Freedom of Expression Online

Freedom of Expression Online

The resources on this Module focus on some of the complex issues related to the digital exercise of freedom of expression. Internet, social media, search engines have largely transformed expression, information, communication. The selected readings highlight the mismatch between practices and the law trying to catch up with the advances of the technology, while seeking to make sense of the normative cacophony.

7 items found, showing 1 - 7
Author: ARTICLE 19
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ARTICLE 19 has submitted our response to the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom expression’s call for comments on the issue of ‘content regulation in the digital age’. In the submission, they address risks to freedom of expression posed by developments in, and increased resort to, online content regulation, including in the following areas: 1) Companies’ compliance with state laws; 2) Companies’ self-regulatory initiatives; 3) Global take-down orders; 4) Insufficient reflection of the interests of users who face particular risks in companies’ Terms of Service; 5) Availability of appeals and remedies; 6) Algorithmic decision-making; amd 7) Lack of transparency. 

Article 19. ARTICLE 19's Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur's consultation on online content regulation. London: Article 19, 2017.

Author: Simin Kargar
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"This research bulletin analyzes the aftermath of the Telegram ban in Iran and presents detailed data on the performance of Psiphon, one of the most widely used circumvention tools among Iranians. The bulletin concludes by reviewing the overarching Internet policies in Iran behind the Telegram ban. In addition, it presents the challenges that arise from the implementation of these policies, both to users and circumvention tool providers, especially as increasingly aggressive network interference becomes the norm."

Simin Kargar, “Censorship and Collateral Damage: Analyzing the Telegram Ban In Iran” (September 5, 2018),

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Agnès Callamard
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In this segment of the MOOC 'Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalization' created by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Agnès Callamard will highlight the implications of the liability of intermediaries on the realization of the right to freedom of expression. Callamard will focus, in particular, on the concept of censorship by proxy, or the privatization of censorship through the role and the functions of intermediaries. What is the significance of these various liability regimes for free speech? How may they interfere with the realization of my and your freedom of expression and information? These are the two questions I will try to answer in the remaining of that segment.

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Dinah PoKemper
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In this segment of the MOOC created by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Dinah PoKempner talks about surveillance and human rights today.

Fostering freedom online: the role of internet intermediaries

Author: UN, UNESCO
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The report “aims to shed light on how intermediaries – services that mediate online communication and enable various forms of online expression – both foster and restrict freedom of expression across a range of jurisdictions, circumstances technologies, and business models."

MacKinnon, Rebecca, et al. Fostering freedom online: the role of internet intermediaries. Paris: UN, UNESCO, 2014.

Author: UNESCO
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The report “provides a new perspective on the social and political dynamics behind the threats to expression. It develops a conceptual framework on the ‘ecology of freedom of expression’ for discussing the broad context of policy and practice that should be taken into consideration in discussions of this issue.”

Dutton, William H. Freedom of connection, freedom of expression: the changing legal and regulatory ecology shaping the Internet. Paris: UN, UNESCO, 2011.

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression
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Here you will find the Syllabus for the MOOC 'Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalization' created by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression. This course will examine the norms, institutions and forces that altogether have founded a global system of protection for freedom of expression and information. This Advanced  Course will focus on the multiple challenges brought about by the technology revolution of the last two decades. On one hand, it has given the world the means to realize its commitment to freedom of information without frontiers. Technology has shaped, reshaped, and radically transformed the production and distribution of information, profoundly impacting whole societies and greatly influencing, if not defining, information and communication. On the other hand, it has also precipitated or heightened a range of normative, regulatory and political issues related to the protection of freedom of expression, on and off line. This course will examine the complex, and often awkward, interplay of global information flows with national jurisdiction and state sovereignty, and what it means for the realization of a borderless vision for the right to freedom of expression.