The internet is a key component of daily life. Individuals increasingly rely on information and communication technologies in order to access and share news, educational content, and other information; interface with state, local, and federal government officers and agencies; participate in cultural conversations and public discourse; and engage in personal and professional communications. The landscape for content moderation and questions about the role of technology platforms in proscribing user conduct have become increasingly complex — and increasingly urgent.
In this hackathon, we will: (a) evaluate the roles that various stakeholders — from individual users, to platforms, to lawmakers — could play in combating user conduct that harms others; and (b) assess the tools at those stakeholders’ disposal. To do this, we will examine online platforms’ responsibilities — including responsibilities to users, to advertisers, to the government, and to the public at large — and evaluate how those responsibilities inform the development of meaningful policies and practices. Through small groups led by experts on online harms and larger group discussions, we will attempt to identify points of consensus.
We invite HLS alumni to participate in the Ideas in Action Hackathon and to bring their own expertise, perspectives, and experience to bear as we look at these timely legal issues anew. We welcome the participation of both alumni with specific subject matter expertise and alumni with a general interest in the topic area.