Republic.com

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 2002 - Law - 236 pages
11 Reviews

See only what you want to see, hear only what you want to hear, read only what you want to read. In cyberspace, we already have the ability to filter out everything but what we wish to see, hear, and read. Tomorrow, our power to filter promises to increase exponentially. With the advent of the Daily Me, you see only the sports highlights that concern your teams, read about only the issues that interest you, encounter in the op-ed pages only the opinions with which you agree. In all of the applause for this remarkable ascendance of personalized information, Cass Sunstein asks the questions, Is it good for democracy? Is it healthy for the republic? What does this mean for freedom of speech?

Republic.com exposes the drawbacks of egocentric Internet use, while showing us how to approach the Internet as responsible citizens, not just concerned consumers. Democracy, Sunstein maintains, depends on shared experiences and requires citizens to be exposed to topics and ideas that they would not have chosen in advance. Newspapers and broadcasters helped create a shared culture, but as their role diminishes and the customization of our communications universe increases, society is in danger of fragmenting, shared communities in danger of dissolving. In their place will arise only louder and ever more extreme echoes of our own voices, our own opinions.

In evaluating the consequences of new communications technologies for democracy and free speech, Sunstein argues the question is not whether to regulate the Net (it's already regulated), but how; proves that freedom of speech is not an absolute; and underscores the enormous potential of the Internet to promote freedom as well as its potential to promote "cybercascades" of like-minded opinions that foster and enflame hate groups. The book ends by suggesting a range of potential reforms to correct current misconceptions and to improve deliberative democracy and the health of the American republic.

Chat with Cass Sunstein in a Message Forum hosted beginning April 1, 2001.

  

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Review: Republic.com 2.0

User Review  - Aeden - Goodreads

He may be a well-regarded law professor, but his conclusions are rather perfunctory. There are several better works about the internet and its impact on American democracy, such as Hindman's "The Myth ... Read full review

Review: Republic.com 2.0

User Review  - Bethany Keeley - Goodreads

Look. I'm really glad this book exists. It is a valuable perspective and a valid concern, but I think Sunstein overstates his case, both in terms of how informed and democratic Americans have ever been, and how severe the current and potential bubble effect are. Read full review

Contents

The Daily Me
3
An Analogy and an Ideal
23
Fragmentation and Cybercascades
51
Social Glue and Spreading Information
89
Citizens
105
Whats Regulation? A Plea
125
Freedom of Speech
141
Policies and Proposals
167
Conclusion Republiccom
191
Afterword
203
Bibliographical Note
213
Notes
215
Acknowledgements
225
Index
227
Copyright

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Page 221 - Virginia State Bd. of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council. 425 US 748 (1976) (commercial speech) (cited in Belloni.

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