A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Monday: Social Media and Political Speech

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have taken the position that they are not publishers and should not be held responsible for user content and, maybe, ads.

But they have emerged as a highly influential source of news, views, and “facts.”

Should these platforms be more strictly regulated and, if so, how?
More broadly, what about other news sources such as cable news? With their melange of journalism and opinion, it can be very difficult for all but the experts to distinguish one from the other. Particularly when journalists participants join panels to say “what they think.”

I won’t be there today, but it should be a great discussion.

“The Edge of Democracy”

A movie available on Netflix that I watched last night and think would be of interest to several in our Beyond Labels discussion group. It chronicles governments in Brazil from the end of the military dictatorship through to recent times. The film’s creator is a young Brazilian woman who was able to conduct interviews with two past Presidents as well as include amazing film footage starting with the construction of Brasilia.

https://www.netflix.com/title/80190535?s=a&trkid=13747225&t=cp

For Monday: Anti-SLAPP Laws

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss laws (and other efforts) to curb “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” (SLAPP) actions. If you’re not familiar with the acronym (I was not), here’s a link to the Wikipedia description. And here’s a Washington Post article about a recent Supreme Court action (or…inaction) in the area.

  • Does this legislation make sense?
  • How can free speech rights be protected?
  • What about other “rights of access” to the courts?
  • How can the costs of large-scale litigation be avoided?
  • How can deep-pocketed litigants be put on a more equitable footing with those with lesser resources?