UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression says democratic countries need to support cos. in pushing back against authoritarian control

Author: DW Akademie (Germany), Published on: 18 December 2018

"UN Rapporteur Kaye: We must support those who push back against authoritarian regimes", 13 Dec 2018

The UN's Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, David Kaye, says supporting platforms or companies in pushing back against authoritarian control is a key part of protecting and promoting digital participation. David Kaye [said]...digital participation...[is] the ability and capacity of any individual not only to access online space, but also to participate in online debate and express themselves through online forums and the like. Thinking about digital participation from that perspective helps you frame the threats to it. Those threats are coming from authoritarian regimes, where people are being punished for their mere participation in digital forums. They’re also coming from the platforms themselves, which are not necessarily restricting digital participation out of any nefarious motivation, but because they have rules that are opaque and don't necessarily consider the nature of platform usage... Democratic states need to find ways to support platform companies in their ability and willingness to push back against authoritarian regimes. A lot of platforms go into authoritarian places, such as Turkey or Egypt, where they encounter pressure to take down content. They don't want to do this, since it's inconsistent with their standards and their understanding of human rights and digital participation. They need the support of democratic countries in pushing back. At the same time, the platforms themselves need to find ways to involve their users and civil society more in designing the rules of the platform... 

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