting free speech and have called for restrictions on their ability to prioritize or exclude content. Such calls ignore the fact that when mass communications are involved, intermediation helps end users to protect themselves from unwanted content and allows them to sift through the avalanche of desired content that grows ever larger every day. Intermediation also helps solve a number of classic economic problems associated with the Internet. In short ...