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Publications: Ashley Johnson

November 17, 2023

Lacking a Federal Standard, States Try and Fail to Solve Problems Faced by Kids Online

The landscape of state legislation addressing children’s online safety and privacy demonstrates not only the difficulty of regulating social media and other online services but also the need for a federal standard.

November 15, 2023

Testimony to the Baltimore City Council Committee on Health, Environment, and Technology Regarding Facial Recognition Technology

Facial recognition has increased public safety, convenience for consumers and security for businesses.

October 26, 2023

The Facts Behind Allegations of Political Bias on Social Media

Before policymakers jump straight to regulating social media to address alleged bias—and likely running into First Amendment issues—they need answers to several key questions, namely: Is there political bias on social media? What does this bias look like? And how does it affect American politics?

October 5, 2023

The Supreme Court Could Save the Internet (Again)

If the Supreme Court upholds Florida and Texas’s laws on social media content moderation, it is likely that more states will pass similar legislation, raising the costs to social media companies and impacting even more users across the country.

August 8, 2023

New Evidence Shows Blaming Social Media for Political Polarization Is Misguided

Four new research papers in the journals Science and Nature studied the impact of Facebook and Instagram on key political attitudes and behaviors during the 2020 election cycle. They found little evidence that key features of the platforms led to polarization.

July 31, 2023

Restoring US Leadership on Digital Policy

The United States could regain its position as a global leader on digital policy by prioritizing a pro-innovation agenda, cooperating with its allies to advance free trade and democratic values, and pushing back against harmful narratives and policies.

June 13, 2023

Proposals for Tech to Pay for News Rely on Flawed Arguments

In Congress, California, and Canada, lawmakers are relying on faulty logic—the argument that news aggregators take advantage of publishers—in a misguided attempt to save local journalism. History shows that these measures are not likely to succeed at anything more than limiting consumers’ access to quality news content.

May 30, 2023

For Teens on Social Media, the Jury Is Still Out, But the Judgment Is Already In

The effect of social media on children has been at the center of recent debate, with multiple bills at the federal and state level and recent advisories from the U.S. Surgeon General and the American Psychological Association. Despite a lack of scientific consensus on how social media affects children, lawmakers have been rushing to implement policies that would, in many cases, create more problems than they solve.

May 19, 2023

Supreme Court Upholds Section 230, But the Future of the Internet Still Isn’t Guaranteed

Section 230 may not be out of the woods yet, with some members of Congress still pushing for changes to the law that, in most cases, would have negative unintended consequences for businesses, consumers, and online services.

May 10, 2023

Stopping Child Sexual Abuse Online Should Start With Law Enforcement

STOP CSAM Act of 2023 is not an effective solution for protecting children and would come at the cost of decreased privacy and security for all users. Instead, Congress should focus on enabling law enforcement to more effectively protect victims and punish the perpetrators who create, solicit, or enable child sexual abuse material.

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