Standing Committee of Experts on International Migration, Refugee and Criminal Law

4 June 2021

Digital Services Act and Extreme Speech: the Role of Online Platforms

The EU’s proposed Digital Services Act (DSA) will regulate the role of online platforms in combating extreme speech. This raises critical questions. For instance, when are online platforms doing enough against extreme speech? And, are these companies in the right position to engage in the delicate balancing act between different rights and interests and between legal and illegal speech, which is normally the realm of courts? How much freedom should online platforms have in setting and enforcing their own rules on extreme speech? Should there be more legal regulation of the way their recommender systems act – which are often thought to promote extreme forms of speech? How should online platforms deal with content moderation in countries with less liberal or democratic governments (outside, but to a certain extent also inside, the EU)? During our seminar we discussed these questions with our speakers Aleksandra Kuczerawy (postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven), Gabrielle Guillemin (Senior Legal Officer at ARTICLE 19) and René van Eijk (Senior Policy Advisor Digital Economy at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy). Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius (member of the Meijers Committee, professor of ICT and private law at Radboud University Nijmegen ) presented some opening remarks and led the discussion.

You can watch the full seminar here: