Content moderation in digital platforms

Resolution of the IAPA Midyear Meeting
April 20-23, 2021

WHEREAS, at the IACHR hearing on March 25, 2021, "Internet Content Moderation and Freedom of Expression in the Americas," called as a result of the cancellation of content of former President Donald Trump on social networks, the IAPA maintained that the rights related to freedom of expression and freedom of the press must be guaranteed equally in the digital and traditional environments - as established in the Salta Declaration

WHEREAS, the permanent blocking on digital platforms of information originating from public or private persons constitutes prior censorship, since it presupposes crimes or offenses that have not yet occurred - without considering the principle of subsequent responsibility

WHEREAS, any subsequent restriction or penalty affecting the right to disseminate, share or disclose information and ideas on the Internet must be established by law pursuant to the considerations set forth in the American Convention on Human Rights

WHEREAS, the IAPA is in favor of the self-regulation of private information companies and, by extension, of digital platforms

WHEREAS, self-regulatory policies - good practices, content curation criteria and other community norms - must comply with international human rights standards and must be clear, transparent, intelligible and openly communicated to all users - as well as promoted through permanent digital literacy campaigns

WHEREAS, digital platforms have been improving these policies, but must create more efficient accountability mechanisms for content moderation, cancellations and good practices

WHEREAS, beyond the self-regulation of global platforms, those who feel affected by blocking or cancellations should have fast, free or low-cost access to courts in their jurisdiction to correct any excesses in the regulations of the community - since such entities are more independent and impartial and their decisions, whether acceptable or not, have the possibility of reaching higher and even international instances, such as the Inter-American Human Rights System

WHEREAS, the Salta Declaration establishes guiding principles on freedom of expression in the digital ecosystem.


To express that the IAPA defends the principle of private self-regulation over state regulations.

To urge governments to refrain from imposing excessive burdens on digital platforms in terms of content curation and controls, beyond those required by international human rights laws and standards; among others, on apology of violence, hate speech, protection of minors, and removal of malicious information

To ask the international community to preserve the principle of self-regulation of digital platforms and to avoid over-regulating or attempting to create supranational mechanisms that tend to focus on discussions between democratic and authoritarian countries - which end up placing restrictions on freedom of expression.