IGF 2022 Town Hall #52 Infrastructure-Level Content Interventions and Human Rights

Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (10:50 UTC) - Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (11:50 UTC)

Other - 60 Min
Format description: We expect the session to be online. For those who are onsite, a roundtable would be appropriate


Providers of internet infrastructure services around the world are under pressure to play a greater role in policing online content and participation, and make content-based decisions about what services they provide and to whom. In addition, some companies are making those calls on their own. This is a dangerous trend that must end now. While the call to enlist the full “stack” to combat harmful speech may be understandable in some cases, it leads to a host of unintended consequences for human rights. This session will discuss those consequences and present a joint statement from a diverse group of civil society organizations calling on policymakers not to demand such interventions, and service providers not to take such steps voluntarily.

We will use Zoom conferencing and will have someone assigned to monitor an online Q&A channel in order to facilitate that aspect of the discussion. We will also have someone onsite to solicit questions and share them with panelists and participants.


Electronic Frontier Foundation
Corynne McSherry, Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation, USA Agustina Campos, Director, Centre for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE), Argentina Jillian York, Director for Freedom of Expression, Electronic Frontier Foundation, USA/EU


Corynne McSherry, Electronic Frontier Foundation, civil society, USA Agustina Campos, Centre for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, civil society, Argentina Jillian York, Electronic Frontier Foundation, civil society, USA/Europe Alex Feerst, civil society, Digital Trust and Safety Partnership, USA Emma Llanso, Center for Democracy and Technology, civil society, USA

Onsite Moderator

Emma Llanso, Center for Democracy and Technology, civil society, USA

Online Moderator

Corynne McSherry


Jillian York



Targets: 5b: Infrastructure-level interventions interfere with women’s ability to fully use the Internet to access and share information about many issues that are controversial in some countries, such as reproductive healthcare and sexuality. 9.1 and 9.c: The session will focus directly on how content-based interventions at the infrastructure level undermine Internet resilience, to the detriment of human well-being and access to information. 16.3 and 16.10: The session will discuss how content-based interventions bring into sharp relief the differing legal rules and norms that infrastructure providers must negotiate, and how their decisions (and those of policymakers) affect public access to information and fundamental freedoms.