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Bridging the gap Bridging the gap Safeguarding online freedom across the Atlantic

Bridging the gap: Safeguarding Online Freedom Across the Atlantic

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) in cooperation with the German Center for Research and and Innovation (DWIH), the Consulate General of Germany, the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI) and the UNESCO Chair in Freedom of Communication and Information invites you to a public panel discussion in New York. The event will be held in English and will also be streamed live.


Bridging the gap: Safeguarding Online Freedom Across the Atlantic

Public panel discussion
Monday, 29 April 2024
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.| New York time (ET)
5:30 p.m – 7 p.m | Berlin time (CET)

Consulate General of Germany, 871 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017
Arrival and Coffee from 11:00 a.m. (ET)


Discuss and ask questions on Slido


How do we balance the complexities of managing what people say online with protecting their right to speak freely? As public communication increasingly shifts to online and social media platforms, the question of ensuring freedom of expression becomes more pressing. Legal frameworks in the US and Europe offer different approaches: In the US, the First Amendment only permits minimal government restrictions. This allows social media platforms a wide leeway in moderating content. The extent of this latitude is currently being discussed before the Supreme Court.

In contrast,  EU member states usually have rules to combat hate speech and discrimination. This obliges platforms to remove specific content to comply with local laws. Yet new rules, like the Digital Services Act, which recently came fully into force, the Digital Markets Act, and the future AI Act, are bound to increase Europe’s normative power.

Power struggles over speech regimes are certain to arrive. This is because the globally active platforms based in the US ‘export’ the US approach to free speech via their terms of service. But European approaches to regulation are also being ‘exported’ as international reference points through a process, known as the Brussels effect.

The future of free speech online hangs in the balance as new rules try to respond to new challenges. This is an ideal time to engage in a transatlantic dialogue on this issue and explore what lessons can be learned – and how communicative spaces can be built for the future.


Chinmayi Arun, Executive Director of the Information Society Project and a Research Scholar at Yale Law School

Zoe Darmé, Senior Manager on Consumer Trust at Google, formerly content governance and moderation at Facebook

Ellen P. Goodman, Distinguished Professor at Rutgers Law School and Visiting Professor at Yale Law School, formerly Senior Advisor for Algorithmic Justice at U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

Peter Micek, General Counsel and UN Policy Manager at Access Now


Sumi Somaskanda, Chief Presenter at BBC News, will serve as a moderator.

David Gill, German Consul General in New York, will open the event with a welcome address.

Wolfgang Schulz, Director of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin, will provide a brief introduction to the topic.

Attend in person

You can register via Eventbrite




Event date

29.04.2024 | 11.30 am – 1.00 pm ical | gcal


Consulate General of Germany,  871 United Nations Plaza,  NY 10017 New York


Wolfgang Schulz, Prof. Dr.

Research Director


This high-profile lecture series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing.


Once a month we publicly discuss the impact of digitalisation on the society. Therefore we invite special guests and engage in a dialogue with the audience.


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