spacer_image About PAH
spacer_image
spacer_image About Hate Crimes
spacer_image
spacer_image For Community and Business Leaders
spacer_image
spacer_image For Educators
spacer_image
spacer_image For Law Enforcement
spacer_image
spacer_image For Parents and Families
spacer_image
spacer_image For Youth
spacer_image
spacer_image For Trainers
spacer_image
spacer_image Hate Response Network
spacer_image
spacer_image Hate Crimes Database
spacer_image
spacer_image Promising Programs
spacer_image
spacer_image PAH Publications
spacer_image
spacer_image Newsletter
spacer_image
spacer_image Site Index
spacer_image
spacer_image
spacer_image Trainers Intranet
spacer_image
Partner Organizations

Anti-Defamation League


Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence


The Leadership Conference Education Fund

Funded By

Office of Juvenile Deliquency Prevention U.S. Department of Justice


Safe and Drug Free Schools Program U.S. Department of Education

Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program.

Issue/Question:

Why can't the government ban use of the Internet to spread hateful and racist ideology in the United States?

Suggested Response:

The Internet operates across national borders, and efforts by the international community or by any one government to regulate its contents would be virtually impossible, both technologically and legally. In the United States, the First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right of freedom of speech to all Americans, even those whose opinions are reprehensible by most people's standards. In a number of recent decisions, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that the government may not regulate the content of Internet speech to an extent greater than it may regulate speech in more traditional areas of expression such as the print media, the broadcast media, or the public square. While courts may take into account the Internet's vast reach and accessibility, they must still approach attempts to censor or regulate speech online from a traditional constitutional framework.

« Return to Frequently Asked Questions About Hate and Hate Violence

© 2003 The Leadership Conference Education Fund
Contact Us Privacy Statement
Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software