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The Beneficial Effects of Restricting Internet Speech Cecil Eng Huang Chua Information Technology & The Beneficial Effects of Restricting Internet Speech Cecil Eng Huang Chua Information Technology & Operations Management [email protected] edu. sg

ICIS 2004 CFP • One of the most significant impacts of information systems has ICIS 2004 CFP • One of the most significant impacts of information systems has been their effect on promoting free and unfettered exchange of information across boundaries 1

Introduction • Tacitly accepted model of Internet Speech Accessibility Diversity of Speech Anonymity Citizen Introduction • Tacitly accepted model of Internet Speech Accessibility Diversity of Speech Anonymity Citizen Participation Democracy • Is this model true? 2

This Research • Free speech suppresses speech • Restricting speech allows speech Ø If This Research • Free speech suppresses speech • Restricting speech allows speech Ø If speech is not restricted, other speech cannot exist Ø Suppressed by “free” speech • Free speech and censorship can co-exist in Internet Ø Some places “free” Ø Some places “censored” Ø Encourages greater diversity of speech than purely “free” speech 3

Methodology • Proof by counterexample Ø At least one case where speech exists because Methodology • Proof by counterexample Ø At least one case where speech exists because other speech is restricted Ø Show situation is generalizable • Case site Ø Jewish newsgroups Ø Soc. culture. jewish. moderated Ø Other Jewish newsgroups 4

Soc. culture. jewish 5 Soc. culture. jewish 5

Soc. culture. jewish. moderated 6 Soc. culture. jewish. moderated 6

Intention of soc. culture. jewish/moderated • Talk about Jewish practices ØJewish holidays ØLeading a Intention of soc. culture. jewish/moderated • Talk about Jewish practices ØJewish holidays ØLeading a “good” Jewish life ØSourcing for Jewish paraphernalia ØHolocaust rememberance 7

Soc. culture. jewish Not Intended For • • Hate speech Judaism vs. Other Cultural Soc. culture. jewish Not Intended For • • Hate speech Judaism vs. Other Cultural Practices Israel Mid-east Politics 8

However • Anti-semites, missionaries, etc. need a Jewish audience • Jews didn’t want to However • Anti-semites, missionaries, etc. need a Jewish audience • Jews didn’t want to hear this speech • Anti-semites, missionaries, etc. would “ride” on Jewish conversation The jew Jacov Kurovsky on the orders of the jew Trotsky, shot and then bayoneted to death The Tsar, his wife, 5 children, their doctor, servanats and even their little pet spaniel in the cellar where they had been held since thier arrest by the bolsheviks. Re: Holocaust Calendar: February 20, February 19, 2003 9

Jews couldn’t talk • Fear of victimization • Disruption of conversation by Jew-haters • Jews couldn’t talk • Fear of victimization • Disruption of conversation by Jew-haters • Lots of “noise” to read signal the combination of the high volume of postings and the large portion of those which are either off-topic, indiscriminately crossposted … or anti-Semitic has driven many readers and posters away from the newsgroup. RESULT: soc. culture. jewish. moderated passes 212: 34, July 9, 2000 10

Jews couldn’t create newsgroup • Anti-semites, missionaries, etc. follow to other newsgroups • Need Jews couldn’t create newsgroup • Anti-semites, missionaries, etc. follow to other newsgroups • Need Jews to hear speech 11

Final Solution • Create Newsgroup • Restrict posts: Human moderators ØNo mid-east politics ØNo Final Solution • Create Newsgroup • Restrict posts: Human moderators ØNo mid-east politics ØNo hate speech ØNo sermonizing Yes, believe it or not. There are still real Jews who post to this swamp we call SCJ. However, if you would like Jewish conversation without having to wade through the antisemitism, missionaries, etc. you can post to SCJM (soc. culture. jewish. moderated). Is anyone here Jewish? , March 4, 2004 12

Postings in Newsgroup Category SCJM SCJ 2003 SCJ 1999 % SCJM % SCJ 2003 Postings in Newsgroup Category SCJM SCJ 2003 SCJ 1999 % SCJM % SCJ 2003 % SCJ 1999 8 5 2 5. 3% 0. 4% Jewish Culture 91 25 70 59. 9% 2. 2% 13. 5% Non-Jewish Culture 10 29 62 6. 6% 2. 5% 11. 9% Anti-Jewish 2 285 133 1. 3% 24. 8% 25. 6% Israel 7 192 84 4. 6% 16. 7% 16. 2% Mid-East Politics 0 206 9 0. 0% 17. 9% 1. 7% Holocaust 0 12 8 0. 0% 1. 5% Off topic 34 392 151 22. 4% 34. 1% 29. 0% 152 1146 520 100% 99. 8% Newsgroup Governance Total 13

Jewish newsgroups today • Soc. culture. jewish ØVenue for hate speech/missionizing, etc. ØSome Jews Jewish newsgroups today • Soc. culture. jewish ØVenue for hate speech/missionizing, etc. ØSome Jews frequent newsgroup ØRebut anti-jewish rhetoric • Soc. culture. jewish. moderated ØVenue for Jewish culture ØSome internal problems • Disagreement between Jewish denominations 14

Theorizing About Free Speech • Why does the freedom to speak not promote “free” Theorizing About Free Speech • Why does the freedom to speak not promote “free” speech? • Suppressive speech ØSpeech that when articulated drives out other kinds of speech ØSpecial case of “non-community” speech 15

Non-Community Speech • People visit virtual community for two reasons ØTalk about things “relevant” Non-Community Speech • People visit virtual community for two reasons ØTalk about things “relevant” to community ØNot talk about things “not relevant” to community • Non-Community speech is “not relevant” ØExpensive to read or filter ØCan carry hurtful message ØCan promote other non-community speech 16

“Normal” Strategy • When non-community speech becomes expensive ØCommunity Splits ØOld community retains non-community “Normal” Strategy • When non-community speech becomes expensive ØCommunity Splits ØOld community retains non-community flavor ØNew community preserves old community flavor Ø“No one forces you to listen” 17

Suppressive Speech • Is non-community speech requiring a community audience • Pursues community members Suppressive Speech • Is non-community speech requiring a community audience • Pursues community members to new community • “forces you to listen” • Only solution: restrict it 18

Q&A Q&A