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More on One-to-One Speech vs. One-to-Many Speech:

Ten years ago, it turns out, one of my law review articles discussed the problem with applying telephone harassment laws (or even harassment laws that govern one-to-one annoying e-mail) to one-to-many speech. That article pointed out that e-mail harassment laws might punish one-to-many speech posted to e-mail discussion lists; but the analysis equally applies to the recently enacted change to the federal harassment law, which would punish one-to-many speech posted on Web sites.

The bottom line is that, even if it's OK to punish speech that's likely to be annoying and offensive to its sole listener -- on the theory that such speech is unlikely to enlighten or edify, and likely only to annoy -- such restrictions shouldn't be extended to speech that has many listeners, many of whom might find the speech valuable even though it's annoying (perhaps deliberately so) to some other listeners.

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