Social Media

Excessive regulation can impact free speech, warns Facebook’s Oversight Board member

Mumbai | Updated on September 05, 2020 Published on September 05, 2020

Excessive social media regulation can negatively impact the freedom of speech, according to Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former Prime Minister of Denmark and a member of Facebook’s Oversight Board.

According to a CNBC report, Thorning-Schmidt warned against the infringement of free speech owing to aggressive social media regulation. She cited an example of an internet shutdown that had happened in Belarus last month after the country’s election results.

“If regulation gets too heavy, it actually will impact freedom of speech very heavily,” she told CNBC. “I believe in regulation, I believe that politics has to play a role.”

Thorning-Schmidt is one of four co-chairs of the independent regulatory body set up by Facebook.

Facebook had announced the setting up of its Oversight Board with 20 members from across the globe, back in May. The board is yet to become operational. In an emailed statement the board said that it was “working hard to become operational and expects to begin to hear cases in the coming months.”

“The Oversight Board, which is comprised of independent expert members from around the world, is empowered to make binding and independent decisions on many of the most challenging content issues on Facebook and Instagram,” it said.

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Published on September 05, 2020
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