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Ep. 8: Navigating Tech Policy, Free Speech, and China in the Age of TikTok and Social Media

Tech On The Hill: Episode 8

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In this “Tech on the Hill” podcast episode, host Tom Romanoff discusses disinformation with John Bateman from the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, focusing on the impact of TikTok and broader tech implications in society. Bateman introduces a report titled “Countering Disinformation: An Evidence-Based Policy Guide,” highlighting the need for empirical evidence in crafting solutions to combat disinformation. The conversation touches on the challenges of data access from social media platforms, the historical context of disinformation, and the decline of local journalism’s role in fostering public resilience against false narratives.

The dialogue shifts to TikTok’s potential national security risks due to its Chinese ownership and the complexities of regulating such platforms without resorting to bans. Bateman calls for a balanced approach and cautions against acting on unverified claims. Additionally, the podcast covers the impact of recent Supreme Court cases on social media content moderation and research, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a balance between preventing disinformation and upholding free speech.

The episode concludes with a consensus on the potential for bipartisan support in promoting media literacy and supporting local journalism, underscoring the necessity of a nuanced understanding of the digital information landscape, including the influence of AI.