Dynamic Coalition on Platform Responsibility
Round Table - 90 Min
International Legal Perspectives
This session investigates emerging platform regulations worldwide, scrutinizing their implications on human rights. The focus will be on an array of legislative initiatives including the Brazilian Fake News Draft Bill, the United Kingdom's Online Safety Bill, the European Union's Digital Services Act (DSA), Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Artificial Intelligence Act (AIA), the Indian IT Act, and the Chinese algorithmic regulation, among others, aiming at dissecting their complexities, particularly their potential effects on freedom of expression, privacy, and other human rights. The primary objective of this session is to understand how these legal paradigms are reshaping the digital landscape. Our aim is to discern viable strategies for fostering a universally safe, equitable digital environment that steadfastly respects and upholds fundamental human rights while avoiding internet fragmentation. The methodological approach entails fostering a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder dialogue, encompassing perspectives from government entities, civil society advocates, and the tech industry. This will allow for a profound exploration of the issues, challenges, and opportunities that these local regulations pose.
To facilitate interaction between onsite and online speakers and attendees, we will leverage a hybrid event platform that provides real-time communication channels. For the onsite attendees, we will project the virtual attendees and their questions/comments onto the screen to ensure that both groups can engage with each other. In addition, we will use a moderated chat on Zoom for online participants to interact with onsite speakers and vice versa. The session will be designed with both online and onsite participants in mind. The session will be structured with interactive segments to engage all attendees, such as Q&As and debates to cater both online and onsite participants. To increase participation and interaction during the session, we plan to use an online document to allow participants to contribute their thoughts in a shared digital space. We will also utilize social media platforms for pre-session and post-session engagement, such as Twitter and Instagram for live updates.
Yasmin Curzi (FGV Law School, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Academic
Tatevik Grigoryan (UNESCO)
Alejandro Pisanty (UNAM) - Technical Community
Anita Gurumurthy (IT for Change) - Civil Society
Camille Grenier, Forum on Information and Democracy – Civil Society
Monika Zalnieriute, UNSW Sydney (Australia) and Law Institute of the Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences (Lithuania) - Academic
Rolf Weber (University of Zurich) - Academic
Samara Castro (Directress for the Promotion of Free Speech at the Special Secretariat for Social Communication of the Brazilian Government) - Government
Shilpa Jaswant (Jindal Global Law School) - Academic
Sofia Chang (PKU School of Transnational Law) - Academic
Vittorio Bertola (Head of Policy & Innovation - Open-Xchange) - Technical Community
Yasmin Curzi and Luca Belli
Giullia Thomaz (CTS-FGV)
Targets: SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions The session proposal explores emerging platform regulations worldwide and their implications on human rights. By scrutinizing legislative initiatives from different countries the session aims to understand how these legal paradigms are reshaping the digital landscape. This investigation aligns with SDG 16's objective of promoting just, peaceful, and inclusive societies by examining the regulatory frameworks that impact freedom of expression, privacy, and other human rights. SDG 5: Gender Equality The proposal highlights the importance of fostering a universally safe and equitable digital environment that respects and upholds fundamental human rights, including the rights of women and girls. By engaging in a multi-stakeholder dialogue that encompasses perspectives from government entities, civil society advocates, and the tech industry, the session aims to explore the challenges and opportunities posed by these regulations. This inclusive approach recognizes the significance of diverse voices and perspectives, especially those of women from the Global South, in shaping digital policies and regulations that protect and promote gender equality. Overall, the session proposal seeks to examine the impact of emerging platform regulations on human rights, including freedom of expression, privacy, and gender equality. It aims to foster dialogue, understanding, and strategies for creating a safe and equitable digital environment while respecting fundamental human rights, which aligns with the objectives of SDGs 16 and 5.
1. Need for Platform Regulation: Professor Yasmin Curzi and Professor Luca Belli have consistently stressed the urgent need for the regulation of digital platforms. The DCPR, for nearly 10 years, has been a prominent entity in advancing research and championing actionable solutions. Their comprehensive studies highlight the significance of digital platforms on democracy, markets, and human rights.
