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Technology and Freedom of Expression: Challenges and Opportunities of Regulation and Rule of Law

Technology is a great enabler of freedom of expression but also poses new challenges and amplifies old ones as the scale and scope of communication technologies expands. The dream a decade ago of social media and digital communications heralding a new era of citizen engagement and democratic promise has been shattered by the monopolization of the information system by a handful of platforms whose design and approach has deepened polarization, nurtured extremism, and provided new tools to those in power who would manipulate and control the public sphere. As recognition that self-regulation is insufficient to protect against harms from genocide to terrorism to prolific harassment, governments around the world are exploring how to regulate the intermediaries we depend on to express ourselves in the public sphere.

This panel will examine the legal approaches being taken by democracies to regulate expression, from efforts to combat disinformation and extremism to rethinking liability and accountability regimes, and the challenge of protecting freedom of expression for all.  What are the trends and the sticking points, and how can democracies ensure they protect freedom of expression?


Moderator: Dr. Courtney Radsch, Sr. US and Technology Advisor, ARTICLE19


JUDr Barbora Bukovská, Senior Director for Law and Policy at ARTICLE 19

Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Vivian Schiller, Executive Director of Aspen Digital

This pre-recorded panel discussion is part of a gathering in a virtual forum to be held for 24 hours on 7 December 2021, convened by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) as a partnership of a global multi-stakeholder coalition for democracy (Global Democracy Coalition). The purpose of the Global Democracy Coalition Forum is to galvanize a global conversation on democracy, as inputs to the Summit for Democracy which will be held on 9 and 10 December 2021.

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