Tech Policy Press: Most Comments Deleted From Social Media Platforms in Germany, France, and Sweden Were Legal Speech — Why That Should Raise Concerns for Free Expression Online

By Jacob Mchangama  In the age of ubiquitous social media, the power to shape public discourse lies in the hands of a few digital giants. Yet, recent European regulations intended to curb “torrents of hate” online could be stifling free expression. As policymakers tout these measures as necessary for a safer internet, a critical question […]

Media Laws: Will the EMFA Improve Freedom of Expression, Media Pluralism, and Media Independence in Europe?

By Joan Barata  1. Introduction The recent adoption of the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA)[1] has been presented by European institutions as an important step forward in the effective protection of freedom of the media in the continent. The European Commission considers this Regulation as a culmination of some sort within a series of measures to […]

Tech Policy Press: Digital Services Act Roundup: April – May 2024

By Jordi Calvet-Bademunt Overview: In April and May, the European Commission opened three formal proceedings involving very large online platforms (VLOPs), two against Meta and one against TikTok. Also, starting in April, Pornhub, Stripchat, and XVideos began complying with the Digital Services Act’s (DSA) VLOP rules after being designated in December 2023. Moreover, Shein, an online […]

Tech Policy Press: The Digital Services Act Meets the AI Act

By Jordi Calvet-Bademunt and Joan Barata This piece is part of a series that marks the first 100 days since the full implementation of Europe’s Digital Services Act. You can read more items in the series here. The adoption of the Digital Services Act (DSA) represented a major development within the context of the EU and beyond. Based […]

Human Rights Here: Article 17 of the ECHR and the Run-Down to Lenis v Greece

By Natalie Alkiviadou Introduction Article 17 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), commonly referred to as the ‘abuse clause,’ provides that: “Nothing in [the] Convention may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the […]

The Daily Beast: PEN America Is Right to Stay Out of Gaza War Activism

By Jacob Mchangama In January 2015, Islamic terrorists murdered 12 people at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for depicting the Prophet Muhammad. When PEN America honored the magazine with its Freedom of Expression Courage Award that same year, the organization received backlash from prominent members. Then-PEN president Andrew Solomon stood by the decision, saying that the controversy was a reminder that […]

Tech Policy Press: Generative AI Developers Should Commit to Free Speech and Access to Information

By Jordi Calvet-Bademunt “When we started this work, we were curious. Now, we have real concerns.” The CEO of the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA), the British antitrust regulator, was referring to the competition risks her team has identified in the foundation models industry. Foundation models are a type of generative AI. Popular models include OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Google’s […]

Reason: Should Free Speech Pessimists Look to Europe?

By Jacob Mchangama Free speech pessimism is on the rise among America’s elites. “Free Speech Is Killing Us,” read a 2019 op-ed in The New York Times. Recently, an article in The New York Times Magazine concluded, “It’s time to ask whether the American way of protecting free speech is actually keeping us free.” George Washington University Law […]

The Conversation: AI Chatbots Refuse to Produce ‘Controversial’ Output − Why That’s A Free Speech Problem

By Jacob Mchangama and Jordi Calvet-Bademunt Google recently made headlines globally because its chatbot Gemini generated images of people of color instead of white people in historical settings that featured white people. Adobe Firefly’s image creation tool saw similar issues. This led some commentators to complain that AI had gone “woke.” Others suggested these issues resulted from faulty efforts […]

Tech Policy Press: Digital Services Act Roundup: February – March 2024

By Jordi Calvet-Bademunt Overview: The Digital Services Act (DSA), Europe’s online safety rulebook, finally became applicable to all companies on February 17, 2024. Until then, it only applied to the so-called very large online platforms (VLOPs) and very large online search engines (VLOSEs). February 17th was also the date EU Member States were required to designate […]