SOAS University of London

Freedom of expression, from the fundamental human right to hate speech scapegoat.

Freedom of expression, from the fundamental human right to hate speech scapegoat.

Elizabeth Rivera, IFEX

Date: 2 December 2020Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 2 December 2020Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Virtual Webinar

In the wake of recent successes of fascist political actors and discussions about its causes and consequences around the world (open hate speech, unleashed harassment, disinformation, etc.) the contribution of the media – from legacy media to social media has taken the spotlight. Freedom of expression organisations are looking into several angles of this conundrum. First, the legal framework: the practical State-level application of the rights to freedom of opinion and expression on the one hand, and prohibitions of incitement to hatred on the other. Second, the political-economic aspect: how can we advocate for a human-rights-centred moderation when privately owned platforms follow the demands of the market and popular opinions, thus inexorably lead to biased content moderation and overindulgent respect for public authorities, “influencers” and traffic generating content (e.g. emotionally charged conspiracy theories and hate speech). Third, the public, who is now trying to navigate a sea of fringed voices becoming mainstream, news as entertainment (false equivalence of facts, opinions and hate) and ultra-precise targeting via social media platforms. The objective of this session is to touch on all these areas to increase our understanding of the stakes, tactics and rhetoric of some of the current tensions in freedom of expression.  

Elizabeth is senior communications, branding and media professional with a unique career path of almost two decades, spanning from fast-moving corporate marketing to NGO communications and global media. Most passionate about political communications, particularly the intersection of media, social movements and human rights. Currently, I hold the position of Communications Director at IFEX, the global network of more than 100 organizations promoting and defending freedom of expression and access to information. I am also a contributor for Global Voices and Mozilla Foundation's Internet Health Report. MA (distinction) in Global Media and Postnational Communications from SOAS, University of London.

Please use the following link for more details:

It will be on Zoom and registration is required using this link:  

Organiser: Dr. Dina Matar, Chair, Centre for Global Media and Communication

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