New York State Bar Association Presents Special Webinar: Stopping the Spread of Misinformation

By Susan DeSantis

June 8, 2021

New York State Bar Association Presents Special Webinar: Stopping the Spread of Misinformation


By Susan DeSantis

The New York State Bar Association’s (NYSBA) Committee on Law, Youth and Citizenship, the Task Force on Free Expression in the Digital Age and the Committee on Media Law have joined forces to examine the spread of misinformation and its impact on our democracy, as well as how it can be stopped through media literacy education and litigation.

The live webinar “Stopping the Spread of Misinformation: First Amendment Considerations From Classroom to Courtroom” will take place on Tuesday, June 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

How we preserve our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech while battling the spread of conspiracy theories, rumors and lies requires a multi-faceted approach, which will be examined by three expert panels.

Journalists are welcome to attend the webinar at no cost. Click here to register.

Panel 1: Has the First Amendment become a problem for democracy in the age of misinformation? Does the First Amendment do more harm than good?

Moderator: Al-Amyn Sumar, counsel at The New York Times

• Ramya Krishnan, staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute and lecturer in law at Columbia Law School.
• Ian Rosenberg, assistant chief counsel, ABC, Inc., and author of “The Fight for Free Speech: Ten Cases That Define Our First Amendment Freedoms.”
• RonNell Andersen Jones, affiliated fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, the Lee E. Teitelbaum endowed chair and professor of law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, and former newspaper reporter and editor.
• K-Sue Park, associate professor, Georgetown Law; previously critical race studies fellow at UCLA School of Law.

Panel 2: Freedom of expression for all citizens in a democracy requires informed citizens. How can we teach students to become media and news literate, to recognize misinformation and stop it from spreading?

Moderator: Gail Ehrlich, chair of NYSBA’s Committee on Law, Youth and Citizenship

• John Silva, senior director of education and training at the News Literacy Project (NLP), nationally board-certified educator, and primary developer of “Checkology” at NLP.
• Sandra Street, award-winning history teacher at the Gordon Parks School for Inquisitive Minds in Queens, N.Y., and NLP New York State ambassador.

Panel 3: What role can defamation law play in policing the marketplace of ideas? Are mega-lawsuits, such as the ones filed by Dominion and Smartmatic against peddlers of “The Big Lie” the solution? How does Anti-SLAPP protect accurate reporting?

Moderator: Jacquelyn Schell, associate at Ballard Spahr, and co-chair of NYSBA’s Committee on Media Law

• Lyrissa Lidsky, dean of the University of Missouri School of Law and Judge C.A. Leedy professor of law
• Stanton “Larry” Stein, partner and the head of Media & Entertainment group, Russ August & Kabat.
• Daniel Novack, senior counsel, Penguin Random House, and co-chair, NYSBA’s Committee on Media Law.

About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.


Contact: Susan DeSantis
[email protected]

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