The Internet was supposed to usher in a “Golden Age” of free expression. In this new digital world, public debate would flourish and anyone, anywhere could reach an audience of millions, unburdened by government censorship or traditional media gatekeepers. Some of these heady predictions have come true—but as old barriers to expression have fallen, a whole new set of problems has emerged. Today, we face a glut of information, policing of speech by social media companies, as well as attacks from trolls, bots and well-financed bad actors that make it hard to determine what’s real and what’s false.
Join the EFF’s Senior Information Security Counsel Nate Cardozo and the First Amendment Coalition for a conversation that explores how to promote and protect free expression in this environment. What role should the new “gatekeepers”—Google, Twitter and Facebook—play? What ways can people sort through the chaos to find reliable information? How can we protect the rights and values guaranteed by the First Amendment in an era when public speech has essentially become privatized?