September 8, 2021

Speaker to consider implications of limiting free speech on social media

Entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy to speak at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts on Sept. 20 and 21 will host events focused on the influence of social media.

Entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy will discuss the implications of limiting free speech on social media. “Censoring Viral Voices: Who Wins, Who Loses?” will be presented in a public lecture at 6 p.m. ET Sept. 20 in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Ramaswamy’s talk will expand upon his Wall Street Journal op-ed on former President Donald Trump’s lawsuits against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. A first-generation American, Ramaswamy is the founder and executive chairman of Roivant Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the application of technology to drug development. He serves on the board of directors of the Philanthropy Roundtable and the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity. In 2020, he emerged as a prominent commentator on stakeholder capitalism and free speech. His new book, “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam,” debuted at No. 2 on The New York Times Best Sellers list.

The college will present a virtual event at 2:30 p.m. ET Sept. 21. “Viral Voices: Whose Responsibility?” will continue to explore the question with a global team of experts. The virtual panel will discuss how social media can both protect free speech and combat the spread of misinformation. Patrick Wolfe, the Frederick L. Hovde Dean of the College of Science at Purdue, will moderate the discussion. The panel will feature:

* Helen Margetts, professor of internet and society at the Oxford Internet Institute, who specializes in the relationship between digital technology and government, politics and public policy.

* Shane Tews, visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, whose focus is on international communication, technology and cybersecurity issues.

* Kate Klonick, assistant professor of law at St. John’s University, who studies private internet platforms and how they govern online speech.

* Responding panelist Tarleton Gillespie, a senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research New England, where he is part of the Social Media Collective, a group of scholars studying the impact of information technology on social and political life.

The virtual panel will take place via Zoom, and prior registration is required.

These events are part of Leading Ethically in the Age of AI and Big Data, a Lilly Endowment-sponsored grant.

Purdue News Service: Amy Patterson Neubert,  

Source: Lori Sparger, Chief Operating Officer/Chief Innovation Officer, College of Liberal Arts, 765-494-9314,

Note to journalists: Journalists visiting campus should follow visitor health guidelines.

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