Day 6: Weaponized Social | Samantha Bates | December 09, 2016

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Day 6: Weaponized Social

by Samantha Bates Show/Hide

The time when the solution to bad speech could be advanced as simply more speech might seem quaint. The famously libertarian Electronic Frontier Foundation recently released a white paper in which it acknowledged a line between a clash of ideas and flat-out harassment, with the latter causing less rather than more robust debate. Separately, concerns about outright false news that spreads virally have inspired calls for action by intermediaries like Facebook — a self-described technology, rather than media, company.

Applying lessons from the conflicts of the past two decades online, how might we agree upon a vision for social networking even if we disagree on many substantive issues to be debated there, and what are the roles, if any, of regulators and private platforms in establishing boundaries on behavior online through code or legal sanction?

Is it more difficult to agree on a vision is our media is no longer about the battlefield or the real world but is the battlefield and the real world?

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December 31, 2016

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Samantha Bates

Research Associate

Harvard Law School, Berkman Center

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