Public Event



FAC holds public forums to tackle some of the most pressing free speech and government transparency issues of the day. Events are free, on-the-record and open to the public.

Uber and Lyft Riders: Is the State Keeping You Safe?

On Feb. 20, 2020, FAC and SF Public Press co-Hosted a public event to provide a deeper understanding of the CA Public Utilities Commission's oversight of the ride-hailing industry

FAC's Director of Litigation, Glen Smith, SF Public Press Event 2020

Photo by Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press

The San Francisco Public Press recently published an investigative series called “Ride-Hailing’s Dark Data,” which exposed how the public is kept in the dark about Uber and Lyft’s safety record in the state. The Public Press and FAC recently hosted an event featuring FAC’s Litigation Director Glen Smith, who joined journalist Seth Rosenfeld and former California Public Utilities Commission President Loretta Lynch for a discussion about what the lack of transparency means for the public. 
Listen to the full program on San Francisco Public Press’ Civic Podcast.

Past Events

California Vs. The First Amendment

Dec. 5, 2019

Forget Trump. Golden State governments were behind an unrelenting series of affronts to the First Amendment in 2019. Police went after a journalist’s sources with a sledgehammer. The state attorney general threatened to prosecute reporters and fought in court to weaken the state’s new police accountability law. And a series of decisions at the local level ran afoul of free speech and open-government principles. 

Join us for a Digital Townsquare

The Future Of Online Speech In An Age Of Hyperpartisanship​

Oct. 10, 2019

Social media platforms face intense and growing pressure to rein in misinformation and extremist content. On the left, presidential candidates are threatening to break up Big Tech while the right has pushed to alter Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — a foundation of the modern Internet. With the tech giants facing a nearly impossible balancing act, will free speech suffer? Has it already? 


What Happened to The ‘Golden Age of Free Speech’?

Dec. 6, 2018

A conversation that explores how to promote and protect free expression in this environment. What role should the new “gatekeepers”—Google, Twitter and Facebook—play? What ways can people sort through the chaos to find reliable information? How can we protect the rights and values guaranteed by the First Amendment in an era when public speech has essentially become privatized?

Oct. 3, 2018

FAC joined with KQED Public Radio and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism to host a candid conversation among both reporters and observers, who will reflected on how we got here, what responsible journalism’s response to Trump’s rhetoric should be, and most importantly, what journalists can do now to combat the anti-press agenda and restore public trust in the post-truth age.

July 17, 2018

FAC, Bloomberg and Electronic Frontier Foundation hosted a discussion regarding the future of free speech when private companies like tech giants Google, Facebook, and Twitter are charged with policing communications on the Internet?  Since the First Amendment doesn’t apply to private companies, they’re left to decide for themselves what to allow and what to censor.

Fake News

Fact or Fiction?: How to Combat Disinformation in the Digital Age

May 10, 2018

FAC, New America and Slate’s Future Tense met in Washington DC to address the First Amendment challenges that arise when policymakers call for limits on speech and greater involvement by tech companies in policing online content. Are these steps the answer? Or should we be developing a long-term strategy for educating Americans and honing their media literacy skills.