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David Ardia is an assistant professor of law at the UNC School of Law and a faculty associate at the Berkman Center. He also holds a secondary appointment as an assistant professor at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication and is the faculty co-director of the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy. Before joining the UNC faculty, he founded and directed the Berkman Center’s Digital Media Law Project.

Prior to coming to Harvard, David was assistant counsel at The Washington Post, where he provided pre-publication review and legal advice on First Amendment, newsgathering, intellectual property, and general business issues.  David served as a law clerk for Judge Conrad Cyr on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for Judge Thomas McAvoy on the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. After clerking, he practiced law at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, DC, where he handled a range of intellectual property and media litigation. While at Williams & Connolly, he also performed pre-publication libel review for the National Enquirer and In Touch Weekly.

David is a former member of the Newspaper Association of America’s Legal Affairs Committee and is a current member of the Online News Association’s Legal Advisory Board and the First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association. He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York, United States Supreme Court, and United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

David’s research focuses on examining the impact of new information technologies on law and society, particularly the role that intermediaries play in shaping the environment for speech and how legal and social forces act upon those intermediaries.  His recent publications include: Free Speech Savior or Shield for Scoundrels: An Empirical Study of Intermediary Immunity Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act43 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 373 (2010); Reputation in a Networked World: Revisiting the Social Foundations of Defamation Law45 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 261 (2010); and Government Speech and Online Forums: First Amendment Limitations on Facilitating and Moderating Public Discourse on Government Websites2010 BYU L. Rev. 1981 (2011).

You can follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

Projects & Tools


Digital Media Law Project

Founded in 2007 as the "Citizen Media Law Project," the Digital Media Law Project (DMLP) works to ensure that individuals and organizations involved in online journalism and…

Media Re:public

Media Re:public is a research project that examines the current and potential impact of participatory news media.


Jul 1, 2010

Getting empirical with Section 230 case law

Tired of discussing intermediary liability? Neither are we. Fellow David Ardia's study of all CDA section 230 cases to date is now available in the Loyola of Los Angeles Law…

May 14, 2009

CMLP: Craigslist Dropping 'Erotic Services' Section

David Ardia, director of the Citizen Media Law Project (CMLP), unpacks the issues around Craigslist's decision to replace its "Erotic Services" category...

Apr 30, 2008

English Libel Law's Pernicious Impact on First Amendment Speech

Citizen Media Law Project director David Ardia walks us through Floyd Abrams' op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal...


Internet and Society: Technologies and Politics of Control - Spring 2011

This course examines current legal, political, social, and technical struggles for control of the global Internet—and the content and relationships it conveys.


Dec 13, 2011 @ 12:30 PM

Celebrating the Online Media Legal Network's (OMLN) 2nd Anniversary

The staff of the Online Media Legal Network (OMLN) will discuss the history and growth of the project, the accumulated data regarding the nature and geographic distribution of…

Sep 22, 2011 @ 9:00 AM

Law School for Digital Journalists

A Pre-Conference of the Online News Association's 2011 Conference

The Online News Association, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy present Law School for Digital Journalists, part of the…

May 6, 2008 @ 1:30 PM

Citizen Media Law Project @ 1

David Ardia, Sam Bayard, Tuna Chatterjee

David Ardia, Sam Bayard, and Tuna Chatterjee of CMLP discussed trends in online publishing and previewed the CMLP database of subpeonas, cease-and-desist letters, and other…