Speech Remedies: Toward State and Corporate Accountability for the Harms of Online Speech

PI: Molly Land

This project develops an interdisciplinary framework based on human rights law for responding to harmful speech online in ways that balance protection from the harms of speech with safeguards for freedom of expression. Current approaches to harmful online speech ignore important lessons from the history of media regulation while also failing to recognize the ways in which the internet ecosystem presents unique challenges. Lack of deep engagement with theories of speech harms and remedies also results in a misalignment of policy that elides critical distinctions between types of harms.

This project seeks to connect online speech regulation to both history and theory to understand what, if anything, is new about these problems and how law can and should respond. It draws on international human rights law to develop recommendations for both state and corporate actors in responding to harmful speech online. Its goal is to use human rights law as the basis for a global law of the internet that can be applied by companies and states alike to address the very real harms of speech while also protecting free expression.