Who’s Afraid of Online Speech?


Free speech has long been a cornerstone of American democracy, but the ubiquity and intimacy of online content is now challenging our society’s once-unshakable belief in the appeal of unfettered speech. In this age of hacks, trolls, fake news, and digital hate speech, lawmakers, citizens, and the tech companies that control our access to the Internet and social media are rethinking how much we should police online content for veracity and for its potential to do harm.

Does the triumph of social media platforms mean we should revisit the protections given to online speech at the turn of the Internet Age? What role should the government play in protecting consumers from disinformation and harassment? Should formidable gatekeepers like Facebook and Google now exercise the type of editorial judgment we expect from The New York Times and Washington Post?

Join Future Tense as we assess current fears about online speech and the promise and peril of proposals to address to them. 

Lunch will be provided. 

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University


12:00-12:10PM: Opening Remarks 

April Glaser@aprilaser 
Staff writer, Slate 

12:10-12:50PM: Regulating Political Speech in the Age of Digital Disinformation 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)@amyklobuchar 
Chair, Senate Democratic Steering Committee 
Ranking Member, Rules Committee 

Dan Gillmor@dangillmor 
Director and co-founder, News Co/Lab at Arizona State University 
Professor of Practice, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University 
Author, Mediactive and We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People 


Cecilia Kang@ceciliakang 
National Technology Correspondent, The New York Times 

12:50-1:30PM: Does The Internet Require Us To Rethink Free Speech? 

Rep. Ted W. Lieu (D-Calif.)@reptedlieu 
Member, House Committees on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs 

Jennifer Daskal@jendaskal 
Associate Professor of Law, Washington College of Law at American University 

Kate Klonick@klonick 
Future Tense fellow, New America
PhD Candidate, Yale Law School 
Resident fellow, Information Society Project at Yale Law School 


Cecilia Kang@ceciliakang 
National Technology Correspondent, The New York Times 

1:30-2:20PM: How Can Platforms Fix Online Speech? 

Andrew McLaughlin@McAndrew 
Co-founder and partner, Higher Ground Labs 
Executive Director of the Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale 
Future Tense fellow, New America 

Caroline Sinders@carolinesinders 
Product Analyst, Wikimedia Foundation 

Whitney Phillips@wphillips49 
Assistant Professor of Literary Studies and Writing, Mercer University 
Author, This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things 
Co-author, The Ambivalent Internet 

Dipayan Ghosh@ghoshd7 
Public Interest Technology fellow, New America 
Joan Shorenstein Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School 
Former Technology & Economic Policy Advisor, The White House 
Former Privacy & Public Policy Advisor, Facebook  


April Glaser@aprilaser 
Staff writer, Slate