Stance 15:44-55 (2022)

In this paper, I examine whether John Stuart Mill’s account of free speech can survive three main challenges posed by social media. First, I consider the problem of social media failing to distinguish between emotive and factual language. Second, I look at the problem of algorithms creating moralism. I then turn to a potential objection to my first two challenges. The objection elucidates the benefits of social media’s emotional and algorithmic character, amplifying arguments and increasing public engagement. However, I take issue with this objection on consequentialist terms. I finally return to the third challenge, where I focus on how anonymity removes the consequences to our words; I contend that this final failure is the ultimate reason why Mill’s account cannot persist in the modern age. In conclusion, I argue that Mill’s account cannot withstand the problems posed by social media.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.33043/s.15.1.44-55
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Free Speech, Privacy, and Autonomy.Adam D. Moore - 2020 - Social Philosophy and Policy 37 (2):31-51.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Free Speech and Liberal Community.Gerald Lang - 2019 - In Carl Fox & Joe Saunders (eds.), Media Ethics, Free Speech, and the Requirements of Democracy. London, UK: pp. 105-123.
What is Free Speech?David Braddon-Mitchell & Caroline West - 2004 - Journal of Political Philosophy 12 (4):437-460.
A Defence of Free Speech.Richard McDonough - 1989 - In Cedric Pan Jaganathan Muraleenathan (ed.), Thinking about Democracy. pp. 61-84.
The Free Speech Argument Against Pornography.Caroline West - 2003 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):391 - 422.
Moral Grandstanding as a Threat to Free Expression.Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke - 2020 - Social Philosophy and Policy 37 (2):170-189.
Free Vs Hate Speech on Social Media: The Indian Perspective.Iftikhar Alam, Roshan Lal Raina & Faizia Siddiqui - 2016 - Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 14 (4):350-363.


Added to PP index

Total views
24 ( #475,913 of 2,518,491 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
24 ( #36,270 of 2,518,491 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes