Terrorism, Violent Extremism, and the Internet: Free Speech Considerations

EveryCRSReport.com – Terrorism, Violent Extremism, and the Internet: Free Speech Considerations, May 6, 2019 R45713: “Recent acts of terrorism and hate crimes have prompted a renewed focus on the possible links between internet content and offline violence. While some have focused on the role that social media companies play in moderating user-generated content, others have called for Congress to pass laws regulating online content promoting terrorism or violence. Proposals related to government action of this nature raise significant free speech questions, including (1) the reach of the First Amendment’s protections when it comes to foreign nationals posting online content from abroad; (2) the scope of so-called “unprotected” categories of speech developed long before the advent of the internet; and (3) the judicial standards that limit how the government can craft or enforce laws to preserve national security and prevent violence. At the…

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