IGF 2022 WS #502 Platform regulation: perspectives from the Global South

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

Organizer 1: Olivia Bandeira, Intervozes - Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social
Organizer 2: Paula Martins, Association for Progressive Communications - APC
Organizer 3: Gustavo Gomez, OBSERVACOM
Organizer 4: Lucía León, Hiperderecho
Organizer 5: Toledo Amalia, Wikimedia Foundation

Speaker 1: Raúl Echeberría, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Orlando Silva, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Paulo Victor Melo, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 4: Lillian Nalwoga, Civil Society, African Group


Lucía León, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Paula Martins, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization


Olivia Bandeira, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Debate - Classroom - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

1) How do the content moderation policies and practices of major digital platforms impact differently on different regions of the globe? 2) What regulatory principles of content moderation processes can better guarantee freedom of expression and other fundamental rights in diverse legal systems, what are the challenges for the regulation of large global digital platforms and what are the appropriate bodies and mechanisms to do so? 3) How regulations currently under discussion in the US and Europe will impact Africa, Asia and Latin America and what is the regional approach that CSOs in these regions could move forward to ensure regulations are aligned with international human rights standards?

Connection with previous Messages: The session intends to advance with the following messages: “5.1. The complex interplay between the market and society is being reshaped by online platforms. Online platforms continue to gain power in the digital world, generating high impact throughout the globe, especially in the Global South. There is no one-size fits all approach as impacts may be positive or negative, depending on the local reality. 5.2. Suggested underlying principles to guide policy approaches towards strengthened market competition and consumer protection include: (a) transparency; (b) global taxonomy of service providers; (c) emphasis on rights application; (d) proportionality; (e) acknowledging the complexity of platforms, content and behaviours and jurisdictions; (f) harmonization - ensuring that the Internet remains a global, unified platform that enables the exercise of human rights.”


16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Targets: 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels 16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements The influence of big digital platforms on public debate and their role in guaranteeing or violating the freedom of expression of individuals makes the discussion about the need for regulation grow. The debate aims to promote peace, social and socio-environmental justice, access to justice, and inclusive, effective, and accountable institutions. For regulation to protect fundamental freedoms, the debate must consider international agreements and local legislation. At the same time, regulation has to be done in an inclusive and participatory manner, taking into account the voice of the Global South and minorities in terms of gender, class, and race-ethnicity, in addition to the dialogue between different stakeholder groups.


The debate on the need to regulate big digital platforms has grown around the world. It is a reaction, first of all, to the growing power of large digital platforms to influence public debate, the functioning of democracies, and freedom of expression. Other related issues that demand regulation are the privacy of users and the use of their personal data. Although this debate is global, it has regional specificities and implications since the major digital platforms are based in the countries of the Global North and often do not even have official representatives in the countries of the Global South. In addition, they have adopted content moderation and privacy protection rules and measures that are different in the Global North and Global South, disproportionately affecting the freedom of expression and other human rights of individuals and groups in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, as shown by several studies. Given this context, regulatory agents in different parts of the world debate the need for regulation. While some proposals follow international principles of freedom of expression, others are authoritarian proposals that aim at government control and generate forms of censorship. Researchers and civil society have also presented regulatory proposals in different regions of the world, seeking to protect freedom of expression and other fundamental rights. This workshop aims to advance the debate and proposals for democratic regulation that guarantees freedom of expression from the point of view of the Global South.

Expected Outcomes

In Latin America, civil society in several countries has debated the need for democratic regulation of big digital platforms. In 2021, these organizations launched a document with principles to guarantee the need for transparency of these platforms in dialogue with UNESCO. With this workshop, we hope to: 1) initiate a process of dialogue on the topic between civil society, academia, the private sector, and the public sector in Latin America, Africa, and Asia; 2) hold follow-up meetings in each region; 3) produce a report that answers the questions asked in this workshop, taking into account the specificities of each region.

Hybrid Format: - How will you facilitate interaction between onsite and online speakers and attendees? We’ll ensure specific activities designed to integrate engagement and contributions from participants online and in person. - How will you design the session to ensure the best possible experience for online and onsite participants? Online and in person speakers. Integrated working groups. In situ and online moderators. Chat moderator. Translation. - Please note any complementary online tools/platforms you plan to use to increase participation and interaction during the session. Miro, pads and instant surveys (like Mentimeter).

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool.