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The Lawfare Podcast: Online Speech and Section 230 After Dobbs

Jen Patja Howell, Evelyn Douek, Quinta Jurecic, Evan Greer
Thursday, July 21, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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When the Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade, the impact of the decision on the internet may not have been front of mind for most people thinking through the implications. But in the weeks after the Court’s decision, it’s become clear that the post-Dobbs legal landscape around abortion implicates many questions around not only data and digital privacy, but also online speech. One piece of model state legislation, for example, would criminalize “hosting or maintaining a website, or providing internet service, that encourages or facilitates efforts to obtain an illegal abortion.” 

This week on Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Evan Greer, the director of the digital rights organization Fight for the Future. She recently wrote an article in Wired with Lia Holland arguing that “Section 230 is a Last Line of Defense for Abortion Speech Online.” They talked about what role Section 230’s protections have to play when it comes to liability for speech about abortion and what content moderation looks like in a post-Dobbs world.

Jen Patja Howell is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Evelyn Douek is an Assistant Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and Senior Research Fellow at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. She holds a doctorate from Harvard Law School on the topic of private and public regulation of online speech. Prior to attending HLS, Evelyn was an Associate (clerk) to the Honourable Chief Justice Susan Kiefel of the High Court of Australia. She received her LL.B. from UNSW Sydney, where she was Executive Editor of the UNSW Law Journal.
Quinta Jurecic is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a senior editor at Lawfare. She previously served as Lawfare's managing editor and as an editorial writer for the Washington Post.
Evan Greer has been organizing hard-hitting political campaigns for more than a decade. A talented writer, she is a regular contributor to numerous publications, including The Guardian, Newsweek, and Time Magazine.

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