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Freedom of Expression and Content Moderation on Social Networks

CEPS Working Party Room - 3rd floor
Place du Congrès 1 - 1000 Brussels

Free participation in our meetings is a benefit of CEPS membership. Non-members may be admitted for Euro 50, paid in cash at registration. Representatives from the European institutions (Commission – Parliament – Council – EEAS – Committee of the Regions - CESE) & members of the press benefit from free entrance, too. A sandwich lunch will be served from 12.30 onwards.

CEPS Event

Freedom of Expression and Content Moderation on Social Networks


Policymakers and users are demanding that Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter, identify and take down hate speech, terrorist propaganda and other forms of problematic speech. The European Commission has signed a memorandum of understanding that obliges the social platforms to speed up their takedowns. In June, Germany adopted a law that will impose large fines on networks who do not remove unlawful speech within 24 hours of notification.

In response, the platforms are coming up with algorithms, ranging from keyword filters to AI learning software, that automatically moderate large amounts of content. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is publishing a new paper evaluating the success of these new tools. Do they end up removing legal, even newsworthy, posts? Do they leave many illegal posts online?  

Come hear Emma Llansó, present the results of CDT’s research and preview their recommendations. While automation in some aspects of large-scale content moderation processes may be desirable, or even necessary, she also underlines the risks of overbroad censorship.

Emma Llansó short biography:

Emma Llansó is the Director of CDT’s Free Expression Project, which works to promote law and policy that support users’ free expression rights in the United States and around the world. She leads in developing content policy best practices with Internet content platforms and advocating for user-empowerment tools and other alternatives to government regulation of online speech. 

Emma earned a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Delaware and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Emma joined CDT in 2009 as the Bruce J. Ennis First Amendment Fellow; her fellowship project focused on legal and policy advocacy in support of minors’ First Amendment rights in the US.

Presentations and materials:
William Echikson William Echikson
William Echikson

Speakers list
Emma Llansó

Director of Free Expression, Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT)