Tweeting to Topple Tyranny: Social Media, corporate Social Responsibility & Human Rights
Professor Erika George
Annual Lecture - 15/11/11
The lecture offered critical reflections on the role of social media in social change and outline how the obligation of corporations in the information communications technology sector to avoid complicity in rights violations may evolve over time. Exploring the Internet's potential to further democratic discourse and inclusion or foster discrimination and exclusion considering whether the Internet industry has an obligation to protect against hate propaganda. The lecture considered discourse in the digital era--from political dissent to social discrimination, present escalating citizen-consumer expectations as a potential origin of obligation in the internet communications technology sector in the absence of binding law imposing particular obligations. In particular, it explored the interplay of interest convergence between the industry and its consumers in unfree societies with illiberal laws pertaining to freedom of expression and access to information to outline appropriate standards aligned with international human rights standards. The lecture also assessed the efficacy of multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Global Network Initiative.
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