Google, Facebook, and Twitter are protected by the First Amendment, but are their decisions about which content to remove and which users to evict from their platforms really free from government pressures?
Social media firms are complying with the requests of lawmakers from European countries, where free speech protections are significantly weaker, according to Daphne Keller, a former Google attorney who's now a law professor at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. They're pressuring these U.S.-based firms to ban "hate speech," "terrorist content," and alleged disinformation, and because these policies are applied across their platforms, they also affect what U.S. customers are allowed to see.
"They are making European law global," Keller says.
Reason's Zach Weissmueller sat down with Keller to talk about the so-called Terrorist Content Regulations currently being debated in the European Union, which could empower local police to track and report terms of service violations. They also discuss the chilling effects that content regulations have on legitimate political discourse and why Mark Zuckerberg's call for federal regulation of Facebook and other social media could be a way of blocking potential competitors.
Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Alexis Garcia. Graphics by Josh Swain, with additional graphics from Meredith Bragg.
"Written in Ink" by Kai Engel (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/Written_in_Ink/) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.
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