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Read this: Free Speech vs the Internet

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Free Speech vs the Internet…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 like countless this and many of you know that I could barely comprehend the images coming out of Washington last week.

Let's be clear.

This is a story not just in the media, but about the media social media has allowed to form Communities and disseminate information faster than at ancestors could ever have imagined but that includes false information and conspiracies in the past week the president of the United States has deleted from Twitter and suspended from Facebook and now YouTube parlour a free speech network has been forced offline after first Google in apple and then Amazon refused to host it is to call questions first is this grand deplatforming of Donald Trump supporters that right thing to do in second who should have the power to control who speaks is it companies?

Governments citizens, let me introduce you to our very very distinguished guests who got Amy peacock.

Who is the chief policy officer at policies also a law and Philosophy professor specialising in privacy Daniel Citroen is another law professor based at university of Virginia she advises tech companies including Twitter and Facebook we're hoping to be joined on the line with biplane Primark who was surprised of course his work at the Guardian with Whistleblower Edward Snowden in now delivers his Jones and director readers through the newsletter sub stack which we've featured on the show before giving an adventure to ramakrishnan is the Europe correspondent for the Financial Times welcome to your thank you very much indeed for your time when I know there is such huge Demand on it.

Just restarting Heather our discussion about this philosophical and practical issues.

I want to go back briefly to the almost unfathomable events of last Wednesday you have seen and heard lots of footage of what went on inside the capitol building.

Much of it was filmed on phones and posted on social media because there were very few actual journalists with an among the insurrectionists but among them was an ITV News team protesters tear down nameplate right now inside the Halls of this is exactly what so many anticipated and get the capital more ITV news, Washington correspondent and we're going to be seen clips from that extraordinary report and his journey through the past week for decades to come because Robert along with producer Sophie Alexander and cameraman marked with the only TV crew inside Congress their footage is it's amazing.

I just before we came on there.

I recorded an interview with them is a gripping listen over half an hour that you can find it now on the BBC

A policeman tried to stop me coughing Pennsylvania Avenue said there is no way you can cross that road.

I said I was the Genesis just said it made no difference at all.

I thought crimez imagine if this story is loss of 1 police officers instructions, but fortunately he was distracted about a minute later and I saw and looking other way.

I just ran across the road and then ducked into a crowd he saw me he couldn't sort of extract me and then almost immediately within 2 or 3 minutes the crowd began moving right into Congress up those out exterior stairs marble stairs and I realise that this was going from as I say for a riot into an Insurrection we're on the brink of a really big store you know I always knew he was going to significant only at that moment did I realise we were going to be this is the history with that is just a tiny clip with into a record with Robert Moore and Sophie Alexander her account of it is just as remarkable really she's very 3 years ago.

She worked on the Daily Star before that she work.

Harold moved into TV producing and finds herself at the start of the most amazing store in Washington you can download the BBC Sounds app search for the media show that's where you found it find it and I should say the account what the experience is as well worth listen to it.

Also reveals that the US authorities have now requested that their raw footage from the day and then after that but the ITV News have so far used to hand it over and won't consider at doing so without a court order to find all of that stuff on at BBC sounds right then since last Wednesday the story has shifted line of course parlour a social network founded in 2018 and described as an alternative to Twitter as being forced off the internet the app already had millions of users over the weekend after trump social media pads parlour became the most downloaded app in the apple app store but now it's future is in down and Amy peacocks.

I mentioned the Beginning is part of chief policy officer Amy welcome to

Media show, thank you for your time.

No, there's no question that at the moment at what reasons did a pleasure what reasons did Apple and Google give for pulling your rap was the day I believed that we were not doing enough to remove from the platform all of the material that in their view and I think we agree that this material inside violence and a lot of excitement letter to the unusual and terrible events of last week.

So give you brother contact parlour is a social Media platform.

That is nonpartisan to primary missions to allow the maximum freedom of expression within the limits of the law and second should use the second user privacy.

We had experienced tremendous growth in 2020 and we were working with a community guidelines enforcement mechanism that was true or principal.

Stefan useprivacy install relied upon a community jury.

We had you know the taxi implemented so that people could report the reports were go to a jury.

There's a Quorum system and then the contact will be taking down appropriately and Apple and Google that was not adequate now.

Keep in mind.

