The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has awarded $150,000 to the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy & Law at Rutgers Law School to support efforts to develop research and policy proposals on digital platform regulation and free speech.
Ellen Goodman, co-director and co-founder of the Rutgers scholarly center, will focus on transparency and the First Amendment and global speech implications of platform governance around content moderation, amplification, and monetization.
“We have to develop theories and policies that ensure our information environment meets the needs of its citizens and democracy,” says Goodman, a professor of law at Rutgers University–Camden. “These include new expectations for transparency, new modes of support for accountability reporting, and new responsibilities for gatekeepers who control information flows.”
An expert in information policy law, Goodman has studied, taught, and written extensively about the power of digital platforms, free speech, advertising, media policy, privacy, and data ethics.
She suggests government regulation of online platforms such as Facebook to clearly label political ads and bots, to disclose their funding and reach, and to make reports available to researchers and government officials.
Requiring platforms to comply with online versions of discrimination and harassment laws, adopt a code of conduct for hate speech, and grant users control of their own newsfeeds and data would provide additional protections, says Goodman.
The Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law is an interdisciplinary venture based at Rutgers Law School that promotes research, thought leadership, and education in information policy.
Rutgers Law School is one of 22 organizations receiving Knight Foundation support to study pressing issues on internet governance and policy.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy.