School of Law

Research Student: Argyro Karanasiou

Traditional freedom of speech at a turning point: Freedom of online speech and regulation keeping the balance between protection, abuse and censorship in a transnational environment

Photo of Argyro Karanasiou

The aim of the proposed project is to monitor the development of online speech, examine attempts of its regulation so far and conclude to possible transnational regulation perspectives balancing among protection of freedom of online speech and restriction of abuse of that right.

A major question of research is whether online speech could be regulated in a transnationally accepted way, that would comply with freedom of speech protection of the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights, while the aim of my research would be to contribute to the developing law in this area of online speech, with emphasis on its regulation.

Main area of interest will mostly be what is considered to be “written speech” online, emphasizing on defamation, hate speech and terrorism incitements. Supranational regulation is not something incompatible with European Union’s philosophy, yet it seems that attempts so far concerning online speech are at an embryonic stage.

However, regulating online speech within Europe seems difficult due to different ethical standards since “harmful and illegal” e-speech is to be perceived within a broad environment of cultural diversity. Furthermore, global regulation of e-speech is regarded as almost impossible since strict European legislation is opposed to a US highly protective constitutional mechanism of freedom of e-speech, dooming a possible “lex cybernatoria” to failure.

Since traditional right of freedom of speech is seen in a global e-community, it is well accepted that the phenomenon of e-speech is still on its beginning, and therefore close monitoring and further research would play a key role in future regulation.

The findings of the proposed research could demonstrate the effectiveness of national and transnational measures on the subject, aiding relevant policy making and be of great use and interest to everyone concerned with online speech.

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