The Library Journal Reviews Levmore & Nussbaum's New Book

Social Sciences Reviews, January 2011
Rachel Bridgewater
The Library Journal
January 15, 2011

The Offensive Internet: Speech, Privacy, and Reputation. Harvard Univ. Jan. 2011. c.304p. ed. by Saul Levmore & Martha C. Nussbaum. ISBN 9780674050891. $27.95. LAW

Much writing about the Internet focuses on its remarkable capacity to democratize access to information, to provide a platform for previously marginalized voices, and to otherwise lower barriers and promote freedom. Levmore (William B. Graham Professor of Law, Univ. of Chicago Law Sch.) and Nussbaum (Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law & Ethics, Univ. of Chicago) explore the dark side of all this unregulated freedom and expose the truly vile and harmful speech that can flourish online. The roster of contributors, including many major thinkers on Internet policy and culture, is impressive. The book takes up the serious questions we must face as the net becomes not some specialized tool for technology enthusiasts but ubiquitous. What policies can we put in place to curb bullying and harassment while protecting free speech? What provisions can be made to protect individuals’ privacy or to prevent false and malicious rumors from forever tarnishing reputations? This book is an essential read for anyone interested in exploring these questions. I