Masthead CMC Magazine / January 1, 1996

* A Plea for Understanding--Beyond False Dilemmas on the Net, by Charles Ess

A Better Question: Are Restrictions on Some Forms of Speech Justifiable?

Let's rephrase the question: since some forms of speech may be argued to harm others in some way--are restrictions on some forms of speech justifiable, where "restrictions" may range from externally imposed censorship to self-chosen restrictions? Phrasing the question this way, notice, also moves us beyond the apparent (and now demonstrably false) dilemma between censorship and free speech.

I argue that at least some restrictions--in the form of self-chosen "editing" of our speech--are justifiable, especially if we are committed to a -- specific notion of democracy, one that includes gender equality.

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