With the growing availability of Internet access across the globe, social media has transformed the traditional relationship between government authority and its citizens by providing the people with an innovative and powerful means to harmonize their efforts in expressing their political and social concerns. The importance of safeguarding Internet availability is more critical than ever before as access to the Internet is now the means by which the world communicates, stays informed, and engages in daily tasks. In the face of potential social unrest fueled by social media, the United States must take a preventative approach, one that matches our policy of Internet freedom with technology. It is paramount that the United States refrains from adopting the oppressive policies of other governments by shutting down the Internet or restricting access to social media.
This Comment examines the United States’ ability to shut down social media in response to potential violent social unrest and the effect of such a shutdown.