What's the dealing with we are dealing with three years now our competitors have been using as you've heard in the rumours out there algorithms that manipulate feeds victory feeds increase engagement and many experts have had the view that those engagement and Hanson algorithms have increased divisiveness straight and what we seen the last at least you're too is that as they've realised that there is this divisiveness online and with it all sorts of incitement and other sorts of content posted on.

Competitors they started being in lots of people from their platforms and Conservatives start that they were being unfairly treated that you're just proportionately conservative.

So they were platform it so we were dealing with a lot of that contest we were doing so consistent with our principles.

We didn't want to have a bunch of AI and Amazon and apple thought that was inadequate and you know it is your contention that parlour is an antidote that divisiveness broadcasting the other social media platforms.

We never have those engagement enhance in algorithms.

What we delivered was a chronological feed in addition.

We did not yet although we were contemplating introducing.

We are planning to try to introduce a groups feature, but it is our contention that the groups feature was the Facebook at in particular was more you.

Nitrous the events of the sex, but maybe there is something that was upcoming for future events and some events from last summer but you know trying to protect freedom of expression and did you so I respect your privacy we adopt needing strawsons view from the aclu that the best answer if you want to resist hate speech is the answer it with speech and that's what you're trying to say.

I didn't expect you to cost pilot is an antidote adviser this will come on second.

I should just say that Facebook I want part of this show that Mark Zuckerberg of people that I posted last week saying that for several years.

They allow President Trump's use their platform consistent with their own rules but things have changed with the Amazon web services Amy they stop posting you and that means in effect parlour has is essentially falling off the internet.

I know you've launched legal action against them in their initial response Amazon web services.

Big bottoms and say the Parlour house and a quote demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the service of Amazon web services content that threatens the public safety such as buying and planning to rape torture and assassination of named public officials and private citizens quite aside from the content which might come to the competence issued are basically saying that they give you not much time to give you 24-hours to remove at least 100 post which had that sort of content do you accept that you didn't remove it in time we were removing that was in comments and part of the challenge with attack is getting a link to individual comments and getting that down quickly is a challenge at the same time.

I don't know if you were aware, but as there were rumours that the president was coming over to parlour on the Friday the 8th we were experiencing server outages in a mitten.

Countries of time of about 7 hours or so and this is the same time that goes Apple and Google give us this content and you know it in terms of the content remove mechanism that was behaving a bit of radically Tudor in that time period so I would find me and then it would appear to be back up again.

Maybe different servers for overriding the other so it was there I take your point about the other platforms, which I wanted to spend just on parlour.

I'm looking at some of the content on parlour right now, but Daniel just tweeted about his opposes play let them in get the firing squads ready pence goes first.

Look at another processes remember all journalists are soft targets and our fair game in the coming Revolution don't be afraid to take reported by any means necessary.

There's not much philosophical defence for that something quite quick enough to remove those posts, Welwyn

If you do have a system-based of community tours, there's going to be some errors and that as well, but the other thing that we did inform Amazon about when they gave us the short notice is we had been in the prayer weeks enforcement mechanism so for example.

We had an escalation process that we had engaged so that the lead surge forward up to ask Aunt at the day that was particularly inside because we noticed of course like all the other platforms that there was an increase in this type of content over the preceding weeks.

It's just the other day.

We also advertise for working in house personnel to deal with forgive me if there's so much this content and lot to be refunded huge amount of it and it is directly inciting violence.

I know you're saying you believe a free speech as libertarians and you do it within the law but it's quite a lot here that was not within the

If you have a system a platform which has a very large volume of users many whom are inciting hatred or particular acts of violence then the defence which is that you just think the systems in place to get the stuff down quick enough doesn't really wash does it because there are actual real word manifestation, so I've never said that we were going to keep it exactly as is and as I said we had already put in the mechanism.

We were advertising unworkable which is now taking down her listing and fortunately but we had over a month ago today.

We had put a listing up for community guidelines enforcement task members missing the task force member.

Sorry we are home now pile-up does the name we were people in house to do this and in addition.

We were in talks with the exploring the use of AI because we want to figure out.

How can we use AI consistent with our principles and wanted to protect user privacy because we did yes, see your problem.

We experience fantastic.

In 2020 we were doing everything possible to try to enforce with your wee of a start-up and you're trying to scale you have challenges and this is also an extraordinary time in our history.

