Ahead of the EU elections, Avaaz is launching an unprecedented anti-disinformation project to protect Europe’s democracies from the proliferation of fake news. After a pilot project in Brazil, which saw Avaaz take down a huge Facebook disinformation network in the country, we plan to scale our efforts on the European continent by launching a 27-country operation powered by big data, investigative journalism, and the strength of our network of 20 million members in the EU. The aim is to identify and debunk fake news; take down the biggest disinformation networks, bots and troll armies; bring to justice the criminal networks behind them; and create viral content and factual corrections to reach those who have been exposed.
As Legal Director,
you will oversee our anti-disinformation legal work across Europe. This will include directing and applying research on a wide spectrum of legal issues, including traditional and digital social media, hate speech, privacy, data retention, electoral campaigns, and the funding of political parties and propaganda. You will provide legal advice and risk assessment regarding Avaaz’s investigative journalism, online research, and media operations. You will also be responsible for advising on litigation options -- including by managing outside counsel -- for taking the criminal networks behind disinformation operations to court. This is an exciting leadership position in one of the most innovative and ambitious public organisations in the world today. It offers a unique platform from which to develop and pursue large-scale social change efforts.
Period: 5 months (Jan-May 2019) with longer-term renewal possibility
- Managing the anti-disinfo legal team, including both junior legal positions and collaborations with national counsel where necessary;
- Preparing guidelines for investigative journalists, online researchers, and volunteers on our legal opportunities to remove or make ineffective fake news and disinformation operations at large;
- Coordinating our legal research on traditional and digital social media, hate speech, privacy, data retention, electoral campaigns, and the funding of political parties and propaganda -- mainly focused on the goal of taking down the main disinformation operations on the continent;
- Providing legal advice and risk assessment to Avaaz regarding investigative journalism, online research, and media operations;
- Preparing litigation to expose, hold responsible, and take to court the criminal networks behind disinformation operations;
- Providing additional legal support as required for our anti-disinfo operations.
This is a demanding role that requires remarkable talent in a wide range of areas. The ideal candidate will have a good cross-section of the following qualifications:
- A minimum of 3 years experience of handling digital rights, including privacy, data retention, free speech online, hate speech, and social media regulations;
- Knowledge of electoral laws, with a special focus on media regulation and funding restrictions during the electoral period;
- Membership in good standing of a bar association (in any jurisdiction);
- A proven record of litigation in the focus legal areas of the project;
- Experience with NGOs and media risk management; and,
- High-level understanding of social media platforms.
- Strong project and staff management skills;
- Excellent judgement and decision-making abilities;
- Strong teamwork skills, comfortable in a highly collaborative team culture and a hierarchical team structure;
- Strong strategic, creative, and innovative thinking;
- Outstanding written and oral communication skills;
- Passion and commitment to freedom of speech, the fight against corruption, citizen empowerment and social change;
- High professionalism, self-motivation, efficiency and results-oriented delivery on short timelines.
We hope for a blend of these criteria, but will consider qualified candidates who may not meet all of them.
Fluency in English and one of the following EU languages is a requirement: Italian, Spanish, French, German. Additional languages are an asset.
Location: Avaaz is a virtual organisation, with most of our work done over email, telephone and Skype. For this position we would prefer candidates based in the EU, but welcome other applicants from around the world.
Compensation and Benefits: Salary varies with location and experience, but is highly competitive with leading non-governmental organisations.
This position reports to an Avaaz staffer.
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