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Do Social Media Bots Have a Right To Free Speech? - Slashdot

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One study found that 66% of tweets with links were posted by "suspected bots" -- with an even higher percentage for certain kinds of content. Now a new California law will require bots to disclose that they are bots.

But does that violate the bots' freedom of speech, asks Laurent Sacharoff, a law professor at the University of Arkansas."Even though bots are abstract entities, we might think of them as having free speech rights to the extent that they are promoting or promulgating useful information for the rest of us," Sacharoff says. "That's one theory of why a bot would have a First Amendment free speech right, almost independent of its creators." Alternatively, the bots could just be viewed as direct extensions of their human creators. In either case -- whether because of an independent right to free speech or because of a human creator's right -- Sacharoff says, "you can get to one or another nature of bots having some kind of free speech right."

In previous Bulletin...(continued)

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