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