All they have to do is write to journalists and ask questions. And what they do is they ask a journalist a question and be like, “What’s going on with this thing?” And journalists, under pressure to find stories to report, go looking around. They immediately search something in Google. And that becomes the tool of exploitation.
Dangerous speech, as opposed hate speech, is defined basically as speech that seeks to incite violence against people. And that’s the kind of speech that I’m really concerned about right now. That’s what we’re seeing on the rise in the United States, in Europe, and elsewhere.
Making took rise at a moment when people began— Not just scholars but also media—public media and people working in the tech industry—began critiquing earlier visions and ideas of the knowledge economy and saying the knowledge economy, or ideas like the creative class as propagated by Richard Florida, were sharply critiqued because they did not deliver what they had originally promised.
I felt very strongly that there is something that has been lost with the Internet. That I wanted to explore this. So I’m going to go into topics that are… I’m going to be informed a lot in my expertise in Internet regulation in some ways. But I’m going to talk to you mostly as an Internet user, as an avid Internet user, as a blogger of many years, as one of you.
This is a moment to ask as we make the planet digital, as we totally envelop ourselves in the computing environment that we’ve been building for the last hundred years, what kind of digital planet do we want? Because we are at a point where there is no turning back, and getting to ethical decisions, values decisions, decisions about democracy, is not something we have talked about enough nor in a way that has had impact.
I’m going to take you through a project that I started back home in Kenya that aims to collect vinyl that people just have chilling around at home. Basically we used to have the only pressing plant in East Africa between 1976 and 1990, and we used to press about a hundred and thirty thousand LPs every year. But right now there are lots of people who have those, but they’re not doing anything with them.
We all know that a lot of speech is moving online these days, either by choice because it’s a cheap and accessible way of publishing, or by necessity. At the same time we see an increase in attempts to control free speech online, in what should actually be a space in which information can flow freely.