The United Nations and the European Union are discussing new social media rules

The United Nations and the European Union are discussing new social media rules
UN Deputy Secretary-General for Global Communications Melissa Fleming. © United Nations Information and Information Centre

during the event Digital Services Act Discuss the European Union and the United Nations How the new eu rules for social media It can contribute to a safer and more open digital space inside and outside the European Union.

Speakers and the audience explored what the latest developments in the EU’s Digital Services Act mean for countries outside the European Union during a panel discussion in Brussels led by UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Melissa Fleming.

“At the United Nations, we find it encouraging to see that the European Union is looking beyond Europe’s borders on this issue,” Fleming said, opening the discussion at the workshop. “The results of this law are already being felt around the world – even before it goes into effect. We can rightly expect that this law will set a new standard for global regulation.”

internationally coordinated measures

During the panel discussion, Fleming referred to the head of the United Nations Policy note on information safety on digital platformswhich was launched earlier this month. The memorandum lays out the framework for a coordinated international response against the spread of hate and lies in the digital space. The goal is to stop this negative trend by providing ethical guidelines.

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The United Nations is working on guidelines for the safety of information on digital platforms. The Guidelines are aimed at authorities, digital platforms, advertisers and other interested parties. © Alexander Shatov / Unsplash

Information safety guidelines

The policy note will form the basis for ethical guidelines for information safety on digital platforms. The United Nations is developing the guidelines in preparation for next year future summit.

The Guidelines will create a strong foundation for a more human digital space. Like the EU’s Digital Services Act, the UN wants platforms to bring about meaningful changes. They will do this, among other things, by committing to move away from harmful business models that prioritize sharing over human rights, privacy, and security.

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The ethical guidelines will be based on research and supported by rigorous academic methodology. They should build on experiences and lessons learned from different countries and regions as well as future-oriented solutions to current and future issues. An example of the latter is issues related to artificial intelligence.

“The ethical guidelines that are now being drawn up will take into account the situation in all countries of the world. We will not have the opportunity to sanction companies, but we believe we have great moral authority,” Fleming said during the panel discussion.

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Digital platforms are being misused to undermine science and spread misinformation and hate. © Rodion Kotsaev/Unsplash


Speakers at the event agreed that it was essential to jointly address the problem from a global perspective. It is a balancing act to take care of different interests. You must ensure that human rights and access to information are protected, while also ensuring that Everyone is protected against misinformation.

“The way forward must be human rights-based, multi-stakeholder and multi-dimensional,” Fleming said as she opened the digital services law workshop.

The panel discussion was part of a full day event organized by the European Commission through seminars, networking and discussions on topics covered by the Digital Services Act. The panel discussion brought together about 1,600 people in Brussels and digitally.

more information:

  • Digital Services Act And Regulating digital markets.
  • During the Corona pandemic, the United Nations launched Verified, a campaign to help people see through misinformation about the pandemic. The campaign will also be expanded to include climate change.
  • More information on the UN Guidelines on Information Safety on Digital Platforms can be found here.
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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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