Date Chartered: 5/31/1991


The Section on Defamation and Privacy promotes the communication of ideas, interests and activities among members of the section, and makes recommendations to the Association, on matters concerning the law relating to the scope of legal protection accorded the interests in reputation, anonymity and seclusion, and the economic exploitation of personality.

Leadership   Section Members

The AALS Section on Defamation and Privacy invites submissions for papers for a session titled “Social Media Content Moderation and the Future of Free Speech,” which will take place in January 2020 at the AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Panel Summary:

This panel explores the current landscape of social media content moderation and its implications on free speech. Over the last decade, social media has democratized speech by providing a platform for previously unheard voices. At the same time, social media is fraught with abusive behavior, offensive content, and hate speech. The practice of content moderation by social media companies is a pervasive and important one, usually done pursuant to an internal policy to control who can participate and what speech is allowed. But these private regimes of content moderation often proceed without much oversight, transparency, or government intervention. As social media continues to shape public discourse, what free speech protections should exist in these virtual spaces, what limits should be imposed to protect against abuse online, and what form should these protections or limits take?

Speakers for this panel include Kate Klonick of St. John’s University School of Law, Hannah Bloch-Wehba of Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, and Emma Llanso, Director of the Free Expression Project at Center for Democracy & Technology.

Submission Guidelines:

The AALS Section on Defamation and Privacy welcomes submissions on any topic relating to social media, free speech, and content moderation, including recent proposals to reform platform immunity under Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act, calls for transparency as to online censorship by platforms, concerns about hindering innovation, or other issues surrounding social media and free speech.

Please email submissions to Agnieszka McPeak, [email protected], by Friday, September 13th. Include your name, institution, and a copy of your work with your email. While submissions have no length requirements, full drafts may be given preference over abstracts or outlines. The author(s) of the paper chosen from this Call for Papers will be invited to participate on the AALS Defamation & Privacy Law panel taking place on Thursday, January 2nd from 3:30-5:15pm (this panel is co-sponsored by the Sections on Internet & Computer Law and Communication, Information, & Media Law). Selections will be announced no later than September 27th.