Democracy & Elections

The Lawfare Podcast: Working Toward Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation

Jen Patja, Evelyn Douek, Quinta Jurecic, David Greene
Thursday, December 23, 2021, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

In 2018, a group of academics and free expression advocates convened in Santa Clara, California, for a workshop. They emerged with the Santa Clara Principles on Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation—a high level list of procedural steps that social media companies should take when making decisions about the content on their services. The principles quickly became influential, earning the endorsement of a number of major technology companies like Facebook.

Three years later, a second, more detailed edition of the principles has just been released—the product of a broader consultation process. So what’s changed? This week on Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with David Greene, senior staff attorney and civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. At EFF, he’s been centrally involved in the creation of version 2.0 of the principles. They talked about what motivated the effort to put together a new edition and what role he sees the principles playing in the conversation around content moderation. And they discussed amicus briefs that EFF has filed in the ongoing litigation over social media regulation laws passed by Texas and Florida.

Jen Patja 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.
David Greene is a senior staff attorney and the civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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