On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, RealClear Media Fellow Kalev Leetaru joins Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss his paper “Transparency Is the First Step Toward Addressing Social Media Censorship.”
“Many of the organizations today that are saying ‘we need more censorship, we really really need to crack down on speech,’ those are the same ones that in the early days of the web … said ‘look, we can’t have censorship of the web,'” Leetaru said. “There’s this fascinating, fascinating sort of basically 180-degree turn from the early days of the web to where we are today and I think that it’s really important to understand how we got here because really, in the end, it kind of reminds us that there are no easy paths forward.”
Leetaru also explained the history behind Section 230 and the growing tension between leftists and conservatives on how to deal with social media companies whose policies are secret.
“These rules are designed to protect certain communities — how often do these rules backfire and actually harm the very communities that they’re designed to protect? If we had data to actually show whether or not that was the case or not, that might also really change the conversation. Because, again, at this point the company is saying trust us … that’s a really scary thing,” Leetaru said.