But Facebook’s Not a Country: How to Interpret Human Rights Law for Social Media Companies

Private social media companies regulate much more speech than any government does, and their platforms are being used to bring about serious harm. Yet companies govern largely on their own, and in secret.  To correct this, advocates have proposed that companies follow international human rights law. But for this to work, the law must first be interpreted to clarify how (and whether) each of its provisions are suited to this new purpose.

We study dangerous speech and ways to counteract it.

Dangerous Speech: A Practical Guide

People don’t commit violence against other groups - or even condone it - spontaneously. First they must be taught to see other people as pests, vermin, aliens, or threats. Malicious leaders often use the same types of rhetoric to do this, in myriad cultures, languages, countries, and historical periods. We call this Dangerous Speech. Violence might be prevented by making it less abundant or less convincing. We work to find the best ways to do this – while protecting freedom of expression.

Resources

Dangerous Speech: A Practical Guide

This guide - updated for 2019 - provides an in-depth exploration of dangerous speech and how to identify it, dangerous speech on the internet, and some promising efforts to reduce the harmful effects of speech.

Proposals for Improved Regulation of Harmful Online Content

This paper presents seven proposals for how internet companies can more effectively address harmful content on their platforms, protect freedom of expression, and provide a better experience for their users.

Blog + News

DSP Joins 14 Organizations Urging GIFCT to Respect Human Rights

The Dangerous Speech Project and 14 other organizations called for GIFCT, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, to respect human rights and address concerns about censorship, transparency, and overreach.

How Dangerous Speech Exacerbates Farmer-Herder Conflicts in Nigeria

While online speech is rarely implicated in initial violent incidents, social media platforms increasingly feature dangerous speech afterward – which increases the risk of additional violence.