4 episodes

What happens when social media collides with the First Amendment? “Views on First” begins with arguably the most famous Twitter handle of all – @realdonaldtrump — and the Knight Institute’s groundbreaking lawsuit establishing that the First Amendment bars public officials from blocking critics from their social media accounts. Over the course of five episodes, host Evelyn Douek — legal scholar and a self-described content-moderation nerd — talks to guests from the tech industry, legal practice, and academia about some of the thorniest questions that arise when social media collides with the First Amendment.

Views on First Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University

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    • 5.0 • 10 Ratings

What happens when social media collides with the First Amendment? “Views on First” begins with arguably the most famous Twitter handle of all – @realdonaldtrump — and the Knight Institute’s groundbreaking lawsuit establishing that the First Amendment bars public officials from blocking critics from their social media accounts. Over the course of five episodes, host Evelyn Douek — legal scholar and a self-described content-moderation nerd — talks to guests from the tech industry, legal practice, and academia about some of the thorniest questions that arise when social media collides with the First Amendment.

    Episode 1: What is Twitter?

    Episode 1: What is Twitter?

    What is Twitter (or any social media platform) as a matter of First Amendment law? In the first of five episodes, host Evelyn Douek begins to crack open this question, starting with perhaps the most famous Twitter handle of all — @realdonaldtrump. As president, Trump used his account to hire and fire government officials, butt heads with North Korea, and block his critics, a practice that one group of lawyers started to question.

    Guests Jameel Jaffer and Katie Fallow — executive director and senior counsel at the Knight First Amendment Institute, respectively — discuss the Knight Institute’s landmark case –Knight v. Trump – establishing that the First Amendment bars public officials from blocking critics from their social media accounts. They are joined by some of the plaintiffs from that lawsuit—comedy writer Nick Jack Pappas, chocolatier and political consultant Holly Figueroa O’Reilly, and sociologist Philip Cohen, who recount their experiences of being blocked (and then unblocked) by Trump.

    This episode contains strong language.
    Views on First is brought to you by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. Please subscribe and leave a review. We’d love to know what you think.
    To learn more about the Knight Institute, visit our website, knightcolumbia.org, or follow us on Twitter at @knightcolumbia or on Mastodon at the same handle.

    • 38 min
    Episode 2: A Slippery Slope?

    Episode 2: A Slippery Slope?

    Thanks to the ruling in Knight v. Trump, then-president Trump could no longer block critics on social media. Hooray! But the ruling was only the start of the story, and quickly new questions arose. How would it affect other government officials? What might it mean for the development of the law more generally? Could the ruling be used in ways that the Knight Institute team didn't expect and doesn’t agree with? In this episode, host Evelyn Douek is joined by Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman and former Twitter head of integrity Yoel Roth. Together they explore the ramifications of Knight v. Trump, and ask: Did the case establish much-needed guardrails around free speech online, or is it starting us on a slippery slope that could fundamentally change how the First Amendment applies to social media platforms?

    Harp sound effect used in this episode comes from SPANAC on Free Sounds Library
    Views on First is brought to you by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. Please subscribe and leave a review. We’d love to know what you think.
    To learn more about the Knight Institute, visit our website, knightcolumbia.org, or follow us on Twitter at @knightcolumbia or on Mastodon at the same handle.

    • 33 min
    Episode 3: Old Doctrine, New Tricks

    Episode 3: Old Doctrine, New Tricks

    Over time, the First Amendment has meant lots of different things to a lot of different people. In this episode, with University of Chicago law professor Genevieve Lakier by her side, host Evelyn Douek travels back to the time when modern free speech doctrine first started to emerge. Together they consider the values that have influenced how America thinks about free speech and how these values came to shape the way American law approached regulating the internet back when very few people even knew what the internet was. We hear from someone who was there—Sen. Ron Wyden—now one of the most famous names in internet regulation—about Section 230—one of the most (in)famous online speech regulations out there. But things have been changing in the politics of online speech regulation, and things are really starting to get weird now.
    Views on First is brought to you by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. Please subscribe and leave a review. We’d love to know what you think.
    To learn more about the Knight Institute, visit our website, knightcolumbia.org, or follow us on Twitter at @knightcolumbia or on Mastodon at the same handle.

    • 30 min
    A Preview of Views on First

    A Preview of Views on First

    What is Twitter? Yes, it’s where you find the latest news and commentary, read about celebrities you love (or hate), and have a nice, civilized discussion with fellow users (read: sarcasm). But is it the public square? Nothing but a private platform? And what are social media platforms’ rights and obligations under First Amendment law? 


    On Wednesday 1/18, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University will launch "Views on First.” Over the course of five episodes, host @evelyndouek, in conversation with legal experts and technologists, will grapple with the thorniest questions that arise when social media collides with the First Amendment. Listen & subscribe wherever you find your podcasts!

    https://knightcolumbia.org/content/views-on-first
    Some sound effects used in this episode come from freesfx.co.uk.


    Views on First is brought to you by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. Please subscribe and leave a review. We’d love to know what you think.
    To learn more about the Knight Institute, visit our website, knightcolumbia.org, or follow us on Twitter at @knightcolumbia or on Mastodon at the same handle.

    • 1 min

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