Adrianos Facchetti, a California “Internet Defamation Attorney,” writing the California Defamation Law Blog asks, among other things, if governments should regulate the Internet to control defamatory speech — however that might be accomplished.
I could only think of one response….
Well, OF COURSE the Internet should be regulated. Isn’t that how America works these days? How are we ever going to be a complete police state if we don’t start regulating speech?
Whenever someone doesn’t like something and they want to government to step in and regulate it notwithstanding the Constitution, they point out how things are different today to when the Founders first wrote the Constitution. Because things are different, governmental authority needs to be different. Since at least the 1990s, the best way to show this is to point out that today, we have the Internet. The Internet is totally different from a broadside, or from rampant unsupportable rumors and hearsay burning through a town, province, or state such as existed…well, everywhere…in the late 1700s.
After all, defaming someone in a broadside, or starting a defamatory rumor that turned the entire town against them…well, that could only put someone out of business.
TODAY, we have the Internet! A defamatory rumor on the Internet could put someone out of business!
See how different things are today?!
What is not different is the fascistic drive within many of us that makes it impossible to allow for the kind of freedom our Founders envisioned when they formulated the Constitution. What is not different is the misguided specks of humanity who are incapable of recognizing patterns from the past and think that every “new” thing they don’t like is so totally new that it requires a complete re-casting of our societal mores and law.
I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words… When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint” (Hesiod, 8th century BCE)
Children nowadays love luxury, have bad manners, contempt for authority, disrespect for their elders. (attributed to Socrates, 5th century BCE)
What has been will be again,
What has been done will be done again;
There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV), probably 3rd century BCE)
Someone did something I didn’t like and it’s different from when other people in the past did things someone didn’t like. They did it using the Internet! The Constitution doesn’t apply! We need a new law! (about a brazilian people — with the same level of intellect as the person who allegedly thought “brazilian” was a really large number — since at least the rise of the Internet)
And several more brazilian before the Internet who thought the Constitution stood in the way of their being able to stifle speech they didn’t like.
The Internet may be bigger, but apparently our brains are getting smaller.
Uh-oh! Did I just defame an entire species?