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Transparency needed in content moderation rules of social media firms, UN rapporteur agrees

A joint declaration lays down several guidelines for social media companies to remember while formulating their rules.

“Social media companies should ensure that their content moderation rules reflect international human rights standards including the importance of inclusive debate about matters of public interest, and elaborate clearly when, how and what measures may be taken against content posted by politicians and public officials,” read the joint declaration on politicians and public officials, and freedom of expression by the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Protection and Promotion of Freedom of Opinion and Expression. The declaration includes a set of recommendations for various stakeholders, including social media companies, responsible for upholding freedom of expression in public discourse. UN’s Special Rapporteur Irene Khan expressed concern at the “growing incidence of online hate speech, disinformation and dangerous rhetoric against media, human rights defenders and groups at risk of discrimination, which chills freedom of expression, thereby reducing the diversity of information and ideas in society”. The UN's timely reminder may impact how countries draft laws protecting freedom of expression and what kind of steps  social media companies can take to address political speech promoting disinformation. What were the other recommendations for social media companies? The declaration lays down several guidelines for companies to remember while formulating their rules: On political advertisements  Social media companies must indicate in no uncertain terms whether political advertisements will be published on their platforms. The rules governing these ads must be “clear, fair and non-discriminatory”.  Political advertisements have to be labelled separately and require public disclosure of who paid for advertisements, how they operate, and who…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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