We are hoping that Glenn Greenwald is now with us outlines working plenty there.

Can you hear me at the mall Rajan you your and meet at the moment on the simple.

Can you hear me try unmuting yourself then going to work now.

Hope you're not well.

Maybe we'll try and get the line to Glen up in the second.

Hopefully fantastic welcome to the defence in your latest PS4 subject.

Did you write the Parlour has been in a quote destroyed by a show of monopolistic force.

Could you explain what you mean by that please 3 months ago the Democratic controlled Congress issued at 450 page report that concluded that for Silicon Valley companies Amazon apple Google

Have classic Monopoly power and are using a power in a legal anti-competitive ways to destroy any potential competition and one of the way is that they specifically cited was apple and Google's control over the app store so that not only do they sell phones to essentially everybody everyone who has an iPhone or an Android but they are in control which apps those users are allowed kicks off a part for my Parlour you no longer have the ability as an iPhone you to go to the internet and download it they control and therefore can destroy competitors as they just did with Paramore That's what I mean by monopolistic power.

Thank you so much.

I'm so this is an important distinction between the kitchen and I cannot live without using editorial decision as the weather not deny people that pollinate belong parlour at their voice.

There's that question and then there's a separate question of do these companies.

How much indeed monopolistic power just on the question the editorial question of the name of a voice so Facebook suspending President Trump's account Twitter deleting is account, do you think that decision was right putting in a monopolistic point do you think it was right to say at this point given the context what happened on the 6th in Washington that should be denied access their platforms.

There's a longer lay underlay, but maybe long.

Do they so long the Glen Green bus disappeared.

I'm so sorry.

I do I'll put that question to Daniel Citroen as we hope to reestablish the connection with with Glenn Danielle if you can hear me.

Can we just make that distinction between the two points you advise companies.

There's one thing to do that too much better second things did they make the right decision where would you stand and those two questions the monopolistic practices in buying a business is affecting prices of the question about in this case in this context did these companies do the right thing in removing President Trump from various.

And then I'm pulling your services from her there a case of trump.

It was it was a decision.

I think was long in coming.

I wish they'd made it sooner to make it sooner either for 8 months.

He had been spewing just information that meant to Jack you know people not to wear masks outlets a lot of death and destruction in the United States and really reckless and then inciting violence incursion violence in this contacts and tumble saying it's going to be wild come to Capitol Hill on the sex when going outside and think less March to Capitol Hill there's no question in my mind that he insided violence in both the legal way and immediately social way and we've seen the destruction and so we should have removed the long before it's my view play.

There is a realistic response to watch which have done which is actually they've made not an editorial mods, but they commercial one.

It's true that Twitter's stock price.

10% of the day after president came off but actually people say what they're trying to prevent more intrusive regulation is this something for compensation right so I am an annoying connected cryptic right, but I am not ever compensated by the last 10 years and so really when I move despite the fact that you are rising them about this week is going to bed PR so when did Twitter move again Straits taxing a cyberstalking after game again after the spread of nude photos of celebrities on and then off to bed now, because that's right, so it's bad PR yes, but they're stated policy was working in remove any public official in public figure.

Add for the public interest and keeping trump on his been better for the public's interest for last 8 months if I bring over Christian in on this point.

Let me put that philosophical point to Amy peacocks comes down to it a principled way you stand as a liberal or Notre liberal John Stuart Mill harm.

Principle said the Pointing between davina's when you're causing harm to others.

What do you say to Danielle Citroen which is the trump Philippa philosophical for principal reasons for the public harmony cause should have been off years ago and then I'll come to you so that I think of the 6th and what happened on the 6th that something more reason people could disagree about so my position about what happened on the 6th as that you could say some of what he had said in the contacts could be seen as inciting if I was making the decisions over a Twitter I probably would have stuck with what they had done to that.

Video you know that where things were still going on actively and he had told them to go home and please but there was a preamble at the beginning that could reasonably be seen as inciting on Twitter initially left it at but had a big flag on it to the effect that they left it out basically for informational purposes that they were producing its reach etc.

Daniel Daniel that he should have come off present Junction come of years ago because he was causing too much public.com years ago on that principled issue, where do you stand I wouldn't have said that at that point myself and you know which point did you think there was so much harm that you think it's a good business policy at least ethical matter to go in straight flagging and I think he's been daxing interested in this specific private individual.

