A Commitment to Digital Free Speech: We Stand with Techdirt

Today, the Charles Koch Foundation is proud to announce our sponsorship of Techdirt’s free speech initiative, alongside other foundations and organizations. This sponsorship will enable Techdirt to continue and expand its coverage of threats to free speech and the chilling efforts of those attacks.

Techdirt is in the midst of a First Amendment fight for its life. It was recently sued for $15 million by Shiva Ayyadurai, who claims to have invented email. We hope increased reporting on free speech will highlight the importance of the press as a platform for knowledge sharing and thoughtful debate in society.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation—with support from Automattic, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark’s CraigConnects, and Union Square Ventures—is also partnering with Techdirt to help increase their work highlighting attacks on the free speech rights of news outlets.

Our commitment to free speech extends well beyond any single case.

As conversations move online, the design, structure, and legal rights and obligations of those forums must enable free speech and civil discourse. For example, as policymakers struggle with how to answer difficult societal problems they must avoid undermining key protections for free speech that foster innovation, like CDA 230’s limited intermediary liability provisions.

Additionally, the Charles Koch Institute will be supporting a one-day symposium, The Future of Speech Online, hosted by the Center for Democracy & Technology in partnership with the Newseum Institute next month. The event will explore the most pressing issues around free speech online today. It also serves as a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the history Supreme Court decision in Reno v. ACLU and explore what the next 20 years of digital speech may have in store.

For media inquiries reach Trice Jacobson at trice.jacobson@charleskochinstitute.org

The Charles Koch Foundation has standing requests for proposals to explore issues of Technology & Innovation (including digital free speech) and Toleration & Free Speech.

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