Preventing “Torrents of Hate” or Stifling Free Expression Online?

An Assessment of Social Media Content Removal in France, Germany, and Sweden The over-removal of legal content on social media platforms raises concerns about the chilling effect on free expression and the potential suppression of legitimate discourse online. This report found that a substantial majority (87.5% to 99.7%) of deleted comments on Facebook and YouTube […]

The Future of Free Speech Submission to Meta’s Oversight Board on “From the River to the Sea”

Background The Future of Free Speech (FoFS) is an independent, non-partisan think tank located at Vanderbilt University. FoFS’ comment focuses on some of the issues identified by the Oversight Board and particularly Meta’s human rights responsibilities in relation to using the phrase “From the river to the sea”, including freedom of expression, freedom of association, […]

Report: Freedom of Expression in Generative AI – A Snapshot of Content Policies

Download the report   By Jacob Mchangama and Jordi Calvet-Bademunt Summary Anyone who has tested generative AI with slightly controversial issues is now familiar with expressions such as “I’m unable to help you with that” (Google’s Gemini). Or “I’m not able to generate content that takes a stand on controversial historical or political issues” (Inflection’s […]

Background report: Empowering Audiences – Against Misinformation Through ‘Prebunking’

Download the report   Author: Michael Bang Petersen, Professor of Political Science, Aarhus University, Denmark  Executive Summary Exposure to misinformation can change people’s views but often the impact is limited because specific attitudes are often rooted in larger worldviews that are difficult to change. Nonetheless, exposure to misinformation can have a number of other adverse […]

Book chapter: Counterspeech – Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Countering Dangerous Speech

Description This volume looks at the forms and functions of counterspeech as well as what determines its effectiveness and success from multidisciplinary perspectives. Counterspeech is in line with international human rights and freedom of speech, and it can be a much more powerful tool against dangerous and toxic speech than blocking and censorship. In the […]

The Free Speech Recession Hits Home

Download the report Executive Summary The global landscape for freedom of expression has faced severe challenges in 2023. Even open democracies have implemented restrictive measures. The European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) exemplifies this trend, the European Commission’s aggressive enforcement of which has raised concerns among rights groups. The Commission demands the removal of content classified […]

Article: Speech that Isn’t Mine: Obligations Under the European Court of Human Rights

Access article By Natalie Alkiviadou Accepted: 13 October 2023 Abstract In 2023, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights issued its ruling in the case of Sanchez v France. The case revolved around the conviction of the applicant, a politician, for inciting hatred or violence against people due to their religious affiliation. […]

Article: Freedom of Expression and Social Conflict

Authors Christian Bjørnskov, Jacob Mchangama The association between freedom of expression – freedom of speech and the freedom of the media – and social conflict is theoretically ambiguous and politically highly contested. On one side of the debate, people argue that freedom of speech and freedom of the media create social conflict by giving people and […]

Public hearing on danish ban of improper treatment of objects of significant religious significance to a religious community

Read the public hearing (in danish)   Proposal L133: Arguments against its implementation Restricts freedom of expression: The proposal restricts freedom of expression, as it can be used to punish symbolic expressions critical of religions. This is contrary to the principle of freedom of expression, which is a central pillar of a democratic society and […]

Case law on Hate Speech: The Enduring Question of Thresholds

This report sets out the trends and practices across regional and international institutions in relation to their approach towards and handling of hate speech. To do so, it relies on the database of the Global Freedom of Expression initiative at Columbia University and the database of the Future of Free Speech Project (Justitia). It aims […]