Media and Content

The easy availability of information on the Internet may lead to the commoditization of content. However, if content is free or low cost, it may be difficult for those who produce it (like journalists) to earn a living. Economists and other scholars examine this tension and suggest various solutions.

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The Sex Trafficking Fight Could Take Down a Bedrock Tech Law

Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland, has doubts about the language of the bill, but no reservations about the need to update the Communications Decency Act. The idea that altering the statute would cause the internet to crumble is silly, she says, pointing out that the law adapts with new technologies.

Danielle Citron
Source: Wired
September 20, 2017

Senators, Silicon Valley at Odds Over Anti-Sex Trafficking Bill to Change 1996 Law

"We could create such a standard, but we want to be extremely explicit about when that knowledge occurs because otherwise there will be lots of discussion and debate over, 'Well, you knew it based on having taken this step or that step or inferentially you should have known." — Eric Goldman, Professor of Law, Santa Clara University

Eric Goldman
Source: NBC News
September 20, 2017

Facebook’s Secret Censorship Rules Protect White Men from Hate Speech but Not Black Children

This approach will "protect the people who least need it and take it away from those who really need it." — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland

Danielle Citron
Source: CNBC
June 28, 2017

In Terror Fight, Tech Companies Caught Between US and European Ideals

Amid European pressure to crack down on terrorist content, technology companies in the U.S. struggle to strike a balance between American and European concepts of censorship and freedom of speech. Internationally recognized privacy law scholar Danielle Citron, University of Maryland, is quoted.

Danielle Citron
Source: Christian Science Monitor
June 23, 2017

The Age of Misinformation

"Facebook and Twitter for social media, and Google and Microsoft for search, must recognize a special responsibility for the parts of their services that host or inform public discourse. They should be upfront about how they promote some stories and de-emphasize others, instead of treating their ranking systems as trade secrets." — Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law, Harvard University

Jonathan Zittrain
Source: The Atlantic
May 3, 2017

Google and Facebook Can’t Just Make Fake News Disappear

"Part of why folks are targeting Google and Facebook in the "fake news" debate right now is that they have an effective monopoly on online information flows in certain segments of society." — danah boyd, Founder, Data & Society

danah boyd
Source: Wired
March 27, 2017

Like Everyone Else, He Should Be Able to Talk to Whom He Wants

"While the president can block and mute to his heart’s desire, the key question is whether he should. Do the ethical implications of blocking change when a social media fan moves into the White House?" — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland

Danielle Citron
Source: The New York Times “Room for Debate”
November 21, 2016

Obama Is Worried About Fake News on Social Media – and We Should Be Too

"Facebook and its leaders have consistently applauded themselves for connecting millions of people around the world and enabling friction-free conversation, and have gladly taken unwarranted credit for pro-democracy movements in different parts of the world. And yet Zuckerberg himself has denied any moral responsibility for the fact that Facebook has helped poison American democracy." — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Law and Media Studies, University of Virginia

Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: The Guardian
November 20, 2016

Why Facebook and Google Are Struggling to Purge Fake News

"If we wouldn’t trust the government to curate all of what we read, why would we ever think that Facebook or any one company should do it?" — Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law, Harvard University

Jonathan Zittrain
Source: The Washington Post
November 15, 2016

California Supreme Court to Hear Yelp Free-Speech Case

"You could imagine the floodgates opening up with businesses trying to do exactly what Hassell [the lawyer wanting the reviews removed] did to get rid of unwanted reviews on any user-generated content site anywhere on the Web." — Eric Goldman, Professor of Law, Santa Clara University

Eric Goldman
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
September 21, 2016
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TAP Blog

Recap of the USDOJ’s Section 230 Roundtable

Professor Eric Goldman provides an overview of recent policy discussions about the future of Section 230.

Eric Goldman

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Featured Article

The Crowd is a Collaborative Network

On crowdwork platforms, task creators post tasks for workers to complete for pay, “crowdsourcing.” Workers collaborate offline or online to solve problems, limit risk, and to encourage one another.

By: Mary L. Gray, Deepti Kulkarni, Siddharth Suri, Syed Shoaib Ali