Attitudes toward free speech are evolving as more of our discourse takes place online and information gatekeepers multiply. Debates continue over how content on social media should be regulated and who ultimately bears responsibility for online speech.

Join Washington Post Live on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 11:00 a.m. ET for a discussion about the future of free expression in the U.S. featuring Lee C. Bollinger, president & Seth Low Professor of the University at Columbia University, Mary Anne Franks, professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law and Daphne Keller, director of the Program on Platform Regulation at Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center about the future of free expression in the U.S.



Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University

Lee C. Bollinger became Columbia University’s 19th president in 2002 and is the longest serving Ivy League president. He is Columbia’s first Seth Low Professor of the University, a member of the Law School faculty, and one of the nation’s foremost First Amendment scholars. Bollinger is widely published on legal and constitutional issues involving free speech and press. His books include: Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide Open: A Free Press for a New Century; Eternally Vigilant: Free Speech in the Modern Era; Images of a Free Press; The Tolerant Society: Freedom of Speech and Extremist Speech in America, and The Free Speech Century, co-edited with Geoffrey R. Stone. His latest book, National Security, Leaks and Freedom of the Press: The Pentagon Papers Fifty Years On, also co-edited with Geoffrey R. Stone, will be published by Oxford University Press in the spring of 2021. Bollinger serves as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board. From 2007 to 2012, he was a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he also served as Chair from 2010 to 2012. From 1996 to 2002, Bollinger was the President of the University of Michigan. He led the university’s historic litigation in Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger, the first Supreme Court decisions to uphold and clarify the importance of diversity as a compelling justification for affirmative action in higher education. Bollinger is a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and the recipient of ten honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the National Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice and the National Equal Justice Award from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Daphne Keller, Director, Program on Platform Regulation, Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center

Daphne Keller’s work focuses on platform regulation and Internet users’ rights. She has testified before legislatures, courts, and regulatory bodies around the world, and published both academically and in popular press on topics including platform content moderation practices, constitutional and human rights law, copyright, data protection, and national courts’ global takedown orders. Her recent work focuses on legal protections for users’ free expression rights when state and private power intersect, particularly through platforms’ enforcement of Terms of Service or use of algorithmic ranking and recommendations. Until 2020, Daphne was the Director of Intermediary Liability at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society. She also served until 2015 as Associate General Counsel for Google, where she had primary responsibility for the company’s search products. Daphne has taught Internet law at Stanford, Berkeley, and Duke law schools. She is a graduate of Yale Law School, Brown University, and Head Start.

Mary Anne Franks, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

Dr. Mary Anne Franks is Professor of Law and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar at the University of Miami School of Law, where she teaches First Amendment law, Second Amendment law, criminal law and procedure, and law and technology. She is also the President and Legislative and Tech Policy Director of the nonprofit organization Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and an Affiliate Fellow of the Yale Law School Information Society Project (ISP). She is the author of the award-winning book The Cult of the Constitution: Our Deadly Devotion to Guns and Free Speech (2019). Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Harvard Law Review, and the UCLA Law Review, among other outlets. Dr. Franks authored the first model criminal statute on nonconsensual pornography (aka “revenge porn”) in 2013, and regularly advises legislators and tech industry leaders on the interaction between technology and civil rights. Dr. Franks earned her doctorate and master’s degree in Modern Languages and Literature from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Content from The Knight Foundation

Does the First Amendment Protect People Like Me?

Sam Gill, SVP/chief program officer of Knight Foundation and Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, interpret the findings of a Gallup-Knight survey of college students that found demographic gaps in students’ feelings about First Amendment protections.

Suzanne Nossel, CEO, Pen America

Suzanne Nossel is chief executive officer of PEN America, the leading human rights and free expression organization. She is the author of Dare to Speak [], a playbook for defending free expression while cultivating a more inclusive public culture. She has served as deputy assistant secretary of state, executive director of Amnesty International USA and chief operating officer of human rights watch.

Interviewed by Sam Gill, SVP and Chief Program Officer, Knight Foundation

Sam Gill is senior vice president and chief program officer of Knight Foundation, overseeing grant-making in all program areas — journalism, communities and the arts — as well as the research program. A Rhodes Scholar and University of Chicago graduate, he previously served as vice president of Freedman Consulting.