Digital Technologies

Freedom of Expression Online

UNESCO works to promote freedom of expression online at a time when the digital ecosystem offers new opportunities but also multiplies challenges for freedom of expression.

Guided by the Windhoek +30 Declaration on information as a public good, we advocate for greater transparency and accountability of digital platforms , including to counter mis- and disinformation and hate speech.

We empower people with media and information literacy skills, support media viability and work to build societal resilience to harmful content online through a range of partnerships and collaborations. We support trustworthy, independent media and work with journalists to address  information needs in times of emergencies.

We also train judicial and law enforcement actors on international standards on freedom of expression to tackle these challenges with a human rights-based approach, and advocate for a digital ecosystem based on the R.O.A.M.-X principles (human rights-based, open, accessible, and multi-stakeholder).

Our Stories

Story UNESCO’s World Trends Report mobilizes press freedom advocates around the world

Our Actions

Countering Hate Speech
Social Media 4 Peace
Promoting Transparency of Digital Platforms
World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development

In Numbers

data sources analyzed for the 2021/2022 Global edition

of the World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development Report.

Over 30,000
journalists, fact-checkers, and communicators

from 157 countries trained to report on the COVID-19 pandemic and debunk misinformation.

How to address online #HateSpeech with a human rights-based approach?

Some people use messages that violate other people's rights to dignity, equality and safety. When does free speech become criminal 'hate speech' and how do we best respond to it? Navigating that fine line isn't easy. But, in the interests of protecting human rights for all we can - and must- work together more intensively to address the problem.

Our Publications

Journalism is a public good: World trends in freedom of expression and media development; Global report 2021/2022
With the support of the UNESCO Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists (MDP)
Letting the sun shine in: transparency and accountability in the digital age
Addressing hate speech on social media: contemporary challenges
Document produced with the financial support of the European Union.
Disinfodemic: deciphering COVID-19 disinformation
Published with the support of International Center for Journalists
Balancing act: countering digital disinformation while respecting freedom of expression: Broadband Commission research report on ‘Freedom of Expression and Addressing Disinformation on the Internet'
Disinformation during the pandemic and Latin America's regulatory response
UNESCO Montevideo