Global Network Initiative: Content Regulation and Human Rights

Principles of good governance and human rights impel governments to understand and address public and private harms within their jurisdiction. Since policymakers and regulators around the world are increasingly concerned about various forms of online content and conduct, it is no surprise that many are considering how different forms of state action may help or hinder efforts to address those concerns.

The multistakeholder Global Network Initiative (GNI) reviewed more than twenty recent1 governmental initiatives that claim to address various forms of online harm related to user-generated content — a practice we refer to broadly as “content regulation.” We focused on proposals that could shift existing responsibilities and incentives related to user-generated content. Our analysis illustrates the ways that good governance and human rights principles provide time-tested guidance for how laws, regulations, and policy actions can be most appropriately and effectively designed and carried out. Because content regulation is primarily focused on and likely to impact digital communication and content, we use international human rights principles related to freedom of expression and privacy as our primary lens. Continue reading here.

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