How should we regulate online speech?
Everywhere they look legislators see an online hydra threatening our safety and, even, democracy itself. Both the British Prime Minister, Theresa May and Nato General Secretary, Michael Fallon, have accused Russian President Vladimir Putin, of “weaponising information” to, in May’s words, “undermine free societies”, in Fallon’s, create a “post-truth age”. The German Justice Ministry has passed a law threatening fines of up to €50m against Internet companies that do not remove "criminal content". France and the UK are threatening “a new legal liability for tech companies if they fail to remove unacceptable content".
The agenda to regulate speech, particularly “hate speech” relies ultimately on a body of international law that was designed to constrain states that would incite hatred against vulnerable minorities. Yet we find ourselves in a world where police arrest people for comments posted on social media and governments threaten retribution against people and organisations posting “false” information. What justification do governments and policymakers have to take this approach? What is the problem they are trying to solve?
Places at this event are limited. If you would like to attend then please contact: Paul MacDonnell