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SENTRY JOURNAL » Cass Sunstein, Correction, Net Neutrality » Cass Sunstein: Correcting an oversight

Cass Sunstein: Correcting an oversight

I want to first start off by saying that I made a critical error in a recent post about Cass Sunstein and his support for net neutrality.  The post “Net Neutrality: The real reason bloggers should be concerned” was published yesterday June 19, 2010.  Larry over at Political Realities pointed out an oversight that I missed and for that I’m truly thankful.

I decided to research this matter a little deeper and below is what I discovered at PolitiFact.com:

“To explore whether the claim is true, we went back to Sunstein’s 2002 book, Republic.com . In it, Sunstein discusses the drawbacks of limitless choices on the Internet that allow people to seek out only like-minded people and opinions that merely fortify their own views, creating an echo chamber that Sunstein argued is bad for democracy. In the book, Sunstein talks about the idea of the government requiring sites to link to opposing views. In a later edition of the book released in 2007, Republic.com 2.0 , Sunstein tempers that position, advocating instead for the creation of public spaces on the Internet where people with differing viewpoints could share their ideas with one another. But in a video interview on the Web site Bloggerheads.tv on Feb. 29, 2008, Sunstein actually goes a little bit farther than that, calling it a “bad idea” he should never have ventured.”  Asked to explain some of the differences between the first book, what Sunstein called “the initial inadequate edition,” and its successor, Sunstein said, “To me, the most important (difference) is that the first Republic.com was full of some bad policy recommendations and I was able to get rid of those. So I feel the book has been corrected.”  “The initial book was interested in at least considering some government mandates that would require people to link to opposing views, that would require some attention to arguments that maybe had been neglected,” Sunstein said. “And while the book Republic.com was pretty tentative about that, to be tentative about a bad idea, it’s probably better not to even venture a bad idea. Some of the bad ideas I ventured tentatively as worth considering in Republic.com , in 2.0 I say they’d be bad ideas and they’d be unconstitutional.”

It looks as if he stepped back from his original take on the subject.  I want to apologize to all of you for this oversight and this misleading post.  Additionally I want all of you to know that I do not take oversights like this lightly and in the future will make every effort to provide you with accurate and complete information. 

Once again I want to thank Larry for pointing out this error. 

John Carey
THE CURRENT

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