Jonathan Zittrain, professor of law at HLS and of computer science at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School, said the continued development of the Internet and digital technology has put us at a “rare and pivotal moment” in Harvard’s history. The Law School, he said, is rethinking how its students engage with the great many judicial opinions that form much of the core of the Law School curriculum.
The stakes have never been higher for interoperability, a topic taken up by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser in Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems. The ability for systems to interconnect is closely related to efficiency. Economic arguments suggest that advancements in interoperability increase competition and innovation. Think of the 19th-century development of a standard gauge interconnecting railroads across the vast expanse of North America or, more than a century later, the standardization that allows us to exchange e-mail across different types of applications and hardware devices. Not surprisingly, companies sometimes prefer proprietary approaches that limit interoperability and lock in users for competitive advantage. But consumers usually want technological systems to be able to seamlessly exchange information.
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society released a report this week on bullying in a networked era. The research presents an aggregation and summary of recent academic literature on youth bullying –both online or “cyberbullying” and bullying that occurs offline. The purpose of the report is to “translate” scholarly research for a public audience. Parents, caregivers, educators, and practitioners interested in expanding their knowledge of bullying-related issues will find this report provides a solid introduction to the growing body of research literature on online and offline bullying.
“Bullying is a multi-faceted phenomenon full of nuances,” Executive Director of the Berkman Center and co-writer of the review Urs Gasser wrote in an email.
“Companies are benevolent rulers trying to approximate the kinds of decisions they think would be respectful of free speech as a value and also human safety,” said Jonathan Zittrain, a law professor at Harvard.Unlike Google, Twitter does not explicitly address hate speech, but it says in its rule book that “users are allowed to post content, including potentially inflammatory content, provided they do not violate the Twitter Terms of Service and Rules.” Those include a prohibition against “direct, specific threats of violence against others.”
“They’ve had a number of years to be thinking about free speech issues,” Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain said.
“I can see them trying to keep an eye on the longer term and not wanting to go down the slippery slope of entertaining more and more demands to take things down. That can be corrosive in the longer haul.”
Yochai Benkler: We have to be careful that the concern over the violence doesn’t lead us to give up that anybody can communicate with anybody else from anywhere to anywhere.
Jonathan Zittrain: They may be more like the phone company.
Clinical Professor Phil Malone, who directs the HLS Cyberlaw Clinic, said: “I am thrilled that these distinguished entrepreneurs will be sharing their expertise and wisdom with Harvard students working at the i-Lab. As we engage HLS students in the i-Lab both as innovators and as providers of legal services to i-Lab users through our Cyberlaw and Transactional Law Clinics, these new EIRs will serve as valuable mentors and inspiring examples.”
Robert Siegel talks with Jonathan Zittrain, co-director of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, about what happens to your iTunes library when you pass away.
Jonathan Zittrain, one of his former professors at Harvard Law School, called it both a challenge and opportunity for Mr. Macgillivray, widely known as @amac, his handle on Twitter, and one that could influence the Internet industry at large.“If @amac can help find a path through it, it may serve as a model for corporate responsibility for an Internet where more and more code and content is governed by corporate gatekeepers,” Mr. Zittrain said via e-mail.