IGF-USA 2020 Session

Should online platforms moderate and be accountable for user-created content?

Wednesday, July 22

4:30pm – 5:45pm EDT

US law (Section 230) holds users accountable for the content they post online, rather than shifting that responsibility to internet platforms hosting that content. This law has enabled the user-created content that fuels the educational, professional, commercial, entertainment, and social networks online today. Yet this liability framework is now under fire. Some say social media platforms don’t moderate user content strictly enough, while others complain that moderation restricts their free expression online. This panel examines competing pressures on platform content moderation, and changes that could address concerns without increasing liability to the point where only the largest online platforms can afford risks of hosting user-created content and commerce.


Katie Jordan

Senior Policy Advisor, Internet Society

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Katie Jordan is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Internet Society. She joined the organization in March 2018 and currently leads the Internet Way of Networking project globally. Katie also develops and advocates for the organization's public policy positions, including on access and security in the United States and Canada.

Katie received her B.A. from the University of Virginia, where she majored in Foreign Affairs and Media Studies. After graduation, she worked as a Google Public Policy Fellow atNew America's Open Technology Institute and as a Policy and Program Manager at Next Century Cities, where she assisted mayors with local broadband, digital inclusion, and civic tech initiatives. Most recently, she served as the Development Manager at Public Knowledge, where she led development efforts and explored emerging technologies.


Chris Cox

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

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Chris Cox is Counsel at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. He currently serves as a director of privately held companies in the health care technology and professional services industries, and serves on the board of NetChoice. During a 23-year Washington career, Chris was a White House counsel to President Ronald Reagan, chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the US House of Representatives, and the fifth-ranking elected leader in the House.

While in Congress, Chris was also chairman of the Select Committee on US National Security and a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Financial Services Committee. For 10 years he served as chairman of the House Policy Committee. In each of these capacities he was responsible for significant legislation, including Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the Internet Tax Freedom Act, and the Securities Litigation Reform Act.

Prior to his Washington service he was a partner at Latham & Watkins and a member of the faculty at Harvard Business School

Hany Farid

Professor, University of California, Berkeley

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Hany Farid is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences and the School of Information. His research focuses on digital forensics, image analysis, and human perception. He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from the University of Rochester in 1989, his M.S. in Computer Science from SUNY Albany, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Following a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, he joined the faculty at Dartmouth College in 1999 where he remained until 2019. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Katie Oyama

Global Director, Business Public Policy, YouTube

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Katie Oyama is the Global Director for YouTube Business Public Policy and Google's former Global Head of IP Policy. From 2009 to 2011, she worked at the White House as Associate Counsel and Deputy Counsel to Vice President Joseph R. Biden. Prior to her government service, Katie was an IP litigator at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr’s Washington office. She previously worked for a New York based strategy consulting firm and Marc Andreessen's Silicon Valley-based startup, LoudCloud.

Katie is a graduate of Smith College, where she graduated with High Honors in Government, and the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where she served as senior articles editor of the Berkeley Technology Law Journal (BTLJ). She has testified before Congress on issues relating to copyright, trademark, CDA 230, and the creative economy multiple times. In addition to her work in the U.S., Katie has represented Google on global trade and digital economy issues at the United Nations (UN), Internet Governance Forum (IGF), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), World Trade Organization (WTO), European Union (EU), World Economic Forum (WEF) and met with policymakers on 6 continents. She is currently a Policy Fellow at the University of Cambridge (UK) focused on copyright and machine learning.

David Snead

General Counsel, cPanel

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David Snead is the General Counsel for cPanel – the world’s largest web hosting automation company. He is responsible for cPanel’s global legal operations and is a member of the company’s management team. David has provided advice and counsel to technology companies since 1995 beginning with a practice based on technology exports. Since 1999, his practice has focused exclusively on the Internet infrastructure industry. In 2011 he co-founded the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (I2Coalition), an advocacy organization for the Internet infrastructure industry. He manages the i2Coalition’s global public policy portfolio. David is also on the Board of Directors of the Open Cloud Foundation. The Foundation seeks to establish standards that promote transparency and customer choice in the cloud. David received his J.D. in 1991 from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. in 1987 in International Affairs from Trinity University in San Antonio.

