The third panel of the symposium addressed the intersection of sex and the internet. Professor Mary Anne Franks of the University of Miami School of Law addressed free speech culture in her discussion.
“I want to talk about what I call sometimes the ‘First Amendment orthodoxy’ or the clichés about the freedom of speech that we often have, especially in popular understanding of free speech,” Franks said.
Franks continued with discussion on the impact of conversation about sex in cases of unauthorized distribution of sexually explicit imagery. She acknowledged that the objection to the circulation of these images revolves around free speech.
“As opposed to this vision of robust and uninhibited conversation about sex, what we often find is incredibly typical, outdated patriarchal assumptions about sex, and that tends to be most of what we talk about and emphasize,” Franks said. “The ability to share naked pictures of people without their consent has been presented as a free speech issue and that any attempts to try to regulate that conduct would be violations of freedom of speech.”
Eric Goldman, professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, and Jeff Kosseff, an assistant professor of cybersecurity law at the United States Naval Academy, continued the panel with their discussions on internet law and cyber security.
The process of organizing this symposium began last year. Kayla Rowsey, the symposium editor of the First Amendment Law Review, headed planning for the symposium.
“It’s just really a lot of emailing back and forth to panelists and coordinating and doing the logistical stuff like setting up the Carolina Club, making sure there’s people to pick them up at the airport and things like that,” Rowsey said. “And then we also publish some of their scholarly articles, which will come out this March I believe.”
After spending eight months working on the event, Rowsey felt satisfied with the outcomes of the symposium’s panel discussions.
“I think the last panel highlighted that perfectly,” Rowsey said. “I hope that even though there are differences in opinion and what the role of sex and the conversation about sex should be, that we can all come together and work towards creative solutions in some of the problems that they talked about today.”