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SXSW 2021

Can Truth Please Stand Up? Chasing Truth, Online

This is a panel on technology and the pursuit of truth. Panelists cross the boundaries of old media and new media, technology and law, examining how a democratic society can find real and sustaining solutions to the problem of fake news, weaponization of toxic speech, and partisan information silos, all without concentrating power in the hands of a few or damaging free expression. Social media has dimished traditional gatekeepers. The panel explores key tasks undone by the transformation: finding consensus, uncovering truth and falsity, setting boundaries on power. Technology can make democracy vibrant; it can also be a breeding ground for information chaos, abuses of power, and silencing of necessary voices. Which future we get depends on a confluence of law, ethics, and technology.

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  1. The protections of a free press came into existence in a time before digital media.Must we rethink those protections and tailor them to a new ecology?
  2. With the proliferation of fake news and partisan information silos online, has the mainstream media lost its ability to be a gatekeeper for truth?
  3. Can anything be done to counter the efforts to delegitimize the press and rein in press freedom?



Rebecca Taylor, Director, Fountech Ventures, Inc.

Meta Information:

  • Tags: Media & Journalism
  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: An Uncharted Future
  • Level: Intermediate
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