Social media regulation threatens rights, UN warns – Times of India

GENEVA: The United Nations on Wednesday warned that private and non-private actors are intervening in opposition to on-line content material in ways in which curtail rights and muzzle criticism.
“You see a digital world that is unwelcoming and frequently unsafe for people trying to exercise their rights,” mentioned Peggy Hicks of the UN Rights Office in Geneva.
“You also see a host of government and company responses that risk making the situation worse,” she advised a press briefing.
According to a tally by the company, 40 new legal guidelines regulating social media have been adopted world wide up to now two years, with 30 extra underneath examination.
“Virtually every country that has adopted laws relating to online content has jeopardised human rights in doing so,” she mentioned.
In responding to public stress to manage on-line content material, “some governments see such legislation as a way to limit speech they dislike and even silence civil society and critics,” Hicks mentioned.
“We can, and should, make the internet a safer place, but it doesn’t need to be at the expense of fundamental rights,” she mentioned.
She mentioned the issue of “overbroad or ill-defined language” crossed ideological strains, from Vietnam to Australia, and Bangladesh to Singapore.
Hicks underscored the “critical importance of adopting human rights-based approaches to confronting these challenges,” including: “We need to sound a loud and persistent alarm, given the tendency for flawed regulations to be cloned, and bad practices to flourish.”
Hicks pointed to calls in Britain for stringent laws in response to on-line racist assaults in opposition to three black England gamers who missed penalties in Sunday’s Euro 2020 closing.
Also on the briefing was UN human rights officer Marcelo Daher, who urged that “actual people — not algorithms — review complex decisions.”

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