In May, Twitter added “fact check” labels to a number of Tweets from @realDonaldTrump about postal voting. @realDonaldTrump called it censorship while Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (@jackdorsey) posted on 28 May 2020: Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me. Please leave our employees out of this. We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make.
But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg still insists the platform is not a publisher, and is not responsible for the content it displays. He told Fox News: “I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online […].” He’s paying for that now with an advertiser boycott that’s taken $80 billion off Facebook’s market value.
As we approach a U.S. election with the two major platforms at odds with each other on accountability and public trust in the news continuing to fall, can that trust be rescued, and if so how?
Chair: Giles Whittell, Editor and Partner, Tortoise
Our special guests include
Dr Claire Wardle, leading expert on social media, user generated content, and verification. Her research sits at the increasingly visible and critical intersection of technology, communications theory, and mass and social media. Dr. Wardle is the co-founder and leader of First Draft, the world’s foremost nonprofit focused on research and practice to address mis- and disinformation
Rebecca Mackinnon, is an author, researcher, Internet freedom advocate, and co-founder of the citizen media network Global Voices. She is notable as a former CNN journalist who headed the CNN bureaus in Beijing and later in Tokyo. She is on the Board of Directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists, a founding board member of the Global Network Initiative and is currently director of the Ranking Digital Rights project at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute.
Areeq Chowdhury, the founder and director of the think tank, WebRoots Democracy, which is focused on progressive and inclusive technology policy. He founded the organisation in 2014, at the age of 21, and it has since become an influential policy voice in the UK, known for its research, advocacy, and events.