February 5, 2020
A new episode of Counterspeak, the monthly podcast of the American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE), is now available for download on Spotify and iTunes. In this month’s installment, ABA Content Director Sydney Jarrard talks with Daphne Keller, director of intermediary liability at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society.
Jarrard and Keller’s conversation focuses on Keller’s work involving legal protections for users’ free expression rights. On online platforms, users’ content is generally evaluated for illegal or harmful activity through the use of Terms of Service and/or algorithms. Keller offers an informed perspective on privacy and free expression, having worked as associate general counsel for Google until 2015.
Keller explains that platforms have high incidences of taking down lawful speech, in part out of fear of breaking the law. While Keller notes that enforcing laws regarding illegal speech is needed and proper, she also argues that this scrutiny is subject to abuse and can often result in the removal of protected speech. Moreover, Keller makes a direct connection to booksellers and how they are affected by laws governing free speech and privacy. In addition, Keller tells the story of the time her husband reported her to Facebook for posting “inappropriate” content.