2. Emphasis on Transnational Dialogues: Professor Belli accentuates that mere regulation isn't sufficient. A deeper understanding of systemic risks requires global conversations that consider the unique aspects of local contexts. The DCPR has concentrated on various legislative frameworks, such as those in Brazil, India, China, and the EU regulations, to appreciate how these platforms influence and adapt within different environments
Importance of an open, accessible internet governed by multiple stakeholders, encompassing gender equality, children's rights, sustainable development, and environmental aspects. All entities, from governments to the private sector, must utilize these principles as benchmarks for their internet governance; Platform governance discourse needs to delve into substantive concerns that platforms pose, such as their environmental and labour impacts
The Dynamic Coalition on Platform Responsibility (DCPR) session at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2023 provided an invaluable forum for discussing the multifaceted challenges and opportunities in digital platform governance. This session was marked by insightful dialogues among experts from diverse fields, reflecting the DCPR's commitment to fostering a multi-stakeholder approach in addressing the complexities of platform regulation.
Key Highlights and Discussions:
- Professors Luca Belli and Yasmin Curzi, DCPR coordinators, highlighted the decade-long commitment of the DCPR in researching and addressing the challenges posed by digital platforms. They stressed the importance of not only acknowledging the necessity for platform regulation but actively engaging in research and practical solution-seeking.
- Professor Belli underscored the need for fostering transnational dialogues to address systemic risks presented by digital platforms. The session delved into legislative frameworks in countries like Brazil, India, China, and the European Union, emphasizing the need for context-sensitive regulation.
- Tatevik Grigoryan from UNESCO introduced the concept of Internet Universality, advocating for a global approach to internet governance based on principles of openness, accessibility, multi-stakeholder participation, and addressing cross-cutting issues.
- Samara Castro highlighted Brazil's proactive stance in social media regulation and misinformation control, discussing legislative, executive, and judiciary efforts. Brazil's experience serves as an inspiration for other nations in creating a safer, transparent internet.
- Anita Gurumuthy and Monika Zalnieriute emphasized the need to go beyond procedural principles and address substantive concerns like platforms' environmental impact and labor effects, calling for a holistic approach in platform governance.
- Rolf Weber emphasized the importance of accountability beyond compliance and the necessity of observability in platform governance, suggesting a model where platforms are transparent and answerable in their operations.
- Shilpa Jwasant provided an in-depth analysis of the Indian context, focusing on the recent developments in the IT Act. She highlighted how the Act is shaping the digital landscape in India, discussing its impact on user rights, data privacy, and the regulatory challenges faced by digital platforms operating in India. Jwasant’s insights into India’s regulatory approach underscored the balance between harnessing technological advancements and protecting fundamental rights.
- Sofia Chang delved into the Chinese scenario, particularly the country’s approach to algorithmic regulation. She elaborated on how China is navigating the complex interplay between technology, state control, and user rights, offering a unique perspective on how algorithmic governance is evolving in a highly digitized, prioritizing digital sovereignty.
- Monika Zalnieriute brought a critical lens to the discussion on informational pluralism on social media platforms. She raised concerns about the private and opaque interests of big tech companies, emphasizing the need for greater transparency and accountability in how these platforms manage and disseminate information. Zalnieriute argued for a more equitable digital ecosystem that respects diversity of thought and counters the monopolistic tendencies of major tech firms.
The session benefitted from active participation from in-person attendees, who provided feedback and posed questions, enriching the discussions. Their contributions highlighted the global interest in developing effective platform governance models and underscored the need for inclusivity in these dialogues.
Conclusion: The DCPR session at IGF 2023 successfully facilitated a comprehensive exploration of digital platform regulation, stressing the importance of a multi-stakeholder, inclusive approach. The discussions and calls to action from this session are expected to guide future strategies and policies in the realm of platform responsibility.