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PODCAST: Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet

PODCAST: Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet

A book talk with United Nations Special Rapporteur, David Kaye

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Duration: 00:56:35

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Transcript

 

This talk is moderated by Kal Raustiala, Director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations.

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The internet was designed to be a kind of free-speech paradise, but a lot of the material on it turned out to incite violence, spread untruth, and promote hate. Over the years, three American behemoths—Facebook, YouTube and Twitter—became the way most of the world experiences the internet, and therefore the conveyors of much of its disturbing material.

What should be done about this enormous problem? Should the giant social media platforms police the content themselves, as is the norm in the U.S., or should governments and international organizations regulate the internet, as many are demanding in Europe? How do we keep from helping authoritarian regimes to censor all criticisms of themselves?

David Kaye, who serves as the United Nations’ special rapporteur on free expression, has been has been at the center of the discussions of these issues for years. He takes us behind the scenes, from Facebook’s “mini-legislative” meetings, to the European Commission’s closed-door negotiations, and introduces us to journalists, activists, and content moderators whose stories bring clarity and urgency to the topic of censorship. Speech Police is the most comprehensive and insightful treatment of the subject thus far, and reminds us of the importance of maintaining the internet’s original commitment to free speech, free of any company’s or government’s absolute control, while finding ways to modulate its worst aspects.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

David Kaye is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the global body’s principal monitor for freedom of expression issues worldwide. A professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, he began his legal career with the U.S. State Department. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. His articles have appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Slate, and Foreign Affairs, among other publications.