Internet

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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Quotes

You Thought Fake News Was Bad? Deep Fakes Are Where Truth Goes to Die

"I’m starting to see how a well-timed deep fake could very well disrupt the democratic process." — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland


Danielle Citron
Source: The Guardian
November 12, 2018

Facebook’s Failure to End ‘Public by Default’

"Right now, users have little choice in the public exposure of their profile pictures. Every single one of them is set to “public” by default. Even if you try to limit your current profile picture visibility using Facebook’s privacy settings for the individual photo, it will still be public." — Woodrow Hartzog, Professor of Law, Northeastern University and Evan Selinger, Professor of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology


Evan Selinger
Source: Medium
November 7, 2018

The blueprint for a 3-D-printed gun was uploaded in book form to Amazon as a free speech exercise. Amazon removed it.

"What this case shows is that digital technologies are asking questions of constitutional law that don’t have clear answers. This is just another illustration of the fact that digital technologies don’t just destabilize or disrupt industries, they destabilize and disrupt settled legal expectations, and they require us to think carefully about how we apply the law to technology." — Neil Richards, Professor of Law, Washington University in St. Louis


Neil Richards
Source: The Washington Post
August 23, 2018

Apple, Facebook and Other Tech Companies Delete Content from Alex Jones

"While private platforms aren’t bound by the restrictions of the First Amendment — generally only the government is — there’s a question about how much discretion they should choose to exercise over what speech they allow to flow through them." — Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law, Harvard University


Jonathan Zittrain
Source: The Washington Post
August 6, 2018

It’s No Accident that Facebook Is So Addictive

"Facebook is in the social engineering business. It constantly tries to manipulate our experience and, thus, our perspective on our friends, issues and the world. It does so haphazardly and incoherently, it seems at first. But, in fact, there is a coherent driving force. Facebook wants to maximize something close to “happiness.”" — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: The Washington Post
August 6, 2018

Bots of the Internet, Reveal Yourselves!

"Political commentary comes in different forms. Imagine a concerned citizen sets up a bot to criticize a particular official for failing to act on climate change. Now say that official runs for re-election. Is the concerned citizen now in violation of California law?" — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington


M. Ryan Calo
Source: The New York Times
July 16, 2018

Amazon Is Used to Promote White Supremacist Merchandise and Views, Report Says

"This isn’t happening in a vacuum, this report. It’s happening when there’s a lot of pressure on companies to remove and filter and block hate speech. This is a conversation about morals and ethics and their own terms of service." — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland


Danielle Citron
Source: The New York Times
July 8, 2018

Facebook Previously Failed to Keep Privacy Promises, Ex-FTC Adviser Says

"Facebook is always in the position of serving two masters. If its actual purpose was just trying to connect friends and family, and it didn't have a secondary motive of trying to also prove to another set of people that it could gather as much data as possible and make it possible to manipulate or influence or persuade people, then it wouldn't be a problem." — Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia University


Tim Wu
Source: NPR’s Morning Edition
March 27, 2018

Don’t Delete Facebook. Do Something About It.

"As long as Facebook is big and rich, its algorithms will determine and distort much of what we read and watch. Our long-term agenda should be to bolster institutions that foster democratic deliberation and the rational pursuit of knowledge." — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: New York Times
March 24, 2018

How Calls for Privacy May Upend Business for Facebook and Google

"People are upset that their data may have been used to secretly influence 2016 voters. If your personal information can help sway elections, which affects everyone’s life and societal well-being, maybe privacy does matter after all." — Alessandro Acquisti, Professor of Information Technology, Carnegie Mellon University


Alessandro Acquisti
Source: New York Times
March 24, 2018
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TAP Blog

New Op-Ed: People Who Understand Section 230 Actually Love It

Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman shares an op-ed piece he recently wrote that discusses Section 230 and the legislative efforts to modify or repeal it.

Eric Goldman

Fact Sheets

There are currently no fact sheets about Media and Content. Please see fact sheets on other Issues on TAP's media page.

Featured Article

Speech Across Borders

Several courts have ordered online service providers to take down content worldwide. Other rules restrict speech depending on the nationality and location of the speaker. Tech firms also curate content on a global scale.

By: Jennifer Daskal