When: February 4, 2021 2:30pm-3:30pm ET
Where: Virtual

Moderator: Chris Riley, Resident Senior Fellow, Internet Governance, R Street Institute


  • Tatyana Bolton, Policy Director, Cybersecurity and Emerging Threats Team, R Street Institute
  • John Samples, Vice President, Cato Institute; Board Member, Facebook Oversight Board
  • Spandana Singh, Policy Analyst, Open Technology Institute, New America


Social media has long presented a thorny challenge for American governance: how should the right to online freedom of expression be weighed against necessary restrictions on some speech to uphold public safety? With politicization around the concept of online content moderation at an all-time high, Facebook’s newly created Oversight Board just announced its first five decisions, four of which would overturn Facebook’s original stance. Now the board will face its biggest test yet. Last week, Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to suspend former President Donald Trump from his platform permanently was referred to the Board for review and appeal. The Board decision—coming within the next 90 days—is expected to have broad implications for the future of speech online.


Recommended Readings 

Our Response to the Violence in Washington, Link

How Facebook and Twitter Decided to Take Down Trump’s Accounts, Link

Trump Wants Back on Facebook. This Star-Studded Jury Might Let Him, Link

Facebook’s “Oversight Board” Is a Sham. The Answer to the Capitol Riot is Regulating Social Media, Link

The Facebook Oversight Board’s First Decisions: Ambitious, and Perhaps Impractical, Link