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The Interent - Marketplace of Ideas

            With the invention of the internet, new ideas and concerns have been brought up that have challenged the way in how the "marketplace of ideas" can be strengthened and changed. Access to the internet has created many diverse opinions and perspectives (online forums, pornography, cyber bullying) that have enabled Americans to have an active participation in our democracy. With so many views and ideas there is the potential for the marketplace of ideas to get impacted in a positive but also a negative ways. The big question is how can we determine what is negative? Mill argued for complete freedom of speech. We have to allow all kinds of speech including hate speech so that it can be tested and publicly refuted. This idea although very attractive can lead to too many assumptions that people will actually be able to assess what is rational and what is not; because of this the courts have tried to regulate certain kinds of speech on the internet. .
             One way the court did regulate speech on the internet because it was causing harm was in ACLA v. Planned Parenthood, a radical anti-abortion group that published a list of abortion providers with their personal information to protest the Nuremberg Files that called for the providers to be prosecuted for "war crimes". The ACLA had a website up with the pictures of the abortion providers. The ones who had been injured by pro-life activists were grayed out, while the pictures of those who happened to have been killed were crossed through with a line. The 9th Circuit En Banc ruled that there was a symbolic "true threat" because the speaker made a violent threat to a group of people, even though it was not carried out, that cased the individuals to live with fear especially because it was not the first time this had happened. This case shows how people can contribute negative ideas to the marketplace, where the ACLA used the internet to reach as many people as possible and potentially harm people.

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