EuroDIG 2019: Discussion on Online Harms

THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS, 19-20 June 2019 One year later and Sunium was back to EuroDIG to organise a panel session titled Tackling online harms – a regulation minefield? Present and future. EuroDIG, or the European Dialogue on Internet Governance is an inclusive multi-stakeholder platform that occurs annually in a different European city. The essence of this meeting is to debate and exchange thoughts about the Internet and how it is (or should be) governed. 

Building up on the previous editions of EuroDIG as well as other interconnected sessions (“Fending off trolls – Journalists in defence of democracy” and “Play the villain – learn to fight disinformation with news literacy”), Sunium continued the discussion on the media and content areas. Panel session 7 further explored and developed on the landscape by looking into the online harms and possible regulations for the future. By analysing various European documents and expertise of the team, organisers mapped out over 250 online harms that our society faces, which set the ground for the debate on the future of regulation.

The moderator and Sunium Communications Officer Virginija Balčiūnaitė opened the panel:

“If regulation takes a long time to be voted for and implemented – then it’s important that the initial debate is anticipatory. We need to include visions, view points and knowledge, not only from researchers, scientists but also from other stakeholders who have the possibility to look a little bit in the future and share that with the legislator, who does not always have that same knowledge. Legislation once it’s in place should not be too old nor outdated.”

Panel included various stakeholders, who looked at the future of regulations that are being developed on different stakeholder fronts. The session featured participants coming from various backgrounds: we had interventions from prof. Lorna Woods, from the University of Essex, Jan Kleijssen, Director of the department of Information Society and Action against Crime, Chris Buckridge, External Relations Manager for the RIPE NCC and Meri Baghdasaryan, Youthdig fellow and human rights lawyer at “Ara Ghazaryan” law office LLC in Armenia. 

Overall, key participants as well as the engaged audience endeavoured to address how the future could look like in terms of tackling illegal and harmful content and activity online. If you are interested to hear more from the session, make sure to follow EuroDIG PL7 wiki page for the messages and video record. 

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