Trump, Twitter, and the Public Interest

Andrei Lacatusu, “Social Decay” (2017)

In a recent paper, Jack Balkin argued that free speech is a triangle. While the old model of free speech was dualist and entailed two kinds of actors, governments on the one hand and speakers on the other, today’s speech for Balkin must be conceived as a triangular model that involves (1) governments, (2) privately-owned infrastructures, including social media companies, search engines, broadband providers, and (3) speakers.

A series of events in the past week, particularly Twitter’s treatment of US President Donald Trump’s inflammatory tweets on elections and the Minnesota protests, have crystallized enduring and heated debates around online free…


This response was submitted to the EU Commission in early May and was drafted by Velislava Hillman, Nick Couldry, Elettra Bietti, and Gretchen Greene.

The European Commission’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence COM 2020–65 (compare also the strategy papers on Data and on the Digital Future: COM 2020–66, COM 2020–67)[1] announces a global race for quantum computing and the development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. To join the race, it proposes the facilitation of the next data wave and data interoperability across EU member states. While the White Papers envision a competitive European Union in the data economy…


I was invited to participate to speak in a panel on Disinformation and Julie Cohen’s book Between Truth and Power (2019), at the Centre for Information Governance Research’s annual (now virtual) conference. The other panelists were Julie Cohen, Jennifer Cobbe and Michael Veale. All panelists contributed with thoughtful comments and ideas. Thanks to Jennifer Cobbe and Lilian Edwards for inspiring me to write-up my comments into this blog post.

I am going to discuss how Julie’s work can inform our thinking and understanding of disinformation policy initiatives and trends (focusing on disinformation on platforms although I am aware that this…


By Elettra Bietti and Jennifer Cobbe

Blue network
Blue network
Photo: Pixabay

On Friday 13 March, Trump announced that Google would create a website to help Americans navigate COVID-19. The statement was corrected just hours later: far from working with the US government on a nationwide site, Verily, a subsidiary of Google’s parent Alphabet, had been building a small trial website to direct people to testing facilities in the Bay Area only. Still, Trump’s announcement shows that large technology companies like Google are and will be playing a significant role in containing and fighting the pandemic.

This is a difficult, frightening moment. How we tackle the…

Elettra Bietti

Harvard Law, Berkmaniac

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store