On October 7th, Tech Policy Press hosted a mini-conference called Reconciling Social Media and Democracy.
While various solutions to problems at the intersection of social media and democracy are under consideration, from regulation to antitrust action, some experts are enthusiastic about the opportunity to create a new social media ecosystem that relies less on centrally managed platforms like Facebook and more on decentralized, interoperable services and components.
The first discussion at the event took on the notion of ‘middleware’ for content moderation, and featured:
Dr. Francis Fukuyama, Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), Mosbacher Director of FSI's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, and Director of Stanford's Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy.
Dr. Nathalie Maréchal, a writer, researcher and activist working at the intersection of internet policy and human rights advocacy who is Senior Policy & Partnerships Manager at Ranking Digital Rights, a non-profit research initiative housed at New America’s Open Technology Institute.
Daphne Keller,who directs the Program on Platform Regulation at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center and is a Lecturer at Stanford Law School;
And Richard Reisman, an entrepreneur, investor and writer, including at Tech Policy Press, where he has written about decentralizing social media.