For immediate release | Wednesday, May 1, 2019

CEP’s Dr. Hany Farid: “There is Real, Measurable Harm Happening From Moving Fast And Breaking Things”

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With “Internet,” CEP Releases Second of Nine-Part Video Series on Online Extremism

The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) today released the second part of a nine-part video series featuring CEP Senior Adviser Dr. Hany Farid, an incoming professor at the University of California at Berkeley. For this week’s release, titled "Internet," Dr. Farid warns of how the tech industry’s and Facebook’s famed “Move Fast and Break Things” mantra is no longer acceptable in today’s highly-developed internet. Although the Internet technology revolution has brought about many positive changes in society, Dr. Farid states that we must remain vigilant of the harms that can come of it if left unchecked.

As Dr. Farid states, “The model of technology is ‘move fast and break things’ and then come back and fix it. And, that seemed like a quaint and clever idea 10 years ago, and I think it seems less quaint and less clever now. I think in fact it seems problematic. We have to be very thoughtful about how we are developing and deploying technology at internet-scale. We have to recognize that there is real, measurable harm happening from moving fast and breaking things, and we should acknowledge that … I think it’s going to be a very pivotal next few years to think about: how is the Internet going to evolve to respond to some of the problems we’ve seen over the last few years?”

Please find a transcript for "Internet" below:

“Something really interesting has happened with technology over the last two decades, and it’s important to remember, the internet is really young. We are so engaged in the internet and our mobile devices that we forgot that it’s a relatively young technology. The model of technology is ‘move fast and break things’ and then come back and fix it. And, that seemed like a quaint and clever idea 10 years ago, and I think it seems less quaint and less clever now. I think in fact it seems problematic.

“We have to be very thoughtful about how we are developing and deploying technology at internet-scale. We have to recognize that there is real, measurable harm happening from moving fast and breaking things, and we should acknowledge that. We should acknowledge that there have been great things that have come from the technology revolution. But we should also acknowledge that there has been harm. And our jobs should be to mitigate the harm and take advantage of the great things. And I think it’s going to be a very pivotal next few years to think about: how is the Internet going to evolve to respond to some of the problems we’ve seen over the last few years?”

Please find additional videos from the series below:

April 24: Intro 

May 1: Internet