Freedom of Expression

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Viral Misinformation and the Freedom of Expression: Part III

Editors' note: this post is part of a series - see here for Part I and Part II. In my third, and final post in this series I will provide a provisional evaluation of the responses to Covid-19-related misinformation by states and online media companies and how these should be assessed within the framework of human rights law. There are many more actors whose response in this regard is necessary and should be examined (e.g. that of civil society more broadly), but I’ll focus on states and online media companies because of their legal position and their outsize role in the viral infodemic. Finally, I will outline some thoughts for the long road ahead. State responses to misinformation In recent years states have increasingly adopted legislation, repurposes old legislation, or implemented other measures to combat the spread of misinformation more generally. Now, during the pandemic, many states are either applying such pre-existing measures to Covid-19-related misinformation, or are adopting new and often sweeping solutions (See, for…

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Viral Misinformation and the Freedom of Expression: Part II

Editors' note: this post is part of a series - see here for Part I and Part III. We have seen in Part I how any restrictions on the freedom of expression to curb the spread of viral misinformation must be used only in compelling circumstances, when the misinformation directly caused significant social harms,…

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Viral Misinformation and the Freedom of Expression: Part I

Editors' note: this post is part of a series - see here for Part II and Part III. Over the past few weeks, at least 20 mobile phone masts were torched or otherwise vandalised in the UK at the hands of energetic members of the public. These individuals apparently believed in some variant…

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JHH Weiler, Co-Editor in Chief, in Conversation with Professor Wojciech Sadurski

One of the more ‘elegant’ ways of restricting freedom of political speech and academic freedom is to use libel and defamation laws. It has increasingly become the weapon of choice of various political actors and regimes. Nobody would gainsay that academics may libel others and that politicians can be libelled and have the right to have their names…

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Academic Freedom Under Pressure

  Contemporary threats to academic freedom are global, diverse and mounting. The ICNL-commissioned report Closing Academic Space published in March found “repressive and potentially repressive government practices against higher education institutions, including academics and students, in more than 60 countries”, including Hungary, Russia, Venezuela, Turkey, Egypt and China. Challenges to academic freedom…

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