IGF 2017 WS #33 From 'Fake News' to Internet Shutdowns: A Look at World Trends in Freedom of Expression Online

Short Title
A Look at World Trends in Freedom of Expression Online

Proposer's Name: Ms. Rachel Pollack Ichou

Proposer's Organization: UNESCO

Co-Proposer's Name: Ms. Xianhong Hu

Co-Proposer's Organization: UNESCO


Ms Rachel POLLACK ICHOU, Intergovernmental Organization, UNESCO Ms Xianhong HU, Intergovernmental Organization, UNESCO, Ms Julie OWONO, Civil Society, Internet sans frontières, Mr Claudio LUCENA, Academia, Paraíba State University

Additional Speakers




Opening remarks: Ms Anna Karefelt, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) (5’)

Presentation of World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development ReportMr Guilherme Canela Godoi, Advisor for Communication and Information in Latin America, UNESCO (10')

Moderated discussion with subject matter experts (45’)

Moderator: Ms Rachel Pollack Ichou, Associate Programme Specialist, Executive Office, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO

Subject matter experts:

Ms Florence Poznanski, Head of Brazil Desk, Internet sans frontières

Mr Cláudio Lucena, Professor, Paraíba State University, Brazil

Mr Peter Micek, General Counsel, Access Now, USA

Ms Bishakha Datta, Executive Director, Point of View, India

Mr Thomas Schneider, Director of International Relations, OFCOM, Switzerland

Questions and comments from in-person and online participants (30’)

Closing remarks by moderator (5’)

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

Session Title:  From ‘Fake News’ to Internet Shutdowns; A Look at World Trends in Freedom of Expression Online               

Date:  Thursday, 21 December 2017             

Time:  10:20 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.  

Session Organizer:  Rachel Pollack Ichou, UNESCO              

Chair/Moderator:  Rachel Pollack Ichou, UNESCO              

Rapporteur/Notetaker:  Chris Buckridge, RIPE NCC            

List of Speakers and their institutional affiliations:                

Anna Karefelt, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

Guilherme Canela Godoi, UNESCO

Florence Poznanski, Internet sans frontières

Cláudio Lucena, Paraíba State University

Peter Micek, Access Now

Bishakha Datta, Point of View

Thomas Schneider, Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM)

Key Issues raised (1 sentence per issue):                 

If there were presentations during the session, please provide a 1-paragraph summary for each presentation:                 

Discussions that took place during the workshop session (3 paragraphs):       

Participant suggestions regarding the way forward/ potential next steps/key takeaways (3 paragraphs):     


Gender Reporting

Estimate the overall number of the participants present at the session: 116 (based on Sched)

Estimate the overall number of women present at the session:

To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women’s empowerment? 

Very much / gender responsive

If the session addressed issues related to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment, please provide a brief summary of the discussion:

The session featured a rich discussion of challenges to achieving gender equality online, particularly related to gender-based online harassment and abuse that has actively diminished women’s freedom of expression. Speakers cited studies and examples from several countries indicating that women have often restricted their own Internet activity due to threats and harassment online.