Reconciling Social Media & Democracy, Part 4: Tracy Chou and Mike Masnick
On October 7th, Tech Policy Press hosted a mini-conference called Reconciling Social Media and Democracy. While various solutions to problems at the intersection of social media and democracy are under consideration, from regulation to antitrust action, some experts are enthusiastic about the opportunity to create a new social media ecosystem that relies less on centrally managed platforms like Facebook and more on decentralized, interoperable services and components. The fourth segment of the event focused on the opportunities and challenges to building middleware solutions that may thrive in a more decentralized social media ecosystem. The two panelists for this session were Tracy Chou, founder and CEO of Block Party, a company that builds anti-harassment tools against online abuse, and Michael Masnick, the editor of Techdirt and the author of Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech, a paper we discussed during the event.