Social media platforms should allow public access to harmful speech by politicians and government officials, but should refrain from amplifying that speech through algorithms, argued Knight Institute Litigation Director Alex Abdo in a recent virtual panel hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
“The public interest in the speech of politicians is high. It matters to the public and voters, to civil society, what politicians say, especially when they’re talking about their duties in office and the problems of the day,” Abdo explained, adding: “Even when they’re saying repugnant things.”
But since politicians’ social media speech also carries a greater capacity for harm, with some using that “megaphone” to galvanize or polarize users, Abdo argued that platforms should adopt content-moderation policies that “reflect that reality.”
Watch the full panel below:
Bilal Choudhry is a student at Columbia University and a former Knight Institute research intern.