Lee E. Teitelbaum Utah Law Review Symposium
News, Disinformation, and Social Media Responsibility
The Utah Law Review is thrilled to announce this year’s symposium topic: News, Disinformation, and Social Media Responsibility. The event is designed to investigate twin problems arising from the changing media landscape. In recent years, major social media platforms have become the primary mechanism for the distribution of news-delivering, but not producing, journalism on matters of public concern, while attracting much of the advertising revenue that once supported traditional news organizations. These same platforms have also become the primary target for those who would spread disinformation, which is regularly consumed and shared by users as if it were news. The ways that these companies’ policies and practices foster or impede both news and disinformation have significant consequences for the American citizen and for democracy as a whole.
The symposium, organized by Prof. RonNell Andersen Jones, whose work focuses on media law and press freedom, and Prof. Erika George, whose work focuses on corporate social responsibility, promises to bring together scholars, practitioners, and commentators from the fields of media law, tech, and corporate social responsibility. Participants will discuss and debate the changing issues of media law, the shifting norms of press freedom in an age of easy disinformation, the threats of virality in disinformation campaigns, and the efficacy of media literacy campaigns. They will also investigate actual and proposed responses to these problems from major platforms, debating the contours of their corporate obligations in a time of rampant disinformation, the role of technology companies in shaping civic space, and the human rights impacts of operating decisions made by private business enterprises.