Can We Tame the Wild West of Big Tech Media?

To Retain the Promise and Decrease the Danger of the Internet, the Federal Government Needs to Rebuild Our Digital Infrastructure—Starting With Revoking Section 230

Why do so many people, including both former President Donald Trump and new President Joe Biden, keep talking about getting rid of an obscure law called Section 230?

The short answer is that Section 230, part of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, is the legal underpinning for one of the largest and most consequential experiments in American history.

Since the birth of Big Tech Media 15 years ago—let’s drop the friendly-sounding misnomer “social” media—our nearly 250-year-old republic has become a test case. Can a nation’s news and information infrastructure, the …

More In: Ideas

The Theatrical Concept Powerful Enough to Break a Trumpian Spell  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Theatrical Concept Powerful Enough to Break a Trumpian Spell 

The Great German Playwright Bertholt Brecht Knew How to Jolt an Audience Out of Narrative Complacency

“All the gang of those who rule us
Hope our quarrels never stop
Helping them to split and fool us
So they can remain on top.”
— Bertholt Brecht, Solidarity …

Conspiracy and Complicity Got Our Democracy Here | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Conspiracy and Complicity Got Our Democracy Here

What Role Have We All Played in the Spread of Disinformation and the Rise of Authoritarianism?

Two phenomena have characterized the outgoing Trump administration and spilled over to other countries around the world. The first is the astonishing power of conspiracy theories. The second is the …

How to Teach an American Inauguration | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How to Teach an American Inauguration

Since 2008, My College Students Have Been Exploring—in Real Time—What the Transfer of Power Ceremony Reveals About the Nation

“Wouldn’t it be cool to go to D.C. for the inauguration?” I remember telling a fellow adjunct instructor in late 2008. Barack Obama had just been elected, and most of …

Why Californians—of Both Parties—Should Embrace the Recall | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Californians—of Both Parties—Should Embrace the Recall

Even When You Don’t Want to Remove a Politician, the Vote Provides a Healthy Democratic Dose of Self-Examination

Californians should love me, even when I’m used against a politician you like.

At the very least, I hope you’ll appreciate me if Gov. Gavin Newsom, who won office overwhelmingly in …

How Can a Society Apologize? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Can a Society Apologize?

A Rabbi Asks Whether America Can Bridge ‘the Sea of Society and the River of Time’ to Atone for Its Sins

The Biblical story of the Gibeonites rarely makes it into the classroom of a Sunday School or Hebrew school, but the tale has much to say to 21st-century Americans.

The Gibeonites, …