“Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal”, wrote Jack Goldsmith and Andrew Keane Woods in a recent Atlantic article, where they stated that the U.S. must learn from China in regulating the internet, and that “significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.”
But is this conclusion the only one available from the fallout of the coronavirus crisis? Or are there other ways to ensure a mature and flourishing internet, where free speech and public health go hand in hand? Here to discuss the issue is two of the biggest experts on the subject on internet law and platform regulation: Daphne Keller and Kate Klonick.
In this episode we discuss:
- whether social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube been paragons of responsibility or the lapdogs of censorious governments when it comes to content moderation?
- if the current crisis justifies lowering the threshold for when content is deemed “harmful” or should we be even more vigilant about keeping stuff up and accessible?
- are there specific problems in the policy of following the guidelines of health authorities like WHO and CDC which have changed on issues like facemasks and included inaccurate information about the nature of COVID-19?
- what is the impact and promise of automated content moderation based on the performance during the pandemic
- whether democracies – particularly European ones – have weakened the immune system of online freedom because they have chosen to respond to legitimate concerns about hate speech, disinformation and terrorist content with illiberal laws?
Daphne Keller is the Platform Regulation Director at the Stanford Cyber Policy Center, and has formerly been an Associate General Counsel at Google. She tweets @daphnehk
Kate Klonick is a Assistant Professor at St. John’s University teaching in internet Law and information privacy and a fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project. Se tweets @Klonick
Links to readings discussed in the podcast:
Jack Goldsmith and Andrew Keane Woods: “Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal”: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/what-covid-revealed-about-internet/610549/
Samuel Walkers book “Hate Speech”: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-8032-4763-5
Daphne Keller: ”Who Do You Sue”: https://www.hoover.org/research/who-do-you-sue
Why have kings, emperors, and governments killed and imprisoned people to shut them up? And why have countless people risked death and imprisonment to express their beliefs? Jacob Mchangama guides you through the history of free speech from the trial of Socrates to the Great Firewall.
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