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Free Speech

Conflicting Arguments on Internet Censorship at Research Session on Free Speech and Societal Harmony

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Screenshot of Johannes Bauer, among those participating in the TPRC discussion on censorship

February 22, 2021 – Panelists at a communications research conference on Thursday were divided about how to reconcile free speech rights and regulating disinformation on the internet.

The townhall at TPRC48 – which stand for Telecommunications Policy Research Conference – generally followed the Chatham House Rule of anonymity, featured discussions about the first amendment, platform power, content moderation, and the need to address disinformation that is dividing the nation.

Opinions on the panel were on two extremes of the spectrum, but with some agreements on the importance of policy and regulation to network platforms. The conversation played out against the backdrop of an FBI investigation into the deadly January 6 Capitol Hill riot and the platforms and people on the internet that played a role in its encouragement.

Silencing voices that disagree with opposite opinions can be a recipe for disaster,” said one of conservative panelist. Those in favor of robust protections of free speech said censorship would do more harm than good.

Algorithms, some speech should be regulated

On the other end of the spectrum are those in favor of regulation and censorship of some speech on the internet. Those on that side say controversial speech does not respect diversity and equality; in fact, they argue, it harms marginalized groups.

Critics have said that the big technology companies are using algorithms and targeted ads that are discriminating against minority communities. That includes excluding these communities from opportunities, such as through ads or searches, that may be relevant to them.

In 2019, Facebook was charged by the department of Housing and Urban Development for allowing landlords to determine in their ads who can see home sales based on factors including race, sex, and religion.

Some panelists argued that if private sector companies crack down on violence, use of aggression, and hate speech at their workplaces, then those same rules should apply to the internet.

But the panelists did agree that, at least in some cases, disinformation should be addressed.

Reporter Samuel Triginelli was born in Brazil and grew up speaking Portuguese and English, and later learned French and Spanish. He studied communications at Brigham Young University, where he also worked as a product administrator and UX/UI designer. He wants a world with better internet access for all.

Section 230

Companies May Hesitate Bringing Section 230 Arguments in Court Fearing Political Ramifications: Lawyers

Legal experts say changing views on Section 230 will make platforms less willing to employ that defense in future cases.

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Carrie Goldberg, founder of C.A. Goldberg law firm

February 22, 2021 – Panelists at a communications research conference on Thursday were divided about how to reconcile free speech rights and regulating disinformation on the internet.

The townhall at TPRC48 – which stand for Telecommunications Policy Research Conference – generally followed the Chatham House Rule of anonymity, featured discussions about the first amendment, platform power, content moderation, and the need to address disinformation that is dividing the nation.

Opinions on the panel were on two extremes of the spectrum, but with some agreements on the importance of policy and regulation to network platforms. The conversation played out against the backdrop of an FBI investigation into the deadly January 6 Capitol Hill riot and the platforms and people on the internet that played a role in its encouragement.

Silencing voices that disagree with opposite opinions can be a recipe for disaster,” said one of conservative panelist. Those in favor of robust protections of free speech said censorship would do more harm than good.

Algorithms, some speech should be regulated

On the other end of the spectrum are those in favor of regulation and censorship of some speech on the internet. Those on that side say controversial speech does not respect diversity and equality; in fact, they argue, it harms marginalized groups.

Critics have said that the big technology companies are using algorithms and targeted ads that are discriminating against minority communities. That includes excluding these communities from opportunities, such as through ads or searches, that may be relevant to them.

In 2019, Facebook was charged by the department of Housing and Urban Development for allowing landlords to determine in their ads who can see home sales based on factors including race, sex, and religion.

Some panelists argued that if private sector companies crack down on violence, use of aggression, and hate speech at their workplaces, then those same rules should apply to the internet.

But the panelists did agree that, at least in some cases, disinformation should be addressed.

Continue Reading

Section 230

Head of Big Tech Lobby Group Says Repealing Section 230 Unconstitutional

CTA CEO said abolishing intermediary liability protections violates private industry protections against government interference.

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on

Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association

February 22, 2021 – Panelists at a communications research conference on Thursday were divided about how to reconcile free speech rights and regulating disinformation on the internet.

The townhall at TPRC48 – which stand for Telecommunications Policy Research Conference – generally followed the Chatham House Rule of anonymity, featured discussions about the first amendment, platform power, content moderation, and the need to address disinformation that is dividing the nation.

Opinions on the panel were on two extremes of the spectrum, but with some agreements on the importance of policy and regulation to network platforms. The conversation played out against the backdrop of an FBI investigation into the deadly January 6 Capitol Hill riot and the platforms and people on the internet that played a role in its encouragement.

Silencing voices that disagree with opposite opinions can be a recipe for disaster,” said one of conservative panelist. Those in favor of robust protections of free speech said censorship would do more harm than good.

Algorithms, some speech should be regulated

On the other end of the spectrum are those in favor of regulation and censorship of some speech on the internet. Those on that side say controversial speech does not respect diversity and equality; in fact, they argue, it harms marginalized groups.

Critics have said that the big technology companies are using algorithms and targeted ads that are discriminating against minority communities. That includes excluding these communities from opportunities, such as through ads or searches, that may be relevant to them.

In 2019, Facebook was charged by the department of Housing and Urban Development for allowing landlords to determine in their ads who can see home sales based on factors including race, sex, and religion.

Some panelists argued that if private sector companies crack down on violence, use of aggression, and hate speech at their workplaces, then those same rules should apply to the internet.

But the panelists did agree that, at least in some cases, disinformation should be addressed.

Continue Reading

Section 230

Broadband Breakfast Hosts Section 230 Debate

Two sets of experts debated the merits of reforming or removing and maintaining Section 230.

Published

on

Screenshot taken from Broadband Live Online event

February 22, 2021 – Panelists at a communications research conference on Thursday were divided about how to reconcile free speech rights and regulating disinformation on the internet.

The townhall at TPRC48 – which stand for Telecommunications Policy Research Conference – generally followed the Chatham House Rule of anonymity, featured discussions about the first amendment, platform power, content moderation, and the need to address disinformation that is dividing the nation.

Opinions on the panel were on two extremes of the spectrum, but with some agreements on the importance of policy and regulation to network platforms. The conversation played out against the backdrop of an FBI investigation into the deadly January 6 Capitol Hill riot and the platforms and people on the internet that played a role in its encouragement.

Silencing voices that disagree with opposite opinions can be a recipe for disaster,” said one of conservative panelist. Those in favor of robust protections of free speech said censorship would do more harm than good.

Algorithms, some speech should be regulated

On the other end of the spectrum are those in favor of regulation and censorship of some speech on the internet. Those on that side say controversial speech does not respect diversity and equality; in fact, they argue, it harms marginalized groups.

Critics have said that the big technology companies are using algorithms and targeted ads that are discriminating against minority communities. That includes excluding these communities from opportunities, such as through ads or searches, that may be relevant to them.

In 2019, Facebook was charged by the department of Housing and Urban Development for allowing landlords to determine in their ads who can see home sales based on factors including race, sex, and religion.

Some panelists argued that if private sector companies crack down on violence, use of aggression, and hate speech at their workplaces, then those same rules should apply to the internet.

But the panelists did agree that, at least in some cases, disinformation should be addressed.

Continue Reading

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