Transcript of "Snezana Trpevska - Content Regulation and Censorship – What is the Difference?"
Content Regulation and Censorship – What is the Difference? Snezana Trpevska, senior lecturer School of Journalism and Public Relations Skopje, 22 May 2012www.metamorphosis.org.mk/fpi #fpi12
What is regulation? Formal and compulsory rules about the structure, conduct or content of the media• Radio and television are traditionally subject to strongest content regulation• Print media content is not formally regulated, but they are subject to other laws (libel/defamation, privacy, copyright etc.)• Internet content is subject to smallest regulation (AVM or TV-like services)www.metamorphosis.org.mk/fpi #fpi12
What is self-regulation? Informal and voluntary adopted rules at industry or individual media level• Goals, guidelines or principles, rather than fixed or compulsory standards• Mostly present in the print media sector (codes of conduct, press councils, media ombudsmen etc.)• It is most convenient form of regulation of the Internet sectorwww.metamorphosis.org.mk/fpi #fpi12
Content regulation of traditional media Only television and radio are regulated with broadcast legislation• First Broadcasting Law in 1997• New Broadcasting Law in 2005• New law is drafted to align with AVMS Directive• Code of Conduct of AJM and Council of Honor• AJM Initiative for self-regulation• Provisions of other laws (libel/defamation, copyright, data protection, hate speech, pornography etc.)www.metamorphosis.org.mk/fpi #fpi12
Independence of the regulator Status & PowersAccountability &transparency Financial Autonomy Knowledge Autonomy of decision makerswww.metamorphosis.org.mk/fpi #fpi12
Regulating Internet Content? Widespread availability of various ‘harmful’ content on Internet raised concerns in many countries• New legal provisions are introduced in response to dissemination of illegal or ‘unwanted’ content.• Of particular concern is: terrorist propaganda, racist content, hate speech, sexually explicit content, child pornography,www.metamorphosis.org.mk/fpi #fpi12
Internet specific features However, specific features of the Internet require different approaches to its regulation• Internet combines the traits of the traditional media, and poses problems for regulation.• The “sovereignty” of content control is diminished.• Internet’s nature as private, public and commercial sphere• Globalization of information, user-driven content and creation of global public spherewww.metamorphosis.org.mk/fpi #fpi12
Illegal and harmful content Content considered as harmful does not always fall within the boundaries of illegality.• Illegal content is criminalized by national laws• Harmful content is considered offensive or objectionable, but is not considered criminal• States differ in terms of categorizing content as illegal or “harmful” – harmonization is complicated• European Commission emphasized this fundamental difference and called for very different legal and technological responseswww.metamorphosis.org.mk/fpi #fpi12
Content subject to regulation EU document "Illegal and harmful content on the Internet“ (1996):• national security (instructions on bomb-making, illegal drug production, terrorist activities);• protection of minors (abusive forms of marketing, violence, pornography);• protection of human dignity (incitement to racial hatred or racial discrimination);• economic security (fraud, instructions on pirating credit cards);• information security (malicious hacking);• protection of privacy (unauthorized communication of personal data, electronic harassment);• protection of reputation (libel, unlawful comparative advertising);• intellectual property (unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works, software or music)www.metamorphosis.org.mk/fpi #fpi12
Legal provisions – comparative review OSCE study: Freedom of expression on the Internet (2010)• Racist content , xenophobia and hate speech - 45 countries (80.4%)• Denial, gross minimisation, approval or justification of genocide or crimes against humanity - 23 countries (41.1%)• Incitement to terrorism, terrorist propaganda and/or terrorist use of the Internet - 40 countries (71.4%)• Child pornography – 43 countries (76.8%)• Internet piracy - 44 countries (78.6%)• Libel and defamation - 36 countries (64.3%)• “extremism” or “extreme speech” - 20 countries (35.7%)• distribution of “harmful content” - 19 countries (33.9%)Available at: http://www.osce.org/fom/80723www.metamorphosis.org.mk/fpi #fpi12
Challenges to freedom of expression• Content regulation developed for traditional media cannot simply be applied to the Internet• increased legislation of online content has led to restrictions on the free flow of information and the right to freely impart and receive information• Definitional problems regarding speech-based restrictions: extremism, terrorist propaganda, harmful or racist content, and hate speech• Defamation has yet to be decriminalized• “three-strikes” legal measures to combat Internet piracy• Independence of regulators (both for media and data protection)www.metamorphosis.org.mk/fpi #fpi12
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