Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates Facebook, Fake News, and the First Amendment, in Philadelphia and Online March 4 | Shore Fire Media

Intelligence Squared U.S.Client Information

26 February, 2019Print

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates Facebook, Fake News, and the First Amendment, in Philadelphia and Online March 4

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates Facebook, Fake News, and the First Amendment, in Philadelphia and Online March 4

How should Facebook and Twitter respond to hate speech and fake news? For some, the answer is clear: take the offensive or inaccurate content down. But for others, censorship, even by a private company, is dangerous, especially at a time when digital platforms have become the new public square. They argue that social media companies should voluntarily follow First Amendment principles and block content only if it violates American law. Would this be enough to save social media? On Monday, March 4, veteran debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. returns to Philadelphia in partnership with the National Constitution Center for a live debate on the motion "Constitutional Free Speech Principles Can Save Social Media Companies from Themselves."

Arguing in favor of the motion are National Review senior writer David French and Electronic Frontier Foundation legal director Corynne McSherry. Debating against them are European Parliament member Marietje Schaake and Stanford Law professor Nate Persily.

The debate will be held at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center and streamed live online. It will air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast "Intelligence Squared U.S." On March 4, online viewers can tune in at IQ2US's website:


WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates "Constitutional Free Speech Principles Can Save Social Media Companies from Themselves"

WHEN: Monday, March 4 / 6:30-8:00 PM EDT

WHERE: National Constitution Center / F.M. Kirby Auditorium / 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

TICKETS: $38 for Non-Members. $30 for Members, teachers & students. Free for 1787 Society Members. To purchase, visit



Arguing For the Motion

* David French: Senior Writer, National Review 

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, an attorney, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is a New York Times bestselling author, and his next book, “The Great American Divorce,” will be published this year. He was previously the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and has served as a senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defending Freedom.


* Corynne McSherry - Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation 

Corynne McSherry is the legal director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, specializing in intellectual property, open access, and free speech issues. Her policy work includes leading EFF’s effort to fix copyright (including the successful effort to shut down the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA), promote net neutrality, and promote best practices for online expression. McSherry comments regularly on digital rights issues and has been quoted in a variety of outlets, including NPR, CBS News, Fox News, the New York Times, Billboard, the Wall Street Journal, and Rolling Stone. Prior to joining EFF, McSherry was a civil litigator at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, LLP.



Arguing Against the Motion

* Nathaniel Persily: Professor, Stanford Law 

Nate Persily is a professor at Stanford Law School and the director of the Stanford Project on Democracy and the Internet. His scholarship and legal practice focus on American election law, which addresses issues such as voting rights, political parties, campaign finance, redistricting, and election administration. Persily’s current work, for which he has been honored as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, examines the impact of changing technology on political communication, campaigns, and election administration.


* Marietje Schaake: Dutch Politician & Member, European Parliament 

Marietje Schaake is a Dutch politician and has been serving as a member of the European Parliament since 2009. She is a member of D66, part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe political group. She is the founder of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda for Europe. Furthermore, she is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and an adviser to the Center for Humane Technology. Schaake was featured by Politico as one of the 28 most influential Europeans in the class of 2017.




A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Their mission is to restore critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to American public discourse. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 150 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to "think twice" on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008. 



The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia inspires citizenship as the only place where people across America and around the world can come together to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. A private, nonprofit organization, the Center serves as America’s leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its Congressional charter “to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” As theMuseum of We the People, the Center brings the Constitution to life for visitors of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As America’s Town Hall, the Center brings the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to debate the Constitution on all media platforms. As a center for Civic Education, the Center delivers the best educational programs and online resources that inspire, excite, and engage citizens about the U.S. Constitution. For more information, call 215-409-6700 or visit

For more information on Intelligence Squared U.S., please contact Ray Padgett ( or Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media.