Blog

What Does Retribution Mean Now? Thoughts on COVID-19, Prison, and Schadenfreude

I want to share some musings I had about what criminal punishment means right now in America. I don’t really write about the basics of criminal law and procedure much – it’s not my focus, and I’m not well-read in it, so please excuse my fumbling discussion of the following concepts. Read more about What Does Retribution Mean Now? Thoughts on COVID-19, Prison, and Schadenfreude

Broad Consequences of a Systemic Duty of Care for Platforms

In a previous post, I described the growing calls for what I called a “systemic duty of care” (SDOC) in platform regulation. I suggested that SDOC requirements would create difficult questions in ordinary intermediary liability litigation. By encouraging or requiring platforms to review user content or exercise more control over it, SDOC laws would change courts’ reasoning in cases about YouTube’s liability for a defamatory video, for example. Read more about Broad Consequences of a Systemic Duty of Care for Platforms

Systemic Duties of Care and Intermediary Liability

Policymakers in Europe and around the world are currently pursuing two reasonable-sounding goals for platform regulation. First, they want platforms to abide by a “duty of care,” going beyond today’s notice-and-takedown based legal models to more proactively weed out illegal content posted by users. Second, they want to preserve existing immunities, with platforms generally not facing liability for content they aren’t aware of. Read more about Systemic Duties of Care and Intermediary Liability

Tool Without A Handle: Tools, Trends, Technology

For further insights on managing misinformation, we should look to the ways in which humans form identity through imitation, purge enmity through scapegoating, and often lack the inability to internally generate a clear sense of preferences or make choices that align with them.

One of the mechanisms worth analyzing is the human tendency to assign trajectories to immediate observations and, similarly, to be attracted to "trend stories" wagering predictions. This tendency contributes to misinformation problems as it assigns undue weight to both the ability of the predictor and the probability the prediction will come to pass.

I prefer to think, though, that rightness demands we protect the right of humans to so choose, even if it means they reject truth for fantasy. And even if free choice is inhabited with a bit of illusion, one created by subconscious beliefs that control our thinking, and thus our actions, without our immediate awareness.

Generating shared perspectives is an important component of this response. Misinformation flourishes in environments where shared perspectives are weak. Art can help illustrate, in ways that argument and evidence cannot, shared qualities of experience and perspective. Read more about Tool Without A Handle: Tools, Trends, Technology

Manual Contact Tracing Has Privacy Issues

This blogpost was first published by me on May 22, 2020, as a series of Tweets on manual contact tracing and privacy risks. Many privacy advocates initally opposed using technology like bluetooth exposure notification applications to fight the spread of COVID-19, arguing instead that manual contact tracing works better; that it is "tried & true" and has none of the privacy concerns that applications raise. Read more about Manual Contact Tracing Has Privacy Issues

Pages

Subscribe to Stanford CIS Blog