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In The First Amendment's Purpose, I criticized the cost-benefit approach to free speech, of which Richard Posner has been a leading advocate. On the cost-benefit view (or at least Posner's view of that view), speech can be prohibited when "in American society its harmful consequences are thought to outweigh its expressive value." Or, in another formulation: "[S]peech should be allowed if but only if its benefits equal or exceed its costs."
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