Transatlantic Working Group Convenes at Ditchley Park

Damian Collins speaks in a group meeting in the library. Credit: Silver Apples Photography. Transatlantic Working Group.
Damian Collins speaks in a group meeting in the library. Credit: Silver Apples Photography.

Members of the Transatlantic High Level Working Group on Content Moderation and Freedom of Expression held their inaugural meeting at Ditchley Park, in the U.K., from February 28-March 3, 2019. The group, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC), is dedicated to reducing the amount of hate speech, violent extremism, and viral deception online while protecting freedom of speech.

At Ditchley Park, the group heard from keynote speakers Damian Collins, a British M.P. and chair of the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport select committee; David Kaye, U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and Freedom of Expression, and a professor of law at the University of California, Irvine; Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies, University of Oxford, and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; and Judge Róbert Spanó, European Court of Human Rights.

Group meetings and breakout sessions focused on case studies of laws and regulations that attempt to restrict hate speech and terrorist content on the internet.

The Transatlantic Working Group is led by Susan Ness, an APPC distinguished fellow and former member of the Federal Communications Commission, and Nico van Eijk, director of the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam. For more information see the TWG page at IViR, the project’s lead European partner, or the news releases about the TWG’s formation and first meeting, biographical information about its members and its mission. Credit for all photos: Silver Apples Photography.

The Transatlantic Working Group at Ditchley Park: Front row (left-to-right): Brittan Heller, Camille François, Susan Ness, Heidi Tworek, Eileen Donahoe, and David Kaye. Second row: John Frank, Barbora Bukovská, Katherine Maher, Jeff Jarvis, Bret Schafer, Peter Chase, Abigail Slater, Paddy Leerssen, and Nico van Eijk. Back row: Peter Pomerantsev, Richard Whitt, Erika Mann, Douglas Guilbeault, Frane Maroevic, Michael Chertoff, Benoît Loutrel, Michael J. Abramowitz, and Joris van Hoboken.
TWG at Ditchley Park: Front (left-to-right): Brittan Heller, Camille François, Susan Ness, Heidi Tworek, Eileen Donahoe, and David Kaye. Second row: John Frank, Barbora Bukovská, Katherine Maher, Jeff Jarvis, Bret Schafer, Peter Chase, Abigail Slater, Paddy Leerssen, and Nico van Eijk. Back: Peter Pomerantsev, Richard Whitt, Erika Mann, Douglas Guilbeault, Frane Maroevic, Michael Chertoff, Benoît Loutrel, Michael J. Abramowitz, and Joris van Hoboken.

 

Transatlantic Working Group

TWG members at Ditchley Park were:

Susan Ness, Distinguished Fellow, Annenberg Public Policy Center; Former Member, Federal Communications Commission; Distinguished Fellow, German Marshall Fund
Nico van Eijk, Professor of Media and Telecommunications Law and Director of the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam
Michael J. Abramowitz, President, Freedom House
Barbora Bukovská, Director of Law and Policy, Article 19
Peter Chase, Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund (Brussels)
Michael Chertoff, former Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Damian Collins, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom; Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Chair
Ambassador Eileen Donahoe, former U.S. Ambassador, U.N. Human Rights Council; Executive Director, Stanford Global Digital Policy Incubator
Michal Feix, Senior Advisor to the Board of Directors and former CEO, Seznam.cz
Camille François, Chief Innovation Officer, Graphika; Affiliate, Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; Mozilla Fellow
John Frank, VP & Head of European Union office, Microsoft
Brittan Heller, Founder, Center for Digital Civil Rights; Tech and Human Rights Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights, Harvard University
Professor Jeff Jarvis, Professor & Director, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, City University of New York
Professor David Kaye, U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and Freedom of Expression
Katherine Maher, Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Erika Mann, former Member of European Parliament (Germany); Covington & Burling advisor; former Managing Director, Facebook’s Brussels office
Nuala O’Connor, President & CEO, Center for Democracy & Technology
Peter Pomerantsev, Co-Director, Arena, London School of Economics
Abigail Slater, Special Assistant to the President for Tech, Telecom & Cyber Policy, White House National Economic Council
Professor Heidi Tworek, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia
Professor Joris van Hoboken, Professor of Law, Vrije Universiteit Brussels

Research team members included Ph.D. candidates Douglas Guilbeault (Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania) and Paddy Leerssen (Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam).

Guests at the Ditchley conference included:

Professor Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies, University of Oxford
Judge Róbert Spanó, Judge of the European Court of Human Rights
Benoît Loutrel, Head of the French task force experimenting with regulation of Facebook to fight dissemination of hate speech
Frane Maroevic, Director of the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
Sasha Havlicek, Founding CEO, ISD Global
Bret Schafer, Social Media Analyst and Communications Officer, Alliance for Securing Democracy
Professor Damien Tambini, Associate Professor, Media and Communications, London School of Economics
Richard Whitt, President, NetsEdge LLC