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Livestream – Heidelberger Salon digital

Discussion on 10 February 2022 at 17:00 CET by the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in cooperation with Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University


Who is the Guardian of Free Speech? Meta’s Oversight Board and (Other) Courts and Dispute Resolution Mechanisms

The spread of misinformation and hate speech has led to calls for a more active role of social networks when it comes to curating content. Others fear censorship and arbitrariness. In this stormy debate, Meta decided to share the responsibility for the enforcement of its community guidelines on Facebook and Instagram by setting up the Oversight Board (OB), an independent body which can review decisions taken by Meta on the removal of posts and blocking of users.

Also, state courts in Europe intervene more and more in the content moderation process, inter alia with the German Bundesgerichtshof annulling Facebook’s Terms and Conditions in parts and the German Bundesverfassungsgericht as well as the Italian Corte Costituzionale ordering Meta to unblock users. US-American courts, on the other hand, regularly rejected claims against social media companies aiming at the reinstatement of content or user accounts.

Oversight Board’s Co-Chair and former Inter-American Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Catalina Botero-Marino (Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University), Martin Eifert (Humboldt University Berlin), Matthias Kettemann (University of Insbruck, Hans-Bredow- Institut) and Erik Tuchtfeld (MPIL) will discuss the relationship between state courts and emerging private dispute resolution mechanisms in the realm of content moderation, their effect on freedom of speech on the internet and new regulatory proposals in instruments such as “Europe’s Constitution for Internet Platforms”, the Digital Services Act.

The discussion will be moderated by Alexandra Kemmerer (MPIL) and be open for comments and questions by registered participants.

Date and Time: February 10th, 2022, 5:00 pm (CET)

Place: Virtual meeting (Heidelberger Salon)


  • Moderation: Alexandra Kemmerer (MPIL)
  • Catalina Botero-Marino (Co-Chair Oversight Board; Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University)
  • Erik Tuchtfeld (MPIL)
  • Matthias Kettemann (Uni Insbruck, HBI)
  • Martin Eifert (HU Berlin)


Alexandra Kemmerer

Alexandra Kemmerer is senior research fellow and academic coordinator at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, and head of the Institute’s Berlin Office.

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Catalina Botero-Marino
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Erik Tuchtfeld

Erik Tuchtfeld is a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg) and head of the humanet3 research group. He is an editor at Völkerrechtsblog.

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Matthias C. Kettemann

Matthias C. Kettemann is research program director at the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI), research group leader at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin and at the Sustainable Computing Lab at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, and adjunct professor of international law at Friedrich Schiller University, Jena.

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Martin Eifert
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