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Brandenburg and Incitement in a Digital Era

27 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2012  

Russell L. Weaver

University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Date Written: December 11, 2012


The Internet has revolutionized communication by making it possible for ordinary people to directly communicate with each other. Prior to its invention, many people were forced to use much more primitive communications methods (e.g., giving speeches or distributing printed circulars). While more sophisticated communications technologies (e.g., newspapers, radio and television stations) were available, most of those technologies were subject to "gatekeepers" (e.g., editors, reporters, producers) who controlled access to the technology, and who could limit the ability of ordinary individuals to mass communicate.' In order to access these technologies, individuals must first convince the gatekeepers that their ideas are worthy of dissemination. The Internet, coupled with the development of personal computers, has largely freed people from the constraints of gatekeepers, and allowed them to directly communicate with each other. The political and social consequences of this newfound freedom have transformed communication. Using devices like e-mail, listservs, websites and blogs, not to mention Twitter and Facebook, private individuals now have the capacity to directly communicate with each other on a broad scale. Individually, as well as through organizations like and the Tea party, people are using the Internet to communicate much more broadly, and are beginning to reshape society and the political process.

Keywords: Internet, communications, technology, Twitter, Facebook, social media, political process

JEL Classification: K, K39, L86

Suggested Citation

Weaver, Russell L., Brandenburg and Incitement in a Digital Era (December 11, 2012). Mississippi Law Journal, Vol. 80, No. 1, 2011; University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2012-15. Available at SSRN:

Russell L. Weaver (Contact Author)

University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States
502-852-6559 (Phone)
502-852-0862 (Fax)

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