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Date and Location

April 11, 2019
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET
B-503 (m-rcbg Conference Room)


Speech and the Internet Photo

What is special about the Internet? How is it different from other media, including other transformative media, such as print, radio and television? 

- It is interactive it produces data

- It is intelligent 

- It is immediate

- And more than any other medium, it permits anonymity – identity is fluid


These “superpowers” produce much of the wonder of the Internet, but they also have a darker side

- Interactive = data…powering both SERVICE and SURVEILLANCE

- Intelligent = delivering both PERSONALIZATION and TARGETING

- Immediate = it is AVAILABLE but also INVASIVE

- Identity-Free = FREEDOM, but with reduced ACCOUNTABILITY


I examine these through the lens of what I call CHOICE, TRANSPARENCY, and REACH (CTR).  In brief, CTR is a model of how speakers decide what to say, who to be, and whom to reach, and how listeners decide what speech to surround themselves with, what to listen to, and how the context of speech informs their understanding.  


The analysis aims to identify where breakdowns might occur in the collaboration between speakers and listeners called communication, and how policy, enlightenment, and smart software might combine to help remedy these breakdowns – to help users of the Internet gain more of the good, while protecting against potential harm, of this new medium.