Is free expression online threatened by content removal?

U.S. laws regulating online speech offer broad protections for private companies, but experts worry free expression may be threatened by "better safe than sorry" voluntary censorship.

A member of the Westboro Baptist Church demonstrates outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. (Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
  • U.S. laws regulating online speech offer broad protections for internet intermediaries.
  • Despite this, companies typically follow a "better safe than sorry" approach to protect against legal action or loss of reputation.
  • Silencing contentious opinions can have detrimental effects, such as social exclusion and negating reconciliation.
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Copenhagen residents are torn over Denmark's proposed 'Silicon Valley'

It may create the conditions for further inequality.

Architectural rendering by Urban Power for Hvidovre Municipality
  • The Danish government is building nine artificial islands known as Holmene off the coast of Hvidovre.
  • The 33 million square feet of new land will house 380 businesses and 170 acres of parkland, creating 30,000 new jobs.
  • Local residents fear this project will alienate the middle class while disrupting traffic and public transportation systems in nearby Copenhagen.
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Why be buried or cremated when you could become a tree?

You can become a tree or even the soil supporting it.

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  • Recomposition is the process of turning human bodies into soil.
  • Recompose founder Katrina Spade dreamed up her company after learning about livestock being composted.
  • Washington might be the first state in the nation to legally add this as a viable option for the deceased.
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A world first: Luxembourg's public transport to be free for all

Luxembourg will offer the world's first fare-free public transit system, but is there really such a thing as a free ride?

(Photo from Wikimedia)
  • To combat congestion, Luxembourg aims to become the first country to implement fare-free public transit services.
  • Other European nations are considering similar courses, but across the pond the United States continues to fumble its public transportation to deleterious effects.
  • Luxembourg's goal is noble, but it will have to overcome historic trends showing such fare-free systems rarely work in the long run.
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What should we do with all of those empty churches?

Between 6,000-10,000 churches are left behind every year in America.

Interior view of an abandoned church in Italy. (Photo by: Arcaid/UIG via Getty Images)
  • With many churches only being operational for a few hours each week, thousands of churches are shutting down.
  • Church attendance is down nationwide, adding to the problem of what to do with so much real estate.
  • Inventive uses for abandoned churches include co-working spaces, Airbnbs, and bookstores.
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