FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Do social media companies unfairly censor speech, or allow misinformation to flourish?
This spring, Texas passed a law preventing companies like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok from discriminating against online expression by removing a post or digital content. Supporters argued the law would protect conservative views from liberal bias; critics contended the law would allow far-right views and hate-speech to flourish.
The companies responded in court, arguing that the law was unconstitutional: they are not public utilities, subject to state regulation, but like newspapers that exercise editorial discretion under the First Amendment. In late May, the Supreme Court sided with the tech companies, and issued an emergency order blocking the law from taking effect. The case continues to make its way through the courts, and the question remains undecided.
At this Ideas on Tap, several media and legal experts will unpack these tangled issues. Panelists will help attendees think about states’ obligations to their citizens, whether they can regulate social media companies, and if state laws can limit companies’ First Amendment rights.
Ideas on Tap is a series of “pint-sized conversations about big ideas.” Join for drinks, appetizers, and conversation in a casual pub setting.
Cost is $15 per person and includes appetizers and one beverage (beer, wine, or non-alcoholic drink) in the relaxed atmosphere of Feathered Friend Brewing in downtown Concord.
Anna Brown is director of Research & Analysis at Citizens Count, a nonprofit dedicated to providing unbiased information about New Hampshire issues and candidates. She has been with the organization since 2011. In her current role she is responsible for tracking, analyzing, and summarizing the roughly 2,000 bills and 1,000 candidates that move through New Hampshire every two years. She co-hosts the podcast $100 Plus Mileage, a joint project with the Granite State News Collaborative, covering lesser-known legislation before the New Hampshire General Court. She is also a regular guest and subject matter expert on New Hampshire politics for NHPBS, NH Public Radio, and other media outlets. She received her master’s degree in justice studies from the University of New Hampshire.
John Greabe directs the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership & Public Service and is a professor of law at the UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law. Professor Greabe teaches constitutional law, civil procedure, and related courses. His scholarship focuses on constitutional law, federal courts, and civil rights litigation. Professor Greabe also writes a periodic columns on the developments in constitutional law for the Concord Monitor and New Hampshire Bulletin. Professor Greabe previously taught at Vermont Law School and clerked for 17 years for a number of appeals and district court judges within the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
Meg Mott (moderator), Ph.D., is Professor of Politics Emerita and Town Moderator, Putney, Vt. After 20 years of teaching political theory and constitutional law to Marlboro College undergraduates, Mott has taken her love of argument to the general public. She attended the University of New Hampshire in the 1970s and is currently teaching at Keene State College. Her award-winning series Debating Our Rights on the first 10 amendments brings civil discussions on contentious issues to public libraries and colleges.
Justin Silverman is executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition. Silverman is a former journalist and a current Massachusetts-based attorney. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Maine School of Law and New England Law | Boston.
NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.
Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Please make a donation here.
Leadership Circle donors include the Rhode Island Foundation, Hearst Connecticut Media Group, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, and the Robertson Foundation. Major Supporters include Boston University, WBUR-Boston, the Academy of New England Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, Genie Gannett, Linda Pizzuti Henry, Connecticut Public and GBH-Boston.