Michael Seibel+ Your Authors @mwseibel CEO, Partner at Y Combinator #ycombinator [email protected] Feb. 17, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

What do you do in the edge cases when the challenges of coordinating/securing a large population conflict with free speech rights? In government we have courts(and elections) to help. What do private companies have?

Also why are free speech rights the third rail in our tech community? In basic civics classes we are taught that you don’t have the right to yell fire in a crowded theatre. Does the internet speech have an equivalent?

Finally at what level of scale/power does a private company have to take on some of the same obligations that we expect from our government? Which internet companies are getting close to this level? How have non-tech companies dealt with this in the past?

(Clearly energy and defense companies are expected to take on additional obligations during wartime for example)

I’m not confident the government will be able to effectively/intelligently regulate big tech. What obligations/norms the public will demand of big tech? For large consumer software companies the public actually has the power to enforce norms (if we can agree what they should be).


You can follow @mwseibel.



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