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Category Archives: Free Speech

ODNI Releases Intelligence Community Assessment of Foreign Threats to the 2020 U.S. Elections

“The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) today released the declassified Intelligence Community (IC) assessment of foreign threats to the 2020 U.S. federal elections. The document is a declassified version of a classified report that the IC provided to the President, senior Executive Branch officials, and Congressional leadership and intelligence oversight committees on… Continue Reading

Misinformation and Technology: Rights and Regulation Across Borders

Post, Robert and Maduro, Miguel, Misinformation and Technology: Rights and Regulation Across Borders (November 17, 2020). Global Constitutionalism: 2020 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3732537 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3732537 “The “virtual” public sphere has taken on unprecedented importance, exposing a variety of legal questions regarding the governance of the internet and its relationship to democracy and freedom of… Continue Reading

Social Media: Misinformation and Content Moderation Issues for Congress

CRS Report. Social Media: Misinformation and Content Moderation Issues for Congress, January 27, 2021: “Social media platforms disseminate information quickly to billions of global users. The Pew Research Center estimates that in 2019, 72% of U.S. adults used at least one social media site and that the majority of users visited the site at least… Continue Reading

Lawmakers are scrambling to figure out how to rein in social media platforms

Fast Company – “In the days after the insurrection at the Capitol building, security was tighter than usual. On the phone with Senator Mark Warner, I could hear his driver trying to explain to a guard that he had the senator with him. Yeah, tell him he’s good, the guard told the driver as he… Continue Reading

Why Is Big Tech Policing Speech?

The New York Times – “Because the Government Isn’t. Deplatforming President Trump showed that the First Amendment is broken — but not in the way his supporters think….The giants of social media — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram — had more stringent rules. And while they still amplified huge amounts of far-right content, they had started… Continue Reading

Impeachable Speech

Katherine Shaw, Impeachable Speech, 70 Emory L. J.1 (2020). Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.emory.edu/elj/vol70/iss1 “Rhetoric is both an important source of presidential power and a key tool of presidential governance. For at least a century, the bully pulpit has amplified presidential power and authority, with significant consequences for the separation of powers and the constitutional order more… Continue Reading

The Capitol riot and its aftermath makes the case for tech regulation more urgent, but no simpler

TechCrunch: “Last week and throughout the weekend, technology companies took the historic step of deplatforming the president of the United States in the wake of a riot in which the US Capitol was stormed by a collection of white nationalists, QAnon supporters, and right wing activists. The decision to remove Donald Trump, his fundraising and… Continue Reading

Experts explain how disinformation online helped fuel the attack on the Capitol

Poynter – How did we get here?: “The world changed last week after rioters infiltrated the U.S. Capitol building and disrupted our legislative and democratic process. It was an event most people did not see coming, but others have worried about for months, if not years. Disinformation and misinformation researchers, online content verification analysts and… Continue Reading

Facts won’t fix this: experts on how to fight America’s disinformation crisis

The Guardian – “Trump’s false claims about the election and coronavirus are taking a dangerous toll. Can the divide be healed? At the beginning of 2021, millions of Americans appear to disagree about one of the most basic facts of their democracy: that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. The consequences of Donald Trump’s… Continue Reading

House watchdog details extensive meddling with CDC Covid-19 reports

New documents show political appointees sought to influence at least 13 reports as they ignored warnings from career officials: “The House panel probing the Trump administration’s coronavirus response released new documents detailing political appointees’ extensive efforts to modify or scuttle scientific Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, as it also ordered top Trump health… Continue Reading

A journalist’s guide to using RCFP’s legal hotline

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: “As reporters across the country covered the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests this past summer, the free legal hotline for journalists operated by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press saw a huge spike in usage, reflecting journalists’ demand for legal guidance during one… Continue Reading

Information Overload Helps Fake News Spread, and Social Media Knows It

Scientific American: “…We prefer information from people we trust, our in-group. We pay attention to and are more likely to share information about risks—for Andy, the risk of losing his job. We search for and remember things that fit well with what we already know and understand. These biases are products of our evolutionary past,… Continue Reading