Author Archives: heathermichellewhitney

Virginia Woolf reading & walking pilgrimage

The Boston Globe interviewed me about the nothing-short-of-magical Virginia Woolf reading & walking pilgrimage I took part in this summer. The speed with which we all became extremely close and the ease with which we spoke to each other about truly hard and intimate things are two aspects that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I like my final quote in the piece: “I was looking for this kind of connection with other women,” Whitney continued. “We were able to speak in sincere and open ways. When you are traveling with a spouse or family as an adult, you aren’t always open to those intense, meaningful conversations that you have when you travel when you’re young. But we are always looking for that. You never age out of it. We just need to find the right communities.”

I highly recommend these trips (website here) for those looking for this kind of experience.

Vox – my thoughts on whether Trump can do anything about a Twitter conservative bias

See my and seven other expert views here.

[NB: It shouldn’t need to be said but I’ll say it anyway: to the best of my knowledge there has been absolutely *no* evidence of Twitter “shadowbanning” conservatives on its platform. The point of this article is to ask whether Trump could do anything, even if Twitter were censoring (which it almost surely is not)]. Legal-types like hypotheticals.

Quoted in the Guardian/First A and unfair business practices

Article here.

PSA: The First Amendment does not insulate companies from anticompetition law.

Imagine a world in which every time a business released a deceptive ad (e.g. claiming their herbal cure cures diabetes in 24-hours!!!) the company could shield itself from FTC litigation by claiming their lies are fully protected by the First Amendment. It’s absurd.

The fact that one is speaking does not a magical shield against all legal liability make.

Emerging Threats: Search Engines, Social Media, and the Editorial Analogy

My contribution to The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University’s Emerging Threats series is now up, as is a great introduction by David Pozen and responses from Eric Goldman, Frank Pasquale, and Genevieve Lakier.

(here’s the PDF version of my piece)(here’s the PDF on SSRN)

More on the Series from their site:

“The Knight First Amendment Institute’s Emerging Threats series invites leading thinkers to identify and grapple with newly arising or intensifying structural threats to the system of free expression. Fake news, hostile audiences, powerful private platforms, government secret-keeping, and other phenomena have the potential to destabilize political systems and undermine economic and social reform.  The papers in the series explore ways to address these threats and preserve the foundations of democracy essential to healthy open societies, including the United States.

The Emerging Threats series is edited by David Pozen, professor at Columbia Law School and inaugural visiting scholar at the Knight Institute.”

Ursula K. Le Guin

Such a devastating loss of such an incredible and truly imaginative person.

Thanks to Director Arwen Curry, her team, and many Kickstarter backers (which includes me and my tiny drop in the bucket back in February 2016), we will soon(ish?) have an incredible documentary traversing Ursula K. Le Guin’s absolutely remarkable life and legacy. There’s still time to donate to their finishing costs here.