IGF 2021 PARLIAMENTARY ROUNDTABLE Legislative approaches for a user-centric digital space

Tuesday, 7th December, 2021 (15:15 UTC) - Tuesday, 7th December, 2021 (16:15 UTC)
Plenary Room


Diversity of opinion and freedom of speech form the core of democracy. The Internet has made it easier to exercise these rights, but it has also created new opportunities for abuse. Harmful content is now easily spread online, sometimes with dire consequences for democracy itself and for human rights. As Internet platforms and regulators devise mechanisms to address such challenges, several questions are raised: Where does the responsibility of Internet platforms start and where does it end when it comes to tackling harmful content? Should platforms be left to determine on their own what is harmful content and how to deal with it? Or should legislators step it and establish clear roles and responsibilities? And if laws are adopted, what are the key principles that they need to embed in order to ensure that a proper balance is achieved between fighting harmful content and protecting freedom of speech and other human rights?

Opening remarks

  • Ryszard Terlecki | Vice Marshal of the Sejm of Poland 
  • Liu Zhenmin | UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
  • Duarte Pacheco | President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union 

Key contributors

  • Abdulla Althawadi | Member of the ​​Council of Representatives of the Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Marina Kaljurand | Member of the European Parliament
  • Alexander Khinshtein | Chairman of the Committee on Information Policy, Information Technologies and Communications, State Duma, Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation
  • Alhagie Mbow | Member of Parliament, Gambia
  • Gabriel Silva | Member of National Assembly, Panama


  • Thomas Schneider | Ambassador and Director of International Affairs at the Swiss Federal Office of Communication