Tech Policy

The Joint Center’s tech policy program analyzes how data privacy, AI, and other tech policy issues affect Black communities. See below for research, analysis, and activities related to tech policy.

Joint Center President: Senate Tech CEO Hearing is a Play to Discourage Removal of Election Disinformation

Slate just published this commentary on today’s Senate hearing featuring the CEOs of Facebook, Google, and Twitter co-written by Joint Center President Spencer Overton and Professor Danielle Keats Citron. Their bottom line: “The Senate hearing six days before Election Day is an obvious play to chill social-media companies’ efforts to remove election disinformation. The goal is to ensure…

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Joint Center Participates in Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s ‘Policy Meets Practice: Training in Action’ Series

Spencer participated in the first session of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s “Policy Meets Practice: Training in Action” series. The session, entitled Voting Rights and Black America, had panelists discuss “tactics for effective voter mobilization and provide a historical lens of Black voter engagement methods that effectively influenced policy action and representation.” Other panelists included…

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Joint Center Participates in Howard University King Lecture Series on Voting Rights

On October 7, Joint Center President Spencer Overton participated in Howard University’s 2020-21 Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy Lecture Series in a session entitled Seize Your Power: Your Voice, Your Vote. In the session, Spencer discussed voter suppression and how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Black voters. Other participants…

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Joint Center Joins National Urban League Panel on Social Media Regulation & Civil Rights

On October 20, Joint Center President Spencer Overton joined National Urban League (NUL)’s panel entitled Social Media Regulation: The New Frontier in the Fight for Civil Rights. In the panel, Spencer discussed voter suppression, Section 230, and disinformation online. Other panelists include U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, National Black Justice Coalition…

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Joint Center Testifies to Congress on Misinformation in the 2020 Election

On October 6, Joint Center President Spencer Overton provided expert testimony at a congressional hearing entitled “Voting Rights And Election Administration: Combatting Misinformation In The 2020 Election.” In his opening statement, Spencer explained that online disinformation is not simply dividing our nation. Foreign and domestic actors are using lies to specifically target and suppress Black…

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Joint Center to FCC: Don’t Facilitate Online Disinformation & Discrimination

Yesterday, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies submitted its analysis opposing the Trump Administration’s attempt to prod the Federal Communications Commission to adopt rules that would discourage platforms like Twitter and Facebook from removing objectionable material—like disinformation that suppresses Black votes or facilitates housing or employment discrimination. In May—just two days after Twitter flagged a…

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Joint Center President Answers Additional Questions from Members of Congress on Disinformation and Section 230

Joint Center President Spencer Overton provided additional written responses to questions from Members of Congress after his testimony at the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce of the Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing entitled, “A Country in Crisis: How Disinformation Online Is Dividing the Nation.” In his…

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Questions on Market Power & Discrimination for Tech CEOs Testifying Before Congress

On July 29, the CEOs of four major tech companies—Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Google/Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg—will testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee to discuss the market power of online platforms. Of the subcommittee’s 13 Members, four belong to the Congressional Black Caucus (including subcommittee Vice Chair Joe…

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