Freedom of Speech

Content removal on social media platforms often takes place through semi-automated or automated processes. Algorithms are widely used for content filtering and content removal processes1, including on social media platforms, directly impacting freedom of expression and raising rule of law concerns (e.g. questions of legality, legitimacy and proportionality). While large social media platforms like Google or Facebook have…

By Chris Allen Donald Trump’s decision to retweet a number of videos originally posted by Jayda Fransen – the deputy leader of the far-right street movement Britain First – was as unfounded as it was unexpected. Retweeted without additional comment, the three videos purported to show a group of Muslims pushing a boy off a…

By Dia Kayyali and Raja Althaibani So much of Syria’s history has been purposefully erased by ISIS in recent years. And now, we’re seeing another erasure of history– this time on YouTube. Thousands of videos showing human rights abuses in Syria, as well as the channels that feature these videos, are being removed by YouTube.…

By Sophia Cope, Jillian C. York, and Jeremy Gillula In recent months, social media platforms—under pressure from a number of governments—have adopted new policies and practices to remove content that promotes terrorism. As the Guardian reported, these policies are typically carried out by low-paid contractors (or, in the case of YouTube, volunteers) and with little to…

By Ahmet S. Yayla & Anne Speckhard ISIS has been the most successful terrorist organization in history using social media and the Internet for distributing its propaganda, dissemination of its news and more importantly to communicate. There is no doubt that the frequency and quality of ISIS posts on the Internet, including their videos, memes…

By Sean Lawson In a pair of recent essays, Timothy Edgar, the academic director of law and policy at Brown University‘s Executive Master in Cybersecurity program, has outlined the legal basis for how a President Donald Trump could potentially shut down the U.S. internet in response to a national security crisis. Edger’s concerns stem from Trump’s statements on the campaign…

Social media companies, law enforcement agencies and free speech activists all agree that open discussions among them are useful and necessary in dealing with the issue of social media being used as a recruitment tool by violent radical groups such as ISIS, VOX-Pol’s Dr. Maura Conway has said. Speaking to techPresident shortly after conclusion of…

by Anna Orosz The Center for Media, Data and Society at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary hosted the third VOX-Pol workshop on 5 – 6 March with the participation of nearly 40 experts from policy making, human rights groups, activists, law enforcement, social media companies, and academia. The diverse background and expertise of the participants enabled…