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Anonymity and pseudonymity: Free speech’s problem children

Coe, P. (2018) Anonymity and pseudonymity: Free speech’s problem children. Media & Arts Law Review, 22 (2). pp. 173-200. ISSN 1325-1570

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Abstract/Summary

Through comparative analysis of US, English, German and European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence, this article considers the viability of relying exclusively on either speaker or audience interests to underpin a free speech right within the context of anonymous and pseudonymous social media and online speech. It argues that this approach, which has hitherto been applied in these jurisdictions, can lead to a ‘double-edged sword’: on the one side, pursuant to audience interests, people may be dissuaded from participating in the exchange of information and ideas, because their anonymity or pseudonymity is not protected; on the other side, a constitutionally protected right to free speech based entirely on speaker interests could inadvertently protect unwanted and damaging speech.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:86785
Publisher:Melbourne Law School

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