IDH Interns Assignments, Media Law, Fall 2021

Assignment 1B: Applying Case Law

For Assignment 1B, let's practice using a legal hypothetical.  The game is how well you can use three cases -- Synder, Schenck, and Brown v. Entertainment -- and rhetorical theory (ideal versus real audience, etc.) to answer the scenario. 

Be creative on this one.  We want to figure out how your brains work.  Don't worry about the "right" answer: Think about the rules of the cases, what the Justices are saying, and what we already taught you in Comm 175 (e.g., clear and present danger versus bad tendency).

After electing Lil Nas X as Governor in 2023 -- and after listening to the Facebook whistleblower testify to Congress last week --  the State of Minnesota became concerned that Instagram was harmful to young women (and a form of "intentional infliction of emotional distress") and passed a law banning Instagram posts that present negative body images to children under 18.  The State of Minnesota partners with a tech company ("WokeBot 4.0") to use algorithms to screen all Instagram posts that it believes present negative body images.

Jennifer Patience is a social media influencer ("College Chronicles"), focused on feminism and chronic illness and growing a national audience of young females concerned with negative stereotypes about disability.  WokeBot flagged her Instagram account -- and the State of Minnesota charged her with a crime -- after a local mom complained that her 17 year old daughter was triggered by one of Ms. Patience's  posts, which presented an anorexic model from the 90s and said "Sick is Sexy, Right?"  (The daughter does not follow College Chronicles on Instagram, but Ms. Patience's post was shared by one of the daughter's Instagram friends.) Patience sued under the First Amendment and argued that her post was an ironic hot take on contemporary beauty standards.  She then hired you to defend her case.

Can you help Ms. Patience out?  (Especially since the IDH is in fact -- under the leadership of Research Director Annie Sallee -- working on a podcast on chronic illness?)