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 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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The Joint Center Releases Joint Statement with Several Civil Rights Organizations on Facebook’s Latest Policy Announcement on Hate Speech and Voter Disinformation

On June 29, the Joint Center released a joint statement with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and several other civil rights groups on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s latest policy announcement on hate speech and voter disinformation:  “While we welcome any progress in Facebook’s policies, today’s announcement continues the company’s practice of taking incremental steps…

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Joint Center President Testifies at Joint Congressional Hearing on Disinformation Online and Section 230

On June 24, Joint Center President Spencer Overton provided expert testimony at a joint congressional hearing entitled “A Country in Crisis: How Disinformation Online is Dividing the Nation.” During the congressional hearing, Spencer explained that both domestic and foreign actors use disinformation to divide Americans along racial lines, and mentioned a recent Gallup/Knight Foundation survey…

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Now Hiring: Director of Technology Policy

The Joint Center is seeking a Director of Technology Policy. Data and machine learning hold tremendous potential to positively impact Black communities. Simultaneously, these new tools pose significant threats. Automated decisions may magnify discrimination in hiring practices, lending and other financial services, housing, education, insurance, law enforcement and surveillance (e.g., predictive policing, facial recognition, bail…

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Joint Center President Joins Knight Foundation Panel on Free Expression and Misinformation Online

On June 17, Joint Center President Spencer Overton joined the Knight Foundation’s panel, “Free expression v. misinformation online: who decides?” Read Spencer’s opening remarks here. Other panelists included University of Oklahoma College of Law Professor Evelyn Aswad, New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights Deputy Director Paul Barrett, Stanford Cyber Policy Center…

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