Last week, Knight Institute Executive Director Jameel Jaffer spoke with Vasant Dhar, host of the “Brave New World” podcast, about the history of the First Amendment, how it might evolve in the future, and its application to social media. 

On the question of who—the government or platforms—should be responsible for protecting society from social media’s harms, Jaffer says, “Both of the obvious possibilities here … come with … profound, democratic risks. In either case … you would undermine the democratic process because you would give either the government or these private, powerful actors the ability to decide the outer limits of public discourse that is necessary for democracy.” 

To avoid either extreme, Jaffer suggests that, “rather than hav[ing] the government or private, powerful actors intimately involved in deciding which speech gets heard, or which ideas get traction, better to impose systemic solutions, like privacy regulation.”

Listen to the full episode here.