Agencies support UNESCO’s guidelines on regulating digital platforms
Media and online safety regulators from all over the world declared their support to the Guidelines for the regulation of social media platforms thoroughly discussed at the UNESCO Global Conference Internet for Trust, which took place in Paris, France, February between 21 and 23.
The regulatory bodies affirmed their availability to contribute to “the creation and investment in a global, common and multi-stakeholder space for debate and sharing of best practices regarding the regulation of digital platforms.”
In a joint statement, the chairpersons of six regional networks of regulatory bodies stressed their backing to “the ambition of imposing obligations of due diligence and transparency on digital platforms, especially in terms of online content management for user safety, under the supervision of a regulation system.”
They also agreed on “the importance of a risk assessments process and other measures applying to digital platforms, aiming to protect election integrity as well as to respond to major crises such as conflicts, wars, natural disasters, health emergencies or sudden world events.”
The regulatory bodies highlighted their commitment to UNESCO’s goals in the digital environment – to defend freedom of expression and to secure information as a public good – while “dealing with content that damages or potentially damages human rights and democracy, particularly content that conveys hatred, incitement to violence, harassment and discrimination against women, minorities and other vulnerable groups, and mis- or disinformation.”
The chairpersons committed to “develop coherent regulation systems across regions,” and supported the commitment to promote independent online content regulatory systems, which must act “within the framework of the law and subject to the supervision of the judiciary and respecting fundamental rights, including the rights to privacy and freedom of expression.”
The statement was issued on February 23, 2023, the final day of the Global Conference that reunited almost two thousand participants at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, while hundreds of others followed the discussions online.
The chairpersons of the African Communication Regulation Authorities Network (ACRAN), the European Regulators Group signed it for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA), the Global Online Safety Regulators Network (GOSRN), the Mediterranean Network of Regulatory Authorities (MNRA), the Platform of Ibero-American Audiovisual Regulators (PRAI) and the Francophone Network of Media Regulators (REFRAM).
The statement affirms the availability of these networks to contribute to the creation and investment in a global, common and multi-stakeholder space for debate and sharing of best practices regarding the regulation of digital platforms.