Internet Intermediaries

It is estimated that there over 2 billion people connected to the internet.

Internet intermediaries, such as internet service providers (ISPs), search engines and social media platforms, play a crucial role in enabling people around the world to communicate with each other.

Because of their technical capabilities, internet intermediaries are under increasing pressure from governments and interest groups to police online content.

At the same time, intermediaries can and do ban certain types of content. Usually this censorship takes place outside the scope of internationally recognised standards governing the permissible limitations on freedom of expression.

The problem intermediaries censoring content is further compounded by the lack of transparency in the way these restrictions are implemented; the lack of clear guidelines that users can refer to; and the absence of appropriate mechanisms for users to appeal against decisions by ISPs to censor user-generated content. This effectively means that online content is increasingly being regulated and censored via private contracts that offer limited transparency and accountability.

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