Items tagged "Free Expression"

Last week, President Trump used social media to encourage his supporters to storm the Capitol to attempt to maintain his power. In the wake of this violent insurrection against the certification of our election, the President and some of his supporters are claiming that the First Amendment rights of the President have been violated because […]

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A Superfund for the Internet Could Clean Up Our Polluted Information Ecosystem

December 23, 2020 Content Moderation , Disinformation , First Amendment , Free Expression , misinformation , Platform Competition , Platform Regulation , Section 230 , Superfund , Superfund for the Internet

In a recent interview, former President Obama called the lack of a “common baseline of fact” the “single greatest threat to our democracy.” Our increasingly polluted information environment — including the proliferation of “crazy lies and conspiracy theories” on social media — divides society while undermining public faith in facts, impeding our ability to face […]

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Video

Video: Free Expression Forum – How Section 230 Uplifts Marginalized Voices

September 4, 2020 Content Moderation , Free Expression , Free Expression Forum , Free Speech , Freedom of Expression , marginalized communities , Section 230 , Webinar Series

The Free Expression Forum at Public Knowledge is an ongoing series of dialogues about the importance of free expression online to artists, entrepreneurs, and content creators. It highlights how policy decisions impact this important value and how the community of diverse online voices must stand up to preserve it as technology develops. This first forum […]

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Urges FCC to Reject Unlawful Trump Administration Request to Rewrite Section 230

September 2, 2020 FCC , Free Expression , Section 230 , social media

Today, Public Knowledge filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission on the Trump Administration’s unlawful attempt to have the FCC assert jurisdiction over, and rewrite, Section 230 of the Communications Act. 

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Breaking Down and Taking Down Trump’s Latest Proposed Executive Order Spanking Social Media

June 4, 2020 Content Moderation , Disinformation , FCC , First Amendment , Free Expression , Freedom of Expression , FTC , Legal Analysis , Litigation , misinformation , Net Neutrality , Platform Regulation , Section 230

Bashing social media for supposed liberal bias has become pretty standard fare for some conservative pundits and politicians. This remains true despite zero evidence of any kind of bias by social media companies against conservative content or Republican politicians. In fairness, Democratic political leaders have made similar accusations. For example, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has […]

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Warns New Copyright Office Study Risks Free Speech, Online Marketplace

May 22, 2020 Copyright Office , Copyright Reform , Free Expression , Free Speech , Report , Safe Harbor , Section 512

Yesterday, the U.S. Copyright Office released a report evaluating the impact and effectiveness of the “safe harbor” provisions contained in Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The report recommends “rebalancing” the “safe harbor” protection — jeopardizing one of the most important safeguards for the Open Internet without taking due account of ways the current system has been abused.

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App Store Control Is Less Important Than Human Rights, Actually 

October 11, 2019 Apple , Free Expression , Free Speech , Global , Human Rights , Privacy , security

I have written about app stores at length before but it is worth reiterating a few points given the recent news about Apple removing access to the Hkmap.live app (which helps people track police activity) and Google removing access to The Revolution of Our Times (a protest game).  First, Apple’s (and Google’s) explanations don’t pass […]

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Speech and Commerce: What Section 230 Should and Should Not Protect

September 24, 2019 Content Liability , Free Expression , Section 230 , Section 230 Series

This is the fourth blog post in a series about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. You can view the full series here. Section 230 plays an important role in allowing sites with user-generated content to operate in general–since it shields them from most liability for third-party speech–while giving them the ability to moderate […]

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How to Go Beyond Section 230 Without Crashing the Internet

May 21, 2019 Content Liability , Free Expression , Platform Regulation , Section 230 , Section 230 Series

The previous post was about what Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act does, and why it does it. One theme is that Section 230 is a very broad and powerful statute. But the law can change, and given that digital platforms have a very different role in society and the economy now than they did in 1996, when the law was passed, maybe it should. This post will list some proposals that I am not necessarily endorsing, but which may be worth considering. But before that, it’s also important to realize that Section 230 has limits even under the law today.

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Application of the “Diversity Principle” in Content Moderation

January 15, 2019 Content Moderation , Facebook , FCC , Free Expression , Platform Regulation Series

The promotion of diverse viewpoints has been the cornerstone of United States media policy over the last 100 years. In November 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg published an article that delineated the algorithm that Facebook will use to disincentivize hate speech. Although Zuckerberg’s proposal is a laudable step for content moderation, it may be neglecting the value of exposing people to diverse views and competing sources of news. As we debate moderation issues, platforms should consider not only the prohibition of hate speech, but also the affirmative exposure to broader ideas and perspectives. The Federal Communications Commission’s implementation of the diversity principle on radio and TV, explored below, offers some valuable lessons here.

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