Working group on accountability regime for social network accounts and their users

Working group on accountability regime for social network accounts and their users
The classic law on freedom of expression (with regard to reasonable restrictions such as defamation and insult, hate speech and apology for crimes against humanity) is not adapted to accounts on social networks, because if it allows in principle to rule on content, it does not provide effective guarantees regarding the treatment of the accounts themselves (responsibilities, sanctions, etc.) 

The only rules on temporary or permanent suspensions and account visibility were developed by platforms, not by public institutions.

Some examples have shown that the moderation of accounts cannot be left to the sole discretion of digital platforms and social networks.

Thus, it is becoming urgent to develop an accountability regime for social network accounts, based on democratic principles, and implemented by public institutions.

Scope

Chapter 1

Categorization, status and general treatment of accounts on social networks

Reflection on the different types of accounts on social networks and the relevance of a differentiated treatment. A study will be established on the basis of measures already taken by platforms such as verification or labeling of accounts (e.g. state media accounts).

Chapter 2

Rights and obligations of account holders and platforms

Propose specific accountability regimes for account holders on social networks and related digital platforms. Establish a regime of protections and sanctions depending on the offences and the type of account.

Chapter 3

Define governance principles

Propose a legal architecture for the application of the accountability regime. Provide mechanisms to verify the compliance of platforms with decisions made by democratic institutions.

Steering Committee

Members of the steering committee will be announced soon.

Calendar

October to November 2020

Meetings of the steering committee and drafting of a framework document specifying the objectives and the needs in terms of contributions.

December 2021 to February 2022

Global call for contributions based on the scoping document. Collection of existing recommendations by the team of rapporteurs.

March to April 2022

Processing of the contributions and drafting of the report under the guidance of the steering committee.

May 2022

Publication of the report.