Buzzfeed Editor: Free Speech Important in Social Media Regulation

Last November, we sat down with leading voices in media to discuss the issue of social media regulation surrounding advertising and  so-called fake news distributed on social networks.  This part of our conversation with Buzzfeed media editor Craig Silverman is the third part in our series.  Watch part one and two of our series.

The latest step in determining how information is obtained and spread on social media networks involves some self-regulation by the major players. Twitter and Facebook announced new privacy policies in April. While those policies focus on data collection, questions remain about how the spread of false information might be policed on social networks. There are free speech considerations to consider, says Silverman. “We have to be aware that the more that we’re calling for crackdowns on certain types of information can also have some unintended consequences.”

Overall, Silverman says free speech is strong in the U.S., but that any new regulation on social media speech must strike a delicate balance between protecting users and upholding free speech.

“More and more speech is living on Facebook, on Twitter and other places, and now they have this tremendous amount of power. So we have to think about — at the same time we’re telling them we don’t want completely false information going viral — we also don’t want them turning into the greatest censors humanity has ever known.”

Watch his full remarks above.

Evan Peterson is director of corporate marketing at CME Group and managing editor of OpenMarkets.

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