LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will host a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, in The Commons at Spooner Hall to address “Data & Democracy: What is Free Speech in the Age of Social Media?” This event is hosted by The Commons, the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and the Office of the Provost.
The panel will be moderated by Deanell Reece Tacha, the Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of the School of Law at Pepperdine University, and a former faculty member of the KU School of Law. Panelists will include Frank LoMonte, executive director, Student Press Law Center; Amy Gajda, associate professor of law, Tulane University Law School; and Stephen McAllister, E.S. & Tom W. Hampton Distinguished Professor of Law, KU School of Law.
“Flagship universities play an important role in our society as centers for the free and open exchange of information, the expression of professional and academic opinions, and the pursuit of wide areas of research or inquiry,” said Jeffrey S. Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor. “That role carries with it great responsibility, and this important conversation sets KU apart as a leader in exploring the ramifications of protecting academic freedom while operating responsibly in the public forum of social media.”
Amid a changing social landscape of connectivity and communication, the legal and societal landscape of what is meant by “free speech” may be shifting as well. While the First Amendment guarantees free speech, the panel will address the substance and forms of that protection in the age of social media.
In addition, the panel will discuss what free speech and privacy mean in an era of immediate and unfettered access to information, and whether there are new rules that characterize social engagement and free expression today.
The event is open to the public and will be streamed online at http://www.thecommons.ku.edu/FreeSpeech/. Those who are unable to attend in person may submit questions via Twitter using hashtag #DataDemocracy and may follow the discussion on the Twitter feed for The Commons, @TheCommonsKU.