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John Browning Examines Social Media’s Impact on the First Amendment

July 29, 2022

Spencer Fane attorney John Browning shared an in-depth look at social media and the First Amendment at the 2022 Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Law Review Annual Symposium on July 14.

During the virtual event, John and his fellow panelists discussed how social media has evolved from its infancy and how it plays a role in First Amendment rights and values. During his portion of the presentation, Browning acknowledged that many in nearly every part of the political spectrum, including some in the tech industry, believe Section 230 needs to be amended, and there are signs of that in the court system.

“Section 230 was enacted before there was internet, before there were social media platforms,” Browning said. “No one could ever fathom what we would have now in terms of the ‘Wild West’ of the internet, and what social media platforms do and are capable of doing. This idea of fitting social media into Section 230, Section 230 is woefully underequipped to address many concerns with regard to social media.”

John was joined on the panel by Abby Corbett, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson; Stephanie C. Krent, Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University; Jesse Panuccio, Former U.S. Associate Attorney General; and Caitlin Vogus, Deputy Director, Free Expression Project, Center for Democracy & Technology. Ret. Brig. Gen. and Professor Michael C.H. McDaniel moderated the event.

At Spencer Fane, John views his role as a trial lawyer to be that of a problem-solver for his clients. Whether it’s analyzing a case’s potential for early resolution through a dispositive motion, working with a client to develop a defensive trial strategy, or putting his extensive writing and media experience to use in helping a client protect its brand in the public eye, John brings a pragmatic, problem-solving approach.

View the full Symposium here and see media coverage of the event on Legal News here.