Social media platforms are increasingly accused of shaping public debate and engineering people’s behavior in ways that might undermine the democratic process. In order to vitalize a much-needed multistakeholder dialogue on corrective measures against the spread of false information, this project has undertaken a truncated multistakeholder consultation, addressing experts from academia, civil society, governments and the industry to assess diverging perspectives on institutional proposals, legislative responses, and self- regulation resolutions that have sprung up around the world. It also asks what new challenges platform moderation and related “fake news” issues pose to what might be called the “procedural fitness” of the current multistakeholder internet governance system. Finally, it suggests recommendations for architectural changes that could promote constructive and inclusive debate on the topic.
The Chilean net neutrality regulation is one of the first national legislative efforts to recognize the principle of preventing arbitrary discrimination of Internet traffic. One of the main challenges in interpreting and implementing this law within Chile has been the regular practice of zero-rating, in which certain telecommunications providers prioritize certain applications through free data. Although this practice was initially characterized as a breach of net neutrality by the regulatory body (the Subsecretariat of Telecommunications (Subtel)), zero-rating is still practiced by mobile telephone companies as part of their subscription offers. This white paper summarizes the research and findings of a larger academic project that seeks to analyze both the legal status of zero-rating in Chile and the evolution of the Subtel criteria, which has led to the proliferation of this practice in the country. To read the English version of the report, click here.
As a culmination of one of the series of the IPO’s “research for impact” projects, this declaration builds on research and extensive consultations on best practices for social media platforms to provide transparency and accountability in their content moderation practices. This project engaged civil society organizations, industry representatives, policymakers, and academic researchers to create a priority list of the information users and researchers need to better understand commercial content moderation on social media platforms.
Using Research in Digital Rights Advocacy: Understanding the Research Needs of the Internet Freedom Community
The importance of research within digital rights advocacy cannot be understated. Whether your objective is to persuade policymakers, communicate with companies, educate journalists, convince funders, or influence public opinion, you need accurate and systematically collected information. All advocacy organizations engage in research even if they don’t realize it—advocates are identifying a problem, strategically analyzing causes and effects, seeking potential solutions through information gathering, and communicating this information in a compelling way with core stakeholders. While most organizations have some capacity for research, many organizations do not have the time, funding, or expertise to understand how to deploy the best, most robust, and most convincing research methods to fuel data-driven advocacy. This is especially true for digital rights-related activism, where methods for studying the effects of internet policies, internet user behavior, and corporate decision-making online are often highly technical.