What names are there for numbers and we saw the president do that Lindsay crown publishing his cell phone number? So this was even as he was running for president so if someone has been following watching and Incredibly destructive our president unfortunately has been engaging about behaviour from the start and so I think it's really important though like when we talk about excitement.

We shouldn't look at particular tweet in isolation right.

We should look at it and contacts in the full breadth of an offline activities and so I guess you're not mean.

We can't agree with disagree about that and that's fine, but Basic Instinct at least you know just before you guys were saying that you're reporters who are on site at this.

Didn't anticipate exactly what was going to happen that day and I think a lot of us were shot in so when you then see the speech in that context.

I think you when I agree Daniel bear with you if you get time to wait what you guys think that the ayatollah of Iran come off.

You is inciting violence against Israel on Twitter will come on the ramakrishnan from the Financial Times are that must have fallen foul of jazz before what did they do next what happens from now with Dad which is also the CEO has pushed Christina and that was the Apple store remove 17 and then that was the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and posted on there are going in and that leads to a brief outage report move to different domain hosting.

Is that baby absolutely Central to all this is a what sounds like a technical complicated piece of legislation America's section 230 which is due to say almost and Danielle's smiling that says it cannabis invented the modern internet giving platforms legal immunity that were responsibility for the content that is on their platforms.

That is sorted under review there lots of legal cases that as we look ahead at 2021.

It's possible that central pillar of the modern internet section 213 America could lose some of its power right.

Yes, it's a discussion going on in Europe in the UK as well, and we're staying here it you're up the digital services UK the online harms bill are framework UK particularly idea of moving away from the specific liability towards call of duty of care and trying to ensure that processes and policies in contrast to what takes place in the US as much stronger pressure on free speech first amendment that brings a different issue.

No policy.

Fat bombs now movie public square area was very controversial and highly debated area.

I'm sure that Amy Daniel about the new Public squares.

It seems to buy a few people that live in California and are very rich Danielle are you comfortable with the power that if you mostly California Amazon based in Seattle but mostly California billionaires have over information in the public domain the reason why we are aware.

We are is section 230 and the decency act which is basically a free pass for under and over filtering speech and so it's like a liability Zone and that's why you have what I would understand.

I've basically safehaven like really bad actor setup sharp bed Samaritans and make it to make money because we don't have strong privacy laws be staunton-on-wye metha entire business model is likes clicks shares the negative bacilli to be clear that is the model we have in the United States and I think.

Ready for the past 12 years that we should have men section 230 and require reasonable contact medication practices in the face of clearly gallery that immunity right or not legal shield, but you're too much power and they do in part because it's the right there are liability services fraction write it raises the transaction requires companies to internalize their negative externalities which right now.

They don't have to do it and you can have probably sent to bed so sad without doing any moderation despite the fact that there is sexually explicit material right like you name it like bring one bring all and that this is my lost it and so we need to we need to fix section 230, but I think your question.

How do we do more broadly cannabis strain some of this power especially as we move further down the stack you know it's not just at the contact layer but of course for a Cloud service.

You know cloudflare you know a security providers and ISPs have so much power you could basically make sure that we can speak on my right if you are a website and I do think we need private power that with no course required by the First Amendment but lawmakers least I've argued that private power.

It's worth considering regulation network extraordinaria to conversation in Europe as you know and let me have you got about 40 seconds left, but two finally what happens now.

Tell me where is polygon from here.

We are trying to put the pieces together required to get ourselves up on the internet, but as the on your was indicating there a lot of pieces to the puzzle.

It's required future of section 230.

I highly recommend a and using the Wall Street Journal yesterday where they talk about the combination of the immunity from section 230 and the pressure that's been put on the platforms from congress.

Institute and require a certain type of content removal mechanism on we just tried to be the answer to this our monetization model was not based on D-Day and I think that was part of the thing that People Source as a threat because we're out of time and I'm so sorry friend if you can hear is Glenn Greenwald I'm so sorry can get the line working class that is 21st century technology as we often discuss aabp cough Danielle Citroen and siddharth venkataramakrishnan, Wendy Glenn Greenwald thank you very much indeed for your time and thank you for listening will be back at the same time next week.


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