February 3, 2021 - 11:00am to 1:00pm PST

This event is now over. You can watch a recorded version on the Internet Archive, on Facebook and YouTube.

Join EFF and a host of platform and content moderation experts with experience at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest for a provocative conversation about the free speech issues facing us today. From the takedown of Parler to the removal of Trump, get an inside look at how these decisions are made, and the ways they can affect everyone on the Internet.


Event Schedule (PST): 11AM-1PM

We will reserve fifteen minutes in the first two panels to answer questions from the audience. 

11:00-11:45: Infrastructure: Scalpels and Hammers

Earlier in January, infrastructure companies including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS app stores decided to cut off service to Parler, a social media platform that has billed itself as a "free speech" alternative to Twitter. Private companies have strong legal rights under U.S. law to refuse to host or support speech they don’t like. But that refusal carries different risks when a group of companies comes together to ensure that forums for speech or speakers are effectively taken offline altogether.

We'll discuss the ins-and-outs of what actually happened with Parler as well as similar recent incidents, and why, whatever you think of Parler and its role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol, these decisions should give you pause. 

Corynne McSherry, Legal Director, EFF
Mike Masnick, Founder and CEO of the Copia Institute, Editor of the Techdirt blog, and EFF Pioneer Award Winner
Tarleton Gillespie, Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft's Social Media Collective, and Associate Professor, Cornell University
David Thiel, Data Architect at Stanford Internet Observatory
Moderator: Danny O'Brien, Director of Strategy, EFF

11:45-12:30: Back to the Future? Content Moderation Past and Present

After the Capitol attack, the removal of former President Trump from Twitter and Facebook, and more recently, the surge in prices of some stocks due primarily to users of reddit, Time magazine has called 2021 the "Year of the Moderator." We'll have a conversation about content moderation policies with individuals working (currently or formerly) in the policy space to get their perspective on the issues of the day, and how the challenges and solutions have changed in the last decade. 

Charlotte Willner, Executive Director at Trust & Safety Professional Association, former Head of Trust and Safety at Pinterest, and former Safety Manager of User Operations at Facebook 
Adelin Cai, Co-founder and Board Chair at Trust & Safety Professional Association, former Head of Policy at Pinterest, and former Team Manager of Trust and Safety (Legal Ads, Publisher, and Exchange Policy Team) at Twitter
Nada Akl,  co-founder of Darcy.is, former Operational Quality Control Coordinator, Facebook, and former YouTube Policy Enforcement Analyst
Sean LiFormer Director of Policy and Legal Counsel at Discord, former Trust & Safety at Reddit, and former head of Legal Operations at Dropbox
Moderator: Jillian C. York, Director for International Freedom of Expression, EFF

12:30-1:00: Tying it All Together: How EFF Thinks About All This

The Electronic Frontier Foundation isn't just a group of policy experts focusing on digital rights. Each of us at EFF have had our own individual experiences with issues like censorship, and have watched as many areas and topics we care deeply about have entered the mainstream. This panel will include prominent thinkers from various teams at EFF and touch on the central issues that have been raised over the last few years by social media platforms and the like, from moderation to competition to the problems of scale. 

David Greene, Senior Staff Attorney and Civil Liberties Director, EFF 
Katharine Trendacosta, Associate Director of Policy and Activism, EFF
Christoph Schmon, International Policy Director, EFF
Moderator: Gennie Gebhart, Director of Activism, EFF


Check back soon for full event details, RSVP information, and speakers list. Have questions now? Send them to jason@eff.org.

This event will be live streamed via Twitch, where you can chat and ask questions. It will also be streaming on Facebook Live and YouTube Live. (For Twitch's Privacy Policy, see here.)

A recording will be made available.

EFF is dedicated to a harassment-free experience for everyone, and all participants are encouraged to view our full Event Expectations.

Event Time: Wednesday, February 3rd, 11:00AM Pacific / 2:00 PM Eastern (check your local time here)