From the Organizers:
Our speaker this month is EFF Stanton Legal Fellow Mukund Rathi, an attorney and Stanton Fellow at EFF, focusing on free speech litigation.
Although some internet users are understandably frustrated and perplexed by how social media companies curate their users’ speech on their platforms, internet users nevertheless derive the most benefit when the First Amendment protects the platforms’ rights to make those decisions, and 47 U.S.C. § 230 (Section 230) bolsters and supports those rights. These protections ensure that social media companies can create their own curation policies free from governmental mandates, resulting in a diverse array of forums for users, with unique editorial views and community norms. Texas House Bill 20 (HB 20) takes those protections away and forces platforms to host speech inconsistent with their editorial vision. HB 20 prohibits popular online platforms from declining to publish others’ speech, even when that speech violates the platform’s rules, and even though such “content moderation” can be valuable to many internet users when it is carefully implemented. Inconsistent and opaque private content moderation is a problem for users. But it is one best addressed through self-regulation. Join us for a discussion of the thorny legal and ethical issues at the intersection of respecting the rights to free speech AND free association in digital spaces.
Tuesday, November 9
5 pm PT / 7 pm CT
Online (via Zoom)
This event is organized not by EFF, but by EFF-Austin, a grassroots group participating in the Electronic Frontier Alliance. The EFA is a network of grassroots organizations across the country committed to promoting digital rights. Together, we're building a movement to promote freedom of expression, privacy, security, creativity, and access to knowledge.