IGF 2021 WS #134
State regulation and content moderation in times of Covid-19

Organizer 1: Nedim Useinow, Articl19
Organizer 2: Joanna Szymanska, ARTICLE 19

Speaker 1: Darbinyan Sarkis, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 2: Iryna Chulivska, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 3: Leonid Volkov, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 4: Natalia Krapiva, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Mikhail Klimarev, Civil Society, Eastern European Group


Joanna Szymanska, Civil Society, Eastern European Group

Online Moderator

Nedim Useinow, Civil Society, Eastern European Group


Nedim Useinow, Civil Society, Eastern European Group


Round Table - U-shape - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

Content moderation and human rights compliance: How to ensure that government regulation, self-regulation and co-regulation approaches to content moderation are compliant with human rights frameworks, are transparent and accountable, and enable a safe, united and inclusive Internet?
Additional Policy Questions Information: N/A

A Covid-19 pandemic has created new global situation, in which governments, to effectively fight the pandemic, introduced a variety of measures often limiting people's digital rights and Internet freedom. In Russia, the government adopted several law amendments that restrict internet freedom and allow persecuting the opposition-minded citizens. In response, civil society organisations developed digital tools, which help to monitor state regulation in terms of possible violation of human rights. One of such tools is PandemicBigBrother online platform, which collects evidence about restrictions of civil rights with the use of digital technologies.
The proposed session will touch upon the subject of content moderation and state regulation of the Internet in Eurasia and its compliance with both domestic and international human rights standards. The invited speakers - experienced civil society activists and lawyers from different backgrounds will discuss challenges and solutions related to the government moderation of Internet and its compliance with digital rights. The discussion will be supported by case studies drawn from the report published on the PandemicBigBrother website (pandemicbigbrother.online).



Targets: The proposed workshop session touches upon the topic of access to information and protect of civil freedoms. It brings experienced speakers together with the interested audience to discuss on how digital rights, freedom of Internet can be guaranteed in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.


The aim of the session is to present relevant case studies and discuss how governments in ECA region use the fight against COVID-19 as an excuse for limiting civil liberties, including digital rights and freedom of Internet. Invited speakers will share their experiences, present monitoring results (collected, among others, under the PandemicBigBrother project) and discuss threats for fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression and access to information.

Expected Outcomes

Raised awareness on the impact of content moderation and state regulation of Internet by in time of Covid-19 on digital rights and freedom of Internet in the ECA region.
An online publication with the workshop summary and useful materials (infographics, links to supportive information) will be published in Russian/English and promoted through Article19 and Roskomsvoboda social media channels.

The main target audience (but not the only) will be young people (18-30 y.o.), for whom Internet is the most convenient means of communication and source of information. A communication with them will be conducted via social media channels. For online participants, a possibility to ask questions via chat will be provided, for the on-site audience a Q&A session ant the end of presentations is planned. If the speakers and audiences are both online, a brak out rooms will be used for thematic presentations/discussions, which will allow unlimited interaction of all participants.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool.