The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression is focusing on the issue of disinformation and freedom of opinion and expression in her upcoming report to be presented to the Human Rights Council at its 47th session in June 2021. The Special Rapporteur will seek to clarify how human rights law applies to disinformation, identify key issues that would benefit from further consideration by the Human Rights Council and formulate recommendations to States and other stakeholders on the best way to tackle disinformation whilst protecting the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
To that end, the Special Rapporteur invites Member States, international organisations, national human rights institutions, digital technology companies, civil society organisations, representatives of the media and social media sector, scholars and other interested stakeholders to share their views. In particular, she would welcome contributions in response to the following questions:
- What do you believe are the key challenges raised by disinformation? What measures would you recommend to address them?
- What legislative, administrative, policy, regulatory or other measures have Governments taken to counter disinformation online and offline?
- What has been the impact of such measures on (i) disinformation; (ii) freedom of opinion and expression; and (iii) other human rights?
- What measures have been taken to address any negative impact on human rights?
- What policies, procedures or other measure have digital tech companies introduced to address the problem of disinformation?
- To what extent do you find these measures to be fair, transparent and effective in protecting human rights, particularly freedom of opinion and expression?
- What procedures exist to address grievances and provide remedies for users, monitor the activities of the companies, and how effective are they?
The Special Rapporteur further welcomes the sharing of:
- Information on measures that you believe has been especially effective to protect the right to freedom of opinion and expression while addressing disinformation on social media platforms.
- Information on measures to address disinformation that you believe has aggravated or led to human rights violations, in particular the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
- Any suggestions or recommendation you may have for the Special Rapporteur on how to protect and promote the right to freedom of opinion and expression while addressing disinformation.
- Any relevant documents, reports, news or academic articles that you believe should be considered by the Special Rapporteur in the preparation of her report.
The deadline for submissions is 15 February 2021 and can be sent to [email protected]. Submissions can be made in Word or PDF and will be accepted in English, French, or Spanish.
The call for submissions can be accessed here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].