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Cass R. Sunstein

The Free Speech Debate About Social Media Is Broken

Our broad protections of the right to lie rest on an inadequate understanding of human psychology.

Unfortunately, this isn’t true,

Unfortunately, this isn’t true,

Photographer: David Ryder/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court is strongly committed to the “marketplace of ideas.” It tends to believe, in the words of Justice Louis Brandeis, that the remedy for falsehoods and fallacies is “more speech, not enforced silence.”

If you believe that, you might also believe that if people lie about Covid-19, the 2020 presidential election, a politician, a journalist, a neighbor — or you or me — nothing can be done. Sure, you can answer with “counterspeech”: the truth. And that’s it.