From Private Companies to President Trump: Defending Public Discourse in the Digital Age
Alex Abdo, Senior Staff Attorney, Knight First Amendment Institute
Emily Bell, Director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism
Gilad Lotan, Vice President & Head of Data Science,BuzzFeed
with an introductory presentation by
Jonathan Albright, Research Director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism
Over the last decade, social media has become a key forum for public discourse, with citizens, journalists, public officials, & now even the president turning to social media to both find & disseminate information. Yet along with their unprecedented levels of immediacy & access, these new technologies have also given rise to new forms of censorship.
The main social media platforms - including Twitter & Facebook - are extremely influential in determining what news & information their audiences have access to, but operate in black boxes. With mounting evidence that these platforms have been used as tools for disseminating propaganda & misinformation, how should they be held accountable for their role in shaping the public discourse?
Moreover,despite the strictures of the First Amendment, President Trump continues to block critics on Twitter based solely on their criticism of him or his policies. His suppression of dissent is quickly converting an important public forum into an echo chamber.
To explore these issues, the Knight First Amendment Instituteand the Tow Center for Digital Journalism invite you to join us for a panel discussion withEmily Bell, Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism,Gilad Lotan, Vice President & Head of Data Science atBuzzFeed, andAlex Abdo, senior staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute.The discussion will explore the role that platforms, politicians, & the public should play in ensuring the integrity of digital forums that are vital to our democracy. The panel will be preceded by a short presentation byJonathan Albright, Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, whose original research on fake news has been featured inThe Washington Post, The Guardian, Forbesand more.
About the Knight Institute
The Knight First Amendment Institute is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization established by Columbia University & the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation to defend the freedoms of speech & press in the digital age through strategic litigation, research, & public education.
About the Tow Center
The Tow Center for Digital Journalismexplores the ways in which technology is changing journalism, its practice & its consumption - particularly as consumers of news seek ways to judge the reliability, standards & credibility of information.