November 7 | 11:30am
Regents Hall
Loyola University Chicago
Water Tower Campus

A panel of experts will discuss the topic of extreme online speech. The event is part of the 9th International Symposium on Digital Ethics and will be followed by the Digital Ethics Award Luncheon. The event is open to the public but registration is required.

The panel, entitled Extreme Speech Online - Moral Panic 2.0? will examine to what extent the prevalence of extreme speech on online platforms should make us rethink how we regulate and interact with digital spaces. Speakers include media ethicists, media law experts, and researchers of digital culture and online hate groups.


On July 3, 1995, Time Magazine’s cover featured the face of a spooked child reflecting the glow of an invisible computer screen. Below, in boldface “Cyberporn” with a tag line reading “A new study shows how pervasive and wild it really is. Can we protect our kids — and free speech?” 

The cover and the study that the article was based on have been largely discredited since. In classrooms around the country, the cover now serves as a prime example of a moral panic, an overblown and widespread reaction against something that is seen as undermining the well-being of society. 

Fast-forward 24 years. Headlines and articles about social media focus on privacy invasions, hate speech, fake news, harassment, radicalization, illegal data gathering, screen addiction, and the dangerously powerful social media giants… Are we re-experiencing a moral panic or are digital communication technologies and the content they provide becoming a threat to our safety and well-being? How should we deal with the extreme speech that takes place online? Can we protect ourselves –and free speech? 


Deborah Dwyer: Ph.D. student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Ms. Dwyer is a media-professional-turned-academic whose research centers on the interplay between technology and journalism.  She recently conducted a study on newspapers' editorials about fake news. @deborahLDwyer

Chad Painter: Assistant Professor at the University of Dayton, Ohio. Co-author of  Media Ethics: Issues and Cases. Dr. Painter has a rich publication record in the area of media ethics. @ChadPainter77

Mathias Klang: Associate Professor in Digital Technologies and Emerging Media in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University.  Dr. Klang's research deals with the social impacts of technology, activism, and privacy in digital culture. @Klangable

Caitlin Carlson:  Associate Professor of Strategic Communication at Seattle University. Dr. Carlson’s primary research interests are in media law and policy as they pertain to new media, freedom of expression and social justice. Her current work focuses on hate speech in social media. @CaitlinRing

Julia DeCook: Assistant Professor of Advocacy and Social Change in the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago. Her research areas are in digital culture, online social movements, misinformation/disinformation, collective action and identity, knowledge production, feminist and critical race theory, discourse, and the impacts of media & technology on society, journalism, and culture. https://www.julesopolis.com