Cyber trolls, death threats and the First Amendment will be the topic of a panel discussion on Wednesday, March 15 at 7:30pm at the Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center (333 Nahanton Street) in Newton.
From journalists and activists to doctors and politicians, death threats, and particularly anti-Semitic and anti-women cyber threats, have become common fodder on social media. In October 2016, Politico reporter Hadas Gold wrote an article about the presidential campaign and was met with a litany of Naziesque death threats. She received a Photoshopped image of herself with a bloody bullet hole to her forehead and a yellow “Jude” star, as Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany, on her chest.
The mechanisms of the internet – its global reach, immediacy and anonymity – have exposed an ugly underbelly of targeted hate. As they consider user rights and First Amendment freedoms, social media platforms are grappling with whether to police, or even prosecute, these threats.
On the internet, the push and pull between hate speech and freedom of speech reflects a new frontier in the pursuit of an ethical society. Is there a road back to civility? How far can the First Amendment be reasonably stretched? Should journalists and others under threat simply double down, or is self-censorship the way forward?
Lisa Green, an author, lawyer, legal analyst and former senior producer at NBC News, will moderate the discussion. Panelists are:
• Mary Anne Franks, a professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law and
the Vice President and Legislative & Tech Policy Director of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating online abuse and discrimination
• Hadas Gold, a native of Israel and reporter at Politico, covering media and politics
• Ari Ezra Waldman, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at New York Law School, and nationally recognized expert on data privacy and cyber harassment
Cyber Trolls, Death Threats and the First Amendment is part of the Jonathan Samen Hot Buttons, Cool Conversations Discussion Series at the JCC – a program of the Ryna Greenbaum JCC Center for the Arts. Tickets are $18. Visit www.bostonjcc.org/hotbuttons or contact 866-811-4111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.