UN to Host Workshop on Local Actors’ Involvement in Social Media

Mr. António Guterres, UN Secretary-General
Mr. António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

The United Nations (UN) with support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH will, on November 27 and 28, 2018 in Berlin, Germany, hosts a special workshop concerning the involvement of local actors in the development and enforcement of social media content policies and processes.

The workshop, which will provide critical input for future reporting mandate, will address a fundamental question of contemporary freedom of expression: how social media and search engine companies can ensure that their global policies, rules, and processes appropriately engage local communities and integrate local contexts.

The aim is to generate discussion with the involvement of local activists, company representatives, government officials (where appropriate), and global human rights advocates. The Workshop will explore two case studies: social media’s role in the spread of racism and violence in Myanmar and Germany. After devoting a half-day session each to the Myanmar and Germany case studies, the workshop will examine potential recommendations (including the risks those potential recommendations may present). The workshop is especially interested in the possibilities of localized and decentralized modes of online governance, broadening the discussion to cases and ideas worldwide.

The workshop will bring together activists and experts from Myanmar, Germany and elsewhere, company representatives, and select government officials to examine these questions using Myanmar and Germany as in-depth case studies to illuminate the issues and challenges associated with local presence, involvement and buy-in.

The event which will be held under the Chatham House Rule will have its findings and recommendations published in a report in 2019.