Bridging the Gap: Safeguarding Online Freedom Across the Atlantic

On April 29, 2024, a transatlantic dialogue on communication rights on digital platforms, streamed live from New York City, took place.



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Collage Event April 29, 2024


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Event Information

April 29, 2024, 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM

German House (Auditorium), New York, NY
Organizer(s): Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), DWIH New York, German Consulate General New York, Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI), and the UNESCO Chair in Freedom of Communication and Information

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the DWIH New York, in cooperation with 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, invited to a public panel discussion in New York. 

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.

Our Speakers

  • Ellen P. Goodman, Professor of Information Policy Law, Rutgers University; Senior Advisor for Algorithmic Justice at U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Zoe Darmé, Senior Manager on Consumer Trust, Google; formerly content governance and moderation at Facebook
  • Chinmayi Arun, Executive Director of the Information Society Project and Research Scholar, Yale Law School
  • 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.

German Consulate General New York

German Consulate General New York

Address: 871 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 610 - 9700