The internet was designed to be a kind of free-speech paradise—but the reality has become something much different. Relying on new tech, powerful corporations and governments have been able to turn the tools that were intended for liberation into means of censorship, abuse, repression, disinformation, hate speech, and surveillance.
What can be done? Should the giant social media platforms police content themselves, as is the norm in the United States, or should governments and international organizations regulate the internet, as is the case in parts of Europe? How do we keep from helping authoritarian regimes to censor all criticisms of themselves?
Featuring UN special rapporteur David Kaye, author of the newly released Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet; Lynn Oberlander, general counsel of one of the largest digital news companies in the United States; and Mishi Choudhary, who litigates internet free speech and privacy cases in both the United States and India, the presentation—which you can watch in the video above—offered an in-depth look at the challenges ahead.
This article originally appeared on the Open Society Foundations website. It is part of an ongoing series presented in collaboration with the Open Society Foundations. In this series, we shed light on some of the most pressing global challenges and the work that is being done to address them. For more stories like this, go here.