Judges and Social Media


Judges and Social Media

I, along with Cynthia Gray from the National Center for State Courts, will be speaking about the impact of social media on judges this Thursday at the Michigan Judicial Institute. Here is a brief description of my presentation. To view the entire program go here.

2:45 – 4:00 p.m. (General session for all participants)

Best Practices and Safety Tips: Everything I Wished I Knew Regarding Social Media Before Clicking

Faculty: Ms. Cynthia Gray, Center for Judicial Ethics, National Center for State Courts; Professor Thaddeus Hoffmeister, University of Dayton School of Law

A session to present do’s, don’ts, and maybe’s regarding a judicial officer’s use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs and how to manage social media use in the courtroom by jurors, lawyers, defendants and victims.


Holding Social Media Providers Liable for the Acts of Third Parties

Holding Social Media Providers Liable for the Acts of Third Parties

As I explain in the article below, it is very difficult to hold social media providers liable for the acts of third parties even if those third parties are terrorists.

FOXNEWS.com: Lawyer takes on Google, Facebook, Twitter over terror videos

CBS Lawyer Loses Job Over Callous Facebooks Post


CBS Lawyer Loses Job Over Callous Facebooks Post

ABAjournal.com: CBS fires lawyer over Facebook posts calling Vegas shooting victims likely ‘Republican gun toters’

CBS has fired vice president and senior counsel Hayley Geftman-Gold because of Facebook comments under her name that said she had no sympathy for the victims of late Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed dozens and injured hundreds at a country music festival..to continue reading go here.

DHS Wants Immigrants Social Media History


DHS Wants Immigrants Social Media History

CNET.com: Homeland Security plans to collect immigrants’ social media info

SESTA and Start-Ups

SESTA and Start-Ups

This article argues that large internet companies like Google and Facebook will most likely survive any changes imposed by the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficker’s Act (SESTA) which is currently being considered by the U.S. Senate.  However, new start-ups hoping to get into the field will have a much more difficult time in light of the requirements imposed by SESTA.  As some are aware, SESTA will erode the traditional 230 immunity provided to internet companies for the actions of third parties.

According to the article,

“[m]any of SESTA’s supporters suggest that it would be easy for web platforms of all sizes to implement automated filtering technologies they can trust to separate legitimate voices from criminal ones. But it’s impossible to do that with anywhere near 100% accuracy. Given the extreme penalties for under-filtering, platforms would err in the opposite direction, removing legitimate voices from the Internet. As EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn put it, “Again and again, when platforms clamp down on their users’ speech, marginalized voices are the first to disappear.””

Techdirt.com: Google Will Survive SESTA. Your Start-Up Might Not.

Regulating Online Content Moderation

Kyle Langvardt

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Regulating Online Content Moderation


The Supreme Court held in 2017 that “the vast democratic forums of the Internet in general, and social media in particular,” are “the most important places…for the exchange of views.” Yet within these forums, speakers are subject to the closest and swiftest regime of censorship the world has ever known. This censorship comes not from the government, but from a small number of private corporations – Facebook, Twitter, Google – and a vast corps of human and algorithmic content moderators. The content moderators’ work is indispensable; without it, social media users would drown in spam and disturbing imagery. At the same time, content moderation practices correspond only loosely to First Amendment values. Recently-leaked internal training manuals from Facebook reveal that its content moderation practices are rushed, ad-hoc, and at times incoherent.

The time has come to consider legislation that would guarantee meaningful speech rights in online spaces. This Article evaluates a range of possible approaches to the problem. These include 1) an administrative monitoring and compliance regime to ensure that content moderation policies hew close to First Amendment principles; 2) a “personal accountability” regime handing control over content moderation to users; and 3) a relatively simple requirement that companies disclose their moderation policies. Each carries serious pitfalls, but none is as dangerous as option 4): continuing to entrust online speech rights to the private sector.


Bail Revoked After Facebook Post


Bail Revoked After Facebook Post

Martin Shkreli was sent to jail today for offering $5,000 on Facebook to anyone who could “grab a hair” from Mrs. Clinton during her book tour. Mr. Shkreli had been out on bail while awaiting sentencing for his recent conviction for fraud.  The judge handling Mr. Shkreli’s case found that the defendant, through his Facebook post, presented a threat to the community.

To read more go here.

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