Posts in Technology
Can the world ever really keep terrorists off the internet?

Because the internet is geographically borderless, nearly any message can have a global audience. Questions about online regulation have persisted for years, especially regarding harmful information. Finding widespread common ground on internet-based issues will likely only become more difficult as the U.K. exits from the EU and the U.S. takes increasingly nationalist positions. Even so, the experiences of smaller groups of countries may inform a broader effort as global policies on terrorism shift, and the world’s approach to internet regulation changes with it.

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Theresa May Can’t Just Blame the Internet for Terrorism

In the wake of recent terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Theresa May publicly criticized “the Internet” and the “big companies that provide Internet-based services” as providing a safe space for terrorist ideologies to spread. May did not, however, specifically identify the spaces or companies she views as problematic. While these kinds of all-encompassing, non-specific statements may be politically effective in the lead-up to this week's general election in the UK, any serious attempts to address the spread of terrorism deserves significantly more nuance. Anything less is harmful to global discourse on such matters.

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Hiring 3,000 More Workers Won’t Fix Facebook’s Violent Video Crisis

Last week, Facebook stated that it is hiring 3,000 new people to monitor and remove inappropriate posts like graphic and violent videos. This makes sense, given that the company has seen an influx of violent videos featuring murders, suicides, and rapes posted on the site. Hiring 3,000 new employees isn’t a bad start, but these future hires will not eliminate Facebook’s video problems. And it isn’t clear yet if anything will.

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It’s Time the FCC Step in Before There’s Another Facebook Murder Video

 

This week’s tragedy involving Robert Godwin has renewed the debate over the level of responsibility social media companies like Facebook have in monitoring and permanently removing graphic content. As I argue in the below Fortune Magazine article, it's time for someone to step in before there's another Facebook murder video. All of this, of course, would raise serious and legitimate censorship and free speech concerns. If social media users don't want to see rapes, murders, and suicides as they scroll through their feeds, however, something must change.

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Can Facebook be sued for live-streaming suicides?

In January 2017, two different suicides were streamed using Facebook Live, a service that allows Facebook users to create and broadcast real-time videos to their followers. At the end of the month, a third was streamed live using a different service and is still publicly available on Facebook as of February 2017. Should Facebook be legally obligated to do more to prevent these types of disturbing live broadcasts? As disturbing as these videos are, I don't think the current law extends liability to Facebook.

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CRISPR in Agriculture: An overview of the gene-edited food that probably isn't a GMO

On Monday of this week, TIME announced its 2016 Person of the Year shortlist. Many of the names were unsurprising: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Simone Biles, and Beyoncé Knowles all seem to make sense. One entry in particular, however, seemed like a bit of an outlier -- the CRISPR Scientists. I've been following this technology for a little while, so when the announcement was released, I immediately wondered how it would impact everything else happening in the food law arena right now and in the future.

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