Law 511A/B - Social Media and the Future of Democracy
J.D. Yale, 1980
Social media both underwrite a golden age of free speech and threaten to undermine democracy. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media bring unprecedented opportunities for individuals to organize political movements and to communicate to a global audience. But in so doing, social media serve as platforms for hate speech, disinformation, terrorist recruiting, incitement to violence, excessive information insularity, and uses of automated bots to distort public discourse.
This seminar examines social media’s role in both fostering and undermining democratic discourse. We will compare social media’s role with that of traditional media and looks at social media’s impact on traditional media. We will explores possible responses in formal regulation and social media companies’ content moderation regimes. We will examines how government law and policy can and should aim to counter harmful uses of social media while fostering expressive diversity, consistently with First Amendment goals and strictures. We also ask how, if at all, government should support traditional media in the digital age.
This is a year-long seminar that fulfills the Substantial Analytic Writing requirement. Fall semester will be devoted to discussing readings. Spring semester will be devoted to students’ independent research and writing under the professors’ supervision. We will meet as a class only during fall semester.
Students will learn to critically assess law and policy arguments about social media and the future of democracy. Students will also learn to conduct research and write a research paper that satisfies that law school's scholarly analytic writing requirement.
|Neil Netanel / David Nimmer||19F||511A||SEM 1||R 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM||2.0||No||Yes|
|Early drop deadline: 5:00pm on 9/4/2019. Yearlong course.|
|David Nimmer||20S||511B||SEM 1||Unscheduled||1.0||No||Yes|
|Second part of a yearlong course for a total of 3 units. The Records Offie will process enrollment for this course.|
|Textbook for Fall 2019 SEM 1|
Abramson, Jill Merchants Of Truth 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781501123207. Simon & Schuster. REQUIRED $30.00
Benkler, Faris and Roberts Network Propaganda : Manipulation, Disinformation and Radicalization in American Politics
ISBN: 9780190923631. Oxford University Press. REQUIRED $27.95
Gillespie, Tarleton. Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions That Shape Social Media
ISBN: 9780300173130. Yale University Press. REQUIRED $30.00
Kaye, David. Speech Police : The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet
ISBN: 9780999745489. Columbia Global Reports. REQUIRED $15.99
Sunstein, Cass. #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media Updated ed.
ISBN: 9780691180908. Princeton University Press. REQUIRED $19.95
Vaidhyanathan, Siva. Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy
ISBN: 9780190841164. Oxford University Press. REQUIRED $24.95