Event information

29 November 2017, 18:30-20:00


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Social media platforms: the new gatekeepers of free speech?

Geneva Academy Wednesdays

Picture of social media logos Picture of social media logos

Social media platforms are under considerable pressure from states to be more proactive in both preventing and eliminating hate speech as well as ‘terrorist’ and ‘violent extremist’ content. As a result, many social media companies have stepped up efforts, jointly and individually, to spot such content in a more efficient manner, thereby becoming the de facto regulators of online content and the ‘gatekeepers’ of freedom of expression and interlinked rights in cyberspace.

Having corporate entities carry out such quasi-executive and quasi-adjudicative tasks, effectively outsourced to them by governments under the banner of self- or co-regulation, raises a series of difficult questions under human rights law.



  • Tom Gal, Teaching Assistant, Geneva Academy
  • Sandra Krähenmann, Research Fellow, Geneva Academy


Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project

The Geneva Academy is a partner of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, based at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre. HRBDT maps and analyzes the challenges and opportunities presented by the use of technology and big data from a human rights perspective. Drawing on the wide range of expertise of its interdisciplinary researchers, the project considers whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be adapted to meet the rapidly evolving technological landscape. The work brings together practitioners in the fields of human rights, technology and Internet governance, the United Nations, technology industries and academics, to assess existing regulatory responses and the need for reforms in order to maximize effective human rights enjoyment and protection.


Geneva Academy, Villa Moynier, 120B Rue de Lausanne, Geneva


Public Transport

Tram 15, tram stop Butini

Bus 1 or 25, bus stop Sécheron

Access for People with Disabilities

Villa Moynier is accessible to people with disabilities. If you have a disability or any additional needs and require assistance in order to participate fully, please email info[at]geneva-academy.ch


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