Free Speech / Right Speech

Mitchell Kapor

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As a strange new medium, the Internet's true nature is difficult to grasp. Is there anything special or uniquely valuable about it or is it simply being over-hyped. Could the Net even be dangerous-to children, for instance, by exposing them to unsuitable material?

We see and hear endless media reports, some favorable, some not, on this subject. Millions are exploring the Net for themselves with enthusiasm, while others wait behind on the on-ramp, often with fear and loathing. The Internet has entered into our cultural consciousness as an object onto which we project our hopes and fears. This fundamental ambiguity is nowhere more clearly on display than in the issue of right speech, an ancient Buddhist application of the principle that human sanity as well as social harmony calls for communication that is honest, helpful, clear, and wholesome, rather than deceptive, coercive, and harmful.

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