INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM
The annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) serves to bring people together from various stakeholder groups as equals, in discussions on public policy issues relating to the internet.
The 14th Annual Meeting took place on 25-29 November 2019 at the Estrel Congress Centre in Berlin, Germany with a theme of "One World. One Net. One Vision.".
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multi-stakeholder discussion platform of the United Nations. It addresses current legal, political, social and technical aspects of the internet.
The participants deal with all aspects related to the question of how the internet, as we know it, can be maintained and improved. The issues up for discussion include technical standards, human rights matters, the impact of digital technologies on everyday and working life, and opportunities arising for economic and social development.
The IGF has an advisory function and provides an opportunity for all participants to influence the discussions in the relevant decision-making bodies at national and international levels.
As in previous years, a delegation was in attendance to promote the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) initiative on behalf of the EC, Insafe and INHOPE. The delegation also hosted an Insafe-INHOPE booth, while implementing a Safer Internet Day (SID) Polaroid campaign, in preparation for the next campaign, taking place on Tuesday, 11 February 2020. Network representatives met lots of attendees across the course of the week, encouraging them to pledge their support for Safer Internet Day with a photo with our SID mascot, joining others across the globe to work "Together for a better internet".
The delegation also hosted a couple of events.
The first, a workshop titled "Tackling hate speech: A multi-stakeholder responsibility", began with a high-level panel presenting different cases, instruments and strategies to tackle hate speech online. In more detail, attorney Chan-jo Jun began by presenting his case that brought him to fame as he supported victims of hate speech online and instigated legal proceedings against Facebook. Following Gerd Billen, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection Germany, gave a short overview of the Network Enforcement Act, explaining the reasons why the German Parliament passed the law, which introduced compliance obligations for social networks when dealing with complaints of illegal content online.
Furthermore, representatives from the UN and Google, as well as a journalist, acted as respondents discussing in particular what safeguards should be applied to secure freedom of speech and possibilities to develop internationally accepted standards to deal with hate speech online.
Against this background, the floor was opened to the audience, involving everyone in different group discussions led by representatives from civil society, academia and youth. During these table discussions, strategies and solutions were discussed to counteract hate in the global internet, drawing upon policy questions listed, ensuring that every stakeholder group is part of the responsibility.
The second event - a Day 0 pre-event - considered "How is life in the digital age treating us? Opportunities and risks for people's wellbeing".
During this pre-event, participants explored current online trends and the growing range of threats to the global internet, such as online challenges (e.g. Momo and Blue Whale Challenge), internet ethics, fake news, hate speech, human rights and security. Moreover, participants will discuss how to turn challenges into opportunities making sure all citizens are benefiting from a healthy digital environment.
The pre-event took a multi-stakeholder approach inviting different stakeholders from the public and private sector to share their efforts to make the internet a better place for all citizens. In addition, the session gave a platform to young people, who challenged policy makers and industry partners, and providing them with the opportunity to shape the internet governance agenda.
Read more about the Day 0 event here.