Debate: Constitutional Free Speech Principles Can Save Social Media Companies From Themselves

How should the world’s largest social media companies respond to a pernicious online climate, including hate speech and false content posted by users? For some, the answer is clear: take the fake and offensive content down. But for others, censorship – even by a private company – is dangerous in a time when digital platforms have become the new public square and many Americans cite Facebook and Twitter as their primary news sources. Should First Amendment doctrine govern free speech online? Or are new, more internationally focused speech policies better equipped to handle the modern challenges of regulating content and speech in the digital era?

For the Motion:

  • David French − Senior Writer, National Review

  • Corynne McSherry − Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Against the Motion:

  • Nathaniel Persily − Professor, Stanford Law

  • Marietje Schaake − Dutch Politician & Member, European Parliament