IGF 2018 WS #409 Discrimination in Platform and State Content Takedowns



Organizer 1: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Do platform content removals, including those intended to counter violent extremism, disproportionately harm minority groups -- and if so, what are the right mechanisms for state and private accountability?


Panel - 90 Min


We hope to bring in activists from Syria and Myanmar, and perhaps from other regions, who can speak specifically to their experience. In addition,
Dia Kayyali will discuss the experience of witnesses to human rights abuses, who have faced enormous problems with the deletion of content documenting human rights abuses and atrocities.
Alexa Koenig will discuss intersection with prosecution approaches for human rights abuses.
Daphne Keller will discuss the impact of evolving state policy pressuring platforms to remove allegedly terrorist material within a few hours, using flawed filtering technology.
Faiza Patel will discuss the intersection with discriminatory impact in dragnet surveillance, extreme vetting, and other state practices.


We hope to bring in activists from Syria and Myanmar, and perhaps from other regions, who can speak specifically to their experience. In addition,

Dia Kayyali will bring the perspective of a Syrian-American activist and LGBTQ community member, as well as their substantial professional expertise from work with Witness and other digital rights organizations.
Alexa Koenig will bring experience with transnational governance efforts, including the Technology Advisory Board of the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court.
Faiza Patel will bring experience as a civil rights attorney born and raised in Pakistan.
Daphne Keller will bring experience as an industry stakeholder, based on ten years as a legal counsel to Google.

An increasing number of voices assert that minority and vulnerable communities are disproportionately impacted by Internet platforms' over-reaching content removals. This affects ordinary people, like the many ethnic minorities in the US who believe their accounts or posts have been terminated unfairly. It also affects people with unique and important role to play in the preservation of democracy and human rights, including witnesses to human rights abuses in Syria, Myanmar, and elsewhere who upload material to public platforms. This session will discuss the real-world experiences of affected individuals and organizations, and what policy changes -- both within governments and platforms -- could address them.

Discussion Facilitation: 

We will leave at least half the allotted time to participant engagement. We will also work in advance with affected individuals and organizations to bring an informed participant group into the room, and draw on their expertise in scoping the problem and identifying policy solutions.

Online Participation: 

Online attendees will rotate pro rata with those in the room, and the moderator will make adjustments as they become needed. We will involve a specific moderator who is not also a speaking participant to ensure full attention to online participation.

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678