In a Jan. 31 article in the Opinion section of the New York Daily News online, HLS Professor John G. Palfrey addresses the issue of corporate responsibility in the wake of the Egyptian government’s recent Internet access lockdown to prevent protesters from organizing against President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

Palfrey recognizes that, while social media sites such and Twitter and Facebook are effective tools in enabling such protests, the companies that provide these services may not be doing enough to lessen the ability of repressive regimes to control them.

Palfrey is the vice dean of library and information resources at Harvard Law School, and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. His most recent book (with Urs Gasser) is Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives (Basic Books, 2008).

Twitter and Facebook, step up: Egypt protests raise bar on corporate responsibility

by John Palfrey

Much has been said about the culpability of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in choking off the Internet as Egyptian protesters tried to organize against their government. That repressive behavior has been rightfully condemned.

But equally important over the long term is the positive responsibility of powerful social networking companies like Twitter and Facebook, whose choices today and tomorrow will prove just as crucial in shaping global rights to free assembly. … Read the full op-ed on »