Syd Terry

Legislative Director, Office of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

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Mr. Syd Terry joined the Office of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky in June of 2018 as Legislative Director. Ms. Schakowsky is a senior Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where she serves as Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee. The subcommittee has oversight of consumer product safety, auto safety, as well as the Federal Trade Commission. Syd advises the Chairwoman on all matters before the subcommittee, as well as on tax, trade, labor and other economic issues. in addition to staffing her in her capacity as a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and managing the rest of the legislative staff.

Previously, he served as a Senior Legislative Assistant for Congressman Mark Pocan, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, when it first opened in January of 2013. In this capacity, he served as the primary labor and environmental policy staffer for a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Originally from Denver, Colorado, Syd graduated from University of Wisconsin - Madison in May 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. In the past ten years, he has been active in Democratic politics. He was a co-founder of the University of Wisconsin chapter of the Roosevelt Institute-Campus Network, which is part of a national non-profit network of progressive student think tanks aimed at connecting students’ ideas to the policy-making process.

In 2012, Syd served as Field Director on Congressman Pocan’s primary election campaign, after which he served as Regional Field Director for Senator Tammy Baldwin’s successful campaign in the general election the fall of the same year.

In the Fall of 2010, Syd worked on Senator Michael Bennet’s successful campaign in his home state of Colorado. He worked on the policy and research team and later on voter protection during the run-up to the election. Prior to that, he worked at the Washington Campus, an association of business schools that trains future business leaders as well as faculty and staff at member schools on how to effectively engage the Federal Government. Additionally, he served as an intern in the offices of former Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Ken Salazar (D-CO) in 2005.

Nicol Turner Lee

Brookings Institution

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Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee is a fellow in the program’s Center for Technology Innovation and a contributor to TechTank. She comes to Brookings from the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), a national non-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications, and broadband industries, where she served as vice president and chief research and policy officer. In this role, she led the design and implementation of their research, policy, and advocacy agendas. Her most recent White Papers at MMTC included, “A Lifeline to High-Speed Internet Access: An Economic Analysis of Administrative Costs and the Impact on Consumers” (March 2016), “Guarding Against Data Discrimination in the Internet of Everything” (September 2015), “Refocusing Broadband Policy: The New Opportunity Agenda for People of Color” (November 2013).

Prior to joining MMTC, Dr. Turner-Lee was vice president and the first director of the Media and Technology Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the nation’s leading think tank on issues related to African Americans and other people of color. In this role, she led the technology research agenda that was focused on advancing digital equity and inclusion for historically disadvantaged populations. Her most notable work was her development of the first national minority broadband adoption study in 2009 that was later cited in the congressionally mandated Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan. Her other publications there included, “Minorities, Mobile Broadband, and the Management of Chronic Diseases” (April 2012), co-authored with Dr. Brian Smedley and Joseph Miller; “Place Matters: The Debate over Broadband Availability” (2011); and, “Increasing Civic Engagement in the Digital Age” (2010) which was published by the Federal Communications Commission Law Journal.

In addition to these and other publications, Dr. Turner-Lee has been cited in the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Communications Daily, Multichannel News, Washington Informer, among other print and online publications. She is also a widely sought expert and speaker on issues related to communications policies in media and at conferences, and she has testified before Congress. Dr. Turner-Lee was a two-time Digital Research Program Scholar as part of Time Warner Cable’s Cable Research Program in Communications and recipient of countless recognitions, including the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition (2015) and one of the Most Inspiring Women in Media from the Alliance of Women in Media (2014).

At the Center for Technology Innovation, Dr. Turner-Lee researches public policy designed to enable equitable access to technology across the U.S. and to harness its power to create change in communities across the world. Dr. Turner-Lee’s research also explores global and domestic broadband deployment, regulatory, and internet governance issues. She is also an expert on the intersection of race, wealth, and technology within the context of civic engagement, criminal justice, and economic development.

Dr. Turner-Lee graduated from Colgate University magna cum laude and has a M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. She also holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Dr. Turner-Lee is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology at Arizona State University. She also serves on the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy (ACICIP). In her free time, Dr. Turner-Lee is active on the boards of various nonprofit organizations, including the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC), the Washington Literacy Center, and STEM4US, which is committed to advancing diversity in the technology fields.

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