The Challenges of Content Moderation to Freedom of Expression: The Perspective of those affected

Organized by: The Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR (CIDH|RELE) 

Date: December 06, 2021

Time: 5:00 – 6:30 pm EST (TBC)

Registration: To be sent soon 

Interpretation: Available

In the context of the Americas Dialogue (, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and its Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression (RELE) are pleased to invite you to the event “The Challenges of Content Moderation for Freedom of Expression: The Perspective of the Affected”. 

This event will be a space to reflect on content moderation practices, their impacts and alternatives to make these practices compatible with international human rights norms and standards. The objective is to provide knowledge and suggestions for action for the design of moderation mechanisms that promote the construction of safe spaces for individual and collective freedom of expression. 

Understanding that the Internet is an indispensable instrument for the full exercise of human rights, it is expected to discuss from a perspective of the Americas, the impacts of content moderation in the democratic systems of the region, including electoral contexts, minority groups and populations in vulnerable situations and the pandemic of CODIV-19.

The event will address the following topics:

  • Content moderation processes and compatibility with international human rights standards.
  • Electoral contexts 
  • Movements in the region and groups in situations of vulnerability 
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Regulation proposals 


5:00 pm – 5:10 pm | Welcome 

  • Pedro Vaca, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

5:10 pm – 6:10 pm | Roundtable discussion

Moderator: Alex Kantrowitz

  1. (10 min) Framing the discussion: Prof. Michael Geist, Professor of Law, Canada Research Chair in Internet Law and E-Commerce at the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section Centre for Law, Technology and Society.
  2. (10 min) Framing the debate on Collective Rights: João Brant, Director of the Culture and Democracy Institute in Brazil and Coordinator of the project Desinformante.
  3. (10 min) Hear about harms from the perspective of the LGBTQ+ community: Stephanie Duguay, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
  4. (10 min) Hearing about harms from a disinformation and race perspective: Sheila de Carvalho, UN Fellow and international human rights lawyer.
  5. (10 min) Next steps: Models for accountability: Matías Jackson, Associate Professor of Computer Law at the University of the Republic of Uruguay. 
  6. (10 min) The Way Forward: Marianna Spring, Reporter specializing in disinformation and social media for BBC News.

6:10 pm – 6:25 pm | Comments and Questions

6:25 pm – 6:30 pm | Closing 


The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and its Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression (RELE) recognize that the region is at a turning point that requires attention to the impact of technologies and the Internet on the exercise of human rights and the exercise of democracy. In accordance with its mandates, efforts have been focused on promoting guarantees of freedom of expression in digital spaces, monitoring possible limitations and warning about the consequences of stigmatizing speech online.

In order to open the discussion and offer recommendations from the Inter-American Human Rights System, RELE has convened a variety of actors to participate in a multi-sectoral dialogue – the Americas Dialogue on freedom of expression online that will take place virtually throughout the second half of 2021. Among the axes of the dialogue, content moderation comprises those regulations, decisions or processes adopted by internet platforms to control the scope and manner in which content created by third parties flows. Hence, the need to reflect on the influence of certain actors to influence legislative reforms and public policies on content moderation; the criminalization of freedom of expression as a justification to restrict the speech of certain groups; and the importance of having stable connections that provide a space for public deliberation and democratic institutionality.