Matthew Gaylor Slices and Dices Cass Sunstein

Jon Katz loved the book, but Matt Gaylor does an excellent job of outright slamming Cass Sunstein’s book, Republic.Com for Slashdot.

One of the most bizarre ideas that Sunstein advocates — and this is the sort of thing that could only come from an academic — is a sort of equal time provision for web sites. A site that is say anti-gun control would be required by law to link to a pro-gun control site. Gaylor quotes Sunstein as saying,

We might easily imagine a situation in which textual references to organizations or institutions are hyperlinks, so that if, for example, a conservative magazine such as the National Review refers to the World Wildlife Fund or Environmental Defence, it also allows readers instant access to their sites. …To the extent that sites do not do this, voluntary self regulation through cooperative agreements might do the job. If these routes do not work, it would be worthwhile considering content-neutral regulation, designed to ensure more in the way of both links and hyperlinks.

Does this mean if the NAACP produces a report on online hate groups that it has to link to each group? If a gay/lesbian site writes and article about Fred Phelps, do they have to links to GodHatesFags.Com?

What an unbelievably stupid idea (and, by the way, unconstitutional).

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