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Tech Companies' Accountability for Spread of COVID-19 Misinformation | Cyber In :60 | GZERO Media

Tech companies' role in the spread of COVID-19 misinformation

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Why is misinformation about the COVID-19 test spreading so fast across social media platforms?

One underlying reason is that the US has been so reluctant to hold tech companies to account at all. There are understandable sensitivities about online speech, and the First Amendment gives tech companies a lot of room to say that they simply don't want to censor anyone. Or that they're just platforms, connecting messenger and audience, buyer and seller, without responsibility. But what is missing in these reflections is how other rights or principles can get crushed, public health being an obvious one in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies so far have taken a hands-off approach. They've not been reigned in by lawmakers. And some very cynical actors are happy to profit off the pandemic or to spread conspiracy theories. Sadly, they are having a field day.

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TITLE PLACEHOLDER | Cyber In :60 | GZERO Media

Florida law would fine social media companies for censoring politicians

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

What is the deal with the new Florida law that fines social media companies for censoring politicians?

Well, it's a deal of Floridian politics, it is informed by Republican anger about the banning of President Trump off of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. But the last word has not been said about the new law. Challenges based on companies' first amendment rights, as well as compatibility with current intermediary liability exemptions, like Section 230, will probably be fought out in court.

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