GNI Welcomes Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression to the Human Rights Council

The Global Network Initiative welcomes the June 2018 report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, on the regulation of user-generated content online. GNI’s submission to this report championed the GNI Principles and Implementation Guidelines as a framework that helps guide companies in crafting rights-respecting policies and procedures for responding to government restrictions that may impact the free expression and privacy rights of users. In addition, GNI presented insights into effective actions that can counter government restrictions and emphasized the need for both companies and governments to be transparent with users and the public.

In the report, the Special Rapporteur:

  • Urges States to ensure that their policies toward online expression, and toward the platforms, sustain enabling environments for freedom of expression; and
  • Outlines a series of measures that companies should incorporate into their interactions with governments and the development and enforcement of their own rules and policies. These measures emphasize transparency, due diligence, regular public input and engagement, and access to remedy.  All of these reflect and are consistent with the GNI Principles.

“The report is the result of a commendable multistakeholder consultative process and helpfully examines state and company regulation of online expression. GNI is proud to have participated in this process and is pleased to see our Principles reflected so strongly in the report,” said Judith Lichtenberg, Executive Director of the Global Network Initiative.

GNI previously submitted input to the Special Rapporteur’s 2016 and ‘17 reports to the Human Rights Council.