Internet and social media has created new challenges for how we apply the concepts of freedom of speech, civil liberties, and civil rights to citizens’ behavior and actions in virtual spaces.

As we have discussed this week, the emergence of the Internet and social media has created new challenges for how we apply the concepts of freedom of speech, civil liberties, and civil rights to citizens’ behavior and actions in virtual spaces.  Meanwhile, a handful of Internet platforms have grown to the point where some argue they are monopolies who are strangling the free market.  Despite all of these significant developments, the last significant piece of communications legislation was the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  Growing numbers of people are calling for new legislation to address the pressing needs of our contemporary communications environment.

For this assignment, you are playing the role of a subject matter expert for a U.S. Congressperson.  Your task is to provide your boss with a 650 word summary of either (a) a current Internet platform that has become too powerful and is need of regulation, or (b) one that has become a monopoly and needs to be broken up.  To complete your paper, do the following:

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1) Choose from one of the following companies: (choose one)

·  Google

·  Facebook

2) Conduct research to find a case where a person or organization claims they have been treated unfairly by your chosen organization.  This can include being suspended or banned for expressing their political beliefs, having their opinions allegedly suppressed in search results, or having their business suffer due to an inability to compete on a fair playing field.

3) Compose a paper which:

a)  summarizes the issue;

b)  describes the unfair treatment;

c)  explains how your chosen company was able to do what they did;

d)  and proposes at least one regulation that could prevent this in the future.

The best papers will include at least 3 external sources, will integrate the concepts we have discussed in weeks 1-7, and will explain why the proposed regulation addresses the need to consider citizens’ civil liberties and civil rights.  Be creative with your suggested legislation, and have fun!

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