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A Quick Plug
Episode 64: Who is Accountable for Disinformation?
Katherine Druckman and Doc Searls talk about responsibility for disinformation, congressional hearings, and the Suez canal.
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Last week we revisited disinformation, and this time we tried to assign responsibility. The only conclusion I can say we came to was that assigning it shouldn’t be oversimplified.
Past guest, Evan Greer, sums it up well:
most of the Capitol rioters had smartphones. were Apple and AT&T partially responsible for the violence? Please answer yes or no.— Evan Greer (@evan_greer) March 26, 2021
Does a user’s scale of influence affect a web platform’s responsibility to take action? Is there a heightened responsibility to moderate or ban users with massive audiences? What responsibility do platforms have for addressing disinformation bots, especially those perpetuating potentially dangerous disinformation about a public health crisis? Do advertisers have a moral responsibility to withdraw support from outlets that spread intentionally misleading information? There is no doubt that social media provides a fertile environment for rapidly spreading sensationalized and incorrect content, whether or not that content has malicious origin, so at what point can a tech giant no longer play a neutral role? Or do we collectively have it all wrong and need to take a completely hands-off approach, especially with regard to government regulation and inquiry?
We’d love to hear from you on these questions and others we raised this week, and in the meantime, please enjoy the links we’ve gathered below.
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This Week’s Reading List
Zuckerberg and Dorsey Face Harsh Questioning From Lawmakers - The New York Times — Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter testified about their platforms, misinformation and the 2020 election.
Evan Greer on Twitter: "most of the Capitol rioters had smartphones. were Apple and AT&T partially responsible for the violence? Please answer yes or no." / Twitter — most of the Capitol rioters had smartphones. were Apple and AT&T partially responsible for the violence? Please answer yes or no.
Pluralistic: 25 Mar 2021 – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow — A monopolist's first preference is always "don't regulate me." But coming in at a close second is "regulate me in ways that only I can comply with, so that no one is allowed to compete with me."
Zuckerberg, Dorsey, Pichai addressed online extremism and misinformation before House committee - The Washington Post — Lawmakers wanted answers on the role Google, Facebook and Twitter played in the attacks on the Capitol and viral covid-19 misinformation
Reality 2.0 Episode 54: Digital Rights are Human Rights — Doc Searls and Katherine Druckman talk to Evan Greer, Deputy Director of digital rights activism group Fight for the Future about Section 230, privacy, politics, de-platforming, and internet policy.
Reality 2.0 Episode 62: How Did Disinformation Become the Truth? — Katherine Druckman and Doc Searls talk to Prof. Chris Bronk, Ph.D. and Petros Koutoupis about disinformation and cyber security, and how they impact our lives, as well as IoT vulnerabilities and voice recognition technology.
Ten Questions the Press Should Have Asked President Biden - Insight — Yesterday, President Joe Biden held his first press conference. There were questions on Biden’s plans for the 2024 election (four years away!), the filibuster (over which he has no control), and Donald Trump (could we hear even less about him?), but not a single question on the pandemic. Not one.
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