Harmful content over the internet is going viral nowadays on most of the social media platforms, which has negative effects on both adults and children, especially, with the increasing usage of social media tools during the Covid-19 situation. Therefore, social media’s harmful posts should be regulated. Through the recent legislative efforts, societies are still suffering from the influence of these posts. We observe that the people who share harmful posts often hide behind the First Amendment right and the Freedom of Expression of the American Constitution.
This paper focuses on suggesting possible regulations to strike down social media’s harmful content regardless of the platforms it was posted on, to safeguard society from their negative effects. In addition, it highlights the attempts by Qatar’s government to regulate social media crimes and aims to assess if these efforts are enough. Also, it will take a general look at the situation in the United States and how it is dealing with this issue.
Law and social mediaCovid-19 and social mediaRegulating the harmful postsChildren Protection ActSocial media negative influencesCybersecurity LawCommunication Decency Act of 1996Social media
Brannon, Valeri C, Free speech and the regulation of social media content 16 (2019).
Breindl Y and Kuellmer B, Internet Content Regulation in France and Germany: Regulatory Paths, Actor Constellations, and Policies, 369-388 (2013).
Bryan H. Choi, The Anonymous Internet, 72 Md. L. Rev. 501 (2013).
Child Online Protection Act. 47 U.S.C.A. § 231 (West).
Communication Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 223(e)(5) (1998).
Dawn C. Nunziato, Toward a Constitutional Regulation of Minors’ Access to Harmful Internet Speech, 79 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 121 (2004).
Drucker and Gumpert, Regulating Social Media 2 (2013).
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), available at: https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx (accessed on Apr. 20, 2020).
Internet Usage in the Middle East, Middle East Internet Usage & Population Statistics, available at: https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats5.htm (accessed on Mar. 31, 2020).
Internet Usage Statistics for all the Americas. Available at https://internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm (accessed on Apr. 1, 2020).
Kevin W. Saunders, Regulating Youth Access to Violent Video Games: Three Responses to First Amendment Concerns, 2003 L. Rev. Mich. St. U. Det. 51 (2003).
Kosseff J, The twenty-six words that created the Internet, 2 (1978).
Lawrence M. Friedman, Legal Culture and Social Development, 4 L. & Soc. Rev. 29-44 (1969), available at www.jstor.org/stable/3052760 (accessed on Mar. 31, 2020).
Mairead Foody and others, A review of cyberbullying legislation in Qatar: Consideration for policymakers and educators, 50 Int’l J. of L. and Psych. 47 (2017).
Majid Yar, A Failure to Regulate? The Demands and Dilemmas of Tackling Illegal Content and Behavior on Social Media, 1 Int’l. J. of Cybersecurity Intelligence & Cybercrime 5 (2018).
Miller C, YouTube Ads turn videos into revenue, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/technology/03youtube.html (2010).
NBC News watched on Mar. 29th, 2020.
Obado v. Magedson. No. 14-3584. (2015) Obado v. Magedson, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104575, 43 Media L. Rep. 1737, 2014 WL 3778261.
Paul Domer, De Facto State Action: Social Media Networks and the First Amendment, 95 Notre Dame L. Rev. 893 (2019).
Qatar Law No. 14 of 2014, Prevention of Cybercrimes Law, available in unofficial English translation at Qatar Communications Regulatory Authority, https://cra.gov.qa/en/document/cybercrime-prevention-law-no-14-of-2014 (accessed on Oct. 26, 2020).
Qatar’s Penal Law No. 11 of 2004, art. 370-387, available at https://www.almeezan.qa/LawArticles.aspx?LawTreeSectionID=288&lawId=26&language=en (accessed on Oct. 26, 2020).
Ramsta E. South Korea Court Knocks down Online Real-Name Rule, the wall street Journal (2012).
Saul Levmore and Martha C. Nussbaum, The offensive Internet: speech, privacy, and reputation (Harv. U. Press, 2012).
Snapchat video watched on Feb. 18, 2020.
Terms and Policy of Snapchat. https://www.snap.com/en-US/terms/ (accessed on Apr. 23, 2020).
The Fourth Amendment of the American Constitution https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fourth_amendment (accessed on Apr. 3, 2020).
The Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar, available at https://www.almeezan.qa/LawPage.aspx?id=2284&language=en (accessed on Oct. 26, 2020)
TikTok video (watched on Snapchat Apr. 21, 2020).
TikTok video (watched on 2016).
Timothy Zick, Congress, the Internet, and the Intractable Pornography Problem: The Child Online Protection Act of 1998, 32 Creighton L. Rev. 1147 (1999).
Tweeter video (watched on Dec., 2020).
Zeran v. Am. Online, Inc., 129 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 1997).
Copied to clipboard