IGF 2022 Open Forum #64 Spotlight on AI-driven content governance in times of crisis

Tuesday, 29th November, 2022 (12:00 UTC) - Tuesday, 29th November, 2022 (13:00 UTC)
Caucus Room 11

Birds of a Feather - Auditorium - 60 Min


The free flow of information and access to accurate, diverse and public interest content is crucial at all times. It becomes vital at times of crisis – be it a pandemic, climate crisis, or conflict. In today’s information environment, content governance by online platforms plays a significant role in shaping and arbitrating political and public discourse. The way online information is curated and moderated directly individual human rights as our collective rights to global peace and security. It is therefore essential that policies – and their enforcement – are in line with international human rights standards. Artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies increasingly decide which content is removed, what content is prioritized or to whom it is disseminated. These decisions directly influence individuals’ right to seek, impart and receive information – and ultimately, their opinions. But AI tools are regularly deployed with little or no transparency, accountability or public oversight. While this already poses many human rights challenges, these become even more detrimental, or disastrous, in times of crisis. Automated content governance impacts the entire conflict cycle. The amplifying power of AI in content curation can contribute to rising tensions, radicalization and hatred in the heat-up of conflict. During conflict, many of the unintended consequences of automated content moderation become detrimental – by potentially silencing critical voices online, at a time when their voices and their safety are essential. The same technologies are then also used to surveil critical voices, and to promote violent agendas. All too often, it is leveraged for digital authoritarianism. Moreover, AI-based content governance can hamper reconciliation by magnifying disinformation and other polarizing content. This undermines and delays post-conflict recovery processes, and thwarts peace movements. Furthermore, AI facilitates the constant observation and analyzing of data in order to personalize and target content and advertising. The subsequent personalized online experiences risk fragmenting online information spaces and limit individuals’ exposure to a diversity of information, which infringes upon principles of media pluralism. A lack of information pluralism provides a perfect breeding ground for manipulation and deception – furthering inequalities, undermining democratic debates, and at times used for digital authoritarianism, fueling hatred, violence and propaganda for war. The OSCE Policy Manual on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Freedom of Expression (SAIFE) serves as general guidance to states, on regulation of AI in order to protect freedom of expression and other human rights, as well as media pluralism. Over the last several months, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media has explored its applicability in times of crises, to ensure there are no trade-offs to human rights. This session will present and discuss key findings of this research and provide concrete recommendations on protecting freedom of expression and other human rights in the use of AI for content governance in times of crises.

- How will you facilitate interaction between onsite and online speakers and attendees? Two facilitating moderators, both on-site and online to ensure inclusive debates. Speakers/key contributors will be both on-site and online. - How will you design the session to ensure the best possible experience for online and onsite participants? Interactive engagement is at the core of this session. Key contributors will set the scene but the focus is on moderated discussions rather than a formal panel set-up. - Please note any complementary online tools/platforms you plan to use to increase participation and interaction during the session. Joint collaborative document (google doc) and/or MIRO board.


OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
Deniz Wagner, Adviser to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Julia Haas, Project Officer, Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media


Speakers: 1. Teresa Ribeiro, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media 2. Tetiana Avdieieva, CEDEM Ukraine 3. Arzu Geybulla, Journalist Azerbaijan 4. Courtney Radsch, media freedom expert 5. Marwa Fatafta or Eliska Pirkova, Access Now Moderators: Deniz Wagner and Julia Haas, OSCE

Onsite Moderator

Deniz Wagner, Adviser to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

Online Moderator

Julia Haas, Project Officer, Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media


Deniz Wagner, Adviser to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media


10. Reduced Inequalities
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Targets: Comprehensive security, lasting peace, and sustainable development necessitate that human rights, including freedom of expression and media freedom, are respected, protected and fulfilled at all times, including in crises situations. While technologies provide ample opportunities for increasing access to information and freedom of expression in times of crises, it is essential to address the challenges to human rights posed by use of artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies for shaping and arbitrating information spaces.