IGF 2023 WS #306 From local to global: Regulating platforms for human rights


Global Digital Governance & Cooperation
Cyber Diplomacy and Peace on the Internet
Digital Commons as a Public Good
Regulatory Sandboxes for Technological Innovations

Organizer 1: Kathryn Doyle, 🔒
Organizer 2: Jacqueline Rowe, 🔒Global Partners Digital
Organizer 3: Maria Paz Canales, 🔒 Global Partners Digital
Organizer 4: Rachidi Yasmine, 🔒GLOBAL PARTNERS DIGITAL
Organizer 5: Adeboye Adegoke, 🔒
Organizer 6: Francisco Brito Cruz, 🔒
Organizer 7: Wahyudi Djapar, 🔒

Speaker 1: Adeboye Adegoke, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Francisco Brito Cruz, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Wahyudi Djapar, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Isabel Ebert, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 5: David Sullivan , Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Kathryn Doyle, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Maria Paz Canales, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Jacqueline Rowe, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

A. What are the commonalities and differences between the regulatory approaches in the three global majority focus contexts (Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria) to confront human rights risks and harms in platform activities?
B. What is the potential of international multistakeholder initiatives on platform regulation and online trust and safety for securing more coherence in human rights protection across national platform regulations?
C. How do the new UNESCO Guidelines and potential copycat efforts related to the EU DSA, interact with other ongoing processes/dialogues at the local, regional and global levels to regulate online platforms?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will take away a timely snapshot of the regulatory environment for digital platforms in three jurisdictions provided by local experts; including:
-Insight into ongoing legislative processes
-Understanding of regulatory levers, bodies and institutions
Insight into national advocacy strategies for more rights-respecting platform regulation
-Deeper understanding of the relationship between national and global platform regulation efforts, including between the EU DSA and other jurisdictions, and how they overlap;
As well as learning from speakers’ insights on how to engage in relevant national, regional or global processes relating to platform regulation; Knowledge on global tools, frameworks and guidelines on platform regulation including:
-B-Tech UNGP Compass tool
-DTSP Best Practices Framework (a self-governed, industry-led assessment initiative)
-UNESCO Guidelines
Finally, awareness of existing tools that aid meaningful and inclusive engagement on platform regulation, including GPD’s platform regulation assessment tool and the GPD/GNI Guide on CSO company engagement.


Since 2020 dozens of governments across the globe have passed or proposed laws regulating how online platforms moderate content, ranging from specific content prohibitions to risk-based online safety regimes, from narrow categories of illegal material, to broader scopes of “harmful” content. While it’s vital to hold online platforms to account for human rights risks and harms posed by their services, platform regulations currently being proposed by governments do not align with international human rights law and existing guidance on how such standards apply to technology companies and online speech.

The divergence across national models of regulation has prompted international and regional efforts to establish more coherent approaches, including from UNESCO, EU, OAS and UNOHCHR. The outcomes of these processes will influence and shape national laws and policies, most notably in global majority contexts, as sources of authoritative guidance. Elements of regulations developed in one region may not translate well into others; for example, the EU’s approach of audit mechanisms, independent regulators and assessment of systemic risks should be adapted for other contexts.

Ensuring frameworks are developed in open, inclusive and transparent ways, with meaningful stakeholder engagement that reflects global realities, will ensure all voices are empowered - including those traditionally marginalised - to shape “the internet we want.”

This panel will connect local with global by bringing together perspectives on emerging platform regulation in Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria, with insight from representatives of industry alliances and global forums, including the Digital Trust and Safety Partnership (DTSP) and UN B-Tech project. Speakers will address the relevance of the new UNESCO Guidelines (launched September 2023), which will potentially serve as an additional resource to previous efforts at platform accountability; and reflect on how governments and companies can address online harms in a rights-respecting fashion from a local to a global perspective.

Expected Outcomes

Specific follow-ups and outcomes will depend on the potential for timely and collaborative engagement opportunities when the session happens in October. For example, session organisers and participants could commit to a joint input into an open consultation process from a global forum, government or tech company. Opportunities and outputs may include policy papers about similarities and differences between regulatory frameworks and their practical applications, public comments to Meta’s Oversight Board, submission to regional consultations that could be part of UNESCO’s guidelines implementation, and preparation ahead of a B-Tech engagement in the 13th annual forum on Business and Human Rights in late 2023. Additionally, participants will be invited to join ongoing, quarterly coordination calls organised by B-Tech that engages CSO stakeholders working on these issues, and to input into GPD’s upcoming platform regulation hub, which will collect and collate relevant resources on this topic.

Hybrid Format: The hybrid session will allow for speaker participation from across five continents and an as-diverse range of participants - from civil society, government, private sector and academia. Speakers will both be on-site at the IGF and online to further engage in discussions across both spaces. All online participants will be invited to introduce themselves (in the chat or otherwise) and share additional resources relevant to the discussion.
The online and on-site moderators will coordinate during the session to take questions and inputs via both the online Q&A function and in-person open floor, ensuring a balance of participation from attendees across the two modalities. The moderators will also utilise interactive digital tools such as Mentimeter at the beginning and end of the session, to encourage participants to share their views on core session questions and to provide another avenue for participant contribution to the session.