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Liars – Falsehoods and Free Speech in an Age of Deception - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Liars: Falsehoods and Free Speech in an Age of Deception

Cass R. Sunstein


Liars are causing devastating problems. They are endangering public health. They are threatening self-government. They are destroying the reputation of good people—and inflating the reputation of people who are not so good. Nonetheless, most falsehoods ought not to be censored or regulated, even if they are lies. In general, free societies allow them. Public officials should not be allowed to act as the truth police. A key reason is that we cannot trust officials to separate truth from falsehood; their own judgments are unreliable, and their own biases get in the way. If officials are licensed ... More

Keywords: false speech, private institutions, lies, regulation, restrictions, constitutional protection

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780197545119
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197545119.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Cass R. Sunstein, author
Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard Law School