Social media platforms have revolutionised our ability to connect across historic social, political and geographic divides. Where previously gatekeepers mitigated and negotiated access to mass media platforms, today potentially anyone – and any content – can reach millions of individuals in an instant. This development bears great opportunities for the democratisation of expression and the diversification of public discourse but has likewise broadened the impact and harm done through disinformation and hate speech.
As regulators across Europe and the United States weigh responses to the legal novelties and challenges that social media represents, the project will seek to frame and advance the debate on core issues. Should the scope of protections be broader and allow more free speech online, or instead recalibrate to address increases in hateful, violent and discriminatory content? More generally, how can human rights law be asserted and enforced in an online environment where corporations like facebook and twitter seem to hold all the cards?
Stefan Theil Germany - Federal Constitutional Court on the horizontal effect of equality rights between private parties  Public Law 181 [Case Note]
Stefan Theil Germany - Federal Constitutional Court qualifies the distinction between fundamental rights obligations of the state and private actors  Public Law 790 [Case Note]
Stefan Theil and others Response to the Online Harms White Paper, Bonavero Report 3/2019
Stefan Theil and Kate O'Regan Comments on Facebook's draft Charter, Bonavero Report 2/2019
Addressing Hate Speech and Disinformation Online, Chatham House: Invited panellist for roundtable discussion with stakeholders, July 2020
Facebook Oversight Board Charter Roundtable, Menlo Park, CA: Invited to workshop discussing the independent oversight board and charter, August 2019
AI Frontier Conference, Rhodes Artificial Intelligence Lab, Oxford: Invited speaker on panel discussion: AI x Public Discourse, June 2019