It is accepted in speech-act theory that speech is conduct capable of inflicting harm. This project aims to interrogate whether the understanding that, and how, words can harm applies to online speech. This is significant because online speech is ubiquitous, yet is treated differently from speech that takes place in other outlets in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. This project aims to map and compare legal cases in which there was disagreement over the nature of the speech at issue because it occurred online. It will assess the harms of that speech from the perspective of speech-act theory, and the findings will be applied to the democratic argument in favour of free speech. It will have important policy outcomes.