On Jan. 8 at 10:30am, the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing on “Americans at Risk: Manipulation and Deception in the Digital Age.” The committee will hear from Monika Bickert from Facebook, Joan Donovan of the Harvard Kennedy School, Tristan Harris from the Center for Humane Technology and Justin Hurwitz from the University of Nebraska College of Law. The livestream of the hearing is available here and below.
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Section 230 deliberately seeks to induce private parties to take action that would violate constitutional rights if governmental actors did it directly.
On Nov. 14 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Eric Meiggs and Declan Harrington were charged with wire fraud, computer fraud and aggravated identity theft, among other charges. The indictment alleges an extensive nationwide scheme to steal victims' social media accounts and cryptocurrency. The full indictment is available here and below.
David Kaye, the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the freedom of opinion and expression, recommended in June 2018 that social media companies adopt international human rights law as the authoritative standard for their content moderation. Before Kaye’s report, the idea was fairly out of the mainstream. But the ground has shifted.
Should American companies—the National Basketball Association (NBA), Apple, Facebook—be doing business in China? Many people appear to have strong feelings about this question, particularly after a series of controversies have erupted in the past two weeks.
On Oct. 16, two subcommittees of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing focusing on protecting consumers on the Internet and content moderation. The livestream and hearing memorandum are available below.
On Aug. 4, in Dayton, Ohio, a gunman opened fire and killed nine people. The day before, another shooter killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas, apparently after posting a racist message to the anonymous online forum 8chan decrying an ostensible “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Though there is no indication so far that the Dayton shooting was motivated by extremist political beliefs, the violence in El Paso is the third mass shooting in 2019 to be linked to 8chan and to some form of far-right extremism.
On August 3, a shooter opened fire at a crowded Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people. Shortly beforehand, it seems that he posted a screed on the online messageboard 8chan, framing the shooting as an act of terrorism against what he saw as the increasing Latino population of Texas.
Facebook has released an update on its ongoing civil rights audit, illustrating the wide range of effects the company has on civil rights—from facilitating racially discriminatory ads for housing, employment and credit, to concerns about use of the platform to suppress participation in the 2020 U.S. election and census.
It’s been roughly six months since Facebook started collecting global feedback on its proposal to create an oversight board for content moderation decisions. This morning, the platform released the findings of that process in an epic report—almost 250 pages of summary, surveys, public comment, workshop feedback and expert consultations.