Return of the Gatekeepers: Section 230 and the Future of Online Speech

Date and Time
March 10, 2020 10:05 AM - 3:05 PM EDT
Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC
Sen. Ron Wyden
Alex Feerst
Eric Goldman
Craig Parshall
Adam Candeub
Cathy Gellis
Ashkhen Kazaryan
Jeff Kosseff
Evelyn Aswad
Alan Butler
Jessica Ashooh

In the past few years, debates about free speech online have become a staple of Washington policy discussions. Concerns over harassment, alleged political bias in Silicon Valley, the spread of extremist content on social media, and the influence of Big Tech on the integrity of elections have prompted a variety of policy proposals and legislation. Meanwhile, social media companies have responded by creating institutions to moderate content on their platforms. The future of online speech governance may lie in California, not DC.

The Cato Institute is hosting Return of the Gatekeepers: Section 230 and the Future of Online Speech, a conference that will address these and other important topics. We hope that you will be able to join us.

Participants will include lawmakers, policy professionals, industry experts, academics, and others.


Opening Remarks

Matthew Feeney, Director, Project on Emerging Technologies, Cato Institute


Panel 1: The Future (and Past) of Content Moderation

Jessica Ashooh, Director of Policy, Reddit
Flemming Rose, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
Evelyn Aswad, Professor, The University of Oklahoma College of Law
Moderated by John Samples, Vice President, Cato Institute




Panel 2: Bias in the Valley: Do Allegation of Political Censorship Justify 230 Reform?
Adam Candeub, Professor of Law, Michigan State University
Eric Goldman, Professor of Law, Santa Clara University
Craig Parshall, Special Counsel for Government Affairs, American Center for Law and Justice
Ashkhen Kazaryan, Director of Civil Liberties and Legal Research Fellow, TechFreedom
Moderated by Julian Sanchez, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute




Panel 3: Content Moderation without Government

Emma Llanso, Director, Free Expression Project, Center for Democracy & Technology
Jacob Mchangama, Director, Justitia
Alex Feerst, General Counsel, Neuralink
Moderated by John Samples, Vice President, Cato Institute




Panel 4: Tackling Abuse and Extremism

Cathy Gellis, Digital Age Defense
Jeff Kosseff, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity Law, United States Naval Academy’s Cyber Science Department
Alan Butler, General Counsel at EPIC
Moderated by William Duffield, Research Associate, Cato Institute


Closing Remarks