The Consequences of an Ungoverned Internet: The Path Toward Regulation of Hate Speech on Social Media

Level of Education of Students Involved


Faculty Sponsor

James Old

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Arts and Sciences


Political Science

ORCID Identifier(s)


Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-27-2023


Social media is a new phenomenon that took the early 2000s by storm in the United States. Just as quickly, social media became a haven for users to post hateful content and spread hate speech online. Despite this, social media hasn’t seen many repercussions for harboring hate speech. Because of its resemblance to the Internet, social media managed to be grouped in with regulations imposed on ISPs which are largely broad and loose. Also, with certain defensive measures like Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and freedom of speech granted by the First Amendment, social media has bypassed much legal scrutiny. Furthermore, the political parties can’t agree on why social media needs to be regulated, which has allowed social media to also bypass congressional scrutiny. As a result of all of this, more hate speech has flourished on social media than show be allowed. In attempting to bring the U.S. further for civil rights and equality, cracking down on hate speech is necessary. To do this, there are some policy proposals that could potentially work around § 230 and still be accepted by the U.S. judiciary. What many of these proposals highlight is that social media is insufficient in regulating hate speech on its own which means government intervention is necessary.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

I'm Nick Christ, a Political Science student minoring in Philosophy. I love public policy and keeping up with current events. Social media has become fundamental parts of our lives, so ensuring it is healthy, welcoming, and safe should be an important goal. I eventually want to work for the government and the people.

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