Related Insights

Mixed Messages? The Limits of Automated Social Media Content Analysis

This paper explains the capabilities and limitations of tools for analyzing the text of social media posts and other online content. It is intended to help policymakers understand and evaluate available tools and the potential consequences of using them, and focuses specifically on the use of natural language processing (NLP) tools for analyzing the text of social media posts.

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Letter to Senate Commerce Committee on Censorship Concerns with SESTA Manager's Amendment

The Honorable John Thune Chairman, Senate Commerce Committee United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable Bill Nelson Ranking Member, Senate Commerce Committee United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 7 November 2017 Dear Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson, and Members of the Committee, We, the undersigned human rights and civil liberties organizations, trade associations, and individuals write to convey our significant concern with the Manager’s Amendment to S.1693, the…

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Overview of the NetzDG Network Enforcement Law

The German parliament passed a law on 30 June that subjects social media companies and other providers that host third-party content to fines of up to €50 million if they fail to remove “obviously illegal” speech within 24 hours of it being reported. Here’s a review of the law with a focus on the free speech implications.

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CDT Co-Signs Letter Calling on Commission to Act Against Germany’s Draft Network Enforcement Law

CDT has signed a joint letter on the draft German law that threatens to fine large social media platforms if they do not react swiftly to take down certain types of content. Together with other civil and human rights organisations, as well as industry bodies representing the Internet technology, we call on the European Commission to ensure compliance of the draft German law with EU law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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Amicus Brief, Ferrer v. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

Section 230 of the Communications Act enables individual speakers to identify online services that will host their own First Amendment-protected speech. The Subcommittee’s invasive, burdensome inquiry into Backpage.com’s editorial practices creates an intense chilling effect, not only for Backpage but for any website operator seeking to define their own editorial viewpoint and moderation procedures for the third-party content that they host.

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Amicus Brief in AirBNB and Homeaway vs. San Francisco

CDT joined EFF and other Section 230 experts in an amicus brief in Airbnb’s challenge to the San Francisco homesharing ordinance. The brief emphasizes that laws forcing intermediaries to ensure that users’ listings comply with content specifications contravene Section 230 of the Communications Act, a federal statutory shield protecting online content hosts against liability for their users’ speech.

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Content ‘responsibility:’ The looming cloud of uncertainty for internet intermediaries

This paper, written by Dr. Monica Horten, addresses the topic of intermediary liability in the context of new European Union policy proposals. These proposals introduce a new notion of ‘content responsibility’. The paper seeks to understand this notion and its consequences by analysing the policy proposals that have been tabled in 2016, as well as national and European case law.

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CDT Joins Pressure to Include Civil Society in Conversations with Internet Companies about CVE Efforts

CDT joins New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) and a coalition of privacy and human rights organizations that pressed the White House to include civil society in its conversations with Internet companies about its so-called “combatting violent extremism” (CVE) efforts. In a joint letter addressed to top White House staff, groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International emphasized the importance of human rights and the need for greater transparency when it comes to collaboration between the government and the technology industry to address terrorists’ use of the Internet.

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