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Freedom of expression online: Peers explore cultural and gender issues

1 February 2021

The House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee continues its inquiry into freedom of expression online tomorrow (Tuesday 2 February from 3.00 p.m.) by exploring cultural differences and gender.

The committee will hear from:

At 3.00 p.m.

  • Dr Roxane Farmanfarmaian, Director, ‘Protecting Freedom of Expression in Religious Context’, Cambridge University
  • Dr Sharath Srinivasan, Lecturer in Governance and Human Rights, King's College, Cambridge University

Likely questions and topics of discussion include:

  • To what extent does (and should) the right to freedom of expression accommodate cultural differences?
  • Do cultural differences preclude further international collaboration on the freedom of expression?
  • How well do platforms’ moderation policies and processes take account of cultural and religious differences?

At 4.00 p.m.

  • Louise Perry, freelance writer and campaigner
  • Dr Fiona Vera-Gray, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Durham University

Likely questions and topics of discussion include:

  • Polls show that women are more likely than men to prioritise safety over the freedom of expression. Why?
  • Do social media platforms do enough to remove content which gives rise to gendered harms?
  • Do major pornographic websites have sufficiently robust processes to verify consent?
  • Has the Government done enough to ensure that illegal pornography is removed from the internet?

The session will be live on Parliament TV.

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