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Int'l human rights law as the common ground for govts. & cos. to rethink internet content moderation

Author: David Kaye, OneZero, Published on: 28 June 2019

"A New Constitution for Content Moderation", 25 Jun 2019

Today, a few private companies, driven to expand shareholder value, control social media. “If left alone, the companies will gain ever greater power over expression in the public sphere… [D]emocratic governments…[are demanding] that…companies regulate their platforms… Activists and…users struggle to have a voice in… [defining] the rules for online expression… [T]he question...[is]: Who is in charge? What are the tools…to ensure…online speech benefits from democratic control, promoting and protecting freedom of expression, privacy,… rights of association and assembly…? We need new models of content moderation and public oversight, supported and promoted by rights-protecting government regulation, and…public investment to sustain…freedom of expression in a social media age…Facebook and Twitter…made claims…that their standards are or should be rooted in the human rights of their users…Facebook and Google are members of the Global Network Initiative…Twitter…CEO …said…platform should integrate…values of human rights in its rules... [H]uman rights law gives companies a language to articulate their positions worldwide in ways that respect democratic norms and counter authoritarian demands…The companies should work with civil society leaders, activists, and academics to develop…“social media councils”. Facebook…released a draft charter for a Facebook Oversight Board that could permit appeals to an independent body…Facebook…committed to consult widely [on] this tool…

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Related companies: Alphabet Facebook Google (part of Alphabet) Instagram (part of Facebook) Twitter Whatsapp (part of Facebook)