Private Entities and Public Concern

Freedom of Thought Six-Part Series: Part 6

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Aside from the purely legal questions already addressed in this programming series, how should we think about the practical and philosophical questions at stake?   Many of us start with the presumption that the social media companies are private businesses and therefore may operate according to viewpoint norms as their owners see fit. 

But the growing reliance on big tech platforms, combined with the behavior of such platforms in restricting the scope of permissible speech, has raised concerns across the political spectrum, including among those of generally libertarian policy preferences.  And the new interest in considering a range of regulatory options is not breaking down along conventional left/right lines.  How should we think about these larger philosophical questions? 


  • Ashley Keller, Partner, Keller Lenker LLC
  • Genevieve Lakier, Professor of Law, Herbert and Marjorie Fried Teaching Scholar, University of Chicago Law School
  • Randy E. Barnett, Patrick Hotung Professor of Constitutional Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • William Baude, Professor of Law, Aaron Director Research Scholar, University of Chicago Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Gregory G. Katsas, Judge, United States Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit 


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CLE is being offered for the last five webinars in the 6-part Freedom of Thought Series. Please note that if you are interested in receiving CLE credit, you will need to register for the webinar and CLE separately.  CLE registration is $25 for Federalist Society members and $50 for non-members.  Click the button below for more information.  Click the button below for more information.