Clarifying the Terms of the Debate: Paving the Way for Legal Protections of Personal Reputation Online 公开

Gray, Jonathan (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/000000620?locale=zh
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Abstract

Abstract

Clarifying the Terms of the Debate: Paving the Way for Legal Protections of Personal Reputation Online

This paper works primarily to eliminate the barriers to serious discussion of the issue of protecting personal reputation online in a legal manner. Little has been done to protect personal reputations from online harms. A variety of reasonable solutions have been proposed, but, as it stands, we are still lacking adequate protections for personal reputation online. Why is that? We tend to suppose that the responses to and criticisms of those proposals have simply won out in a well-reasoned debate. This paper seeks to explore the forces that shape that debate in order to better understand our failure to protect personal reputations online. If it turns out that the debate is stilted in such a way as to distort the problem and prevent serious discussion of the issue, we will need to shift the terms of the debate so as to aid progress in protecting personal reputation online. This paper analyzes in three parts the content of that debate. First, it establishes the problem of reputational harm and then works through one of the major conflicts in the language we use to conceptualize reputation, looking towards how that conflict is reflected in our failures to protect reputation today. It suggests that legal protections would overcome those failures. Second, it works through the First Amendment tradition in order to understand its guidance in this area and how its invocation functions as a response to calls for better personal reputation protections online. Third, it examines three significant assumptions guiding the debate today, ending with an analysis of the major line of thought guiding speech practices today: the metaphor of the marketplace of ideas. The paper concludes by describing the necessary paths for future research to follow if we are to achieve adequate protections for personal reputation online. This paper and that future research will work to reconfigure the debate over reputation protections and encourage serious discussion of the issue of protecting personal reputation online.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Clarifying the Terms of the Debate: Paving the Way for Legal Protections of Personal
Reputation Online
By Jonathan Gray
Chapter 1: Where We Stand 1
Chapter 2: A New Look at an Old Tradition 28
Chapter 3: Paths to Avoid 60
Works Cited 90

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