Missing Links: The First Amendment's Place in an Ever-Changing Web

  • Erin M. Holliday Student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law


Legal questions remain surrounding hateful rhetoric online, including when the government should or can legally step in and do something to prevent acts of terror or hate crimes. This Article explores the current legal landscape surrounding access to publishing online, and its benefits and costs for everyday users and private companies. Through a First Amendment lens, as well as other relevant case law, legislation, and regulation, this Article seeks to provide an understanding of the civil liberty implications of how a change in the law or policy would affect the rights of private companies and publishers and users, both readers and writers of content. This analysis focuses specifically on legal ramifications, protections, and liabilities of major social media outlets and news sites, as well as easily accessible online forums and public-facing websites of hate groups.

Author Biography

Erin M. Holliday, Student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Erin McCarthy Holliday is a Juris Doctor Candidate for the Class of 2020, University of Pittsburgh School of Law; B.S.J. 2013, Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She serves as a staff editor on the Pittsburgh Journal of Technology Law and Policy; and a senior editor for JURIST legal news service. The author worked as a journalist and non-profit writer prior to law school. Special thanks to my husband Christopher; Professor Dave Hickton, Founding Director of the Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security at the University of Pittsburgh for his mentorship and help in the article; and Director of the University of Pittsburgh Energy Law & Policy Institute and Adjunct Professor of Law Kevin Abbott.
How to Cite
Holliday, E. M. (2019). Missing Links: The First Amendment’s Place in an Ever-Changing Web. Pittsburgh Journal of Technology Law &Amp; Policy, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.5195/tlp.2019.228
Staff Article Series