Social media platforms are central to our lives. Yet we have an incomplete understanding of how they operate and what effect they’re having on our institutions and our society. We need to better understand how platforms’ human and algorithmic decision-making is influencing public discourse and shaping our democracy.

With platform transparency top of mind in 2022, policymakers and civil society groups are pushing for measures to curb mis- and disinformation on public health, political violence, and other issues.

Part of the Institute’s advocacy work entails convening experts to define what increased platform transparency and accountability should look like, and to outline specific provisions to help policymakers craft effective legislation. To advance these efforts, the Knight Institute is co-sponsoring a virtual panel titled “Pursuing Platform Transparency in 2022” on January 19 at 11:00 a.m. ET with NYU’s Cybersecurity for Democracy, and Mozilla. Panelists will discuss a three-pronged approach to making transparency a reality. 

  • Knight Institute Staff Attorney Ramya Krishnan will discuss the Institute’s proposal to create a legal “safe harbor” that would enable public-interest journalism and research on the platforms while protecting user privacy. The proposal was incorporated nearly verbatim into the Platform Accountability and Transparency Act recently published by Senators Coons, Klobuchar, and Portman.
  • Cybersecurity for Democracy’s Laura Edelson will discuss the need for mandating a standard for universal digital ad transparency.
  • Mozilla’s Marshall Erwin will discuss why we should require platforms to make high-engagement data transparent. 
  • National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Martin E. Rivera will speak to the importance of mandating transparency to the public interest and communities most affected by platform harms.
  • Mozilla’s Xavier Harding will moderate the conversation.

The panel will be livestreamed on Mozilla’s YouTube and Twitter.

More about the panel here