The Forum on Information and Democracy issues a global call for contributions to shape an accountability regime for social networks and their users. All experts, jurists and researchers working on these issues are invited to respond.
In a context of disintermediation in the field of information and communication, social networks are new entities that are not subject to an appropriate legal framework. While reasonable restrictions on freedom of expression provide a framework for states to impose more or less precise obligations on social networks regarding content, there is no legal provision defining how the accounts of users should be treated.
The international working group launched by the Forum in March aims to address this very issue. Co-chaired by Kjersti Loken Stavrum, CEO of the media holding company Tinius Trust and President of Pen Norway, and Damian Tambini, Distinguished Policy Fellow at the London School of Economics, it is mandated to establish a new accountability regime for social networks and their users.
The call for contributions is intended to gather existing or innovative recommendations on this topic to feed the reflections of the working group. It covers the different themes addressed by the working group: the rights and obligations of account holders, the relevance of a categorization of user accounts, the rights and obligations of social networks, the accountability of digital platforms to democratic institutions.
This call, open until the end of May, is addressed to researchers, experts and organizations from all over the world specialized in these issues. Contributions should detail proposals for regulation or self-regulation regarding the treatment of accounts on social networks. They can be based on the analysis of already existing mechanisms and develop new provisions filling legal gaps.
The recommendations from the working group will be published in June and then presented to the representatives of the 45 signatory states of the International Partnership for Information and Democracy at the Summit of the same name, to be held in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
About the Forum
The Forum on Information and Democracy is the implementing entity for the International Partnership for Information and Democracy, endorsed by 45 countries. Founded by 11 NGOs and research centers, its mission is to implement democratic guarantees in the global information and communication space.
It provides recommendations for regulation and self-regulation through international working groups. It has already published two reports entitled How to end Infodemics (2020) and A New Deal for Journalism (2021). It also has a mandate to evaluate the means, standards and architectures of the information space. This will be developed by the International Observatory on Information and Democracy.