Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin has urged the dominant Internet platforms to take action to confront a growing list of online problems, including election meddling, hate speech, and piracy.
Delivering a keynote address, A Declaration for Accountability in Cyberspace, at the Tech Policy Institute’s (TPI) Aspen Forum – his first major policy speech as head of the trade association that represents film and television studios – Rivkin offered his unique perspective on today’s Internet challenges, shaped by more than 20 years leading creative companies and then advocating for US technology interests as US Ambassador to France and Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs.
“Accountability and interdependence must be at the foundation of an internet that continues to support free speech, expression, commerce, creativity, and innovation,” he declared. “Online platforms must do more to mitigate the harms they are enabling and we must work collaboratively to address them.”
Rivkin outlined how the many damaging and often illegal activities occurring across online platforms have placed the digital ecosystem that we all rely upon in great jeopardy. He detailed how the assumptions and public policies that shaped the early days of the internet are insufficient for today’s challenges and actually promote a lack of accountability by the platforms that now dominate the internet.
“We live in an AI world that is still operating on an AOL policy framework,” Rivkin continued. “There was a vision for the Internet, and this is not it. It’s time to realign our expectations and the incentives that will help us meet them.”
Rivkin concluded by highlighting successful examples of industries working together to address online ills and called for a national conversation that leads to accountability. “We’ve seen powerful examples of how we can begin the collaborative effort to turn the tide in the right direction. I can’t help but imagine the success if the online platforms could evolve from being at the heart of the problem to being architects of our shared success.”
The Technology Policy Institute is a non-profit research and educational organisation that focuses on the economics of innovation, technological change, and related regulation in the United States and around the world. Held every year in Aspen since 2010, TPI’s Aspen Forum brings together leaders from business, government and academia to discuss and debate key public policy issues affecting innovation, technology, and communications. Other keynote speakers included FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Makan Delrahim, and New York University Professor Paul Romer.