About the event

A free society requires free speech—but the story has always been more complicated than that. Power and social inequality have always shaped how speech is practiced. And now technological change—most recently, the Web—has the capacity to disrupt and transform speech practices, raising important questions: Who can speak? To whom? How? Where? Why? What these questions make clear is that the Web is not a new (virtual) frontier, but part of a longer history. Theorizing the Web asks, “Free speech for whom?” The conference’s opening plenary and panel discussion bring together thinkers of free speech and the Web to explore this broad issue in many ways, from bullying, trolling, and harassment to Anonymous and WikiLeaks; from drones, spying, and surveillance to protest and repression; from big data, hacking, and doxxing to mob vigilantism and anarchism.

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