Annotated Bibliography

Benjamin, Walter, et al. Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings. Schocken Books, 2007. Essay: Critique of Violence

Walter Benjamin’s Critique of Violence is critical to my thesis, if it is taken in its entirety. Well, critical if I decide to go the route of arguing that the intentional proffering of untruth, by media outlets and public officials, is a form of violence against the people. His analyses of the varying types of violence could help me to flesh out my own initial thought of speech suppression and media need-to-be-first mentality being a form of violence against the citizenry. His concept of a cause being violent only when it bears on moral issues, also is a lynchpin of sorts, for my entire argument to follow a justifiable logic. Though I may or may not touch on his views of illegitimate vs legitimate forms of violence, that too sort of shapes my thinking for the arguments I want to make, in my own paper. Benjamin’s essay allows the connection from Plato’s views on truth and goodness, to morality as is the implication of goodness. From there I am able to, I believe, bring the point to its logical completion.

Bizzell, Patricia, and Bruce Herzberg. The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present. 2nd ed., Bedford/St. Martins, 2001. Pg. 80-86; 138-155

The Rhetorical Tradition textbook has served a major role so far, for the research for this paper. It is the foundation and a sort of catalyst, for the entire thing. Within the textbook, I probably used about 3 sections. The one that has lent the most credence to my research is the section on Plato. My entire thesis centers around Plato’s rhetorical theories of truth and goodness being the foundational principles in gaining knowledge and understanding. His comments on rhetoric being pernicious, instead of morally neutral, also connects to one of the quotes I found from Walter Benjamin. I also used Frederick Douglass’ quote of speech being the way through which “interesting thoughts” in one’s own mind gives birth to what is in one’s soul. This merely serves to supplement the importance and intimate nature of speech that is allowed free expression from thinking individuals. It serves as a nice addition to the paper, I believe.

Caplan, Lincoln. “Stress Test for Free Speech: SOCIAL MEDIA ARE DESTROYING THE DEMOCRATIC CULTURE THAT THE FIRST AMENDMENT IS MEANT TO PROTECT.” American Scholar, vol. 87, no. 4, 2018, pp. 20–35. EBSCO Host,

This source is simply one I am using as a catalyst for my own thinking. In fact, the first page is all I read from it, because it sparked so much thought for potential places for my paper to go, that I realized I didn’t need to take it any farther than that.

CNN. “Twitter CEO: ‘We Are Not’ Discriminating against Any Political Viewpoint.” YouTube, YouTube, 19 Aug. 2018,

This is a YouTube video where Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is being interviewed by CNN’s Brian Stelter. In the interview Dorsey answers questions about the nature of his company and its goals in the public forum. He also speaks to what he feels Twitter must do better, which ends up seeming to simply be ways that police the users, through usage of complex algorithms. This source is mainly for the purpose of giving my claim ethos, as well as a more immediate way some of my representations can be checked by anyone who reads the paper. The other application of this source will be in using it to supplement how social media sites have allowed false information to spread on their platforms, though they claim to fight against it. This is important also in relating to the overall point of truth.

García Martínez, Alejandro Néstor, et al. Natural Law: Historical, Systematic and Juridical Approaches. Cambridge Scholars Pub., 2008.

This source is probably also one that will not be used in any notable way either. I have simply used it to put more context around a concept I have already had in my head. In relation to the topic, however, I am using it to support the long-held notion that humans— particularly those of us in the West who have already negotiated such outcomes on the outset of our republic— have natural rights that transcend impositions of arbitrary rules. These lateral rights, given by a natural and universal law, are therefore unable to be infringed upon, without an undue burden being placed upon an individual’s own rights and ability to freely express themselves. I may or may not take the paper in this direction, but it seems an interesting path to take, rhetorically. Especially in figuring how it would work into this topic.

“Federalist Papers No. 10.” Federalist Papers No. 10, Bill of Rights Institute, 1787

The Federalist Papers No. 10, written by James Madison could be used to further support the notion of natural rights –if the paper goes in this direction—especially to that of free speech and expression. This timeless document could be fairly integral, or rather immensely supportive in my view, to the setup of the importance the paper would place on uninhibited discourse. Madison speaks in No. 10 of the tendency of man toward baseness and carnality, and toward seeking his own ends, which connects directly to many of Plato’s statements. His comments on factions is also integral to connecting directly to Jack Dorsey’s underlying comments on making Twitter a “safer” environment, as Dorsey mentions the prevalence of echo chambers and of “coordinated group attacks”. I believe Madison’s comments on factions add support to my paper that I would not have otherwise found, had I not decided to look up Federalist No. 10.

 “The Twitter Rules.” Twitter, Twitter, 2018,

This source is purely to give context to Jack Dorsey’s comments from the U.S. House Committee hearing on Energy and Commerce. His comments on “abusive behavior” cannot be adequately analyzed and reasoned without looking into the source material from whence this rhetorical selection came. Using the twitter terms source page, I am able to understand my own argument better, as well as see the ambiguity of the guidelines, and how they have led to the very public banning of many public figures.

“United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce.” 2018.

This source is the full transcript from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s testimony in front of the House of representatives, last year. It was the foundation for my rhetorical analysis of his own comments. This is the primary source from which the oppositions within my argument could come from. In it, he speaks of making Twitter safe from the same “abusive behavior” that was aforementioned. It is also here where he refutes any bias due to political ideology, but also admits that “unintentional” bias can indeed happen with the behavioral algorithms they employ. The transcript is instrumental in allowing me to analyze, itemize, and refute. It is also the source that has caused me to completely shift the original focus of my paper.