Panel on: The Creation and Distortion of Communication through Information Technology

Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Kenneth J. Levine, Susan B. Kretchmer
InSITE 2003  •  Volume 3  •  2003
Information and communication technology has opened up both challenges and opportunities for the process of communication. This is particularly true for communicating effectively and efficiently in the digital age, where unique problems of creation and distortion, especially misinformation and bias, can arise. In addition, the broad diffusion of a communication medium eventually prompts both the public and private sectors to establish mechanisms to regulate that medium under the rubric of the public interest. Sometimes this can happen through self-censorship on the part of the industry, while other times it requires the institution of governmental law and regulation. The emergence of the Internet as a mass communication system has raised questions about how this medium can function to benefit society, as well as concerns about its potential harm. Focusing on the nexus of the process of communication and the limitations and prospects of information technology, this panel explores some of the major concerns of the digital age from a legal and policy perspective. The topics to be covered through interactive discussion include: anonymous speech and cybersmearing; the nature of publication and misinformation; and Internet content filtering, freedom of speech, and intellectual property
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