Speech Police

The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet

“There is an epidemic sweeping the world,” the Nigerian Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said. “It is the epidemic of fake news. Mixed with hate speech, it is a disaster waiting to happen.”

Some argue that the disaster has already happened. But who should decide whether content should be removed from platforms, or which users should be kicked off?

David Kaye, one of the world’s leading voices on human rights in the digital age, deals with these issues on a daily basis as the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression. His new book, Speech Police, brings us behind the scenes, from Facebook’s “mini-legislative” meetings to the European Commission’s closed-door negotiations, and introduces journalists, activists, and content moderators who take down a virtual flood of photos, videos and text every day. He tells the story of people around the world who are trying to get it right while facing an almost impossible task—with massive consequences for users and the public.

Join Ranking Digital Rights Director Rebecca MacKinnon and New America CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter, in discussion with David Kaye, to explore the dichotomy of how we can curtail the hate speech on the internet while maintaining freedom of speech.

Books will be available for purchase before and after the event.


David Kaye, @davidakaye
UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion & expression
Author, Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet

Rebecca MacKinnon, @rmack
Director, Ranking Digital Rights


Anne-Marie Slaughter, @SlaughterAM
CEO, New America