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Internet Freedom Foundation Responds to Global Guidelines on Platform Regulation: 7 Highlights

Highlights from IFF’s submission for UNESCO’s digital platform regulation guidelines that aim to address the content moderation woes that platforms face regularly

"In general we do not dispute the need to regulate activities on the internet, as long as they are based on and follow democratic and constitutional principles," reads the concluding paragraph of the Internet Freedom Foundation's (IFF) submissions for UNESCO's digital platform regulation guidelines. "However, the response must not be the rushed passing of over-broad, vague, and ambiguous laws of general applicability that will further complicate these unfortunate consequences. To that end, the regulation framework must first and foremost abide by internationally accepted human rights standards". What are these guidelines? UNESCO is developing guidelines to regulate digital platforms worldwide. They primarily try to address the content moderation woes that platforms face regularly —such as misinformation spreading like wildfire and platforms being ill-equipped to stop it. The guidelines are principle-based and aim to ensure that platforms are transparent, user-empowering, accountable, subject to independent oversight, and have content moderation policies consistent with human rights. The hope: the guidelines will "support regulators, governments, legislatures and companies, dealing with content that potentially damages human rights and democracy, while protecting freedom of expression and the availability of accurate and reliable information". Multistakeholder consultations for the rules are going on right now—while a second draft is up for public feedback until March 8th. Submit yours here: internetconference@unesco.org. The guidelines will also be discussed at the upcoming Internet Trust conference, from February 22nd to 23rd. Why it matters: UNESCO's principle-based approach—and IFF's response to it—may help throw light on the excesses of content moderation in India. As we've…

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