While social media platforms offer valuable spaces to connect, they also hold immense power over the information we see online.
By using algorithms and human moderators, both of whom are prone to mistakes and bias, they are removing large amounts of content in error, silencing millions of people. This impacts women, LGBTQI people and minorities in particular, who are already often denied a voice in society.
Censorship by social media platforms reduces dialogue, shrinks public knowledge for everyone and prevents us all from holding those in power to account.
We are speaking up for the missing voices by asking platforms for more transparency and the right to appeal decisions that stifle the right to freedom of expression.
Nearly 75% of the world’s population uses Facebook (2.2 billion), with YouTube and Twitter boasting 2 billion and 330 million active users respectively
Social media platforms are restricting speech based on government legal requests. 74% of government requests to remove content from Twitter July–December 2018 came from Russia and Turkey
Journalists, artists, activists and marginalised groups are often targets for takedown on social media. It is estimated that 22% of all violations of women artists’ free expression happened in the digital space. ( Freemuse Report)
We ask Twitter, YouTube and Facebook to make a simple change that will give everyone a fair and equal right to be heard.
A right to appeal
• We ask for users to have the right and method to challenge decisions when their content is removed. This means that content taken down in error or unjustly, will have a second chance to be reviewed– and the right to expression restored.
• Platforms must also clearly explain how a person can appeal the decision and give a reasonable response timeline with contact details for more information.
• We ask for proactively published data on the number of content removals, types of flaggers , reasons for removal, how many appeals they receive and the outcome of the appeals.
Shikoh Kihika - Executive Director, Tribeless Youth
Victoria Cheng - Lead Programme Manager, Projek Dialog
Gloria Ruiz García - Journalist
Borghildur Indriðadóttir - Artist
Sibel Hurtaş - Journalist, Arti TV
- Side-stepping rights: Regulating speech by contract
- Open letter to ask Facebook to provide a mechanism to appeal content censorship for all users
- Twitter Rules: Analysis against international standards on freedom of expression
- Facebook Community Standards: Analysis against international standards on freedom of expression