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Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival Seeks to Break New Broadband Ground with Social Media Lineup Announcement



March 17, 2013 – How a music festival connects to their audience is paramount to having a successful event. In recent years, several festivals – including the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival – have turned to aggressive viral campaigns to keep people talking about a festival before and after the music plays.

The culture of music festivals is an expansive one, known for community unity – but also for silent competition amongst the growing music-listening options for consumers.

Leading up the 2013 lineup announcement for the Bonnaroo festival, which takes place from June 13-16 in Manchester, Tennessee, the organizers have launched a Twitter campaign known as “roo13wishlist.” This platform helped the Bonnaoo team keep the audience involved by fielding artist suggestions directly from members. It’s been a success thus far, said Howie Caspe, general manager of original programming at Bonnaroo, but “we have yet to even scratch the surface of what is possible.”

For the upcoming 2013 festival, Caspe and the rest of the Bonnaroo team used a massive internet campaign. They are attempting to set themselves apart from the other destination festivals in the “big three” – Coachella Valley, near Palm Springs, California, from April 12-21; and Lollapalooza, in Chicago, from August 2-4 – by distinguishing their lineup announcement strategy.

The questions surrounding the lineup are debated and talked about for months leading up to the big announcement. Most festivals choose the classic route of releasing a lineup poster late at night, just in time for fans to devour each and every act. Each year, tens of thousands of fans, writers and industry folk eagerly await the lineup announcement. What big star will earn the coveted headline spot? What formerly disbanded group will reunite for a once in a lifetime concert?

Bonnaroo chose this alternate route for their 2013 lineup announcement. First, Caspe started off developing content for Nickelodeon and was integral in the creation of the Noggin, Teen Nick platforms. According to Caspe, the announcement “was a great platform…this is a moment where everybody is paying attention, how can we turn this into a great event and involve our audience in doing it.”

Bonnaroo’s announcement “was probably the most coordinated anyone had ever done in terms of all the moving pieces,” said Caspe.

The Bonnaroo team decided to leverage “an old-school telethon vibe.” This telethon, hosted by musician and comedian Weird Al Yankovic, mirrored a classic telethon with user call-ins, interactive games and prizes. Caspe notes that the Bonnaroo team wanted to bring the analog experience back to the digital world. By connecting with fans via Twitter, Tumblr, Google +, Facebook and YouTube, the Bonnaroo team was able to produce a announcement experience while connecting thousands of fans. Caspe said the the greatest integration was through the Google + platform.

Caspe wouldn’t reveal specifics, but was thrilled with the volume of traffic paying attention during the Bonnaroo-a-thon. Now, Caspe plan to continue the dialect of embracing the built-in Bonnaroo audience and engaging newly-interested fans.

“We want to continue to stick the core and keep them engaged, but also expand the audience wider. We want to look towards that next generation as much as possible. I think [our job] is to continue to look at unique ways to do that.”

Going forward, Caspe plans for Bonnaroo to embrace wireless and broadband usage on mobile devices at the festival itself. Though he is excited about the new possibilities, Caspe cautions that he would hate to see a climate where fans are glued to their phones rather than directly experience an engaging community festival experience.

Free Speech

Additional Content Moderation for Section 230 Protection Risks Reducing Speech on Platforms: Judge

People will migrate from platforms with too stringent content moderation measures.




Photo of Douglas Ginsburg by Barbara Potter/Free to Choose Media

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2023 – Requiring companies to moderate more content as a condition of Section 230 legal liability protections runs the risk of alienating users from platforms and discouraging communications, argued a judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeal last week.

“The criteria for deletion are vague and difficult to parse,” Douglas Ginsburg, a Ronald Reagan appointee, said at a Federalist Society event on Wednesday. “Some of the terms are inherently difficult to define and policing what qualifies as hate speech is often a subjective determination.”

“If content moderation became very rigorous, it is obvious that users would depart from platforms that wouldn’t run their stuff,” Ginsburg added. “And they will try to find more platforms out there that will give them a voice. So, we’ll have more fragmentation and even less communication.”

Ginsburg noted that the large technology platforms already moderate a massive amount of content, adding additional moderation would be fairly challenging.

“Twitter, YouTube and Facebook  remove millions of posts and videos based on those criteria alone,” Ginsburg noted. “YouTube gets 500 hours of video uploaded every minute, 3000 minutes of video coming online every minute. So the task of moderating this is obviously very challenging.”

John Samples, a member of Meta’s Oversight Board – which provides direction for the company on content – suggested Thursday that out-of-court dispute institutions for content moderation may become the preferred method of settlement.

The United States may adopt European processes in the future as it takes the lead in moderating big tech, claimed Samples.

“It would largely be a private system,” he said, and could unify and centralize social media moderation across platforms and around the world, referring to the European Union’s Digital Services Act that went into effect in November of 2022, which requires platforms to remove illegal content and ensure that users can contest removal of their content.

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Panel Disagrees on Antitrust Bills’ Promotion of Competition

Panelists disagree on the effects of two antitrust bills intended to promote competition.



Photo of Adam Kovacevich of Chamber of Progress, Berin Szoka of TechFreedom, Cheyenne Hunt-Majer of Public Citizen, Sacha Haworth of Tech Oversight Project, Christine Bannan of Proton (left to right)

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2023 – In a fiery debate Thursday, panelists at Broadband Breakfast’s Big Tech and Speech Summit disagreed on the effect of bills intended to promote competition and innovation in the Big Tech platform space, particularly for search engines.  

One such innovation is new artificial intelligence technology being designed to pull everything a user searches for into a single page, said Cheyenne Hunt-Majer, big tech accountability advocate with Public Citizen. It is built to keep users on the site and will drastically change competition in the search engine space, she said, touting the advancement of two bills currently awaiting Senate vote.  

Photo of Adam Kovacevich of Chamber of Progress, Berin Szoka of TechFreedom, Cheyenne Hunt-Majer of Public Citizen, Sacha Haworth of Tech Oversight Project, Christine Bannan of Proton (left to right)

The first, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, would prohibit tech companies from self-preferencing their own products on their platforms over third-party competition. The second, the Open App Markets Act, would prevent app stores from requiring private app developers to use the app stores’ in-app payment system. 

Hunt-Majer said she believes that the bills would benefit consumers by kindling more innovation in big tech. “Perfect should not be the enemy of change,” she said, claiming that Congress must start somewhere, even if the bills are not perfect. 

“We are seeing a jump ahead in a woefully unprepared system to face these issues and the issues it is going to pose for a healthy market of competition and innovation,” said Hunt-Majer. 

It is good for consumers to be able to find other ways to search that Google isn’t currently providing, agreed Christine Bannan, U.S. public policy manager at privacy-focused email service Proton. The fundamental goal of these bills is directly at odds with big companies, which suggests its importance to curb anti-competitive behavior, she said. 

No need to rewrite or draft new laws for competition

But while Berin Szoka, president of non-profit technology organization TechFreedom, said competition concerns are valid, the Federal Trade Commission is best equipped to deal with disputes without the need to rewrite or draft new laws. Congress must legislate carefully to avoid unintended consequences that fundamentally harm businesses and no legislation has done so to date, he said. 

Both bills have broad anti-discrimination provisions which will affect Big Tech partnerships, Szoka continued. 

Not all experts believe that AI will replace search engines, however. Google has already adopted specialized search results that directly answer search queries, such as math problems, instead of resulting in several links to related webpages, said Adam Kovacevich, CEO of Chamber of Progress, a center-left tech policy coalition.  

Kovacevich said he believes that some search queries demand direct answers while others demand a wide range of sources, answers, and opinions. He predicts that there will be a market for both AI and traditional search engines like Google. 

To watch the full videos join the Broadband Breakfast Club below. We are currently offering a Free 30-Day Trial: No credit card required!

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Big Tech

Preview the Start of Broadband Breakfast’s Big Tech & Speech Summit​

Watch the start of the Big Tech & Speech Summit from March 9. Sign up for full webcast.



WASHINGTON, March 10, 2023 – Watch the beginning of the Big Tech & Speech Summit from Thursday, March 9, 2023.

This is the first 10 minutes. To see the full stream, register for a free trial of the Breakfast Club.

Photo of House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Chairman Mike Bilirakis by Tim Su.

High-resolution videos will be available soon.

To watch the full videos join the Broadband Breakfast Club below. We are currently offering a Free 30-Day Trial: No credit card required!

Panelists Recommend More Concentrated Focus on Federal Privacy Legislation

Creating Institutions for Resolving Content Moderation Disputes Out-of-Court

Section 230 Shuts Down Conversation on First Amendment, Panel Hears

Congress Should Focus on Tech Regulation, Said Former Tech Industry Lobbyist

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