• Summary

  • [Un]Common Law is the place where public policy, legal issues, and storytelling collide. That means sometimes we dive into the weeds on the biggest legal, government, or tax stories; examining a single topic or big idea, and reporting it out in a multiple episode series or special single episode. Hosted by Adam Allington.
    © 2021 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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Episodes
  • Whistleblower Says Facebook Knowingly Profits From Hate Speech [UnChecked: Bonus Episode]

    Oct 5 2021
    Frances Haugen, the whistleblower whose revelations have prompted a congressional investigation into Facebook revealed herself publicly in an interview that aired on CBS on Sunday night. Haugen is the source of thousands of internal company documents that were leaked to U.S. lawmakers and the Wall Street Journal. A data scientist, Haugen was hired by Facebook in June of 2019 to lead the company’s civic integrity team, which was charged with cracking down on hate speech and misinformation. In practice however, she said that the company chose to downplay or ignore its own evidence detailing the rampant spread of misinformation on its platforms, as well as harms to children and teens. Haugen's lawyers have filed at least eight complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission, should the agency choose to bring charges against Facebook for withholding information and misleading investors. The public outcry over Facebook is not new. The social media giant has been on the receiving end of media exposes and Congressional inquiries for years. Last July, [Un]Common Law released a podcast series, called “Unchecked” looking into the legal and regulatory framework for social media, as well as changes to laws that could be implemented. In this special episode of [Un]Common Law, Naomi Nix, a Washington, DC based reporter for Bloomberg News talks about the latest revelations. 
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    20 mins
  • Regulating Social Media as a Threat to Humanity

    Jul 29 2021
    Concerns over the harmful impact of social media are rising to a fever pitch. In the past decade, everyone from conspiracy theorists to foreign governments have used social media to spread election disinformation, sow discord, and peddle viral conspiracies. This month, the Biden administration and the U.S. Surgeon General accused social media platforms of being the primary source of misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines. Likewise, a July 6 paper warned that the invention of social media could cause human society to fail “catastrophically, unexpectedly, and without warning” if it continues down its current path. In the fourth and final episode in our UnChecked series, we are looking at some of the public-policy solutions being proposed to rein in the threats posed by Big Tech and social media. In this episode of [Un]Common Law we speak with: Courtney Rozen, White House reporter for Bloomberg Law Francis Fukuyama, author and professor of political science at Stanford University Alex Engler, AI Data & Democracy Fellow at Brookings Institution Tom Wheeler, former chairman of the FCC and visiting fellow at Brookings Institution Martha Minow, professor of law at Harvard University
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    37 mins
  • What Would Breaking Up Big Tech Change?

    Jul 19 2021
    Cracking down on large tech companies may be one of the few remaining areas of political consensus in Washington D.C. However, many legal experts caution that antitrust cases could take years to complete and the outcomes are far from certain. Still others claim that the recent focus on antitrust is more about punishing tech platforms for being successful. They argue that it would have little impact on more pressing concerns, such as the spread of misinformation, the erosion of privacy, and the acceleration of political polarization. In this episode of [Un]Common Law we speak with: Derek Bambauer, professor of law at the University of Arizona, where he teaches internet law and intellectual property. Sally Hubbard, attorney and director of enforcement strategy at the Open Markets Institute. Chris Koopman, executive director at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. David McLaughlin, reporter for Bloomberg News covering antitrust, finance, and mergers and acquisitions. 
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    36 mins

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