Shabbaton Keynote

Jonathan Vick will deliver our keynote presentation:

The death of debate and rise of hate—technology’s challenge to the future

America has long been the leader in the entertainment industry: movies, radio, television and then the internet.  Along with technological and business leadership, the U.S. also became a thought leader. Free speech came to be seen as the cornerstone for a nation’s admirable success.

The concept of free speech was adopted by many disciplines and drifted into the realm of an absolute concept. The belief that no debate is necessary if free speech is absolute has become an accepted social currency. Where there is no engagement between unlike sides, there is no debate. Where there is no debate, the exchange of ideas and intellectual growth dies.

Presidential debates are anything but true debates; rarely do government officials or average citizens openly engage in verbal conflict, which is what debate is. Even creative conflict is avoided at all costs.  Nature hates a vacuum – where debate is absent, opportunism steps in.  Information unquestioned, undebated, unexamined, and unchallenged – steps in to fill the void.

Jonathan Vick is Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Associate Director of Investigative Technology and Cyberhate Response in New York. He joined ADL over 14 years ago after working in online marketing for Hearst Publishing, marketing for Philips Electronics, and trade development intelligence for the British Government.

He is a specialist on the technology, business and politics of the internet and connected technologies. Jon has written extensively and created training material and consumer safety tools. He works with internet related companies, law enforcement agencies and government.   He is actively involved in training and liaison efforts for emerging technology markets in Latin America and South Africa.  Jonathan is a recipient of ADL’s Senn/Greenberg Award for Professional Excellence. He is ADL representative to Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, YouTube’s Trusted Flagger Program and a board member of the International Network Against Cyber Hate. He is a graduate of the Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Communications.

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RSVP by Tuesday, December 5 by returning the form to the FHJC Office, or online here