Daphne Keller is the Director of Intermediary Liability at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. Her work focuses on platform regulation and Internet users' rights. She has published both academically and in popular press; testified and participated in legislative processes; and taught and lectured extensively. Her recent work focuses on legal protections for users’ free expression rights when state and private power intersect, particularly through platforms’ enforcement of Terms of Service or use of algorithmic ranking and recommendations. Until 2015 Daphne was Associate General Counsel for Google, where she had primary responsibility for the company’s search products. She worked on groundbreaking Intermediary Liability litigation and legislation around the world and counseled both overall product development and individual content takedown decisions.
High Res Photo of Daphne Keller
The Center for Internet and Society just wrapped up its Law, Borders, and Speech Conference. We had an amazing line-up of speakers and a great set of topics -- the event was a blast, and we are getting enthusiastic feedback from newly minted Internet jurisdiction nerds and old hands alike.
The European Commission is making major steps forward in its new Digital Single Market strategy. One important part, the Platform Liability consultation, pointedly asked whether Internet intermediaries should “do more” to weed out illegal or harmful content on their platforms – in other words, to proactively police the information posted by users.
This is the third of four posts on the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) rulings in Delfi v. Estonia and MTE v. Hungary. In both cases, national courts held online news portals liable for comments posted by their users – even though the platforms did not know about them. These rulings effectively required platforms to monitor and delete user comments in order to avoid liability.
This essay closely examines the effect on free-expression rights when platforms such as Facebook or YouTube silence their users’ speech. The first part describes the often messy blend of government and private power behind many content removals, and discusses how the combination undermines users’ rights to challenge state action. The second part explores the legal minefield for users—or potentially, legislators—claiming a right to speak on major platforms.
On Tuesday, in a courtroom in Luxembourg, the Court of Justice of the European Union is to consider whether Google must enforce the “right to be forgotten” — which requires search engines to erase search results based on European law — everywhere in the world.
Policymakers increasingly ask Internet platforms like Facebook to “take responsibility” for material posted by their users. Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders seem willing to do so. That is in part a good development. Platforms are uniquely positioned to reduce harmful content online. But deputizing them to police users’ speech in the modern public square can also have serious unintended consequences. This piece reviews existing laws and current pressures to expand intermediaries’ liability for user-generated content.
""The bottom line of the case is that its legal merits barely matter, because the point is political theater," Daphne Keller, the director of intermediary liability at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, told The Hill.
"As theater, I suspect it will be quite successful.""
"Ultimately, the use case for purely AI-driven content moderation is fairly narrow, says Daphne Keller, the director of intermediary liability at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, because nuanced decisions are too complex to outsource to machines.
“If context does not matter at all, you can give it to a machine,” she told me. “But, if context does matter, which is the case for most things that are about newsworthy events, nobody has a piece of software that can replace humans.”"
"“I think they are really struggling and that’s not surprising, because it’s a very hard problem,” said Daphne Keller, who used to be on Google’s legal team and is now with Stanford University.
"According to Daphne Keller, a director at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford’s school of law, outing those anonymous defendants might be the only way Miltenberg can get the case heard. It’s likely that Google – which was not named in the suit – and Donegan as the document’s creator will be immunized by federal statute and could get the case dismissed, Keller said.
"It will set governments’ expectations about how they can use their leverage over internet platforms to effectively enforce their own laws globally,” said Daphne Keller, who studies platforms’ legal responsibilities at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society and previously was Google’s associate general counsel."
Lunch: 1:00 pm
Program: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Internet platforms like Facebook and Twitter play an ever-increasing role in our lives, and mediate our personal and public communications. What laws govern their choices about our speech? Come discuss the law of platforms and online free expression with CIS Intermediary Liability Director Daphne Keller.
Privacy and free speech aren't fundamentally opposed, but they do have a tendency to come into conflict — and recent developments in Europe surrounding the right to be forgotten have brought this conflict into focus. This week, we're joined by Daphne Keller of Stanford's Center For Internet And Society to discuss the collision between these two important principles.