Correcting Digital Speech
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Correcting Digital Speech

Abstract

The market for information has changed dramatically in the past

decade with the popularization of the Internet, the exponential growth

in number and variety of speakers, and the increased democratization

of speech. These shifts have made digital media particularly

vulnerable to harm from information pollution; the information market

is not as capable as it once was of ensuring that the truth prevails.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that information consumers are not

looking for the truth, but rather, for information that confirms their

own pre-existing biases. Moreover, there is significant evidence that

people are resistant to changing their minds from what they had

previously believed, even if it is later proven to be false. Combined,

market failures in disseminating information and personal heuristics in

interpreting information suggest that the remedy of more speech to

combat false or defamatory speech is not as effective as once thought.

Instead, First Amendment jurisprudence should be rebalanced to allow

for a general right of correction for digital speech.

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